Modern webparts in SharePoint Server subscription Edition?

New Contributor

I would like to know, when it is planned to close as much as possible the gap between OnPrem and Online in terms of webparts?


When we expect some modern webparts? In few month? Half year?


I appreciate some of the admin features, but what about improvements for users? 


@Bill Baer any thoughts on this? Customers are really asking for. Thx

3 Replies

Hi @Jakub Urban, it's important to note that the goal of SharePoint Server Subscription Edition isn't to close the feature gap between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online.  That gap will likely grow over time.  Instead, the goal is to provide a product that meets the unique needs of our on-premises customers.  The feature investments we've made in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition are based on the feedback we've received from a variety of on-premises customers over the past few years.  That includes feedback about why they need to stay on-premises and what capabilities and experiences are most important to them.


While the core architecture improvements we made for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition are impressive, we know that customers are also looking for innovation in end user experiences to make them simpler and more productive.  We've focused on a variety of investments in those end user experiences for the RTM/GA release.


First, ensuring that all users can be productive in SharePoint is a core value the SharePoint team.  We've committed significant engineering resources to focus on accessibility and spent the past several years making continuous improvements to the accessibility of our modern UX.  There are too many improvements across the modern UX to list them here, but you'll see many of them detailed in the Public Update KB articles we've released for SharePoint Server 2019 over the past few years.  That's because rather than waiting for the official SharePoint Server Subscription Edition release to deliver those improvements, we ported them back to SharePoint Server 2019 so customers could benefit from them immediately.


We've also invested in making the experience of working with multiple items easier.  We've added support for checking out and checking in multiple items at once instead of one-at-a-time.  In addition, we've added support for bulk download, letting customers download multiple files and folders from SharePoint at once.


In SharePoint 2019, the modern list and library web parts provided a read-only experience to access list items and documents.  Users couldn't add new content or edit existing content through these web parts and instead had to navigate to the list or document library to perform these actions.  For SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, we've added full read + write capabilities to these web parts, allowing for better interactivity by creating, editing, and deleting content.


We've made the UX more immersive by adding thumbnail support for the tiles view in document libraries, picture libraries, and OneDrive personal sites.  SharePoint will render thumbnails of popular image file formats such as PNG, JPEG, GIF, and more.  And if a customer has linked their SharePoint Server Subscription Edition farm to an Office Online Server farm, SharePoint will also render thumbnails of popular document formats such as PDFs, Word documents, PowerPoint documents, and Rich Text Files.  A new brick layout has been added to document libraries and the image gallery web part to make those thumbnails more visually appealing.  And we've modernized the UX for document sets, an improvement that will further help customers to adopt the modern experiences.


Finally, we've made several improvements to the SharePoint search experience, further modernizing the search results page to provide thumbnail previews of search results as well as adding support for SharePoint list content.


I recommend reviewing the New and improved features in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition article if you haven't already to get a better idea of the investments we've made in end user experiences.  You can find them listed in the Search and Sites, Lists, and Libraries sections.  Plus, the new continuous update model we've adopted for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition gives us the ability to release new feature innovation even after GA.  So if there are any new features or feature enhancements you'd like to see, please share them with us by either opening a DCR request through Microsoft Support or by posting them here.  (Specific requests explaining why you want a feature and the impact of not having it will be more actionable by us than blanket or vague requests.)

@Troy Starr 


Some of the improvements you have mentioned are indeed good but I have to say you are really missing the mark with this release. 99% of modern UX we are getting with it is exactly the same as SP19 which is already sorely lacking compared to online. How can you say the goal is not to close the feature gap when we are talking even about simple things like the fonts on online are much more readable than on SP19 / SE? 


I find it hard to believe that none of the customers you have talked to have been asking for more of the web parts seen online in your on-premises solution and furthermore for the existing web parts to incorporate all of the functionality / options that their online counterparts have. For you to base this new product on a many years old forked version of online (AKA SP19) is astounding and even more astounding to claim it is somehow a giant leap forward. I can tell you that most of our users prefer to continue using classic experience because of how limited modern is in these offerings. 

Hi @sharepointWoes, can you provide more details about your font concerns? I took a quick look at SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server Subscription Edition and didn't notice an obvious difference in fonts.


It's true that many of our investments in SharePoint Server Subscription Edition have focused on the core architecture of SharePoint.  These are often less visible to customers, but are needed to ensure its long-term supportability.  You can think of it as whether we should focus on remodeling a kitchen vs. replacing a house's foundation that has developed several cracks over the years.  The cracks are easy to ignore and you'd get to enjoy the benefits of a remodeled kitchen immediately.  But you may have wasted your money if the house's long-term structural stability is in question.  From talking with our customers, more and more of them are using SharePoint Server for their most sensitive data scenarios while moving the rest to SharePoint Online.  The long-term stability and security of their on-premises environments are among their top concerns.


We also spent (and continue to spend) a significant amount of engineering effort on accessibility.  This is again based on the direct feedback from customers who say they need strong accessibility support to be able to continue to use the product.


I'm sorry if there were improvements you were hoping to see that weren't in the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition RTM release.  As I mentioned previously in this thread, we now have the ability to more easily provide new and improved features over time to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition instead of having to wait ~ 3 years for a new major release.  So I hope you'll continue to share feedback about what you'd like to see in SharePoint Server going forward.  We really do want to have productive conversations with our customers and learn more about your needs.  And as always, specific feedback with specific explanations of why it's needed are much more actionable for us as we do our planning and prioritization.  (For example, "I'd like web part X to be available in on-prem because I need it to unblock scenario Y" is more likely to get traction than "I want all of the SPO web parts in on-prem.")