Microsoft launches 'Feature Pack' for SharePoint 2016

Instead of a pack of bug fixes, this adds a bunch of new features and functions

Microsoft launches 'Feature Pack' for SharePoint 2016

The traditional update to a major product release is a service pack, which is mostly bug fixes and maybe a few new features. But Microsoft is doing something a little different with the release of "Feature Pack 1" for SharePoint 2016. 

+ Also on Network World: Nov 2016 Patch Tuesday: Microsoft released 14 security updates, 6 rated critical +

Microsoft released SharePoint Server 2016 in May, along with mobile apps for iOS and Android shortly thereafter. Mobile access was one of the major emphasis points in SharePoint 2016, along with hybrid cloud support and Office 365 support. 

In a blog post, Microsoft announced Feature Pack 1 as a part of the November 2016 Public Update, which includes a number of new features. 

Administrative actions logging 

This feature is for troubleshooting issues related to administrative changes, particularly in a multiple administrator set-up, by logging actions undertaken via the Central Administration website or the Management Shell. 

MinRole enhancements 

MinRole is the new topology in SharePoint Server 2016 that simplifies your deployment experience by taking the guesswork out of making sure services are running on the right servers. MinRole has two new server roles that are optimized for small and medium-sized server farms: the ability to run on just two servers or a high availability (HA) MinRole farm with just four servers, and ensuring that services are operating on the correct servers within a farm, based upon a set of predefined server roles. 

OneDrive for Business modern experience 

The UI to OneDrive for Business gets an overhaul to more resemble the layout and functionality already found in its Office 365 counterpart. This particular feature will require an active software assurance contract at the time of updating to Feature Pack 1, or else it will be disabled. 

Custom tiles 

The App Launcher is used to launch SharePoint and Office 365 workloads, and now it will allow users to add their own custom tiles that point to other SharePoint sites, external sites, legacy apps and more. 

OneDrive API 

Now you can build a file management and workflow app through the OneDrive API, which provides a set of HTTP services to connect your application to files and folders in OneDrive Personal, OneDrive for Business and document libraries in SharePoint Online. 

Microsoft also offers a preview of two new hybrid capabilities. Hybrid Auditing enables audit logs from on-premises installations of SharePoint 2016 to be collected and uploaded to Office 365 for centralized auditing and reporting functions. 

The second feature, called Hybrid Taxonomy, allows customers to bring their taxonomy store to Office 365, enabling a single source for creating and managing Terms, Term Sets and Groups through a single Managed Metadata Service.

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