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Sharepoint 2013 FAQ and changes
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  1. Will the maximum file size limit change in SharePoint Server 2013?

    ?No, the maximum file size that can be uploaded to SharePoint will remain at 2GB.

  2. Will there be any changes to the Service Application architecture in SharePoint Server 2013?

    ?SharePoint Server 2013 carries forward the Service Application architecture that was introduced in SharePoint Server 2010 and adds several new Service Applications which include: PowerPoint Automation Services, Work Management Service, App Management Service and the SharePoint Translation Service.

  3. Can I install the Office Web Applications on SharePoint Server 2013?

    No.  The Office Web Applications are now a separate server product and no longer installed as a Service Application on SharePoint Server 2013.  The Office Web Applications, as such, will now extend support beyond SharePoint to Exchange, Lync, URL accessible file servers, and 3rd party products such as EMC Documentum in addition to providing continued support to one or more SharePoint Server 2013 server farms.?

  4. Can I upgrade from Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint Server 2013?

    A direct upgrade path does not exist between Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Server 2013.  You must first upgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 and then upgrade to SharePoint Server 2013.

  5. Does SharePoint Server 2013 support Remote BLOB Storage?

    Yes.  SharePoint Server 2013 will provide continued support for Remote BLOB Storage.?

  6. Will SharePoint Server 2013 support geo-replication?

    No.  SharePoint Server 2013 does not provide native support for geo-replication.  You should consider geographically disperse deployments or consult a vendor for replication solutions.?

  7. What are the minimum requirements to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2013?

    The minimum requirement to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2013 is SharePoint Server 2010.  There are no specific path-level requirements, such as a minimum service pack, for SharePoint Server 2010; however, SharePoint Server 2010 Web applications must be using or migrated to Claims Mode Authentication.

  8. Is Classic Mode Authentication supported in SharePoint Server 2013?

    No.  Classic Mode Authentication is not supported in SharePoint Server 2013.  SharePoint Server 2013 Web applications are limited to Claims Mode Authentication.?

  9. Can SharePoint Server 2013 Public Preview be upgraded to RTM?

    No.  There is not a direct upgrade path between Public Preview and RTM.

  10. Is Internet Explorer 7 supported with SharePoint Server 2013?

    For publishing sites, the Web Content Management features built into SharePoint Server 2010 provide a deep level of control over the markup and styling of the reader experience. Page designers can use these features to help ensure that the pages they design are compatible with additional browsers, including Internet Explorer 7, for viewing content. However, it is the page designers’ responsibility to create pages that are compatible with the browsers that they want to support. A standards-based browser, such as Internet Explorer 9 or Firefox 4.x, is required to author content.

  11. What are the improvements on scalability in SharePoint Server 2013?

    SharePoint Server 2010 provides an architecture that provides multiple dimensions of scale.  SharePoint 2013 features a number of improvements in performance and availability ensuring a highly scalable and resilient deployment.

    Minimal Download

    Minimal download, new in SharePoint 2013, reduces the overhead when serving pages to end users.  Minimal download is based on client / server communications designed to serve to clients the difference between the source and destination page. 

    Efficient File I/O

    Efficient file I/O is a new method related to the management of versions of a given file.  Efficient File I/O builds upon the Cobalt Protocol introduced in SharePoint 2010 related to the management of file differentials.  Shredded Storage saves to servers only the change.

    Request Management and Routing Rules

    Increase Web application scalability and reliability through application aware, rule-based routing, affinity, and load balancing of HTTP requests.

    Request Management in SharePoint 2013 enables IT Professionals to prioritize and route incoming requests through a rules engine that applies logic to determine the nature of the request and the appropriate response to that request.  Request Management can be used to route requests to servers with good health characteristics based on a new weighting schema, identity and block known bad requests such as BOT requests, prioritize requests by throttling lower priority requests in order to preserve resources for higher priority requests, and route specific requests types to other servers either within or outside of the farm handling the request.

    Request Management can be deployed in one of two possible modes which include Integrated and Dedicated.  In Integrated Mode, Request Management runs on all servers within a farm and determines how best to manage the request whether processing it locally, routing to separate Web servers or denying the request from being processed.  In Dedicated Mode, Request Management runs on a separate farm that is placed between a load balancer and the farm or farms on which the request is destined.  Dedicated Mode is suited for large scale environments that process a large number of events where servicing several farms is required.   In Dedicated Mode the Request Management farm can be scaled independently based on utilization.

    Distributed Caching

    SharePoint 2013 supports the most demanding workloads through integrating a new in-memory distributed caching solution built on Windows Server AppFabric.

    Developers in SharePoint 2010 were limited to the SQL database as the only means to save state and information across machines, as a result developers elected to either forego sharing data across machines or overuse the SQL database to facilitate sharing.

    Examples of these challenges include:

    Use of the token cache, which exists per front-end Web server resulting in the user having to login again when the request is routed to another front-end Web server or the Object Cache which loads same information on each front-end Web server for every site collection resulting in increased SQL load and memory usage.

    SharePoint 2013 with a new distributed caching layer through integrating Windows Server AppFabric caching which resolves many of these issues and provides support for high online transaction processing solutions.

    For scale out, SharePoint Server 2010 offers logical archive partitions which extend across multiple sites and databases. This will support hundreds of millions of items.  The archive is unified by centralized policies, metadata, and content types which may be kept uniform across all storage locations.  In addition, deposits to the archive will be intelligently routed and stored based on their metadata.  Users will not have to identify the exact folder location in which to place the file.  Also, the archive will benefit from a special eDiscovery query (KQL) capability which can retrieve and hold all files with given parameters.

  12. Does SharePoint 2013 support External BLOB Storage?

    No.  SharePoint Server 2013 does not provide support for External BLOB Storage.?

  13. Why have you removed External BLOB Storage in SharePoint 2013?

    The process of removing support for External BLOB Storage (EBS) began in SharePoint 2010 with the introduction of Remote BLOB Storage (RBS), a native capability provided through Microsoft SQL Server and subsequent deprecation of EBS.  RBS moving forward is the preferred solution for the externalization of BLOB data.  Customers will need to migrate EBS solutions to RBS in order to upgrade to SharePoint 2013.  This process can be achieved manually or through vendor solutions provided by AvePoint, MetaLogix, and others. 

  14. Can I sync directly with Active Directory without FIM?

    Yes.  Profile Import in SharePoint Server 2013 Preview includes support for three different import scenarios, Active Directory direct synchronization, a FIM-based model similar to what is found in SharePoint Server 2010, and an option to leverage an external identity manager.

  15. What happened to the Document Workspace site template?

    The scenario of collaborating on a document is now provided by the Team Site site-template. The Document Workspace site template was removed from SharePoint 2013 to simplify the list of templates that are available when a user creates a new site collection.

    Migration path:  Existing sites that were created by using the Document Workspace site template will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013. The Document Workspace site template will be removed completely from the next version of SharePoint 2013 and sites that were created by using the Document Workspace site template will not be supported. 

  16. What happened to the Personalization Site Template?

    The Personalization Site site-template was not a widely used site template. The Personalization Site site-template was removed from SharePoint 2013 to simplify the list of templates that are available when a user creates a new site collection.

    Migration path:  Existing sites that were created by using the Personalization Site site-template will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013.

  17. What happened to the Basic Meeting Workspace, Blank Meeting Workspace, Decision Meeting Workspace, Social Meeting Workspace, and Multipage Meeting Workspace site templates?

    SharePoint 2013 products and Office 2013 provide other features that support meetings and collaboration. For example, you can use Lync to conduct live meetings, OneNote to take notes during meetings, and a SharePoint team site or My Site to store shared meeting notes.

    Migration path: Existing sites that were created by using the Meeting Workspace site templates will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013. The Meeting Workspace site templates will be removed completely from the next version of SharePoint 2013 and sites that were created by using the Meeting Workspace site templates will not be supported. 

  18. What happened to the Group Work Site Template?

    The Group Work site template was not a widely used site template. The Group Work site template was removed from SharePoint 2013 to simplify the list of templates that are available when a user creates a new site collection.

    Migration path:  Existing sites that were created by using the Group Work site template will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013. The Group Work site template and Group Work feature will be removed completely from the next version of SharePoint 2013 and sites that were created by using the Group Work site template will not be supported. 

  19. What happened to the Visio Process Repository Site Template?

    The Visio Process Repository site template is not a widely used site template. The Visio Process Repository site template was removed from SharePoint 2013 to simplify the list of templates that are available when a user creates a new site collection.

    Migration path: Not required. The Visio Process Repository site template is available in SharePoint 2013 Preview; however, will be removed in RTM. 

  20. Why has Web Analytics been removed in SharePoint 2013?

    Web Analytics in SharePoint Server 2010 has been discontinued and is not available in SharePoint 2013. Analytics processing for SharePoint 2013 is now a component of the Search service.

    Reason for change:  A new analytics system was required for SharePoint 2013 that included improvements in scalability and performance, and that had an infrastructure that encompasses SharePoint Online. The Analytics Processing Component in SharePoint 2013 runs analytics jobs to analyze content in the search index and user actions performed on SharePoint sites.

    What happens to Web Analytics after upgrade:  The Web Analytics Service is not upgraded to the Analytics Processing Component in SharePoint 2013. When you upgrade to SharePoint 2013, the databases that contain the data from Web Analytics in SharePoint Server 2010 are not removed. These databases are not used by or maintained by the Analytics Processing Component in SharePoint 2013. This means that documents on sites in SharePoint Server 2010 that are upgraded will show a hit count of 0.

    Reports from Web Analytics for the top items in a site are carried forward. Reports that show browser traffic, top users of a site, and referring URL are not carried forward and are not used by the Analytics Processing Component in SharePoint 2013.

    Administrative reports for the quota usage of site collections in the farm are not available in SharePoint 2013 Preview.

    SharePoint 2013 does not support the Web Analytics Web Part. After a farm is upgraded to SharePoint 2013, all instances of a Web Analytics Web Part will not function. The page that includes the Analytics Web Part will render and a message appears that informs the user that the Web Part is no longer supported.

    Migration path:  None. Data collection for Analytics Processing in SharePoint 2013 starts immediately for sites, including SharePoint Server 2010 sites. 

  21. Why is Visual Upgrade no longer available in SharePoint 2013?

    The Visual Upgrade feature in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is not available in SharePoint 2013. For the upgrade from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, you could choose to use the Visual Upgrade feature to give site collection owners and site owners the opportunity to preserve the previous user interface temporarily while still upgrading the infrastructure and databases, site collections, and features to the latest version. This allowed site collection owners and site owners to update customizations to work in the new user interface. Once the database and site collection upgrade is complete, the customer has the option to upgrade the user interface on a more granular level of the web site (SPWeb object).

    Reason for change:  The Visual Upgrade feature is replaced with deferred site collection preview upgrade. The site collection upgrade process is non-reversible. The Deferred Site Collection Upgrade is a more comprehensive upgrade process than Visual Upgrade.

    Visual upgrade preserved only the old masterpages/CSS/HTML. Deferred site collection upgrade preserves much more, including SPFeature functionality. To achieve the deferred site collection preview upgrade, major changes in the architecture were required, including the removal of Visual Upgrade.

    With Deferred Site Collection Upgrade, you can continue to use the UI from the previous version (SharePoint Server 2010) more seamlessly than is possible with Visual Upgrade. The masterpage, CSS, JS to SPFeatures will remain in SharePoint Server 2010 mode. One key difference is that the granularity of upgrading the user interface is per site collection (SPSite) instead of site (SPWeb). Customers can still preview their site in the new SharePoint 2013 user interface before committing, however this is accomplished by creating and upgrading a temporary copy of their site collection instead of a preview in the existing instance of the site collection. The reason for previewing a copy of the site collection is because of the complexity of what occurs during site collection upgrade. Once a site collection is upgraded it cannot be rolled back, so performing a preview would not be possible except in a copy of the site collection.

    Migration path:  Site collection administrators that are using Visual Upgrade to continue to use SharePoint Server 2007 must move to the SharePoint Server 2010 user interface before upgrading to SharePoint 2013. After the content database is upgraded, users can use Deferred Site Collection Upgrade to continue to use the SharePoint Server 2010 experience for their site collections. Site collection administrators can be notified by their farm administrator when a site collection is ready for upgrade and the site collection administrators may then choose to either perform the upgrade of their site collection or optionally first preview the new functionality in a temporary copy of their site collection.

    Any SharePoint user interface may have dependencies on Visual Upgrade. The main dependency was getting the user interface version and then outputting the right user interface (new or legacy). The visual upgrade API feature is updated so that the user interface version is remapped to the new "site collection compatibility level" property. This returns the same information about which version the site uses as before, so dependent code does not need to change. 

  22. What is our hybrid strategy for the next release of SharePoint?

Hybrid environments enable organizations to achieve a higher degree of flexibility than forcing a choice between either an on-premises or cloud model.  Organizations can start to achieve the benefits associated with the use of cloud computing coupled with the customization flexibility and tight data governance of an on-premises system, while delivering a consistent experience to users. Hybrid environments can be helpful when it is not possible for an organization to migrate to the cloud immediately or in full, due to business, technical or other reasons. 

Common scenarios of where hybrid environments can be useful include:

  • Rapid provisioning of new workloads on Office 365 while maintaining existing on-premises workloads.

  • Organizations wishing to migrate workloads from an existing on-premises environment to the cloud over time, in a phased approach.

  • Organizations wanting to supplement their cloud environment with additional features or customizations which are currently only possible on-premises.

  • Compliance or data sovereignty reasons which might stipulate certain data be hosted in a particular location.

  • Our Infrastructure as a Service offering through Azure provides a true hybrid experience enabling organizations to deploy SharePoint in private clouds and use Azure’s VPN capabilities to establish on premises connectivity in order to support a variety of hybrid scenarios such as authentication, line of business connectivity, integration, and application interoperability.

The next version of SharePoint brings the following to SharePoint Online to help bolster our hybrid story:

  • Unified Search – ability to send a single search query to two indexes across domains (on-premises and Online), and have results returned from each environment in unique tabs on a single search results pages.

  • New BCS enhancements – Odata Connector, Tenant-level external data log, App Scoped External Content Types (ECTs) and Alerts for External Lists.

  • SharePoint Store apps – supported by the new app development model.

  • Duet Enterprise Online for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP available during Preview. This will enable read/write actions from SharePoint Online to a backend SAP system. It will require OData only and a reverse proxy. SharePoint 2013 on-premises is a pre-requisite to support a routing agent to SAP.

  1. How are we closing the gap between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online?

    The next SharePoint Online is designed for the Cloud, full stop. Most all new features were engineered to run in the Cloud and on-premises. SharePoint Online administration and control improves – including customer use of PowerShell. The new developer app model completely applies to O365/SharePoint Online enabling high-end solutions in Office 365. SharePoint Online increases its business intelligence story with PowerPivot and Power View. Furthermore, Project Online comes to Office 365 to help manage projects effectively through SharePoint.

  2. What are some gaps that will still exist between SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online?

The next version of SharePoint Online is the most Cloud-ready release to date, closing more of the gaps between a SharePoint deployment on-premises and a provisioned tenancy in Office 365.

The primary remaining gaps include:

    • Analytics, PerformancePoint (scorecards, dashboards).

    • Some FAST Capabilities (deep refinement, enhanced tunable relevancy),

    • Full-trust code solutions – though the future of solutions is the new Cloud app model

    • Some BCS components (rich client and profile pages)

    • Full Web Content Management – though the SharePoint Online Public Website component is now directly tied to SharePoint, is customizable and extensible, and supports review/approval publishing scenarios.

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