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Saturday, May 23, 2015

#Office #Project And #Visio 2016 Preview Available

This is to spread the word, with great excitement, that Project 2016 preview version is now available for trial use.

If you do not have required Office 365 subscription to try Project or Visio 2016, you can download using below links and trial product keys:


product key: N46MP-733KG-T8MR9-VV9JX-HCFG4


product key: W9WC2-JN9W2-H4CBV-24QR7-M4HB8
Few weeks back, at Ignite 2015, preview version of Office 2016 was announced. You can browse here to download Office 2016 desktop version for trial. Or if you have an Office 365 subscription, home or enterprise, you can find details here to download new version.

An important point to note regarding Office 2016 preview version, is that it cant be installed side by side to Office 2013 (not sure if its true for Office 2010 as well). So you have to uninstall Office 2013 prior to install Office 2016 preview.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

#Microsoft #Ignite 2015 Wrap up #ProjectServer #SharePoint 2016

So the week of MS Ignite is over, and there is whole lot of information to absorb.

I had been closely following to all the happenings and announcements, and in this post i will summarize my take away of information related to SharePoint and Project Server.

So Microsoft has confirmed, that SharePoint Server 2016 (and Project Server) will become generally available in second quarter of 2016, with a public beta planned for last quarter of 2015. 

Microsoft has also confirmed that they will continue to release on-premises version of SharePoint/Project Server, however considering MS's Cloud first strategy, every new feature will be released first Project Online and later to On-Premises version through a update/CU/SP.

Project Online/ Project Server 2013:

Following were the announcements in Ignite related to Project Server 2016:
  • Resource Engagement:

Resource management functionality is a major gap in current PPM version. 

There isn't any proper mechanism in current PPM solution, that can allow Resource Manager to control allocation of resource to Projects. And Project Managers to formally request to block required resource for certain period of time to ensure availability of resource.

You can find this feature demonstrated during Ignite session: IT Project and Portfolio Management in the Cloud

  • Multiple Timelines in project professional, so instead of one you can now create multiple timelines in Project Pro 2016 and then later use it in your presentation or share through an email.
  • Visualizing Resource Capacity using Heat Map.

  • Project Server 2016 would 'literally' be available as a service in SharePoint 2016. So no need to install any separate binaries for Project Server. Separate license would be required though to enable Project Server service.
  • PWA database would be merged to SharePoint content db, so there will only be one database for each PWA instance and the schema for PWA would be "pjrep -". means less Admin work.

Sharepoint 2016: 

Any improvements to SharePoint architecture would definitely leverage Project Server performance as well. There were quite few announcements been made related to SP 2016, such as:

  • introduction to MiniRole approach to define server role within a farm. 

Role Name
Special LoadReserved for services to be isolated from other services, I.e. 3rd party, PerformancePoint, etc.
Web Front EndServices end user requests, optimized for low latency.
Single Server FarmProvisions all services on the server for a single server deployment.  This role is provided for evaluation and development purposes.
SearchReserved for Search services.
ApplicationServices the backend jobs or the requests triggered by backend jobs, optimized for high throughput.
Distributed CacheServices distributed cache for the farm. Optionally, the server assigned to this role can load balance end user requests among the web front ends.

  • for implementation and deploymentSharePoint 2016 requires Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 10 for the OS and SQL Server 2014 SP1 x64 or SQL Server vNext x64
you will find detailed hardware and software requirements of SharePoint 2016 here: 

  • zero down time to build patches with SharePoint 2016,
  • Delve people profile will be part of SharePoint 2016. If i understood correctly, then it would be first released for SharePoint online, and then may later be pushed to On-Premises version
There is so much more that its difficult to consolidate everything in one post. So i will keep on writing about new stuff to be released later this year. For those who are interested to catch up Ignite sessions, please browse Channel 9 for your favorite sessions and watch.

Please also register for this great upcoming webinar , will be presented by my colleagues, to find out first hand information and opinions about all the happenings during 5 days of Ignite sessions.

PPM Updates From Microsoft Ignite