SharePoint 2016 Hidden Gems (Part 1)

Microsoft SharePoint 2016 Hidden Gems

We all know Microsoft released SharePoint 2016 IT preview last month and I am sure if you are a SharePoint fan like me, you would have tried to experience it first hand by installing it.

The new SharePoint has many visible changes like:

  • New server specific role based installation
  • Look & feel similar to Office 365
  • New User Interface for mobile viewing
  • New Compliance site template

But this blog post is not about the features visible out of the box in SharePoint 2016 IT preview setup. This blog post is about hidden features & pages in the new setup, which I think we can use to try and predict the new stuff Microsoft might introduce in the final product.

(disclaimer: this blog post is only for information purposes and is based on the SharePoint 2016 IT preview. Features & functionalities mentioned in this post may differ (or may not even exist) in the final product)


Group Site & Feature

It seems we may have  “Group feature” in SP16 similar to the group functionality in Office 365. There is a Group Site Template (not exposed through UI yet but available in the 16 hive folder). Also there is a Group Feature (hidden feature)

Group Feature

When I activated this feature, the look & feel of the site changed a lot. But it certainly doesn’t look like the end product right now.

Group Site Home Page


There are some pages related to Group functionality too, which are not exposed through the UI


Group Page


Create Group Page



Cloud Video

There is a new hidden feature named “Cloud Video”.

Feature Activation


It seems, there will be a way to upload or link videos to cloud from SharePoint 2016

The above feature created new content type (hidden) – “Cloud Video” with some columns

New Conten Type


Content Type Columns


Point Publishing Features

Again, there is a new site template available in 16 hive for Point Publishing. This site template is not exposed yet at the user interface level. It will be interesting to see what this is all about as there are some features (hidden) related to Point Publishing

Point Publishing Site Features


I did try playing around with those feature and got following results

Point Publishing Site Feature


Tried activating Point Publishing Feature

PointPublishing Site - Feature Activation


That failed but the home page of the site changed to following

PointPublishingSite - After Feature Activation Home Page


Then I tried activating the hub feature, that failed too

Point Publishing Hub Feature Activation Error


There was another feature(site level) related to Point Publishing

Enterprise Point Publishing Topic site feature


I think this feature is more about provisioning configuration lists. On activation, a new app became available – “Channel Settings List”

Enterprise PP Topic Site - New App Channel Settings list

But there is nothing much to do in Channel settings list right now.

Enterprise Point Publishing Topic site New App List Created

QR Code Generation Page

There is a new page in layouts “/_layouts/15/QR.aspx”. It will be interesting to see the use case for this (if it is still there in final product)

QR SCan Code

Simplified List Settings Page

There is a new page in layouts “/_layouts/15/SimpleListSettings.aspx”. This needs an argument “List” to render properly. Following is one example

Simple List Settings Page



Announcement Tiles Feature

There is a new feature (hidden) named- “Announcement Tiles”. It seems there will be a webpart/app for rendering announcements as tiles


I was not able to activate the feature

Feature Error


There are some other hidden features too but I couldn’t get more information about these features. It will be interesting to know more about these feature in the final product

Enterprise Wiki Second Phase


Small Business Website Second Phase


Hope you liked the post.

Do subscribe and stay tuned for my 2nd post on this topic for more in-depth analysis on what got changed in SharePoint 2016. In second post, I will be going to the code level to see what changed for the developers and new features hidden in code but not exposed at user interface level.

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