There are a bunch of things in there and again it's not a lot of new stuff. But I did kind of want to go over a few of these things, even though a lot of this is going to change.
We're going to have more previews. SharePoint 2016 isn't going to come out until next year.
So Lord only knows what it's going to have when it comes out. More things will be deprecated and removed and all that. But here are five things that matter to me.
Goodbye Free SharePoint
The first thing on the list is SharePoint Foundation. There is no longer a free version of SharePoint.
I guess Microsoft assumes that SharePoint is so darn popular now they don't need to give it away for free. Previous releases of SharePoint Server included SharePoint Foundation, a free edition of SharePoint that included most of the core functionality and architecture provided by the commercial editions of SharePoint.
But SharePoint Foundation is no longer available in the SharePoint Server 2016 release. It's all going to be SharePoint server.
That's a particularly sad one for me because I got my start on the free version of SharePoint, originally with SharePoint Services STS and then with WSS Windows SharePoint Services.
As a rule, as a person, I'm pretty frugal, pretty tight. And the free version was the one that resonated most for me. So I kind of feel bad they took the free version away. But I understand it. It's something they don't have to do anymore, and just one less thing for them test.
No More Kitten-Killing
But another thing they took away was the kitten-killing mode, as I like to refer to it. And that is the much-reviled single server install that they had before that would install the SQL express instance that nobody knew how to manage.
It would create everything as one user. And it was just all over bad, and they've taken that out, so Hurrah. Huzzah. Whatever your form of exclamation is for that. That is gone.
Now they replaced that with it with something else called single server. But that isn't bad. If you do single server with SharePoint 2016 it is a single SharePoint Server, but it is all just SharePoint. So you still have to install SQL. You still have to do everything right. It just puts all the SharePoint roles on a single box.
So I'll let them have that. That's not a bad thing. They can keep that one.
We Hate FIM, We Want FIM
One thing they've taken away that I'm kind of torn on is ForeFront Identity Manager client (FIM). I think we've all cursed FIM, and used this name in vain and said horrible things about it and its mother and the horse it rode in on, whatever the horse has done to us.
But I'm kind of sad that it's been taken out. I kinda like the way SharePoint 2013 handled things where you could do the old SharePoint 2007 version of syncing or the obnoxious FIM version, whichever way made the most sense for you. You had that option. In 2016, you don't have the FIM option anymore.
The only option you have is to party like its 2007 and use that import, which can't be customized, you can't write back to AD. It's super fast, but I kind of liked having the option. So they kind of met us halfway on that.
We have the support for external user management, things like we've got already. So you can, if you need the power of FIM or MIM, which is FIM's new name, you can set that up externally by licensing and set it up on the machine. It's just not as easy to use as it was before.
Office or Nothing
One other thing they've taken out, deprecated or removed is Excel Services in SharePoint Server. So now your option if you have anything to do with Excel, its Office Online Server 2016 or nothing, which is good because there was some confusion in previous versions of SharePoint on how to handle XLS X files. If you wanted to use them like Excel worksheets, you had to do one thing with them. If you wanted do crazy BI stuff and all these things, then you needed to do something else.
You couldn't do both. But now that's all gone. The confusion is gone. Just use office or nothing.
So Sad to Lose You Stsadm
Finally, stsadm.exe — the stsadm command-line tool — is officially deprecated now. I feel a little sad about this one. Stsadm was kinda how I got my start in SharePoint and how I got my first article ever published in a magazine on SharePoint. Stsadm was really good to me, so I'm sad to see it go.
But Hold Your Hats
It's not all bad news. There are some new and improved features in SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview, too, including fast site collection creation, more characters in file names and large file support.
Title image by Mel B.