The Next version of Office Web Apps Server
Microsoft has released Office Online Server in 2014, as part of Cloud-First strategy and aligning the on premise resources with cloud resources. It is the successor of Office Web Apps Server. All the updates that will be available to Office Online in cloud will be released and made available to on premise users as regular updates.
How Does It Impact?
The current release of SharePoint 2016 and Exchange Server 2016 are compatible only with Office Online Server. The previous versions, SharePoint 2013 and Exchange Server 2013 are compatible with both Office Web Apps Server and Office Online Server.
If you have a SharePoint 2013 farm or Exchange Server 2013 setup using Office Web Apps Server and wish to migrate to SharePoint 2016 or Exchange Server 2016 then it is required to replace Office Web Apps Server with Office Online Server.
Excel Services which was available in SharePoint 2013 is now made part of Excel Online in Office Online Server. While migrating SharePoint 2013 farm that uses Excel Services, you should install Office Online Server for accessing the Excel Services.
Why NEW Name?
Microsoft realized that the word “Apps” in Office Web Apps Server was confusing to the end users. Many users felt that these were apps that had to be downloaded through an office store. To make it simple, while releasing the next version of Office Web Apps Server, Microsoft released it as Office Online Server (OOS) with further enhancements.
While OOS is now available to download, users can still download Office Web Apps Server, if there is any specific necessity.
Let us look into the Office Online Server and its features further.
What is Office Online Server:
Office Online Server is Microsoft’s product for using the Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote etc.) through browser based client rather than Office client installed on the desktops. It is the on premise version of the Office Online which is on cloud server.
How does it help?
It facilitates the users who do not have the office client installed in their desktops to view the files within the browser. For viewing the files, no license is required for the end user, however to create / edit the files users need to have the license. Additionally, team collaboration can be achieved as the editing of the files can be performed my multiple users.
Web Application Open Interface (WOPI): Protocol for communication between the client and server. Published by Microsoft based on which OOS works.
WOPI Host: OOS Farm is considered as the WOPI Host
WOPI Client: Any service that uses the OOS is considered as WOPI Client. SharePoint Farm, Microsoft Exchange server or Skype for Business are considered as WOPI Clients.
Licensing & Installation:
Office Online Server can be downloaded at no additional cost, if Volume Licensing Account is available. It needs to be installed in a separate server which does not host any of the services such as SharePoint Farm, Exchange Server 2016 or Skype for Business. Also, it cannot be installed on a Domain Controller.
To make it easier, Microsoft has authorized selective licencing partners in every country to help companies in acquiring licensed software and customizing them according to their necessities. Cyquent LLC is a trusted servicing and licensing partner of Microsoft in UAE. We can help you in acquiring Microsoft License, develop it as per your industry requirement and help you in maintenance. Feel free to reach us if you need any help regarding SharePoint installation.