Buried deep inside the annals of changes that Microsoft has introduced in SharePoint 2016 are two notable cost related changes.
- There is no SharePoint foundation 2016
- You cannot run SharePoint 2016 on SQL Express
These two changes are a big deal IMO from a cost point of view.
SharePoint is a swiss knife, but very rarely do you find a client that uses every bit of that swiss knife. The messaging used to be, one platform for your intranet, extranet, internet. But that didn’t mean you used every bit of SharePoint on every such installation. In fact, I would even argue that the #1 usage of the product was as a collaboration platform, i.e. glorified file share, or exchange public folders gone mad. For that scenario, SharePoint foundation was enough. If you didn’t need, excel services, Visio services, workflows, performance point, BCS, etc. etc. etc. … you didn’t have to pay for it. Even if you use any one of those features, you are effectively paying for all. It’s a bit like, oh you want windshield wipers for your car, well I’m afraid that requires you to purchase that useless radioactive trunk air-conditioner also.
Also, you could get started with Foundation, and upgrade if you need to. And there was a pretty easy upgrade path, you could just backup restore the content db on a server farm, and be done with it.
Well, all that is changing, and if you are running SharePoint foundation, this is something you should plan for.
Since there is no Foundation or Express for 2016, your choice is to,
- Stay with SP2013 foundation
- Move to Office 365 to avoid paying for SharePoint server, but perhaps pay lesser for Office 365 – totally depends on your situation though, cloud may cost more, and may have other non licensing related costs and considerations.
- Fork out the price of SharePoint server (not cheap but not horrible), SQL Server (can get very expensive), and CALs (can get very expensive).