Microsoft has finally declared general availability of SharePoint Server 2016, the on-premise version of its platform for collaboration, file sharing and content management, bringing with it a number of improvements including more hybrid support that enables customers to tap into the capabilities being delivered in cloud services such as Office 365.
The software giant has now made available the release code of SharePoint Server 2016 for customers to deploy, while those who wish to evaluate the capabilities before committing can download trial versions at the SharePoint Server 2016 website.
Microsoft said that SharePoint Server 2016 is a new generation of SharePoint that accumulates all of the firm's experience of running SharePoint at scale in Office 365 and brings this to the customer data centre.
This unified code base facilitates support and updates across both Office 365 and the on-premise SharePoint Server, with a standard set of APIs that span both, enabling customers and partners to innovate more easily than ever, the firm claimed.
SharePoint Server 2016 also brings a host of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features to protect sensitive information, plus an enhanced user experience that is consistent whether users access the on-premise SharePoint or Office 365.
Meanwhile, at an event in San Francisco, Microsoft outlined its vision for the future of the SharePoint platform, which will see it become a more open and connected platform, and deliver simple file sharing and collaboration onto any device the user may have.
As part of this push to get better mobile support, Microsoft said it will deliver this quarter a OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, while adding the ability to copy from OneDrive to SharePoint, discovery of documents from both OneDrive and SharePoint, and the ability to access SharePoint Online document libraries and Office 365 Group files from OneDrive.
This will be extended later in the year with new capabilities, including document analytics surfaced in OneDrive that will provide insight on document usage, and Synchronisation of SharePoint Online document libraries with a new OneDrive sync client.
The intranet is the nerve centre of many organisations, Microsoft said, and claimed that SharePoint is now making corporate intranets more accessible on the go, more intelligent, and more personalised.
"The future of SharePoint Server is bright, and we are excited to share our vision, to collaborate with you on our next steps and to empower you, your teams and your organisation to do more," said Bill Baer, senior product manager for the SharePoint team.
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