In previous versions of SharePoint Server new features were introduced with the release of new major versions. Those versions would be serviced with new security and quality improvements via monthly Public/Cumulative Updates but only on rare occasions, new feature experiences may be introduced via a Public/Cumulative Update.
Unlike earlier versions SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is an evergreen product. That means there are currently no plans to release another major version of SharePoint server.
This gives the opportunity to provide a more agile approach to how new feature experiences are introduced to SharePoint Server: Instead of waiting for the next major version of SharePoint Server to be released, new feature experiences will now be introduced to SharePoint Server Subscription Edition via Feature Updates on a predictable schedule twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn. The feature update will be shipped with a Public/Cumulative Update and will be included in all future Public/Cumulative Updates going forward.
The third feature update (23H2) has been released today and is included in the September 2023 CU for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition.
Releasing new features for a product which is used by a large number of users creates challenges for IT departments (e.g. users have to be trained to use the new functionality correctly, a change in behavior can lead to an increased number of internal support calls, new features need to be tested against custom solutions installed on the SharePoint farm, …). With the feature updates for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition organizations are given the ability to manage the introduction of new features introduced in a feature update by grouping them into feature release rings: the Early release ring and the Standard release ring. This gives organizations time to train their users and support staff on any new functionality, perform compatibility testing of those new feature experiences with existing customer scenarios, and develop new business processes to take full advantage of the new feature experiences.
See here for more details on the feature release rings.
Below is a list of all new feature released in the 23H2 feature updates and the release ring the feature is included:
|New Features released with 23H2||Release rings|
|Private key management in certificate management||Standard release (*)|
|Support for wildcard host header bindings||Standard release (*)|
|Expanded usage of modern sharing dialog||Standard release (*)|
|Column totals in modern list views||Standard release (*)|
|Enhanced Quick Chart web part||Standard release (*)|
|Improved file picker||Standard release (*)|
|AMSI integration enabled by default||Standard release|
|AMSI health analyzer rule||Standard release|
|People Picker supports LDAPS (TLS connection encryption)||Standard release|
|Search crawler uses HTTP 1.1 by default||Standard release|
|SharePoint Framework (SPFx) component upgrades||Standard release|
|New PowerShell cmdlets to manage feature release rings||Standard release|
|Custom branding in the Suite Bar||Early release|
Standard release (*) in the list above means that this feature was available since Feature Update 23H1 in Early release and got promoted to Standard Release with the 23H2 feature update.