SharePoint Online is Microsoft’s premier SharePoint experience thanks to the rich integration that is possible with cloud services and the ability to rapidly innovate with a cloud-focused engineering model; however, we also recognize that SharePoint Server has been and will continue to be a critical part of the collaboration and business process strategy for many of our customers. Last year we showed our commitment to our on-premises customers with the release of SharePoint Server Subscription Edition and today we’d like to share some exciting news about new investments we’re making in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, as well as other updates to the SharePoint Server ecosystem.
In this article:
SharePoint Server Subscription Edition
SharePoint Workflow Manager
SharePoint Server 2013, 2016 & 2019
SharePoint Technology Adoption Program
SharePoint Server Subscription Edition
On July 21st, 2021 we announced our vision, strategy, timeline, and investment areas for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, the next generation of the SharePoint on-premises family. On keeping to our vision for SharePoint we are pleased to announce the next series of investments for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.
SharePoint Server Subscription Edition brings a more agile approach to how new feature experiences are introduced. Instead of waiting for the next major version of SharePoint Server to be released, new feature experiences will now be introduced to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition on a regular basis via updates. This change means you will have access to these new feature experiences as soon as they are ready and will have control over how they are made available in your environment.
Introducing feature updates
We recognize the need for predictability when new features are introduced. To ensure we’re meeting those needs, we will bundle new feature experiences for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition together in feature updates so they can be introduced on a predictable schedule. Feature updates will be incorporated into the monthly public updates, alongside the typical security and quality updates that you are already familiar with. Once a new feature update is released, it will be included in all public updates going forward.
Feature updates will be introduced twice a year, and will be named based on the calendar year and which half of the year they were released. For example, the feature update released in the second half of calendar year 2022 is called SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 22H2. A feature update released in the first half of calendar year 2023 is called SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 23H1.
Today we’re pleased to announce that the Version 22H2 feature update is now available as part of the September 2022 Public Update for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.
Feature release preferences
In addition to the desire for predictability of new feature releases, we also understand the desire to manage the introduction of those new features into your environments. Customers may need time to train their users and support staff on any new functionality, perform compatibility testing of those new feature experiences and develop new business processes to take full advantage of the new feature experiences.
To meet this need, new feature experiences introduced in feature updates will be grouped into feature release rings.
There will be two feature release rings: Standard release and Early release. As part of this work, customers will be able to choose which release ring is most appropriate for their organization. Most new feature experiences will first be introduced to the Early release ring, although due to technical limitations, some new feature experiences may be introduced directly to the Standard release ring. Once a new feature experience is ready for all customers to use by default, it will be moved to the Standard release ring.
Feature Updates in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition
Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI)
The cybersecurity landscape has fundamentally changed, as evidenced by large-scale, complex attacks, and signals that human-operated ransomware are on the rise. More than ever, it is critical to keep your on-premises infrastructure secure and up to date, including SharePoint servers.
To help customers secure their environments and respond to associated threats from the attacks, we’re introducing integration between SharePoint Server and the Windows Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI). AMSI is a versatile standard that allows applications and services to integrate with any antimalware product present on a machine and examine incoming web requests to detect and block potentially malicious requests.
Modern Lists and DocLibs
Based on customer feedback, we’re making several improvements to the modern document library and list experience. This is just a start – we will continue to improve the list and document library experiences over time to meet the needs of our customers.
“Copy” and “Move” enhancements
You will be able to move a document to another document library in the same site or copy a document to another document library in another site, site collection, or web application.
Column formatting enhancements
We’re improving column formatting functionality by adding support for Excel-style expressions. You can use the same expressions from SharePoint Online to create powerful visualizations that instantly communicate the state of the data in your on-premises lists and document libraries.
To improve discovery of the bulk editing experience in lists and libraries, this update introduces an Edit button on the modern list toolbar when multiple list items are selected.
Button web part
When you add a modern page to a site, you add and customize web parts, which are the building blocks of your page. The Button web part lets you easily add a button to your page with your own label and link. You can create an actionable button inside modern pages by adding it through the toolbox.
Choose the default site language in the modern self-service site creation pane
Previously, when creating a new site via the SharePoint start page, users could not select the default language of the site. The newly created site would use the default language of the web application. Starting in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 22H2, a language selection control has been added to the modern site creation page. Users can now create new sites with a specific language by selecting the desired language with that control.
New SharePoint RESTful ListData.svc implementation
ListData.svc has been rebuilt so that it no longer depends on the legacy WCF Data Services components while keeping compatibility with the functionality of the prior design. When your farm is in the Early release ring, the new design is activated. You can go back to the original architecture if the ListData.svc web service shows unexpected behavior by switching the farm back to the Standard release ring.
The features above are the beginning of how we will continue to deliver new value to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition through our updated release model, designed to bring new capabilities every six months through these changes. If you would like to help shape the future of SharePoint Server, keep reading to learn more about our Technology Adoption Program.
Introducing SharePoint Workflow Manager
In addition to new capabilities and experiences in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, we’re also bringing updates to earlier versions of SharePoint as well – to include an upcoming change with Microsoft Workflow Manager. As a reminder, SharePoint 2010 workflows will only be supported on SharePoint Server Subscription Edition through July 14, 2026, and that our recommended alternatives are SharePoint 2013 workflows or Power Automate (as mentioned in the guidance here). You may be aware that Microsoft is preparing to end support for the Web Platform Installer by the end of 2022, which is the primary tool you would use to install Service Bus and the Microsoft Workflow Manager for use with SharePoint 2013 workflows.
To ensure you can continue to use SharePoint 2013 workflows with your SharePoint Server environments, we will soon be releasing a new SharePoint Workflow Manager application to replace Service Bus and Microsoft Workflow Manager. This new workflow application is only designed for SharePoint Server scenarios and it’s recommended that you switch to this for new and existing Workflow Manager installations. The new SharePoint Workflow Manager application will be released by the end of this year.
Staying up to date with SharePoint end of support
To ensure you are up to date on end of support timelines for earlier versions of SharePoint, including 2013, 2016, and 2019, we are introducing a new notification experience to these products. These versions of SharePoint will now display notifications in both the Central Administration and SharePoint Management Shell experiences when the affected product is approaching its end of support date. These notifications will help direct SharePoint farm administrators to learn about our recommended migration and upgrade options to ensure uninterrupted support.
As a reminder, SharePoint Server 2013 support ends of April 11, 2023. Learn more about how to prepare for end of support here.
SharePoint Server Technology Adoption Program
In addition to these updates to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, we’re also excited to announce that the SharePoint Server Technology Adoption Program (TAP) is accepting nominations! The TAP provides an opportunity for you to help shape the future of SharePoint Server, and is open to customers, ISVs, consultants, MVPs, and other partners. It is designed to validate prerelease builds of SharePoint Server by having customers, consultants, and MVPs deploy them in both lab and production environments, and to help ISVs and partners who build solutions that integrate with SharePoint Server to get early access to prerelease builds for validation with their solutions.
Joining the TAP has several advantages, such as the ability to provide input and feedback on future updates, develop a close relationship with the SharePoint Server engineering team, receive prerelease information about SharePoint Server, and more.
If you feel your organization would be a good fit for our TAP program, you can nominate yourself by sending email to email@example.com. Please put “TAP Customer Nomination” in the subject line.