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Microsoft details what's next for SharePoint Server, rolls out Version 22H2 feature update

Just like Office, Microsoft also offers two versions of SharePoint. One is SharePoint Online, which is cloud-powered, and the other is SharePoint Server, which is hosted on-premises. While SharePoint Online is obviously the recommended solution for organizations, SharePoint Server is still a supported offering for those who want to go in the direction of a more self-governed infrastructure. Now, Microsoft has detailed some new capabilities and what to expect next from SharePoint Server.

SharePoint logo on a blue-green background with circles

To start us off, Microsoft has some details for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition (SE) that entered public preview in July 2021 and hit general availability in November 2021. It enables organizations to receive new features on a frequent basis rather than waiting for the release of the next major version of SharePoint Server.

Moving forward, Microsoft will be rolling out to new experiences to SharePoint Server SE in the form of feature updates. The idea behind this approach is to introduce predictability to the release cadence. Only two feature updates will be released per year and will have version naming to denote which half of the year was an update released in. Examples include Version 22H2, 23H1, etc. They will be released as part of the monthly public updates and will be rolled up in subsequent updates too.

In order to stagger the rollout and give organizations time to test the updates and train their staff on new features, Microsoft is also introducing two rings: Standard release and Early release. Here is how the company describes them:

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.

Alongside this, Microsoft has also announced that the first feature update for SharePoint Server SE is now rolling out via the September monthly update as Version 22H2. It includes the following capabilities:

  • Antimalware Scan Interface (AMSI)
  • Modern Lists and DocLibs
  • "Copy" and "Move" enhancements
  • Column formatting enhancements
  • Bulk editing
  • Button web part
  • Choose the default site language in the modern self-service site creation pane
  • New SharePoint RESTful ListData.svc implementation
Layouts of SharePoint sites

Microsoft hasn't ignored older, supported versions of SharePoint either. SharePoint 2013 workflows are soon getting a new tool called SharePoint Workflow Manager. This is a replacement of Service Bus and Microsoft Workflow Manager and is intended to integrate with your SharePoint Server environments. It will become available later this year.

Customers using old versions of SharePoint will also receive a new notification experience that will inform customers when their product is reaching end of support and provide them guidance for migration strategies. This is applicable to SharePoint 2013, 2016, and 2019, with the first of these products reaching end of life on April 11, 2023.

Finally, Microsoft has announced that the SharePoint Server Technology Adoption Program (TAP) is now accepting nominations. It allows various customers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and consultants to get access to pre-release versions of SharePoint Server for testing and deployments in their own environments, while also helping shape the future of the product.

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