Office Online Server For SharePoint 2016

SharePoint portals are mainly used for document collaboration. End users add and manage documents in SharePoint. Viewing and editing the documents in a browser experience is a more preferred option for everyone rather than downloading a copy of document and working on it.

Overview

SharePoint portals are mainly used for document collaboration. End users add and manage documents in SharePoint. Viewing and editing the documents in a browser experience is the more preferred option for everyone rather than downloading a copy of the document and working on it.

SharePoint Online offers this functionality out of the box. However, when it comes to the SharePoint OnPremise environment we have used Office WebApps in the past for this purpose.

Introduction of Office Online Server

Office Online Server (OOS) is the next version/successor of Office Web Apps. It allows users to read and edit the Microsoft Office documents in the browser. SharePoint 2016’s Durable Links feature (a separate topic of discussion) requires Office Online Server (OOS) as pre-requisite.

Office Online Server (OOS) needs to be installed on a separate server. It cannot be installed on the same server where SharePoint 2016 is installed.

Microsoft has released Office Online Server for MSDN Subscribers. Earlier it was only available for volume licensing customers.

Installing Office Online Server

As mentioned earlier, set up a separate server for installing Office Online Server. It could be a Windows Server 2012 R2. Download the Office Online Server binaries to the server from your MSDN subscription.

If you double-click to install it, you may get an error message as below.

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We have to enable the Web-Server role on the server in order to install the Office Online Server.

Option 1 - Graphical Interface

You may use graphical interface to install this feature.

  1. Launch Server Manager.
  2. Click Manage > Add Roles and Features.

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  1. Click "Next" to continue.

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  1. Click "Next" again.

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  1. Select the local server where you need to install the Office Online Server. Click "Next".

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  1. In the Server Roles, select Web Server (IIS). Click "Next".

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  1. Click "Add Features" to proceed.

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  1. In Features, select Ink and Handwriting Services. Click "Next".

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  1. In the Web Server Role (IIS), click "Next".
  2. In the Select role services screen, keep the default options selected, and click "Next".
  3. In the Confirm installation selections, click "Install".
  4. Once the installation finishes, close the window.

Option 2 - PowerShell

Run the below command.

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server,InkAndHandWritingServices –IncludeAllSubFeature

Again, Try Installing Office Online Server

With the windows features installed, try installing the Office Online Server again by double-clicking the binaries downloaded from MSDN subscribers download.

Confusingly, the installation title says Microsoft Office Online Server 2013, but it is for SharePoint 2016. Office Online Server was never released for SharePoint 2013.

  1. Click "I accept the terms of this agreement" and click "Continue".

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  1. Go ahead with the default installation path, unless you desire to change it.
  2. Click "Install Now".

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  1. Wait for the installation to finish.

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  1. Once finished installing, click "Close".

Setup Office Online Farm

Use below PowerShell to set up the Office Online farm.

Import-Module OfficeWebApp

For HTTPS

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalUrl "HTTPS Url" -ExternalUrl "HTTPS Url" -SSLOffloaded –EditingEnabled

Note

Do not use SSLOffloaded in the Production environment if you prefer SSL communication. 

For HTTP

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL http://servername -AllowHttp -EditingEnabled

To test the setup, try accessing below URL from any browser.

http://<server name>/hosting/discovery

If everything is ok, browser will display XML like below.
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Connecting to SharePoint 2016 Farm

We now need to link the Office Online Server to SharePoint 2016 Farm by using below PowerShell command

New-SPWOPIBinding -ServerName <servername> -AllowHTTP

We are now all set to experience the browser experience for Office documents.