All the insights and information you need to move forward and take advantage of all the opportunities.
What to expect?
Built on the success and foundation of SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2019 is the newest version of Microsoft’s website-based service that empowers business processes and team work through offering a unified platform for communication and collaboration.
SharePoint 2019 puts a focus on all things modern and interactive with several new features that allow for flexible, easy and efficient use across devices.
Designed to cater to a diverse set of needs regardless of the organisation, SharePoint 2019 offers users a unified platform to create, store, manage and share data. Most importantly it allows you to facilitate collaboration among teams, supporting business processes.
Redesigning popular features and adding brand new ones, the key emphasis is on the customisation of the service through an offer of a hybrid approach which facilitates both on-premises and cloud-based services.
This means that the user is able to choose between traditional on-premise deployment, a hosted service with Office 365 with SharePoint Online sites, Microsoft Azure Infrastructure service (IaaS) and a hybrid service allowing for the mixed use of on-premises and cloud-based services.
Suitable to any modern device SharePoint 2019 allows for secure, on-demand communication and collaboration when or wherever needed.
With several new and updated features, here are the main ones to look out for.
The SharePoint home page has undergone many changes transforming the overall look and functionality of the page. It now includes additions such as relevant team news, modern lists and libraries as well as the newly added modern search experience which are now all accessible from the home page.
The creation of team and communication sites has been made quick and easy with direct access and manageability from the home page. While an updated feature, the redesigned team and communication sites allow for not only easy creation and customization of sites but also the efficient shareability of content, news and communication among team members.
Major differences to the previous version are: the people web part which helps users to connect with each other, the highlighted content tool which helps in highlighting specific content in the pages of your choosing, and the possibility for fast and easy site creation without additional coding.
Whether creating a communication site, a team page or simply downloading assets for team work, SharePoint 2019 has put a focus on the shareability of all possible documents and assets required for collaboration.
The Modern sharing experience functions with a simplified sharing user interface (UI) which allows team members to easily access and share content among their team or organisation. Everything is shareable: the created sites, the documents downloaded to the server or cloud, news, and the modern lists and libraries created for team use.
The modern lists and libraries are also new to SharePoint 2019, allowing for easier collaboration among teams across devices.
Working around an updated interface, SharePoint is combined with OneDrive usability to support easier and more intuitive uploading of documents and files.
Additionally, document libraries now support files as large as 15GB and the file path length has been increased to 400 characters allowing most special characters in file and folder names.
In short, users are now allowed to create their own lists and libraries of all the possible content and files needed for more collaborative and efficient team work without constraining boundaries.
Lastly but certainly not of least importance, one of SharePoint’s most crucial new features is its customisation to organisations through availability of hybrid features. As was briefly mentioned in the introduction, SharePoint 2019 allows organisations to choose when to take advantage of the cloud feature, allowing for data to be stored and shared both locally on-premises and in the cloud. This means that no downloading is required when assets are migrated to the cloud, allowing for timely and on-demand collaboration.
Microsoft has several options for organisations to explore, from SharePoint Online through SharePoint servers to Office 365. While possessing many of the same features, there are significant differences which organisations should consider and compare against their individual needs.
Here is a brief explanation of the available options.
SharePoint is a platform for content and website creation, bringing all documents and assets onto a single platform. Described as a collaboration system, SharePoint facilitates several Microsoft applications such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint to enhance collaboration and automation of business processes. SharePoint provides companies with a centralised platform for both the creation of content and the storage of company data. Almost identical in features to the newest version of SharePoint 2019, SharePoint Online operates as a cloud-based service which organisations can acquire as either a standalone product or with Office 365.
Office 365 however is a cloud-based services platform which offers the same Microsoft products with the addition of OneDrive.
Similar in much of their features, such as site, content and search features, SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2019 differ mostly in their insight features. SharePoint 2019 offers a business intelligence centre, business data webparts, custom site definitions, custom site provisioning, a SharePoint store and a client object model while SharePoint Online only shares the latter three.
However due to organisational differences and possible hesitation of migrating large quantities of data to the cloud, SharePoint 2019 offers a traditional on-premises deployment allowing for the organisation to choose when to utilise cloud-based services. This type of a hybrid approach can therefore be considered as a benefit over SharePoint Online, which assumes for the transformation of all utilised data to the cloud.
While it is important to choose what best suits the needs and requirements of every organisation, there are many benefits in switching or upgrading to SharePoint 2019.
User experience enhancement: The upgraded and redesigned version of SharePoint offers many user experience improvements such as the easy creation, management and shareability of sites and documents. Allowing unified access to all available documents and assets, SharePoint 2019 enables interactive, intuitive and flexible collaboration among the organisation across all devices.
Deployment options: Regardless of the form and nature of previous storage methods SharePoint 2019 allows for a customised approach to choosing your own form of deployment with options from on-premises, online and a mix of the two in a hybrid model. The newest version enables organisations to the best of both worlds in continuing familiar on-premises customisations while benefitting from SharePoint and Microsoft’s online features.
Integration of services: SharePoint 2019 supports PowerApps and Microsoft Flow capabilities allowing for the integration of business process automation. Therefore, bringing all services to one platform – you can create, share and most importantly automate your business processes all in one place.
What is PowerApps? A platform were users can create their own mobile app suitable for Android, iOS, web browsers and Windows.
What is Microsoft Flow? A software where organisations can create and automate tasks across different applications. Users can create specified actions with a time and place that contributes to an overall workflow which is easy to track and manage.
Cost-effective and flexible, SharePoint 2019 modernises business processes by facilitating on-premises productivity. This is supported by easy access to all shared documents and sites which in turn can be shared and collaborated on-demand.
While many of SharePoint 2019’s features can already be found in the online version, for organisations with data on on-premise server migration to the cloud can be sometimes considered as time consuming and difficult. Therefore, allowing for the full use of both cloud and on-premise services, every organisation can customise their use of SharePoint 2019 according to their needs and concerns.
Specifically designed to improve administration and company infrastructure, SharePoint 2019 also introduces a new and improved version of the Workflow Manager and provides direct links to SharePoint documents. Additionally, integrating apps such as PowerApps helps in bringing all company collaboration and assets to one platform, enhancing performance under fewer restrictions.
If you are looking to upgrade to SharePoint 2019 from any of the earlier versions, there are a few key things to keep in mind to avoid possible complications. Firstly, direct upgrades from SharePoint 2016 & earlier to SharePoint 2019 are not possible without advice or help from a third-party application. Therefore, it is recommended that all upgrades should be done in the right order, advancing from 2010 to 2013, to 2016 and finally to 2019.
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Databases with a lower version than SharePoint 2016 will not be able to facilitate the upgrade, leading to a lockdown of the current version installed. To maximise the success of your installation of SharePoint 2019, it is advisable to develop a comprehensive understanding of the environment that you are looking to perform an upgrade. This means developing a plan that takes into consideration the time required for the installation and possible malfunctions or loss of data.
Therefore, it is recommended that you secure all existing assets before updating to avoid losing any valuable data already in the system.
Remember to also consider the requirements set out for the newest upgrade specifically taking note of the software and hardware requirements to map out your chances of undergoing a successful upgrade.
Make sure to also conduct tests before upgrading – this helps you to identify possible problems that need fixing to avoid malfunction, downtime or loss of data. Once you have secured your data, mapped out the environment and the time needed for the upgrade and repaired any possible faults, you can feel secure in commencing your upgrade.
Here is a step-by-step summary of the key things to remember before upgrading to SharePoint 2019:
To start upgrading from SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint 2019 ensure the server farm administrator is familiar with the process to avoid mistakes along the way. Once prepared for the process create your SharePoint server farm by installing SharePoint 2019 to a new farm.
It is important to set the old farm to read-only to ensure access while progressing with the new upgrade. Copy your databases to the new farm which you have now created by using the SQL Server Management Studio tool.
The server farm administrator will now back up the service application databases and the content alongside it from the SQL Server to the new SharePoint 2019 farm. Restoring a copy of the databases to the SQL Server tool the server farm administrator should set the databases to read-write on the new farm to ensure access.
After this the server farm administrator configures the service applications for the new farm to ensure upgrade of service applications such as Business Data Connectivity, Managed Metadata service application, PerformancePoint Services, Search service, Secure Store service and User Profile application.
The administrator then needs to create a web application on the SharePoint server 2019 farm for each of the above-mentioned applications on the SharePoint 2016 farm. Moving on to upgrading content databases and site collection the administrator then upgrades the My Site host allowing individual users to upgrade their My Sites.
Moving from “The My Site host has not been upgraded. My Sites cannot be upgraded yet” to “A Server farm administrator has upgraded the My Site host” which evidences success in allowing users or the administrator to upgrade individual My Sites. Then finally advancing to “All My Sites have been upgraded”, indicating the successful upgrade of all sites.
With several new features SharePoint 2019 focuses on delivering a modern working experience that enables users to collaborate, share and store assets more efficiently and on-demand. Below are the key features and developments that SharePoint 2019 has to offer:
Modern sites and pages. Creation of sites and pages has become quicker and easier with a modern layout and functional web parts that support shareability of all possible sites and content.
Users can benefit from integrations with Microsoft applications such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint. They can also integrate apps that support business processes and create original content, news and pages to publish and share among the organisation or selected teams.
SharePoint 2019 has focused on the creation of new and improved communication sites that are easy to design and access on any device. Ideal for correspondence among a team, the communication sites offer a dynamic platform with simple layouts and modern web parts that help in connecting team members in collaborative work.
Now also supporting large files with less character restrictions on file and folder names,
SharePoint 2019 has also added new and improved modern libraries and lists to its service to introduce a more efficient way of uploading, organising and managing files.
Supporting collaboration among teams and individuals the modern document. Libraries combine SharePoint with OneDrive, making the uploading and sharing of documents easy and straightforward.
SharePoint 2019 and the additional OneDrive for Business put a focus on the on-demand mobile access to all information regardless of the device.
Therefore introducing the SharePoint app, mobile access to all shared content without restrictions enables teams and individuals to collaborate whenever needed.
Additionally, many features such as the Content Search web part and the Hybrid Search have seen a redesign in layout and function to improve user experiences. One example of such a development can be seen in the case of the modern search tool that provides users with type-contextual results in a modern layout.
It is important to consider all the possible requirements needed to install or upgrade to SharePoint 2019. Specific hardware and software requirements which will be explained in some detail below are essential to meet to avoid possible mistakes and malfunction.
For stretched farms there needs to be a highly consistent intra-farm latency of <1 ms one way, 99.9% of the time over a period of ten minutes.
Additionally, the bandwidth speed must be at least 1 gigabit per second. For all installation scenarios such as SharePoint Servers and MinRole installations, sufficient hard disk space is essential.
This is to ensure space for the base installation and diagnostics such as creating memory dumps and logging. Additional free disk space is also recommended for the daily operations for production use.
Microsoft has provided a detailed list of the minimum values for installations on servers on their website to help determine whether the necessary requirements are met. You can find the list and supporting information to help you in understanding the requirements via this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/install/hardware-and-software-requirements-2019
You should have either Microsoft SQL Server 2016 RTM Standard or Enterprise Edition or Microsoft SQL Server 2017 RTM Standard or Enterprise Edition for Windows or newer to meet the minimum requirement for a database server in a farm. Additionally, you should have either Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter or Windows Server 2019 Standard or Datacenter as your server operating system to meet the criteria for SharePoint 2019.
If you already have SharePoint, you should have either Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter (Desktop Experience) or Windows Server 2019 Standard or Datacenter (Desktop Experience) to proceed. Additionally, SharePoint 2019 needs a minimum of an Active Directory 2003 native forest and domain functional level as it does not support single label domain names.
How do I check my forest functional level in Active Directory? You can check if you meet the criteria by visiting the “administrative tools” menu and clicking to “Active Directory Domains and Trusts”. If you then proceed by right clicking on the root domain, you can find your way to “Properties”. There under the “General” tab you can find your “Domain functional levels”, or alternatively, “Forest functional levels” for your information.
It is important to remember that help is always available if you feel unprepared or inexperienced. Microsoft offers a helpful tool in assisting you to install the needed software prerequisites for SharePoint 2019, this is called the Products Preparation Tool. To learn how to install the Products Preparation Tool, make sure to visit the Microsoft website.
To determine the specific licencing required for SharePoint 2019, three questions should be considered:
SharePoint does support intranet, extranet and Internet applications but does that from a single, integrated platform. Therefore, all licencing is done on a per-user basis to ensure the perfect fit for every situation.
For SharePoint Online you can purchase it as a standalone plan or include it in your Office 365 plans.
For on-premises however, intranet sites will be licenced with a Server/Client Access License model. Client Access Licences are required for each individual or device accessing the SharePoint 2019 server.
SharePoint 2019 is all about the customisation of the service to individual needs. Whether it is the deployment options of allowing individual customers to choose between utilising on-premise or cloud services or perhaps a hybrid of the two, the creation of all kinds of content has been redesigned to deliver an enhanced user experience.
There are several things you can do to customise your SharePoint Server 2019 site such as change the logo, customise the theme, edit the navigation, add web parts and create and edit pages.
Additionally, customisation is available for the news feature in SharePoint 2019. You can not only create and customise the layout and content of your news but also determine where to showcase it and to whom across SharePoint apps and experiences.
Not enough? No problem, you can get any software customisation done that can integrate with you SharePoint platform. Things like PO systems, IMS platforms and more, all doable.
Microsoft SharePoint offers a choice between standard and enterprise services with some key differences between them. To further understand what you can get in each, here is a brief summary of the differences between the two options.
The enterprise option delivers the full extent of SharePoint capabilities from content creation to community and team sites.
Providing a unified platform for all business websites, content and communication, the enterprise version offers full search capabilities of standard search and entity extraction as well as video search and item recommendations.
The full access to SharePoint also means having access to business solutions. This includes Access Services, InfoPath Services and business intelligence which includes Power View, PerformancePoint services, Excel and Visio.
Like to the enterprise option, the standard version offers a place for creation and collaboration through an integrated platform.
Providing the core tools for content creation and community communication, the standard version provides access to efficient content management and standard search of finding people and expertise.
If you are looking to get started on your journey towards investing in SharePoint 2019, here is a brief summary on the key things to remember before getting started.
Key benefits: SharePoint 2019 offers a unified platform for all your business processes from collaborating on work to sharing news and enabling team communication across devices.
Key risks: If you have decided to upgrade from SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint 2019, remember to consider your work environment and check for any faults which might lead to malfunction or loss of data if the installation does not go smoothly. It is important to remember that only SharePoint 2016 can facilitate an upgrade to the newest version, and therefore any previous versions need to be updated accordingly before attempting SharePoint 2019.
Key requirements: Make sure you meet all SharePoint 2019’s hardware and software requirements before installing. It is important to understand your work environment before choosing to upgrade and plan for the time that an upgrade will require.
Available help: Installing or upgrading to SharePoint 2019 can be complicated and difficult if you are feeling unprepared or inexperienced. Always remember that there is help available to you, whether it be IT agencies, blogs or forums.
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SharePoint 2019 is the new and improved upgrade from its predecessor SharePoint 2016, building on its tried and tested successes and failures.
Building on the popularity of the service, SharePoint 2019 adopts a modern outlook on the updated and newly added features. It emphasises achieving new levels of performance and collaboration through delivering interactive features such as modern libraries, integration of apps, modern communication pages and team news.
SharePoint 2019 supports collaboration and helps in automating business processes in one platform where nearly everything is customisable to individual organisational needs.
To determine whether SharePoint 2019 is the right fit for you, make sure to consider all possible options available to you. For more information on Microsoft applications and services, please visit Microsoft’s website at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb.
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- List of worthwhile features https://www.newhorizons.com/article/14-new-sharepoint-2019-features-that-make-the-move-worthwhile
- Requirements for installation http://andreasglaser.com/blog/sharepoint-2019-requirements
- Opinion piece https://rencore.com/blog/planning-migration-sharepoint-2019/
- Why move to SharePoint 2019 https://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/sharepoint-2019-says-hello-to-6-features-and-goodbye-to-6-others/
- Installing from 2010 to 2019 https://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/253652/is-it-possible-to-upgrade-from-sharepoint-2010-to-2019
- SharePoint 2019 features https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/what-s-new/new-and-improved-features-in-sharepoint-server-2019
- Differences between 2016 and 2019 https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/differences-between-sharepoint-server-2016-and-2019-ba84c8a3-3ce2-4252-926e-c67654ceb4a3
- Microsoft Reviewer’s Guide https://spdocs.blob.core.windows.net/preview/SharePoint%20Server%202019%20Reviewer's%20Guide.pdf
- Comparison between SharePoint online and SharePoint 2019 https://sharepoint.fpweb.net/sharepoint-2016-vs-2019-vs-sharepoint-online/