14 September 2015

SharePoint 2016 Preview Trial Set Up

SharePoint 2016 is the new version of SharePoint that is intended to be installed on your servers, on-premise. In a series of Tips articles with video demonstrations we are showing how to set up a good trial environment of the Preview version.
Microsoft SharePoint 2016 logo
SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online
Office 365 SharePoint Online is easy to reach and maintain, but there are reasons to select an on-premise version too. Some features work better or are only included in the on-premise version, and your organization might have decided not to use cloud-services. No matter the reason, if you run your own servers, SharePoint 2016 will be the version for you once it is released.

The release of SharePoint 2016 has been postponed, and now Microsoft plan to release it Q2 2016. In the meantime we have the SharePoint 2016 Preview version, and it gives a good indication of things to come. It is obvious that Microsoft's goal with SharePoint 2016 is to create a bridge between Office 365 and on-premises installations for those who can’t put everything in the cloud.

Virtual servers
In the SharePoint 2016 Trial series I show how to set up a virtual evaluation environment. I use Microsoft Azure, but most of the principles and steps described are just the same if you are running the test on your own virtual or physical servers.

You will need a network, a Domain Controller, an SQL server and the actual SharePoint server. It is possible to run all three roles on one machine, but I like to keep them apart. That gives me an increased performance, and I can re-use the Domain Controller and the SQL server for other purposes, for example a SP 2013 or SP 2010 environment.
Microsoft Azure logo
Azure templates
Two of the virtual machines I create are based on specific Azure templates that contain the SP 2016 beta and the latest beta version of SQL Server. The third machine is a Windows Server 2012. This server is promoted to Domain Controller, and when that is done I join the other two machines to my new domain.

Remote Desktop Connection Manager
Before I continue with the installation and configuration of the SQL and SharePoint servers, I add the virtual machines to Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection Manager.
Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Manager logo
You may of course also connect to the virtual machines by using the Azure Connect button, but if you use the Remote Desktop Connection Manager you will be able to copy and paste between your virtual machines. It is also much easier to switch between the VMs when you use the Remote Desktop Connection Manager.

SharePoint 2016 walkthrough
When SharePoint 2016 has been installed I make a quick walkthrough of the new look and point out some of the new features, especially the hybrid features that allow you to connect an on-premise and an online SharePoint. SharePoint Solutions
Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint has seven (soon eight!) solutions for SharePoint, so my colleagues and I are eager to test the new SharePoint features and to try our products with the new version. We have solutions for resource booking, project management, time reporting, issue tracking, online studies and more.
Calendar Browser for SharePoint icon
So far we don't see any problems in the support for SharePoint 2016. Should we find any issues in our testing, they will be solved in good time before the SharePoint 2016 release!

Are you curious about SharePoint 2016 and want to evaluate the Preview? In that case I hope my step by step instructions and video demonstrations will be helpful in the setup!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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