SharePoint 2016 Features: Improved User Experiences Part 2

SharePoint 2016 Features: Improved User Experiences Part 2

SharePoint 2016 Features: Improved User Experiences Part 2

By Adam Levithan | March 01, 2016

Hopefully you've been able to read Part One that covered the features like app launcher, cloud UI, OneDrive for Business, Search, Sharing, and Durable links. No, there was no particular reason how these features are divided, it just worked out that way. Let's jump right in.

Team Site Follow

Simple, yet satisfying, this features puts sites that a user follows on-premises and in Office 365 under the 'Sites' app in both locations. Another thing to note about this feature, is that it has a configuration wizard, which shows how much more focus Microsoft is putting into administrator experiences for set-up alongside end-user experiences of the feature itself.

Business Intelligence - Excel Services

Simply stated, SharePoint 2016 can work with SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.1, which in turn allows users to use the Power View and Power Pivot add-in. Great features that you can't use with other tools. Closely related, Excel services has been moved to the SharePoint Online Server to provide the same functionality, just hosted in a different location.

Profile Redirection

If you're going Hybrid this is a feature for you. You want your profile information (aka Name, Title, College, favorite Star Wars character) to be the same on-premises and in the cloud? No problem. This feature allows you to redirect selected users to the About Me page. One thing we continually have to look at with profiles is, do you have custom fields and will they map to Office 365.


'By Jove I think they've done it!' Again bringing the User Interface from Office 365 there is finally a touch friendly and usable interface for mobile devices. This interface works on both smart phone and tablet sizes, focusing on accessing documents.

Thresholds and limits

So here's a section that follows the notion 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should'. Let's start with file size, for example. Yes the file upload size has increased from 2GB to 10GB. YEAH... kinda. What really happens to the user experience if everyone starts uploading huge files? Remember that Office 365 allows these limits, and possibly greater in the future, because they use remote blob storage (RBS) on the back-end to offload large files from SQL to file storage. The second area is the view threshold. It has not actually increased from 5,000 (what it is currently at), but Microsoft has made sure your SQL will not be locked by automatically allowing management of indexed columns. Why is this important? Because a user thinks they only have 5,000 items even though there might be 40,000 (yes I've seen a list that big). Oh, and the list can theoretically hold 10s of millions but I don't recommend testing that theory out.

In the next blog we'll turn our attention to be more Administrator focused, yet beneficial to all features within SharePoint 2016. To be exact, we'll talk about the hybrid picker, fast site creation, search improvements, minimum role server templates, Server Health, and (last but not least) zero downtime patching. If you'd like to share your opinions please reach out over twitter @collabadam and ask some #SharePoint2016 questions.

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Adam Levithan 2018

Adam is a Group Program Manager of Secure Collaboration at Exostar and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Exostar, Adam was a Product Manager for Migration at a market leading ISV and a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting-edge Microsoft Consulting firm. Over the last decade Adam has been responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at many national events.

Written By: Adam Levithan