How To – SharePoint Server 2016 Installation and Deployment

Today I would like to share some information regarding the upcoming SharePoint Server 2016. This article describes initial investments made in installation and deployment of SharePoint Server 2016 from Microsoft Ignite in Chicago.

1. Hardware Requirements
Installation with the minimum recommended services.

Pic-1

Test installation running all available services

Pic-2

2. Operating System Requirements
SharePoint Server 2016 is supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server Technical Preview.

3. Database requirements
SharePoint Server 2016 requires SQL Server 2014 for its databases, also it will support SQL Server 2016.
For additional information on SQL Server 2016 see also http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server-2016/.

4. .NET Framework requirements
According to Microsoft starting from January 13, 2016, .NET Framework 4.5.2 will be the minimum supported version of .NET Framework 4.x.
For SharePoint 16 based on Windows Server 2012 R2 you will need .NET Framework 4.5.2 version.
For SharePoint 16 based on Windows Server Technical Preview “Threshold” you will need .NET Framework 4.6 Preview version. This version comes with Windows Server Technical Preview “Threshold”.

5. Prerequisites
SharePoint Server 2016 prerequisites are the same as for SharePoint Server 2013. Prerequisites can be installed manually or with the Prerequisite Installer, similar as for SharePoint Server 2013.
Here is the full list of SharePoint Server 2016 prerequisites:
– Application Server Role, Web Server (IIS) Role
– Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client
– Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server
– Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
– Windows Server AppFabric 1.1
– Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB2671763)
– Microsoft Identity Extensions
– Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client
– Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
– Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.6
– Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2
– Update for Microsoft .NET Framework to disable RC4 in Transport Layer Security (KB2898850)
– Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2013

6. MinRole (v1) Overview
MinRole is one of the new infrastructure advancements in SharePoint Server 2016. MinRole is designed to transform guidance into code, simplifying deployment and scale with SharePoint ensuring a request is served end-to-end by the receiving server based on the origination of the request (I.e. end user or batch processing) and role of the destination server.
In previous versions of SharePoint, servers’ role was only defined by what services were provisioned and its placement in a SharePoint Farm topology.

MinRole simplifies on-premises server farm deployments, and reduces the unit of scale to simplify capacity planning while providing predictable performance characteristics through enabling selective provisioning of SharePoint server roles based on position and function within a topology.

Pic-3

MinRole enables an administrator to select the appropriate server role for a specific server when provisioning SharePoint Server 2016 based on predefined configurations:
Role №1 – Single Server Farm
Provisions all services on the server for a single server deployment. This role is provided for evaluation and development purposes.
Role №2 – Application
Services the backend jobs or the requests triggered by backend jobs, optimized for high throughput.
Role №3 – Web Front End
Services end user requests, optimized for low latency.
Role №4 – Search
Reserved for Search services.
Role №5 – Distributed Cache
Services distributed cache for the farm. Optionally, the server assigned to this role can load balance end user requests among the web front ends.
Role №6 – Special Load
Reserved for services to be isolated from other services, I.e. 3rd party, PerformancePoint, etc.

Also MinRole adds a new command line parameter, “localserverrole”, that can be used to specify the role that should be assigned to a specific server when configuring SharePoint Products and Technologies. Also MinRole can be instrumented through the PSConfig GUI.

7. Upgrade and Migration
SharePoint Server 2016 will support upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013. To upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to SharePoint Server 2016, you can use the database-attach method to upgrade.
As for site collections provisioned in backward compatible SharePoint 2010 (14) mode, they must be upgraded to 2013 prior to upgrading to SharePoint Server 2016.

Integrating SharePoint 2013 sites with external environment

Today we’ll talk about integration between SharePoint 2013 site and external non-SharePoint sites. A lot of our customers would like to provide their users with smooth access to specific documents or BI reports directly from external site bypassing default SharePoint authentication settings.

By default, there is the only way to share your site with external users – “Anonymous access” feature, which will make your SP site public. But this approach is not very good for security reasons. Besides, this option is quite expensive for sites with SharePoint 2013 Server edition.

Our team made some research and finally found an efficient and cost saving solution, we can offer our customers. One of the benefits of our solution is the fact, that our custom code is simple and flexible, you can easily change it to fit your requirements. Another good news are that all initial setup and configuration will be done by our team on our side as a part of our service :)

We offer:
* Ability to show SharePoint content on external site via iFrame
* Ability to access SharePoint sites without login prompt via direct link
* Simple and flexible code that you can use to show only required information
* Ability to implement SSL certificate for SharePoint site
* Custom login form with Form Based Authentication for your SharePoint environment

Interesting, isn’t it?

Now I will show a couple of examples of solution’s behavior.

Bypassing SharePoint authentication:
1. If User Name, Password and Destination URL are sent in URL as parameters, user will be authenticated automatically and redirected to destination URL.
2. If User Name or Password or Destination URL parameters do not exist in URL, user will be redirected to default authentication form.

Showing your SharePoint resources on external portal:
To show part of the site via iframe (i.e. BI reports), just put the following code to your page as iframe window:
<iframe width=”100%” height=”100%” src=”URL-OF-YOUR-REPORT-OR-PAGE” #CustomPart code part#>
You can change the “src” part to show another part of your site.

So, how can you start using this solution?

https://plexhosted.com/business-intelligence/multi-tenant-solutions.html

The minimal requirements are:
* 1 SharePoint 2013 service with PlexHosted.
* 2 SharePoint user accounts
* 1 Dedicated SharePoint Web application
* 1 dedicated IPv4 address
* If you already have a SharePoint 2013 site you can easily migrate it to PlexHosted. This option is free of charge.

If you are interested in this service, please contact us we are online 24/7/365.

Simple tricks for BI site visualization

Some of our clients use their BI sites to develop PowerView reports for more than one user with different permissions.

For example, BI site for company, which has 5 different sales department.
SharePoint BI sites have a good feature, called PowerPivot gallery, which you can use to host your reports. Today we’ll speak about interesting approach, how we can extend its capabilities, using simple “Promoted Links” app.

Imagine the situation.
We have:
1. Single SharePoint 2013 BI site.
2. 5 different departments which should access BI reports only for their department. As example “RegionName Sales Departments”.

The simple solution is to create 5 separate sub-sites and put links to the main site. But if you want to create an illustrative site this is not enough. We can use “Promoted Links” app to make BI site more expressive and focus users directly on the required information to increase their efficiency.

“Promoted Links” app allows you to show links to other location on the page, but the main point is the possibility to assign pictures and description to these links. So the end user will see the nice logo with floating description instead of a strict link.

Let’s start:
1. Open your BI site.
2. Click Settings icon and click add an app, select “Promoted Links” app.
3. Click new item. Here you can specify the Title, the link to preferred logo, and a brief description for the link.

Picture1Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Now the interesting part goes.
Here we can put not only the links to the sub-sites, but direct links to the PowerPivot galleries of the department or even links to the single reports. This is good, because you can show the entire sub-site for the user from the larger department (with bigger amount of data) and show only one needed report for the smaller one.
This is the good way to focus the attention of the end users just on their information.

Also we can use RSDS reports to hide all “excel signs” if necessary. You can read previous post about it.

Let’s proceed and setup links.
4. Create 5 items for 5 departments. In our example they are “RegionName Sales Departments”

Picture2Nice view, isn’t it? I think that this approach will make your BI site more “human friendly” and at the same time more efficient.
5. Now let’s define the “Landing Page”, where we want to show these items. For example, let’s show it on our home page.
Also we can hide this app from the quick launch menu. To do so go to -> list -> List settings -> List name, description and navigation.
6. Open home page and click edit page. Click “Insert”, then “App part”.

Picture37. Select “Promoted Links” app.
8. Set the proper title size etc. for this web part.
9. Click Save, and Stop editing on the upper ribbon.
We’re done, you will see the webpart on your home page.

Picture4The last part is to configure the proper permissions for users and grant them access to their pieces of information. This is something that depends on your company structure.

Hope this article was interesting for you.