What's New for SharePoint Server - March 2024
Published Mar 12 2024 10:00 AM 6,452 Views

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SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 24H1 feature update


Today we're delighted to share the latest steps in our evergreen journey for SharePoint Server with the release of the Version 24H1 feature update for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition. This feature update brings greater customization capabilities to our modern UX, simplifies Open ID Connect configuration, and opens up a new channel for on-premises customers to share their feedback directly with the SharePoint Server product team.


Search vertical customization in modern search results


Long-time SharePoint Server customers are aware of the breadth of functionality available in the classic SharePoint UX. This power can also be its Achilles' heel, overwhelming users with options as they carry out their day-to-day work. Microsoft introduced the modern UX to address these concerns, simplifying the SharePoint experience and making it easier for users to perform their most common tasks.


While the modern UX has been a welcome redesign of the SharePoint experience, Microsoft recognizes that there are opportunities to further enhance the modern UX without negating its advantages in ease of use. Search verticals are a good example of this.


Search verticals provide a way for users to quickly filter the types of search results returned for a query, such as by only returning documents, news posts, and so on. Customers have the flexibility to customize which search verticals are present in the classic search results page. However, search verticals couldn't be customized in the modern search results page. Customers were locked into using the default search verticals that were built-in to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.


This limitation is removed starting with the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 24H1 feature update. Customers now have the ability to add custom search verticals to their modern search results page at both the site and organization level. This will help users to quickly find what they're looking for while staying in the simplified modern UX.


OpenID Connect (OIDC) integration with SharePoint certificate management


The initial RTM release of SharePoint Server Subscription Edition introduced several new features that were designed to improve the security and manageability of SharePoint Server.


One of those new features was OpenID Connect (OIDC) authentication support. OpenID Connect is a modern authentication protocol that makes it easy to integrate applications and devices with an organization's identity and authentication management solutions to better meet their evolving security and compliance needs. For example, organizations can enforce authentication policies such as multifactor authentication (MFA), conditional access policies based on device compliance, and more.


Another new feature was SSL/TLS certificate management. This feature allows farm administrators to directly manage the deployment and lifecycle of SSL/TLS certificates in their SharePoint farms. This includes importing and exporting certificates into SharePoint, deploying those certificates to each server in their SharePoint farm, assigning certificates to web applications or other SharePoint resources, and automatic notifications when certificates are approaching their expiration date.


SharePoint Server Subscription Edition's OIDC implementation includes a nonce cookie certificate, which is part of the infrastructure that ensures OIDC authentication tokens are secure. However, this nonce cookie certificate wasn't managed by the SharePoint certificate management feature. As a result, customers had to manually deploy, configure, and monitor the expiration of this certificate on each server in their SharePoint farm.


Starting with the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 24H1 feature update, the OpenID Connect (OIDC) nonce cookie certificate is now integrated into the SharePoint certificate management experience. SharePoint farm administrators can use the SharePoint certificate management feature to manage the full lifecycle of the OIDC nonce cookie certificate, including deployment of the certificate to all servers in the farm and automatic configuration of the necessary permissions. A new SharePoint Health Analyzer health rule has also been added to notify administrators if the nonce cookie certificate isn't being managed through SharePoint certificate management.


Customer feedback experience in SharePoint Central Administration


Microsoft aspires to bring the best possible experiences for users around the world through its innovative product offerings. Customer feedback is critical to ensure we're meeting the needs of our customers. That's why we're happy to announce a new way for customers to share their feedback with Microsoft from directly in the product.


Starting with the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 24H1 feature update, an optional survey will appear to SharePoint farm administrators from time to time when they visit the SharePoint Central Administration site. The feedback shared through this survey will go directly to the SharePoint Server product team to help us improve the product to meet your needs. Customers can disable this customer feedback experience on a per-user or farm-wide basis if they so choose.


For more information about these new feature experiences, see New and improved features in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition Version 24H1.


End of support reminder for SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019


It may be hard to believe, but SharePoint Server 2019 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9th of this year and is now in Extended Support. This means that it's no longer eligible to receive non-security quality updates. Going forward, it's only eligible to receive security updates.


In fact, the end of support for SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2019 is just over 2 years away. On July 14, 2026, both of these products will reach end of support. After that date, these products will no longer be eligible to receive support of any kind, including security updates.


If you're currently using either of these products, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your future. There are two paths forward to remain supported:


  1. Migrate to SharePoint in Microsoft 365, which is our recommended approach. SharePoint in Microsoft 365 is our premier SharePoint experience and gives customers access to all of the latest productivity, security, and usability investments that Microsoft is making now and in the future.
  2. Upgrade to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, which is the latest version of SharePoint Server. SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is based on our modern engineering and support lifecycle, which means we'll continue to introduce new feature experiences and capabilities for it on a regular basis through feature updates, focusing on security and key customer scenarios. Note that while we'll continue to make investments in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, the scope of those investments will be much smaller compared to SharePoint in Microsoft 365, so the feature gap between them will only increase over time. For this reason, we encourage customers to migrate what they can to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 and only keep what they must in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.




We hope SharePoint Server Subscription Edition customers take this opportunity to explore the new feature experiences we've introduced in the Version 24H1 feature update. We look forward to sharing even more new feature experiences with you in our next feature update, coming in the second half of this year.


And for SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 customers, don't wait to begin planning your path forward to remain supported once these products reach end of support. Planning now will give you plenty of time to evaluate your options to either migrate to the cloud or remain on-premises, and begin executing on your decision. Whichever option you choose, Microsoft stands behind you with products and services designed to meet your needs today and in the future.

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‎Mar 12 2024 10:45 AM
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