What you need to know about SharePoint 2016 Preview


SharePoint 2016 Preview

By now, you probably know that SharePoint 2016 Preview will be out in August! This is big news since initially, the first Public Beta was supposed to come out during Q4 2015!

SharePoint 2016 Preview

Why release it in August instead of Q4?

Microsoft wants to solicit feedback and validate the stability of SharePoint 2016, while the product is still not finished. In the past, Microsoft relied heavily on the TAP program to get the feedback, and when the preview was released, it was almost in its final form. Similar to what Microsoft did with Windows 10, they really want the feedback of the community early, so they can still incorporate it in the product before the final release. August is actually this month, so I hope you are really excited! Hopefully as excited as Julia White at WPC!

In this blog post, I got information from all around the web about what you need to know about SharePoint 2016 Preview!


Q: What do I need to get ready for SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: You need to prepare some Virtual Machines, between 3 (1 SharePoint -1 SQL – 1 DC) and at least 6 (1 WFE -1 Application – 1 Distributed Cache – 1 Search – 1 SQL -1 DC) for a best practice MinRole deployment. Here is a screenshot of the available roles from the Ignite slides. You need to set them up on Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server Technical Preview, with SQL Server 2014 SP1 or SQL Server 2016 Preview

SharePoint 2016 Preview Minrole

Q: Does the final product will be released earlier?

A: Nope. Preview is released earlier to get more feedback, but that doesn’t mean the final product will be released earlier.

Q: What is included in the Preview?

A: In the SharePoint 2016 Preview, you will mainly see the investments in the Infrastructure part of SharePoint. Since SharePoint 2016 is the first release of SharePoint built from the cloud down, Microsoft got a lot of experience in managing SharePoint and improving performance and stability, so that’s the main set of “features” that will be included in SharePoint 2016 Preview. Here are some of the features:

  • MinRole
  • Increased Max File Size
  • Everything else that Bill Baer mentioned at Ignite in BRK2188

Q: Will full trust code be deprecated?

A: Nope!

Q: Will there be any new end-user features in SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: There will be, however there are no news on what they will be!

Q: Why focus on IT Pro features in the SharePoint 2016 Preview and not end user features?

A: To quote Bill Baer, to build a house, you first need a solid foundation. When you look at SharePoint, what the end users see is all the features, which is the house, but before building the house, you need that solid foundation to build it on.

Q: Will the Cloud Search Service Application be included in SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: Yes!

Q: Will there be any cumulative updates to test the new patching in SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: No, the preview is static, so no cumulative updates will be available for it.

Q: What about Office Web Apps?

A: The Office Web Apps team and SharePoint team are separated at Microsoft, so it’s not known when they will be ready to release their preview.

Q: What will be the new List Threshold limit for SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: For the preview, it will still be at 5000, and Microsoft wants you to test with thousands of list items, and tell them what performance you are getting. Since it’s not a final product, Microsoft cannot do proper scale tests yet. Remember that it’s a recommended limit, and you can play with it as you want from the Central Admin!

Q: Are there any Easter Eggs in SharePoint 2016 Preview?

A: Maybe! To find them, you will really have to push the limits of SharePoint

Q: What are the minimum hardware requirements for SharePoint 2016?

A: Read this blog post:

Q: Can I upgrade Site Collections in 2010 mode (or 14.5 mode) directly to SharePoint 2016?

A: No, Site Collections will have to be in full 2013 mode

Q: What can I read or listen to be ready for SharePoint 2016 preview?

A: Here are the resources I used for this blog post which you should definitely read or listen to:

Last Thoughts

When you test SharePoint Server 2016, please remember that it’s not the final product, and not many end user features will be included inside. The preview is a great opportunity to give feedback to Microsoft on what they are doing right, and what they are doing wrong and hopefully they will do it all right by the time RTM comes out! There have been talks about SharePoint dying for the past two years, and as you see, that is certainly not the case as Microsoft really wants SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Hybrid to be very successful.

Who else can’t wait for the preview?


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  • August 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Will there be an upgrade path to go from SP2010 to SP2016? If not, what’s the workaround?

    • August 6, 2015 at 11:09 pm


      No upgrade path 2010 > 2016. You need to upgrade 2010>2013>2016 :).


  • August 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for providing this information. Time to build some virtual machines in preparation!


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