Microsoft announced that they would not be shipping SharePoint 2016 Foundation and consequently, SharePoint 2019 Foundation. The last version of the free platform that was shipped was the SharePoint Foundation 2013 edition. That solution was a limited free product that was offered as an alternative for the full version of SharePoint.
However, with the introduction of SharePoint Online, and the corresponding rise of cloud solutions, Microsoft decided against continuing releases of SharePoint Foundation editions. Eventually, it even dropped the mainstream support for SharePoint Foundation 2013 in 2018 after which builds with Public Updates are eligible only for extended support until 2023.
So, is SharePoint Foundation still around?
Yes. But very few SharePoint hosting providers still offer the Foundation product. For example, with Apps4Rent, you can get it on dedicated SharePoint 2013 servers. There are, of course, newer alternatives. However, they come with per-user pricing. Read on to find out more.
Why Was SharePoint 2013 Foundation Popular?
The most important reason for the popularity of SharePoint Foundation 2013 was that it was free of per-user licensing costs. It offered basic SharePoint features such as the ability to share documents, content management, and the creation of team sites.
However, SharePoint Foundation 2013 had several drawbacks. Its search capabilities were relatively rudimentary and were mostly limited to the searching of text within documents and not entire webpages. It also lacked some of the complex features such as the ability to store larger files, advanced site management capabilities, and business intelligence tools.
Yet, it was the perfect platform for small and medium businesses, that could use it to their intranet content, many of which continue to use it two years after the end of mainstream support.
What are The Upgrade Pathways for SharePoint Foundation 2013?
As with all other products, all on-premises SharePoint Server versions come with an end of support date. Microsoft introduced SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019 in the years to follow. However, unlike SharePoint 2013 Foundation, there is no Foundation version in SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint 2019. Here are the alternative solutions.
Upgrade to SharePoint 2019
If you need to retain your content on-premises, the best and the latest version of SharePoint Server is SharePoint 2019. It is designed to support modern web pages and web parts with enriched search experience, improved Team sites, enhanced integration capabilities for Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and other technologies, along with superior user experience.
However, the upgrade from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2019 is circuitous. Users will first have to migrate content to SharePoint 2016 before upgrading to SharePoint 2019.
Upgrade to SharePoint 2016
While upgrading to SharePoint 2016 is still an expensive proposition, it involves only one upgrade as it is the immediate next release of SharePoint 2013. SharePoint 2016 provides a user experience that is much closer to Office 365 with advanced search and compliance features.
Adopt SharePoint Online
Moving your SharePoint 2013 Foundation content to SharePoint Online is the simplest and most affordable option. Unlike the on-premises SharePoint Server, SharePoint Online is always updated as it is a managed service from Microsoft. The drawback of using SharePoint Online is that not only is your data stored in some remote location, but also some of the features available with the on-premises version are missing reducing your control over the environment.
Apps4Rent Can Help with Hosted SharePoint Solutions
While it is always advisable to upgrade legacy software platforms such as SharePoint 2013 Foundation to a later edition that is supported by Microsoft, there are instances where users cannot do so due to various constraints. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent provides hosted SharePoint solutions that can support even earlier editions of SharePoint apart from the latest SharePoint 2019 Server. Additionally, Apps4Rent can provide dedicated SharePoint Foundation servers for users who cannot upgrade to later versions. Our Microsoft certified experts provide 24/7 assistance via phone, chat, and email for hosting and cloud solutions. Call us today for promotional prices for SharePoint plans.