SharePoint Online service is offered for sharing services as part of the Office 365 suite package. It has been upgraded with numerous features such as an intuitive and interactive interface, higher storage limits, cloud app development model, personal file sharing system, robust admin tools with easier controls etc.
The upgrade to SharePoint Online environment involves migrating data and collaboration tasks to the cloud.
SharePoint Online Upgrade
You will be notified about the upgrade availability once you migrate to the Office 365 2013 version. Before planning the upgrade it is essential to get acquainted with the new features and its applications. Old formats may have to be updated the be make them compatible with the new system and also considerations may have to be taken as to which data is required and which are redundant
Planning the Upgrade
There are 5 steps to the upgrade process which begins with upgrade planning where the SharePoint development team will plan the migration process and create a road map for the execution.
In the next step the developers will check site compatibility and make the necessary changes to ensure seamless transfer. The SharePoint Online 2013 comes with an inbuilt site health check option will check the site and pass it for you. And give you options to address any issues that arise. In the evaluation phase, you can use the evaluation site as a parameter to make changes to the original site.
Microsoft advises beginning data migration with the MySites host since the SharePoint Online 2013 master page will supersede any custom master page that is currently being used by the host. Once you have tested all the customizations and recreate them as necessary, MySites will work as expected. Once the MySites host has been upgraded, the individual MySites can be upgraded after a pre-upgrade health check. Once the evaluation site has been checked, the actual upgrade can be executed.
Once the evaluation has been done, and the upgrade has been executed, have the end users test the site and check for issues and make the necessary changes. It is the developer’s responsibility that the new sites are designed and operated with the best practices in place. Finally, site collection administrators must be provided training to manage the upgraded site collections and on how to review their sites and ensure adequate user support if issues crop up.
Some Issues you are likely to encounter
Some of the common issues listed on Microsoft website that developers are likely to face in the upgrade process of the SharePoint Online 2013 are:
· “Files not found” error message
· “Unable to find specified URL in the web” error message
· “error_pagetitle” when you try to create a new site or list
· Workflow errors on SharePoint Designer
· “The URL<file name> is invalid” error message
· You can’t add external users to a SharePoint Online External Content
· Modifies time is not displayed correctly
The solutions to these errors are provided on Microsoft’s online support page. The new version of SharePoint Online comes with a host of new features which will require some effort to adopt.