SharePoint 2016 Site Masters

[This post is based on the SharePoint 2016 Preview — Functionality is not guaranteed to be supported, configured identically, or exist in RTM]

SharePoint 2016 has new functionality for Site Template deployment called “Site Masters”. These are master Site Templates, configured by a SharePoint Administrator, that allow quick deployment of a Site Template when a new SharePoint Site is requested.

Creating Site Masters is simple, using the SharePoint Management Shell, input the WebTemplateId and the Content Database to store it in, like this:

New-SPSiteMaster -ContentDatabase "DatabaseName" -Template "Template#ID"

Site Master information is stored in the Content Database dbo.SiteMaster table.

To enable a WebTemplate to be used as a Site Master, you can run:

Enable-SPWebTemplateForSiteMaster -Template "STS#0"

In this example, we’re using the standard Team Site template. To deploy a site from the Site Master using New-SPSite, simply add a new switch:

New-SPSite -Name "Team Site" -Url http://siteUrl -Template "STS#0" -OwnerAlias "domain\username" -CreateFromSiteMaster

In my lab, creating a new site takes approximately 100 seconds. Creating a site from a Site Master takes 77 seconds. While not a huge difference, this is of course a lab environment and running pre-RTM code.

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.