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I was working on a sharepoint server 2013 for one of our customers around one year ago. last time i have installed a full CU was on 29 January 2016 and i run the product configuration wizard, and everything went fine. today i access the server to start a new project and the first thing i did is that i checked the farm build number :-

PS C:\Users\spfarm.user> $farm = Get-SPFarm
PS C:\Users\spfarm.user> $farm.BuildVersion

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
15     0      4841   1000

which is referring to SharePoint 2013 - July 2016 CU. now i was trying to understand what have changed the farm build number from being January 2016 to July 2016. so i check the installed updated from control panel and i have noted that there are some windows and sharepoint security updates, which get installed as part of the server patching process our customer follow. where each 2-3 months they install the latest security updates for both windows and sharepoint. here is the sharepoint security updates that got installed (excluding the ones installed on 29/01/2016 as those i have manually installed them as part of full CU):-

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now i do understand that some sharepoint security updates can cause the farm build number to get increased, but to do so we have to run the product configuration wizard .. while our customer was patching the server (installing the windows & sharepoint security updates) and then restart the server, they have never run the product configuration wizard... so this what makes me confused.. so could installing a sharepoint security update cause the farm build number to get increased even if we did not run the product configuration wizard? as this is the only explanation i can think of in our case..

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According to MS, SharePoint does not have a single, specific build version (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/stefan_gossner/2016/08/23/sharepoint-does-not-have-a-build-version-full-stop/).

The reason is due to SharePoint being made up of different sub products. Some update the farm version, others update the version in the config db and others simply update a dll who's version isn't listed anywhere within SharePoint. It really depends on "what" was updated with the specific update you're applying.

  • first of all thanks for the reply.. but my question is different , i am saying that in my case the farm build number was increased from January 2016 to July 2016 without running the product configuration wizard.. so can just installing security updates for sharepoint updates the farm build number, without the need to run the product configuration wizard ?? as i know the farm build number will not get updated unless we run the product configuration wizard,, as just installing the security updates for SP and restarting the server will not updates the farm build number.. – john Gu Feb 11 '17 at 2:44
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    Does this one help? blogs.technet.microsoft.com/stefan_gossner/2014/08/18/…. What's the schema version of the content dbs (which also isn't always updated)? The psconfig doesn't "install" dlls, that's done by the MSIs when you apply the patch. Psconfig does the rest (applies content db updates, reapplies security to the system files, updates the code in the IIS directories, etc.). See blogs.technet.microsoft.com/stefan_gossner/2015/08/20/… for more info on what psconfig actually does. – Greg W Feb 11 '17 at 2:54
  • so installing security updates might increment the farm build number even if i do not run the product configuration wizard? is this what you are trying to mention?thanks – john Gu Feb 14 '17 at 1:56
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    Yes, if a security update patches the specific DLL responsible for that version number. As always, test updates in a lower environment first to see what the expected behaviour will be (build number update, content DB schema upgrade, etc). – Greg W Feb 14 '17 at 2:14

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