SharePoint is Microsoft’s collaboration platform and document management system. It is like Google drive, but it has many more features than that. It can be treated as a centralized place where all members of a team can store, organize, access, and share content from any device. It is a website-based system which follows business workflows. All we need to use SharePoint is a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, IE or Edge. All types of industries use SharePoint as an enterprise content management platform. We can find SharePoint use cases in any department within any organization.
In this article, we will discuss about SharePoint’s 2 latest versions.
- SharePoint 2016 - 1st cloud based On-premise product which has lots of infrastructure updates.
- SharePoint 2019 - Modern SharePoint online features which has minimal infrastructure updates.
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SharePoint 2016 New Features
SharePoint 2016 was launched by Microsoft to merge SharePoint On-Premise with SharePoint Online sites to take maximum benefit of cloud functionalities. It is preferred for users who want to start using cloud storage. SharePoint 2016 holds various new features added described as below:
- Access Services: We can achieve below features using SharePoint Access Services
- We can support apps for Office
- We can download excel feature to pivot Access tables.
- We can also add cascading combo box in Access
- We can use improved related item control which enables us to add new item even if the parent record isn’t saved
- Hybrid: There was a gap between SharePoint Online and On-Premise applications. Some enterprises trust the cloud to store their data whereas some use on-premise for their storage of data. To bridge this gap, Microsoft invented a new hybrid feature in SharePoint 2016. It allows us to store the data wherever we want – cloud or on-premise. Installations of hybrid features are automated and simplified. This feature gives an integrated experience while using SharePoint online sites or server.
- Hybrid Search: SharePoint 2016 added cloud hybrid search feature which enables us to search across SharePoint online and on-premise content. Initially, hybrid search displayed results separately for Online and On-Premise which was unorganized. But through cloud hybrid search, we can index all crawled content and specify the type of content we wish to search for.
- Expandable Filenames: SharePoint 2016 has added support for special characters in filenames which were missing in previous versions.
- Large Files: SharePoint 2016 has added support for downloading and uploading files larger than 2047 MB. Permitted file size now has increased to 10 GB.
- Media Preview: SharePoint 2016 has added a feature to preview the image or video by just hovering the mouse on it. Now, there is no need to click or download it to view the content.
- Enhances Security: Microsoft has focused on the privacy part to make SharePoint 2016 more secure. It now supports TLS 1.2 connection encryption by default while communicating between different apps.
- Faster Site Creation: SharePoint 2016 provides templates for site creations. This reduces the time taken between SharePoint 2016 and SQL Server while creating site.
- MinRole: SharePoint 2016 has added the feature of roles configuration which enables us to assign different role to a specific SharePoint 2016 Server. We can also convert servers to serve a new role if required.
- Mobile Experience: SharePoint 2016 gives a user-friendly and interactive UI for mobile. Due to this, we can access SharePoint from anywhere, anytime to get the work done easily.
- Open Document Format: Open Document Format feature enables us to create any file in document library and store as ODF file. Anyone can edit the same file with the program one chooses.
- Pinning Sites: We can pin the sites to follow. It will be displayed at top of the sites’ list we’re following.
- Durable Links: If any document is renamed or moved to a different location, then also, we can retain the links for those documents by using resource-based URLs – a newly added feature in SharePoint 2016.
- Information Rights Management: SharePoint 2016 provides a way to secure and encrypt files which are downloadable from lists or libraries. This will restrict any unauthorized access to those files and prevent the sensitive data.
- Compliance Features: SharePoint 2016 has added new feature to create the customized policies and apply them as needed. Below 2 policies are supported:
- Document deletion policy - it allows to delete the document from user’s OneDrive after a specific period.
- In-hold policy – it allows admins to preserve email, documents and other files.
Deprecated/Removed Features of SharePoint 2016
Deprecated features are the features for which Microsoft provides support if those are used by existing users. Those features are part of current release but will be removed in future. Removed features are unsupported features even if they are there in release.
Following are the features which are no longer supported in SharePoint 2016.
- Standalone Install Mode: SharePoint 2016 has stopped support for standalone installation. That option has been removed from setup. Instead of standalone, MinRole feature is available while installing.
- SharePoint Foundation: SharePoint Foundation is no longer supported in SharePoint 2016. SharePoint foundation is a free edition of SharePoint having all core architecture and functionalities provided by a commercial SharePoint edition.
- Excel Services: Excel services are removed from SharePoint 2016 version. Below are some of the excel services deprecated in SharePoint 2016:
- Trusted data providers
- Trusted data connection libraries
- Trusted file locations
- Excel Services PowerShell cmdlets
- Excel workbooks were opened through SharePoint Central Administration site
- Unattended service account
All these excel services functionality now require Excel Online in Office Online Server.
- Forefront Identity Manager Client (FIM): Forefront Identity Manager Client was used to synchronize active directory and SharePoint. SharePoint 2016 doesn’t support FIM. It uses Microsoft Identity Manager or any other third party tools for synchronization.
- Tags and Notes: As Microsoft has planned to discontinue this feature in next releases, Tags and Notes is deprecated in SharePoint 2016. Although, users can create new notes and tags, but it is highly unadvised as it is going to be removed in next releases.
- SharePoint BI Capabilities: Microsoft SQL Server Powerpivot or Microsoft Power View for BI solutions are no longer deployed on SharePoint Server 2016. To use them, those need to be installed with SharePoint Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016.
- Work Management Service Applications: The Work Management Service Application has been depreciated from SharePoint Server 2016. Associated Exchange Task Sync and my Tasks features are also removed from SharePoint Server 2016. These features are available in the Work Management Service Application.
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SharePoint 2019 is a new design which works across any screen you choose, a tablet, a laptop, a phone or a desktop. This new SharePoint version wants you to work on your productive tasks instead of configurations and settings. Now, let us discuss what SharePoint 2019 offers to us.
- Modern Team Sites: SharePoint 2019 has a responsive and fresh user experience for team collaboration. It provides a modern site interface through which any users can create a site without contacting IT. This reduces the load on admins and gives a great amount of flexibility to users.
- Modern Search Experience: SharePoint 2019 gives a modern search experience along with the classic one. In modern search experience, users can see the search results before they type, and those results are updated as they type. For example, Google search. SharePoint search results page even shows the search overview grouped by their categories.
- Modern Pages: SharePoint 2019 introduced modern pages which can be added easily by users. Users can easily add their own information through web parts in modern pages. Along with these, modern pages have rich authoring. Users can easily add image, video, documents, site activities or feeds. They can also use Excel, PowerPoint or Word smoothly.
- Modern Libraries and Lists: SharePoint 2019 brings the modern experiences for lists and libraries for team sites. It is totally in sync with SharePoint Online. The most common tasks for lists and libraries are optimized like filtering and sorting files, adding files as links, formatting columns, copying and moving files using command bars, pinning the documents, etc. In Modern Libraries, you can change view to tile view and explore the preview of images or documents that exist in the libraries. Any document or information can be moved with one click in modern libraries and lists.
- Communication Sites: Communication sites are a place where people come and share news or broadcast a message to other people or post a story. SharePoint 2019 has launched a new Hero web part which can display 5 items with texts, links, and images to draw users’ attention to the content. This type of sites can be created by users easily from SharePoint Home. They don’t need to contact IT for the same. One good example of communication site is HR site.
- Increased File Size: SharePoint 2016 was supporting file size up to 10 GB. That is now increased to 15 GB for SharePoint 2019.
- Mobile App: SharePoint 2019 mobile app is a better thing than the previous mobile experience. Users can easily use the app from anywhere anytime.
- OneDrive Sync Client: Users can use OneDrive Sync Client to sync their personal or team sites with their devices. It is easy to use even though it supports very complex operations like push notification, IRM protection, files on-demand, etc.
- % and # in File Names: SharePoint 2019 supports # and % character in file and folder names. This will make the support for characters equivalent with windows support for characters.
- SMTP Authentication for emails: SharePoint 2019 supports SMTP authentication while sending emails from server. Due to this, users can integrate with highly secure environment where SMTP authentication is required to send out the emails.
- SharePoint Home Page: SharePoint Home Page is a modern UI experience which allows users to access all on-premise and online sites. Users can also create sites from home page if the required access is enabled for that user by admin. It gives a personalized view of all team news.
- PowerApps, Power BI and MS Flow Integration: SharePoint 2019 supports cloud features PowerApps, Power BI and MS Flow. Due to this, users are now closer to cloud. It provides technologies to integrate on-premise data with PowerApps, Power BI, and MS Flow.
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Deprecated/Removed Features of SharePoint 2019
Following are the features no longer supported in SharePoint 2019.
- Access Services 2010 & 2013: This feature is deprecated in SharePoint 2019 release as SharePoint 2019 recommends using PowerApps and MS Flow as an alternative.
- Aggregated News feed: SharePoint 2019 has made existing aggregated news feed option as read only. Also, in future releases, the tile in app launcher and feature to implement news feed will be removed. Microsoft recommends using Team News, Yammer or communication sites instead.
- Custom Help: Microsoft is sunsetting the legacy on-premise help engine and moving help system to the cloud to provide relevant content to help users. New help system will be settled on cloud and in sync with office 365 content.
- Groove Sync Client: The Groove Sync Client was used in SharePoint 2010,2013 and 2016 to sync personal devices with SharePoint sites. SharePoint 2019 has introduced OneDrive Sync Client which is richer in UI and more reliable for synchronizing devices with SharePoint sites. Groove client is still there but deprecated in SharePoint 2019.
- Machine Translations and Variations: Machine Translations and Variations are still supported but deprecated in SharePoint 2019.
- SharePoint Designer 2013: SharePoint 2019 is not shipped with SharePoint Designer. Microsoft has ensured that SharePoint Designer 2013 will work with SharePoint 2019 till client support lifecycle (2026). But, beyond that timeline, it won’t be supported.
- Code-based Sandbox Solutions: SharePoint 2019 has removed support for code-based sandbox solutions. Sandbox solutions are used to deploy customization on SharePoint sites, which are already removed from SharePoint 2013. Microsoft recommends users to look for SharePoint add-ins as an alternative.
- Visio Services: To render Visio diagrams, we have 2 options: Microsoft Silverlight based, and PNG based. Microsoft Silverlight will not be supported from Oct 2021. This is why Silverlight based Visio services will not be supported in SharePoint 2019.
- Multi-Tenancy: Due to increased SharePoint multi-tenancy capabilities, dependencies on cloud technologies are also increased. These cloud technologies are not available for on-premise environments. So, providing on-premise alternative is complex and costly. Hence, SharePoint 2019 will no longer support multi-tenancy.
- Site Manager and Site Mailbox: Site Mailbox and Site Manager will remain supported but are deprecated in SharePoint 2019.
Users are advised to use shared mailboxes as an alternative to Site Mailbox. The Site Manager’s main functionality will be available in modern file move in SharePoint 2019.
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