Rob Windsor, SharePoint MVP, posted a video on YouTube (recorded December 13, 3013) exploring what's new for developers in SharePoint 2016, beta 2.
This article walks through some of the highlights of this video and the update Rob posted a couple days later. Rob is doing some research for upcoming conference sessions and for his SharePoint videos on Plurlalsight, and he wanted to share what he’s found so far. The basic message of the videos is that the story for developers in SharePoint 2016 hasn’t changed much from SharePoint 2013. Given that it is the end of December 2015 and SharePoint 2016 is in beta 2, Rob doesn’t think that Microsoft will add a lot of new features for developers in before SharePoint 2016 ships in early 2016.
Install and setup of SharePoint 2016
Rob points to two resources that he thinks will help people who want to install the SharePoint 2016 beta.
As part of the demo in the video, Rob shows that SharePoint 2016 Central Administration and Team Sites behave very similarly to their SharePoint 2013 counterparts.
SharePoint 2013 apps and solutions work in SharePoint 2016
Rod showed three demos of existing apps and solutions working in SharePoint 2016:
- Rob showed a demo of an existing SharePoint-hosted app from the Microsoft App Store working in SharePoint 2016.
- Rob then showed a SharePoint sandbox solution written for SharePoint 2013 working in SharePoint 2016. The solution used in the demo did not contain managed code.
- Finally Rob showed a farm solution written for SharePoint 2013 working in SharePoint 2016. The solution contained a set of web parts (both visual and classic) and a managed code feature receiver that provisioned a set of site pages containing the web parts.
Visual Studio 2015 tooling for SharePoint 2016 is, as yet, incomplete
If you install Visual Studio 2015, there are no SharePoint 2016 tools out of the box. A November 23, 2015 blog post from the Visual Studio team points out that where you can find the Microsoft Office Developer Tools Preview for Visual Studio 2015, which contains some templates that work with SharePoint 2016.
Using the update, Rob built a simple farm solution for SharePoint 2016. He showed that the process works almost exactly the same as building a farm solution for SharePoint 2013 using Visual Studio 2013.
Next Rob tries importing a project created with Visual Studio 2013 into Visual Studio 2015. The 2013 solution has to go through a one-way upgrade process—after which you can no longer use Visual Studio 2013 to modify it. As expected, the imported/upgraded solution runs fine.
As a final demo, Rob tries creating a new SharePoint Add-in (App) for 2016 and shows that it produces an error. As noted in the Visual Studio Team blog post, the SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 preview tooling for Visual Studio 2015 is currently incomplete; Add-In projects in Visual Studio 2015 have not yet been updated for SharePoint 2016. However, in his update video, Rob shows a workaround for this issue that was described in a blog post by Steve Curran. By editing a setting in the Visual Studio project file, you can get Add-In projects in Visual Studio 2015 to work with SharePoint 2016.
In the update video, Rob also noted that many additions to the Client Object Model and REST API, that were previously only available in SharePoint Online, have been pushed down into SharePoint 2016.
Keeping Up with Rob