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What’s New in SharePoint 2016? by Kokulan Ratnasingam


  • Same as SharePoint 2013 (12-16 GB Minne, 1xQuad Core CPU, 80GB OS Drive)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 with .Net Framework 4.5.2 eller Windows Server 10 with .Net Framework 4.6
  • SQL Server 2014 SP1 or SQL 2016

Lot of User Experience with App Launcher and UI Changes

Office 365 is growing focus on user experience. Now SharePoint 2016 has updated the ribbon from SharePoint 2013 to match the Office 365 ribbon.

Mobile Experiences

SharePoint 2016 provides the latest technologies and standards for mobile experiences. Microsoft have done lot of investment in HTML 5 and provides device-specific targeting of content. The out of the box mobile experiences on SP2016 are still quite standard and new touch friendly interface.

Deprecated Features

  • There is no ‘standalone’ option during installation which installs SQL Express – SQL must be installed and running prior to installation
  • There are no plans to release SharePoint 2016 Foundation
  • Forefront Identity Manager is no longer included to sync user profile attributes with Active Directory (uni-directional sync using AD Import is still available and MIM can be configured separately to enable bi-direction sync)
  • SharePoint Designer will not be shipped with SharePoint 2016 – Designer 2013 will continue to be supported
  • InfoPath 2013 will continue to be supported (EOL April 2023) and InfoPath Forms Services will be included
  • The Tags and Notes feature is deprecated in SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate. Users can no longer create new tags and notes or access existing ones.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 requires updated versions that will ship later this year. The SQL Server 2014 Power Pivot and Power View add-ins for SharePoint Server 2016 cannot be deployed or used in SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate
  • As per Microsoft STSADM officially deprecated Now. I still remember, we used STSADM inside PowerShell commands to create site collections based on the custom site collection. In PowerShell, we can’t use same session to install WSP and to create site based on custom site definition.
  • Read here for updated information: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt346112(v=office.16).aspx


Upgrade Considerations

  • There is no direct upgrade path from 2010 to 2016 (sites and databases must be running in 2013 mode)
  • The upgrade process is the same as 2010 to 2013 (2013 databases are attached to a new 2016 Farm and are upgraded)

User Improvements

  • Support for ODF documents
  • Files shared via “Durable Links” will reference a site ID and document ID, so renamed or moved files will not result in broken links
  • File name length and other character restrictions are being removed
  • New Knowledge Management Portal (Site Template?)
  • New User Profile page to include content from Delve and Office Graph API
  • Updated blogging experience including drag and drop feature for adding images to posts
  • Read here for updated information: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt346121(v=office.16).aspx


System Improvements

  • Optimisations within the server roles to reduce latency and traffic between servers
  • Initial configuration of Farm and Server Roles has been simplified in the GUI (MinRole server configuration)
  • Fast Site creation based on copying a master template Site Collection from the database level using “SPSite.Copy” function
  • Reliability improvements to Distributed Cache (still relies on AppFabric 1.1 and will continue to be supported for SharePoint 2013 and 2016’s lifecycles)
  • MS Project Server content is now consolidated into the SharePoint Content databases and not in separate databases
  • SharePoint Logging API (SLAPI) allows easier ability to record and report on analytics and telemetry across a whole range of objects in the Farm


Security Improvements

  • SMTP connections now support TLS
  • SAML claims-based authentication is the preferred and default authentication method (NTLM and Kerberos will continue to be supported)
  • Compliance features with complex rules (51 out of the box) to support identification and protection of sensitive data


Hybrid Improvements

  • eDiscovery and Legal Hold will now traverse SharePoint Online in O365
  • Search Service can query SharePoint Online in O365 and provide a single ranked results set with integrated relevancy (no separate verticals)
  • Consolidation of Social features to ensure followed on premise and online content appears in a single social profile
  • Delve and Office Graph API can surface content from on premise services along with content in O365 (will be released for 2013 this year)
  • Item level encryption using Azure AD Rights Management Services


Patching Improvements

  • Patches will be much smaller – currently 37 MSIs and down to 4 MSIs in a single patch
  • Can be applied to servers online with zero downtime to the Farm and no disruption to the users


Scalability Improvements

  • Content DBs will scale into TBs (no specific figures on site template, workloads and actual size released yet)
  • 100,000 Site Collections per database (was 20,000)
  • List view threshold will reach >5,000 items (currently 5,000 but no specific figures released yet)
  • Maximum upload size has increased from 2GB to 10GB (BLOBs will still be stored in the content database and leverage Shredded Storage)


Performance Improvements

  • 500 million maximum items per search index partition (was 10 million)
  • BITS now replacing FSS over HTTP and Cobalt to reduce IO between servers and bandwidth to the end user
  • Traffic Management endpoint automatically routes user requests based on server health


Web application limits

LimitMaximum valueLimit typeNotes
Web application20 per farmSupportedWe recommended limiting the number of web applications as much as possible. Create additional host named site collections where possible instead of adding web applications.
Zone5 per web applicationBoundaryThe number of zones defined for a farm is hard-coded to 5. Zones include Default, Intranet, Extranet, Internet, and custom.
Managed path for host-named site collections20 per farmSupportedManaged paths for host-named site collections apply at the farm level. Each managed path that is created can be applied in any Web application.
Managed path for path-based site collections20 per web applicationSupportedManaged paths are cached on the web server, and CPU resources are used to process incoming requests against the managed path list.

Managed paths for path-based site collections apply at the Web application level. You can create a different set of managed paths for each Web application. Exceeding 20 managed paths per web application adds more load to the web server for each request.

If you plan to exceed twenty managed paths in a given web application, we recommend that you test for acceptable system performance.

Solution cache size300 MB per web applicationThresholdThe solution cache allows the InfoPath Forms service to hold solutions in cache in order to speed up retrieval of the solutions. If the cache size is exceeded, solutions are retrieved from disk, which may slow down response times. To configure the size of the solution cache, see Set-SPInfoPathFormsService.

Content Database Limits


Maximum valueLimit typeNotes
Number of content databases500 per farmSupportedThe maximum number of content databases per farm is 500. With 500 content databases per web application, end user operations such as opening the site or site collections are not affected. But administrative operations such as creating a new site collection will experience decrease in performance. We recommend that you use Windows PowerShell to manage the web application when a large number of content databases are present, because the management interface might become slow and difficult to navigate.

With 200GB per content database, and 500 content databases per farm, SharePoint Server 2016 supports 100TB of data per farm.

Content database size (general usage scenarios)200 GB per content databaseSupportedThe default file size is 50 MB, which can be increased to a maximum of 10 GB. You can fit 100 files in each content database. Multiple site collections can share a single content database. Each site collection needs to be fully stored in a single content database.

We strongly recommended limiting the size of content databases to 200 GB, except when the circumstances in the following rows in this table apply.

If you are using Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), the total volume of remote BLOB storage and metadata in the content database must not exceed the 200GB limit.

Content database size (all usage scenarios)4 TB per content databaseSupportedContent databases of up to 4 TB are supported when the following requirements are met:

  • Disk sub-system performance of 0.25 IOPS per GB. 2 IOPS per GB is recommended for optimal performance.
  • You must have developed plans for high availability, disaster recovery, future capacity, and performance testing.

You should also carefully consider the following factors:

  • Requirements for backup and restore may not be met by the native SharePoint Server 2016 backup for content databases larger than 200 GB. It is recommended to evaluate and test SharePoint Server 2016 backup and alternative backup solutions to determine the best solution for your specific environment.
  • It is strongly recommended to have proactive skilled administrator management of the SharePoint Server 2016 and SQL Server installations.
  • The complexity of customizations and configurations on SharePoint Server 2016 may necessitate refactoring (or splitting) of data into multiple content databases. Seek advice from a skilled professional architect and perform testing to determine the optimum content database size for your implementation. Examples of complexity may include custom code deployments, use of more than 20 columns in property promotion, or features listed as not to be used in the over 4 TB section below.
  • Refactoring of site collections allows for scale out of a SharePoint Server 2016 implementation across multiple content databases. This permits SharePoint Server 2016 implementations to scale indefinitely. This refactoring will be easier and faster when content databases are less than 200 GB.
  • It is suggested that for ease of backup and restore that individual site collections within a content database be limited to 100 GB. For more information, see Site collection limits.
We do not recommend the use of content databases that exceed 4 Terabyte (TB), except in document archive scenarios (described in the next row in this table). If, in the future, you need to upgrade your SharePoint Server 2016 installation, upgrading the site collections within the content databases can be very difficult and time consuming.
It is strongly recommended that you scale out across multiple content databases, rather than exceed 4 TB of data in a single content database.
Content database size (document archive scenario)No explicit content database limitSupportedContent databases with no explicit size limit for use in document archive scenarios are supported when the following requirements are met:

  • You must meet all requirements from the “Content database size (all usage scenarios)” limit earlier in this table, and you should ensure that you have carefully considered all the factors discussed in the Notes field of that limit.
  • SharePoint Server 2016 sites must be based on Document Center or Records Center site templates.
  • Less than 5% of the content in the content database is accessed each month on average, and less than 1% of content is modified or written each month on average.
  • Do not use alerts, workflows, link fix-ups, or item level security on any SharePoint Server 2016 objects in the content database.
Document archive content databases can be configured to accept documents from Content Routing workflows.
Content database items60 million items including documents and list itemsSupportedThe largest number of items per content database that has been tested on SharePoint Server 2016 is 60 million items, including documents and list items. If you plan to store more than 60 million items in SharePoint Server 2016, you must deploy multiple content databases.
Site collections per content database10,000 maximum (2,500 non-Personal site collections and 7,500 Personal Sites, or 10,000 Personal Sites alone)SupportedWe strongly recommended limiting the number of site collections in a content database to 5,000. However, up to 10,000 site collections in a database are supported. Note that in a content database with up to 10,000 total site collections, a maximum of 2,500 of these can be non-Personal site collections. It is possible to support 10,000 Personal site collections if they are the only site collections within the content database.

These limits relate to speed of upgrade. The larger the number of site collections in a database, the slower the upgrade with respect to both database upgrade and site collection upgrades.

The limit on the number of site collections in a database is subordinate to the limit on the size of a content database that has more than one site collection. Therefore, as the number of site collections in a database increases, the average size of the site collections it contains must decrease.

Exceeding the 5,000 site collection limit puts you at risk of longer downtimes during upgrades. If you plan to exceed 5,000 site collections, we recommend that you have a clear upgrade strategy to address outage length and operations impact, and obtain additional hardware to speed up the software updates and upgrades that affect databases.

To set the warning and maximum levels for the number of sites in a content database, use the Windows PowerShell cmdlet Set-SPContentDatabase with the WarningSiteCount parameter. For more information, see Set-SPContentDatabase.

Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) storage subsystem on Network Attached Storage (NAS)Time to first byte of any response from the NAS should remain within 40 milliseconds 95% of the time.


BoundaryWhen SharePoint Server 2016 is configured to use RBS, and the BLOBs reside on NAS storage, consider the following supported limit.

From the time that SharePoint Server 2016 requests a BLOB, until it receives the first byte from the NAS, 95% of the time no more than 40 milliseconds can pass.


Site Collection limits

LimitMaximum valueLimit typeNotes
Site collections per farm250,000 per site collection / 500,000 Personal Sites/ 250,000 other sites per farm.SupportedThe maximum recommended number of site collections per farm is 500,000 Personal Sites plus 250,000 for all other site templates. The Sites can all reside on one web application, or can be distributed across multiple web applications.

Note that this limit is affected by other factors that might reduce the effective number of site collections that can be supported by a given content database. Care must be exercised to avoid exceeding supported limits when a container object, such as a content database, contains a large number of other objects. For example, if a farm contains a smaller total number of content databases, each of which contains a large number of site collections, farm performance might be adversely affected long before the supported limit for the number of site collections is reached.

For example, Farm A contains a web application that has 200 content databases, a supported configuration. If each of these content databases contains 1,000 site collections, the total number of site collections in the web application will be 200,000, which falls within supported limits. However, if each content database contains 10,000 site collections, even though this number is supported for a content database, the total number of site collections in the farm will be 2,000,000, which exceeds the limit for the number of site collections per web application.

Memory usage on the web servers should be monitored, as memory usage is dependent on usage patterns and how many sites are being accessed in given timeframe. Similarly, the crawl targets might also exhibit memory pressure, and if so the application pool should be configured to recycle before available memory on any web server drops to less than 2 GB.

Web site250,000 per site collection / 250,000 per farm / 500,000 personal sites per farm.SupportedThe maximum recommended number of sites and subsites is 250,000 sites.

Performance can degrade as the number of subsites surpasses 2,000 at the site collection level.

Staying below 2,000 subsites per site collection is strongly recommended.

You can create a very large total number of web sites by creating multiple site collections with up to 2000 webs per site collection. For example, 125 site collections that contain 2,000 webs each will equate to 250,000 sites in the farm. However, this would be considered the maximum recommended limit for non-personal sites.

If you have 250,000 site collections, all containing a root web site that is not the Personal Site template, adding a sub-site to any of those root sites would exceed the 250,000 web site boundary.

If the recommended limit of 2,000 sites per site collection is exceeded, the following issues may occur:

  • Deleting or creating a site or subsite can significantly affect a site’s availability. Access to the site and subsites will be limited while the site is being deleted. Attempting to create many subsites at the same time may also fail.
  • When having more than 2,000 subsites, the performance of actions such as executing PSConfig when adding a new server to an existing farm, or after installing SharePoint updates the drastically decrease.
  • Executing the stsadm -o checklocalupgradestatus operation, or the daily execution of the Product Version Job timer job may take many hours to complete.
  • Browsing the Review database status page (<your_SharePoint_CentralAdmin_URL>/_admin/UpgradeStatus.aspx) on the Central Administration web site may result in a timeout.
Site collection sizeMaximum size of the content databaseSupportedA site collection can be as large as the content database size limit for the applicable usage scenario. For more information about the different content database size limits for specific usage scenarios, see the Content database limits table in this article.

In general, we strongly recommend limiting the size of site collections to 100 GB for the following reasons:

  • Certain site collection actions, such as site collection backup/restore or the Windows PowerShell cmdlet Move-SPSite, cause large SQL Server operations which can affect performance or fail if other site collections are active in the same database. For more information, see Move-SPSite.
  • SharePoint site collection backup and restore is only supported for a maximum site collection size of 100 GB. For larger site collections, the complete content database must be backed up. If multiple site collections larger than 100 GB are contained in a single content database, backup and restore operations can take a long time and are at risk of failure.
Number of device channels per publishing site collection10BoundaryThe maximum allowed number of device channels per publishing site collection is 10.


List and library limits

LimitMaximum valueLimit typeNotes
List row size8,000 bytes per rowBoundaryEach list or library item can only occupy 8,000 bytes in total in the database. 300 bytes are reserved, leaving 7700 bytes for end-user columns. For details on how much space each kind of field consumes, see Column limits.
File size10 GBBoundaryThe default file size is 2 gigabytes (GB) (2,047 MB). However, a large volume of very large files can affect farm performance.
Documents30,000,000 per librarySupportedYou can create very large document libraries by nesting folders, or using standard views and site hierarchy. This value may vary depending on how documents and folders are organized, and by the type and size of documents stored.
Major versions400,000SupportedIf you exceed this limit, basic file operations—such as file open or save, delete, and viewing the version history— may not succeed.
Minor versions511BoundaryThe maximum number of minor file versions is 511. This limit cannot be exceeded.
Items30,000,000 per listSupportedYou can create very large lists using standard views, site hierarchies, and metadata navigation. This value may vary depending on the number of columns in the list and the usage of the list.
Bulk operations100 items per bulk operationBoundaryThe user interface allows a maximum of 100 items to be selected for bulk operations.
List view lookup threshold12 join operations per queryThresholdSpecifies the maximum number of joins allowed per query, such as those based on lookup, person/group, or workflow status columns. If the query uses more than eight joins, the operation is blocked. This does not apply to single item operations. When using the maximal view via the object model (by not specifying any view fields), SharePoint will return up to the first 12 lookups.
List view thresholdgreater than 5,000ThresholdSpecifies the maximum number of list or library items that a database operation, such as a query, can process at the same time outside the daily time window set by the administrator during which queries are unrestricted.

When adding or removing a column index, the threshold is 20,000 by default.

When deleting a list or folder, the threshold is 100,000 by default.

When renaming a folder within the same library, the threshold is 100,000 by default.

List view threshold for auditors and administrators20,000ThresholdSpecifies the maximum number of list or library items that a database operation, such as a query, can process at the same time when they are performed by an auditor or administrator with appropriate permissions. This setting works with Allow Object Model Override.
Subsite2,000 per site viewThresholdThe interface for enumerating subsites of a given web site does not perform well as the number of subsites surpasses 2,000. Similarly, the All Site Content page and the Tree View Control performance will decrease significantly as the number of subsites grows.
Coauthoring in Word and PowerPoint for .docx, .pptx and .ppsx files10 concurrent editors per documentThresholdRecommended maximum number of concurrent editors is 10. The boundary is 99.

If there are 99 co-authors who have a single document opened for concurrent editing, each successive user sees a «File in use» error, and can only open a read-only copy.

More than 10 co-editors will lead to a gradually degraded user experience with more conflicts, and users might have to go through more iterations to successfully upload their changes to the server.

Security scope50,000 per listThresholdThe maximum number of unique security scopes set for a list cannot exceed 50,000.

For most farms, we recommend that you consider lowering this limit to 5,000 unique scopes. For large lists, consider using a design that uses as few unique permissions as possible.

When the number of unique security scopes for a list exceeds the value of the list view threshold (set by default at 5,000 list items), additional SQL Server round trips take place when the list is viewed, which can adversely affect list view performance.

A scope is the security boundary for a securable object and any of its children that do not have a separate security boundary defined. A scope contains an Access Control List (ACL), but unlike NTFS ACLs, a scope can include security principals that are specific to SharePoint Server 2016. The members of an ACL for a scope can include Windows users, user accounts other than Windows users (such as forms-based accounts), Active Directory groups, or SharePoint groups.

Read updated information here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262787(v=office.16).aspx