Today is an important milestone in a lifecycle of SharePoint 2013. Mainstream support just ended and the product is going into the extended support phase.
SharePoint Server 2013 is supporting business processes in large number of companies. As the exact time of ending mainstream support was well known for a long time now, while speaking on various conferences on this particular topic during the past couple of years, I was a strong advocate for upgrading to the newer version of product.
However, it’s easier said than done. Upgrading to a newer version of SharePoint means a lot of things. There is a lot of thought, work and cost involved into the whole process. It takes much more than deploying a set of new servers, moving the databases over and playing around with DNS records. One of the important aspects of the migration are SharePoint customizations. Another is user training and adoption. Therefore, depending on the size and complexity of the organization and SharePoint farms supporting the organization, migration projects may take months or even years to complete.
What does all of this mean for organizations which didn’t move to SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint Online yet?
First and most important thing – don’t panic!
During the mainstream support, Microsoft released Public Updates (PUs) on a monthly basis. Those updates contained the latest stability, performance and functionality improvements. The customers could also submit requests to change product design and features and had complimentary support included with license or licensing program.
Extended support phase is there to support the customer until they finally move to new version of products. As Microsoft is focusing its engineering efforts to build new features and functionalities based on the latest and future versions of software and service, SharePoint 2013 will get no new functionality. However, having the safety and security of the customer business in mind, Microsoft will continue to provide security updates at no additional cost. Just keep in mind that extended support phase doesn’t include no-charge incident support. All calls to Microsoft Support will be charged at a full price.
Customers with an Extended Hotfix Support contract can request non-security related updates. For more information, contact your Technical Account Manager.
Note that InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 had their support dates changed as part of the Office 2016 launch. Mainstream support for both products doesn’t end until July 13, 2021.
What are the next steps?
First of all, to be eligible for extended support, make sure that your SharePoint 2013 farm is on April 2017 PU at least. The following table shows the product servicing timeline:
|SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Foundation 2013 Releases||Support End Date|
|Service Pack 1||4/10/2018|
|April 2017 Public Update – March 2018 Public Update||4/10/2019|
|April 2018 Public Update – all future Public Updates||4/11/2023|
Taking things forward from there, develop a migration strategy for moving to either SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Online or upcoming SharePoint 2019. And start preparing. If you are considering moving to SharePoint 2019 and if you are based in Europe, visit European Collaboration Summit 2018 in Mainz, Germany. I will be talking there about all the advantages you will gain from the upcoming version of SharePoint. But hurry up, it’s almost sold out! You will find more information under http://collabsummit.eu.
If you are based in USA and want to find out more about SharePoint 2019 and what it brings to your organization, SharePoint Conference North America is a place to go. More information is available under https://sharepointna.com.
Listed below are some useful resources which will help you around planning your next steps. And if you have any questions, just pop them into the comments section below and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.
SharePoint 2013 product lifecycle
April 2018 CU for SharePoint 2013 product family (Stefan Gossner‘s blog):
Updated servicing policy for SharePoint 2013
Microsoft Business, Developer and Desktop Operating Systems Policy