SharePoint Online – Off the grid for the day

Today, I learned a valuable lesson: If you think that you don’t need a disaster recovery plan because you’re hosting your SharePoint content online in Office 365 you are fooling yourself.

Today one of my clients was unable to access these services, for the entire day:

  1. SharePoint Online admin console
  2. Any SharePoint Sites
  3. Delve
  4. Newsfeed
  5. One Drive for Business
  6. Video Portal

In fact, these services had been down since Saturday, but no one at Microsoft knew about it until this morning when we logged the incident. Since most of my client’s operations are now in Office 365, no one was able to work, no one could access their files. The entire company was out of service, for the entire day. Higher management was NOT happy…

Microsoft finally brought the service back online in the evening, but I would have never expected such a service loss.

Moral of the sorry: If you don’t have a DR plan yet, start looking into it!

I hope this helps,

Breaking Document Sets – Part 3

Ok, were back at it with the breaking document sets. My favorite topic lately!

In my previous two post, I showed you how to break document sets using managed metadata columns. Now let see how annoying it can be to save a document library as template and lose your default view configurations.

First things first, you need:

  • One custom content type based on Document Set.
  • One document library

Go ahead and create content type, using document set as parent. You can call it Project Phase (as illustrated below). Leave everything else by default.

Create Content Type

Now, create a new document library and call it Project 1. Once created, go to the document library settings and activate content type management.

Activate Content type

Next, create a standard in view which we will use later on to configure our document set. You can call it All deliverables.

Create View

You can now ahead and add the content type Project Phase to the Project 1 document library. You should end up with something like this:

Activated Content types

Click on the Project Phase content type and navigate to the document set settings page. Go to the bottom of that page and change the welcome page view to point to All deliverables. It should look something like this:

Select proper view

Great, we are now setup as we wanted too. BUT, what if we need to replicate the Project 1 document library behavior in another document library? One would thing that saving Project 1 as a template and create a new document library from that template would work and to be honest, I would agree with one, but we would both be wrong.

Let’s see,

Go back to the Project 1 document library settings and save it as template. Call your template Project. We won’t need the content. You should have something like this:

Creating template

Almost done here, “on lâche pas!”. Create a new document library using your new “app” and call it Project 2.

Creating App

Go to the Project 2 document library settings, find the Project Phase content type. Navigate to the document set settings page, scroll down and voilà. The view selected for your document set welcome page is not the good one.

Proper view not selected

It might seem like a small issue but, when you’re trying to duplicate behavior on a larger scale, it may become irritating for end users to have to reconfigure the content type’s default view for every project they create.

 

I hope this helps,

Breaking Document Sets – Part 2

As I was saying in my previous post, Breaking Document Sets – Part 1, I’m working on a solution with Document Sets.

Again I don’t think we have to go into details here, but I needed to create projects containing deliverables. I need to be able to track deliverable status and I also need to attach the deliverables to the project without impacting the classification process.

So, I came up with this basic structure:

Content Type Structure

Again I came across limitations! It turns out that, when creating an item based on Folder within a Document Set. The values for Shared column are not being propagated to these items.

This is what you should get:

WorkingChildItem

This is what you will get:

NonWorkingChildItem

FYI, I opened a ticket with Microsoft for that matter as well, and they are apparently working on a fix. I haven’t had feedback in couple of days now, but I’ll keep you posted when we have a resolution.

I hope this helps,

Breaking Document Sets – Part 1

I’ve been working on implementing SharePoint Online at one of my clients. For many reasons it was decided that we would first focus on helping them collaborate better in the context of project.

Many “needs” came up, but to sum it up, we wanted to be able to manage documents within the context of a project. We also wanted to minimize de change on the end users who had been using file server for as long as they started their business. So one of the challenges was that we needed to make the classification process as close as possible to what they were used too, while making the searching process as efficient as possible.

And so I built my entire solution around those two simple principes:

  1. Minimize changes on classification process as much as possible
  2. Improve searching process as much as possible

Since Document Sets gives us the ability to assign metadata automatically using “Shared Columns” I figured I would use them to help with “Principle 1”

No need to go into details here, but let’s say I came up with this basic structure

Basic Structure

Users were happy and for a while, it was ok. But, I came across this limitation which bums me out.

When using documents sets, the New button on the list view web part of the Document Set welcome page will break if your use a column pulling data from the Managed Metadata Service in the view for that Document set.  The list of available content types, won’t show as configured on your document library.

This is what you should get:

SharePoint Online Document Set

Instead, this is what you will get:

SharePoint Online Document Set

The menu from the ribbon on the other end, will work. In my case is wasn’t such a big issue as users are rarely creating content directly from SharePoint, but it took me time to figure out what was actually breaking my web part and so I figured I would share this with you guys.

FYI: I’ve opened a ticket at Microsoft Support and after some efforts I was able to get my ticket escalated. Once to the product team, things went a little faster. Bottom line is, Microsoft is aware of this behavior and the SharePoint Online team is working on patching it. I was told the MS Support that the fixe was applied internally and they are still testing it.

I hope this helps