Microsoft has released to manufacturing (RTM) the latest version of its SharePoint platform for collaboration, file sharing and content management, adding new hybrid cloud capabilities alongside enhancements for users and administrators, as well as the latest version of Project Server that is now fully integrated with it.
SharePoint Server 2016 this week hit (RTM), meaning that the product is code complete, but Microsoft is currently offering for download only the release candidate (RC) version it made available in January. The full version will be generally available in the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center from early May, the firm said.
Also hitting RTM was Project Server 2016, the latest version of Microsoft's project and portfolio management (PPM) tool. This is now effectively tied into SharePoint, with the Project Server 2016 installer fully integrated into SharePoint 2016 so that a separate installer no longer needs to be run.
SharePoint Server 2016 builds on the foundations of previous SharePoint releases, but further emphasises Microsoft's software-plus-services strategy with extended hybrid cloud support, such as cloud hybrid search allowing both on-premises content and information held in the cloud to be returned from the one search result, the firm said.
In fact, SharePoint Server 2016 has been developed with a common core platform shared with the cloud-based SharePoint Online, making it easier for customers to take advantage of SharePoint on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid scenario.
Microsoft also said that SharePoint Server 2016 offers better deployment flexibility, enhanced data security, a unified development experience across server and cloud, and improved mobile access to content.
"Billions of documents are stored on SharePoint sites-making it the centre of content management and collaboration for over a decade. Whether enabling students to work together or helping a company transform its entire intranet, we have continually evolved SharePoint to meet the changing needs of the digital workplace," said Seth Patton, general manager for Microsoft's SharePoint and OneDrive team, announcing the RTM on the firm's SharePoint blog.
Meanwhile, Project Server 2016 includes a new capability known as Resource Engagements, intended to help project managers and resource managers align with each other on the amount of work and time periods for resources associated with a project.
Resource Engagements are an evolution of the old Resource Plan feature in Project Web App, Microsoft said, and so all of a customer's existing Resource Plan data will be converted to engagements as part of the upgrade process.
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