Microsoft delivers near feature-complete SharePoint Server 2016 test build

Microsoft is making available to testers the Release Candidates of SharePoint Server 2016 and Project Server 2016 ahead of their Spring general availability.

Microsoft is making available to testers on January 20 the Release Candidate (RC) builds of SharePoint Server 2016 and Project Server 2016.

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The SharePoint Server 2016 RC is "mostly feature complete," according to Microsoft's blog post on its availability. Microsoft is still on track to make SharePoint Server 2016 generally available in the Spring of 2016, today's post also confirmed.

The focus of this release of SharePoint Server is on hybrid-computing scenarios, officials have said. It also will add more data security and compliance support and better access to mobile content and applications. Many of the features in this release of SharePoint Server are already available in SharePoint Online.

In a frequently-asked questions portion of today's post, Microsoft officials acknowledged the company is adjusting its support timelines for InfoPath and SharePoint Designer. Microsoft officials said in 2014 that the company would be dropping support for InfoPath, its electronic forms product, and last summer that there'd be no more SharePoint Designer.

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From the FAQ:

  • SharePoint Server 2016 will include an ongoing capability to host InfoPath Forms Services. InfoPath Forms Services on SharePoint 2016 will be supported for the duration of SharePoint 2016's support lifecycle.
  • InfoPath Forms Services on Office 365 will continue to be supported.
  • InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last versions of those products. SharePoint Designer is not being re-released with SharePoint Server 2016, although we will continue to support custom workflows built with SharePoint Designer and hosted on SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365.
  • Support for InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will match the support lifecycle for SharePoint Server 2016, running until 2026.

Testers can download the SharePoint Server 2016 RC-- which also includes the Project Server 2016 RC -- from Microsoft's Download Center. Microsoft officials said users can install the RC directly over SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2.

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