Advantages Of SharePoint 2016 From A User Perspective

You might have seen many articles/blogs on the internet about new and deprecated features of SharePoint 2016 or about the comparison between SharePoint 2013 and 2016. However, this article is mainly focused on the new changes introduced in SharePoint 2016, which will help the end users or business users in their day-to-day SharePoint usage.

You might have seen many articles/blogs on the internet about new and deprecated features of SharePoint 2016 or about the comparison between SharePoint 2013 and 2016. However, this article mainly focuses on the new changes introduced in SharePoint 2016, which will help the end users or business users in their day-to-day SharePoint usage.

Check the below URL for complete information about SharePoint 2016.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/32055.sharepoint-server-2016-resources.aspx

Let’s get started. Below are the advantages of SharePoint 2016 for end users.

Hybrid Search

The Hybrid Search concept was introduced in SharePoint 2013 which allows searching across both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise environments through a single interface. However, in SharePoint 2013 Hybrid Search, there was an issue as mentioned below -

Issue

The search results from the SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise environments used to appear as separate and not integrated. This caused the users a problem to determine which result is more relevant etc.

The above issue got resolved in SharePoint 2016.

SharePoint 2016 now provides a unified search experience for hybrid cloud search. Essentially, the way this works is that the Office 365 search functionality will consume the SharePoint On-Premise search index so that it can provide integrated results from both sources for the same query and users will now get the most relevant results from the two environments.

NOTE

This scenario of Hybrid Search will provide significant results to end users if an organization is planning to have a hybrid ECM (Enterprise Content Management) environment, wherein some portion of SharePoint content will be stored On-Premise and some portion in SharePoint Online (Office 365).

SharePoint

Hybrid Sites

Users can now follow sites on both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise and these followed sites can be displayed in one unified list.

Hybrid One Drive for Business

Users can now sync their files with Office 365. This gives an advantage to the users to access files (documents, images etc.) directly from Office 365 and on any device.

User Profile 

Users can now have a single profile in Office 365 where all their profile information will be stored and users can use that profile information for both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise environments.

Zero Downtime Patching

As we know, applying patches on a regular basis is an important part of SharePoint environment from a maintenance standpoint. Earlier, installing patches was a time-consuming process because it needed the installation of large cumulative update files (in GB’s). Applying all the patches would result in the downtime of the environment for some time, which ultimately created the problem for end users.

SharePoint 2016 introduced the concept of Zero Downtime Patching where patches are in the form of small packages (in MB’s) and all these patches are having very less or no dependencies on one another. So, now the patches contains more targeted changes, so the SharePoint Administrator has choice about which patches to install and which patches to skip, so that users do not face any downtime of the application.

Additionally, there is a concept introduced called Automatic Patching, which means that SharePoint 2016 Server receives automatic patch updates that allows less downtime for organizations.

List/Library Improvements 

  • Durable Links
    This is a feature introduced in SharePoint 2016 for document library. It allows users to rename or move their documents to new locations without breaking the links referring to the document. It also helps in the SEO improvement and search based indexing to let the documents to be functional even if they are renamed or moved to a different location in a SharePoint site.

    Internally, SharePoint maintains the same DocID assigned to the document, even if it is renamed or moved to a different location. We need to activate the “Document ID Service” feature from the Site Collection features page. Henceforth, with the introduction of Durable links in SharePoint 2016, users do not have to worry about the broken or dead links while renaming or moving a document from one document library to another.
  • File Names
    With the release of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft has introduced two of the good features for documents in a document library:-
    1. Special Characters
      In SharePoint 2013, there was a restriction on file names in a document library while creating or uploading the files. The restriction was – “A file name cannot contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? < > | # {} % ~ &”. In SharePoint 2016, this restriction has been removed and now users can upload files having special characters like ~, &, %, {} etc.

    2. Filename Length
      In SharePoint 2013, there was a limit of 128 characters while uploading a file or while creating a folder in a document library (SharePoint 2013 used to give error – “Sorry something went wrong”, if we create files longer than 128 characters). In SharePoint 2016, users can create or upload files that are longer than 128 characters.
  • Usability Ease (Shortcuts)
    Keyboard shortcuts are included in document library, for the following tasks:-
    1. Alt + N – New
    2. Alt + E – Edit
    3. Alt + U – Upload
    4. Alt + S – Share
    5. Alt + Y – Synchronization
  • Large File Handling
    The addition of large file limit was introduced in SharePoint 2013, however that was only 2 GB. In SharePoint 2016, users can now upload large files, as it has been increased from the 2 GB maximum file limit to 10 GB maximum file size. In addition, the threshold limit of list and libraries have been increased.

App Launcher 

A global App Launcher has been introduced in SharePoint 2016, which is similar to the one in Office 365. Users can quickly navigate between the On-Premise and Online environments. It allows to quickly access OneDrive for Business, Yammer and Delve. You can even add or pin your sites for fast access.

Conclusion

SharePoint 2016 is going to be faster as compared to the previous versions and hence better performance. The search functionality has been improved and now it works more quickly. Additionally, there are faster methods of creating sites and site collections.