Microsoft SharePoint 2016 has many advantages. However, there are also some key SharePoint limitations you should evaluate if you are thinking about adopting SharePoint 2016 for your organization or migrating to the latest version.
Read on to learn more about the upcoming SharePoint release, SharePoint limitations, as well as how they may affect the various types of organizations that use SharePoint.
SharePoint 2016 vs. Previous Versions
Previous versions of SharePoint have struggled with scalability. Versions of SharePoint up to 2013 often run very slowly when attempts to scale up are made. While SharePoint 2016 offers improved scalability compared to the older versions, it still has a few drawbacks that may prove burdensome to new users.
That said, SharePoint 2016 also provides better support for hybrid and cloud environments than older versions. Hybrid and cloud environments have many advantages over systems that are held solely on-premises, including better accessibility and increased ease of patching and implementing system updates.
On-premises systems always experience some downtime when they are updated or patched, which can lead to decreased productivity, as well as a loss of earnings for businesses. The cloud environment allows patching without downtime, which is an important advantage for many organizations.
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Limitations of SharePoint 2016
Despite these marginal improvements, there are still distinct challenges presented by SharePoint 2016.
Single Server Install
In the past, it was possible to install SharePoint on a single server. This is no longer possible in this new version. The removal of this important feature will prove inconvenient for some organizations, although many will be able to leverage cloud server installation instead without facing any problems.
Microsoft has also removed the free, scaled-down version “SharePoint Foundation” of the product from this release. That means small organizations now have to pay for the full enterprise product, rather than being able to benefit from SharePoint with a more modest, free offering.
Although the removal of this option is likely to anger some users, this will not impact most enterprises who are already paying for the full version of SharePoint, as the free version has always been very limited in its capabilities.
Business Intelligence and Social
Also of note, SharePoint 2016 lacks business intelligence capabilities. Microsoft has removed business intelligence services from SharePoint 2016, along with social tagging features such as the ability to “like” certain content. However, alternative cloud services are available for organizations that were previously relying on these features.
InfoPath Forms Services
Finally, the future of InfoPath Forms Services, a tool that integrates with SharePoint to allow users to modify SharePoint list forms, is still unclear. Some users made heavy use of this tool, creating hundreds of thousands of list forms. Around two years ago, Microsoft announced it was planning to withdraw support from InfoPath. Currently, the tool still receives support, but it is not clear for how long this is likely to continue.
The arrival of SharePoint 2016 is slated for next spring, and more announcements of features that have been removed may occur between now and the release date. So businesses should read the specifications of SharePoint 2016 carefully when it is released before deciding whether it is right for them.
Despite the limitations of SharePoint 2016, it also offers some important benefits for organizations that choose to use it – it scales well and is more stable than previous releases. This will provide critical opportunities for users to collaborate and access the information they need quickly and easily.