An In-Depth SharePoint Version Comparison: 2013, 2016, 2019, SP Online
Need an in-depth comparison between the different versions of SharePoint? You found it! In this article, we will be discussing the features of SharePoint versions 2013, 2016, 2019 and Online.
To develop a better understanding between the SharePoint Servers (2013, 2016, 2019) and SharePoint Online, let’s first discuss the use of both, and which version would be the most effective in providing you the solutions to your business needs.
SharePoint Online vs. SharePoint On-Premises
SharePoint Online a cloud-based service that is provided from Microsoft directly, can be bundled with Office 365 or purchased as a standalone item. If you purchase SharePoint Online, Microsoft will take care of the architecture of the whole setup. Keep in mind that this means you are more limited to governing your own data and architecture, with a fewer number of options for integrations. With internal resources reduced and no need to purchase additional hardware, your IT team can focus on more productive and less time-consuming tasks. SharePoint Server is a locally-hosted platform that your own company owns and operates. This means your organization is responsible for things like active directory and server-building. If having freedom with servers, architecture, and your own data (not placing important information in the cloud) is very important to you, SharePoint On-Premises is your best option.
SharePoint On-Premises maintenance must be managed by your IT team and requires updates with patches and other updates, while SharePoint Online is updated by Microsoft automatically. Although it does seem like SharePoint Online has the edge in terms of updates, SharePoint On-Premises provides the benefit of having the downtime when new updates are released.
If you’re leaning towards the On-Premises solution, you must also purchase certain hardware including licences, etc. On-Premises will also require your IT team to spend more time managing the server which could incur extra costs for your business. However, it may still be the ideal solution for your organization if your information must be behind a firewall, you want increased customization abilities, or you want to have control over your own update cycle. With SharePoint Online being bundled with Office 365, you are billed monthly for each user. SharePoint Online also frees you from some of the additional hardware and licensing costs that come with On-Premises.
To start, here is a quick rundown of SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, and 2019
|Content DB Size||200GB||1+TB||1+TB|
|Site Collection per Database||5000||100000||10000|
|SP Search Application||Index 100 Mil Items||Index 500 Mil Items||Index 500 Mil Items|
|MinRole Farm Topology||No||Yes||Yes|
|Upload File Size||2GB||10GB||15GB|
|Zero Downtime Patching||No||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated Project Server||No||Yes||Yes|
|5000 threshold override||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Differences between SharePoint 2013, 2016, and 2019 explained
SharePoint 2016 matches the Office 365 interface for easier navigation to both SharePoint 2016 and Office 365.
SharePoint 2016 allows you to select the desired role of a server and with that role Servers will have service enabled, meaning no need to individual run SP services on SP Farms .
Min-Role Farm Topology
Up to a total of 6 roles are available to either join an existing Farm or create a new one.
Licenced separately, Project Server is installed with SharePoint 2016 and 2019.
Removed from 2013
- Stand Alone Installation – Not possible for 2016 Single Server, will need SQL installed and configured
- SharePoint Foundation – Removed
- Excel Services in SharePoint – Need to use Office Online Server with Excel Online to use Excel services
- Tags and Notes – Functionality removed
New for 2019
Updated User Interface
SharePoint 2019’s new interface makes finding and accessing all of your organization’s SharePoint sites easier by having them all on your start page. You can also create different sites right from this new start page. This fresh homepage also makes team collaboration easier than ever by allowing all members to easily see the most common collaborative tasks and showcasing your team’s news.
Power Apps Integration
SharePoint 2019 provides you with easy access to the cloud which features Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Automate.
Working anywhere at any time is easier than ever as SharePoint 2019 is fully optimized for mobile devices.
SharePoint Online Advantages
Your company will not won’t need to invest in any additional hardware or installations, just a monthly fee per user.
Easy to Manage
Since SharePoint Online is web based, there’s no need to manage anything else, Microsoft takes care of almost everything you’d need to do.
Ease of Accessibility
You can access files from anywhere and on any device, making collaborative efforts easier through a simple internet connection.
No need to manually install updates and patches and Microsoft takes care of that for you. It is updated to the latest version with new features added as soon as they are ready for use.
SharePoint Online comes with security features to authenticate the validity of users and stop sensitive information from being obtained.
SharePoint On-Premises Advantages.
Your IT department gets more freedom when it comes to how they create server architecture instead of Microsoft handling it for you. Your data is also not contained on the cloud, meaning your information will be stored locally.
Intranet on Company Network
Intranet will be available on your company’s network only.
No Downtime for Updates
Since your IT department is responsible for patches and upgrades, you can update to the latest versions without needing to wait for the update to be complete.
Although there are many pros and cons to both SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premises, it ultimately comes down to what you want out of SharePoint and the infrastructures that are already in place. SharePoint online is best for companies that want to build an intranet that is more scalable. Your costs are reduced with less hardware needed. While in contrast, if your company already has a well-placed and dedicated infrastructure with more needed customization including more storage space than Microsoft offers, SharePoint On-Premises would be your ideal option.
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