SharePoint 2013 Version

Posted on Posted in SharePoint 2013

So today I was doing some SharePoint 2013 app development against my Office 365 SharePoint 2013 tenant and I needed to view the HTTP traffic from the site in order to troubleshoot some issues I was having and I stumbled across something I found very interesting when I looked at the header details in Fiddler:


Yup, that’s right – my tenant is on SharePoint 16 – not 15 which is the current public release of SharePoint. To confirm that this wasn’t just something with the headers I navigated to and there it is again:


(In case you’re wondering, the service.cnf file hard codes the version information for the current web application and if you have an on-prem version you can see it in the _vti_pvt folder of you local web application’s site – you can also look at _vti_pvt/buildversion.cnf to get the actual build number).

Another confirmation test I hadn’t thought of but James Love (@jimmywim) pointed out to me was that the page layouts within the site are also referencing assemblies. I downloaded the DefaultLayout.aspx file to confirm and this is what I see:

<%@ Page language=”C#”   Inherits=”Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingLayoutPage, Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing,Version=,Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c” %>

So you may be asking yourself – what does all this mean? Has Microsoft upgraded my SharePoint Online Farm to the next version of SharePoint? Well, I honestly don’t know but I think all the evidence is pretty clear that they must have. In terms of what is different, I simply couldn’t tell you as I’ve not noticed anything different – perhaps you have? If so post a comment as I’d love to know!

I personally don’t like speculating about what this means and what Microsoft is doing so for me what is important about this information is the fact that I/you might have clients or customers running on bits that are not just different due to patch levels but are in fact on an entirely different version. As I’m working on SharePoint Apps that will be sold in the App Store this type of information is critical when it comes to troubleshooting problems. So until Microsoft releases some public information about what’s up with all of this, the best we can do is keep the information handy as we work on various projects and, hopefully, keep the discussions going so that as folks discover version related differences we communicate that information to each other for our global benefit.


8 thoughts on “SharePoint 2013 Version

  1. In fact, this is nothing new, Office365 has been running on the the 16.* bits for quite some time, at least several months (I first noticed it back in May I think). For what it’s worth, all the new development at Microsoft follows the cloud-first strategy, so we should get used to seeing the new versions and features deployed in the cloud long before they are made available on-premises (if at all), e.g. Power BI feature that is exclusive to the cloud version. As for your code, you should not rely on the version number as it will become more and more abstract in the future with ever shorter release cycles and cloud first strategy.

  2. Gary,
    BTW, if you save a office 365 list as template and restore it in the local environment it creates a folder numbered 16 under layouts (16 Hive ?)

    Ashok Raja .T

  3. Unfortunately this has been the case for a few months now and is one of the main reason why many could no longer use SharePoint Designer as well as 3rd party vendors that rely on it.

  4. Facing the same problem. Good to know I wasn’t the only one having it. Thanks for sharing your experience though as it has helped us a great deal. And yes, we have clients that depend on this so we can’t be having issues arise like this Microsoft 🙂

  5. My guess is that it is easier for the Product Group to keep track of build versions as SharePoint Online is a different product than SharePoint on-prem. Also patching and service updates is different in SPO then on-prem….like I said, most likely easier for Product Group

  6. I discovered the mismatch in versions of the SharePoint Client Object Model while deploying our SP 2013 customizations to a new on-prem farm at the client. It broke them, because the references are to the v.16 DLLs in the projects. To fix this, so I thought, I changed the project references to the v.15 DLLs. But this breaks the code and causes a run-time not compile-time error with a (LINQ union of two ListItemCollections).ToList() with the v.15 DLLs. Something for folks to be wary of. So once you start using the v.16 DLLs you may need to make code changes to drop back to the v.15 DLLs.

Comments are closed.