Microsoft has released SharePoint Server 2016, re-affirming its commitment to both on-premises and cloud environments.
The product aims to address three main areas, the first being cloud-inspired infrastructure, which aims to allow on-premises customers to use the benefits that the cloud offers.
The second is compliance and reporting, which means providing features to protect sensitive information. This includes new scenarios to enable data encryption and compliance tools spanning on-premises servers and Office 365.
The third major area is enhancing user experiences, with improvements to document libraries and navigation constructs.
The product provides new user experience features for mobile, with improved mobile access and touch-based experience in team sites.
Part of the user experience focus is on providing hybrid customers with a seamless user experience from the data centre to the cloud.
Document libraries have been redesigned to simplify the user interface and file management, while a new feature called hybrid search will combine the index, query results and search experience across Office 365 and on-premises farms running the new generation of SharePoint and previous versions.
The new generation of SharePoint Server aims to use Microsoft’s experience running SharePoint at scale in Office 365. It is derived from the same code used to deliver SharePoint Online, a unified code base which facilitates support and updates across Office 365 and on-premises SharePoint Server.
The standardised APIs for on-premises and cloud will make it easier to bring new features to all customers more efficiently.
Microsoft also announced the availability of Office Online Server, which allows organisations to deliver browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote; document previews in lists and libraries; and powerful capabilities to include Durable Links and Excel Online.
"SharePoint Server 2016 is a foundation for the future and next step in the journey, giving you rapid access to innovative new experiences in Office 365, enabling you to unify and integrate Office 365 with your data centre through hybrid features, and bringing many of our most important innovations to you directly in SharePoint Server on-premises," the SharePoint team wrote in a blog announcing the updates.