One of our clients was recently transitioned from Microsoft's BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) to Office 365 as part of the upgrade cycle for Microsoft's Online Services. We encountered a few issues which we resolved, occasionally with (excellent, as always) support by Microsoft's support team. We're going to take the time to highlight a few of the issues that we encountered, in the hope that this will help other BPOS administrators in the future.
You can see all of these issues in Support Stories
. We'll start with an issue related to workflows, which was easily solved.
We encountered two issues with workflows post-transition to Office 365. The first was that none of the workflows would start at all, the error given in the workflow status being "[Workflow name] failed on Start". This happened for all of the workflows that we had created on the SharePoint site collections that transitioned. The (admittedly very simple) solution for this was to open up SharePoint Designer 2010 (remember, once you've transition to Office 365 you need to use the 2010 version of the programme, not 2007), then open the workflow and press the 'Publish' button on the taskbar - simple!
The second issue was that any issues in-progress during the transition failed when they tried to continue. For this client, this meant that there were a number of workflows which, before transition, had paused for a short amount of time. After transition, these workflows did not restart and the workflows failed. There was no way to directly fix this issue, the only thing to do was to start the workflows again.
Here's hoping this helps to indicate any potential issues that you might have with transitioning from BPOS to Office 365. We'll have more coming over the next few weeks under the category Support Stories
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With the beautiful day that it was on Monday, I was lucky enough to be working out in Co. Kildare for the day. In fact, if you look below, you'll see that I was actually just working in a field! This didn't prevent me from working at all though, in fact the day was extremely productive. The combination of a USB modem and Office 365 meant that it felt like I was at my desk, but in the beautiful sunshine! I even managed to run two Lync Online meetings: One a development meeting and the other an introduction to using Lync for online meetings, which involved (among other tasks) me sharing my desktop to show how to set up Lync Online meetings and explaining the best techniques in hosting online meetings.
Working From Wherever - Using Lync Online from Office 365
This was a great learning experience for me - with a USB modem (and a relatively decent Internet connection), I was able to work from a field. This means I'm not as tied to the office as I would otherwise be - I can work from wherever I want.
Lync Online is one of the components of Office 365
. Contact Conor in TaskLight today on 01 901 0304 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to start your free 30-day trial of Office 365
and discover your dream office.
Believe it or not, it is entirely possibly to hit the 5000 item limit that is put in place for any view of lists in SharePoint Online in Office 365. If you do hit this, you will find an error telling you that the item limit set by the administrator has been exceeded.
There is a limit of 5000 items in any view on a list - if your list is going to get anywhere near that limit, use an indexed column and then create filters that make sure that you won't go beyond 5000 items in a view. For example, limit a view to the last 12 months of data, or limit the view to 4000 items.
If you find yourself in the situation where you can't do anything with the list, having exceeded this 5000 item limit in the default view, you won't even be able to delete the list! If this happens, open the list in SharePoint Designer 2010, then click 'Administration Web Page' in the 'Manage' group on the ribbon. The ID is indexed by default, so create a view that is that is guaranteed to return less than 5000 items, using filtering based on the ID of the column. Now, go into that view and move out enough of the items in the list to get you below the 5000 item limit. Once that's done, you can create a new indexed column (or maybe more than one). Now, edit your views to filter based on those indexed columns. Good to go!
Again, prevention is better than cure here - It took me a few hours to find this work-around and you should always aim to reduce impact on users. After I first encountered this issue, I future-proofed using the tips above (indexing and view limits) to make sure that this wouldn't happen for other lists.
I hope this has helped a little bit. Drop a comment below if you have any questions or comments.
Last week, I (Conor) spent Wednesday and Thursday attending the Social Care Ireland
2012 Conference, which took place in the Ormonde Hotel in Kilkenny. With such beautiful weather, it might seem a shame to spent two days inside in a conference, but it was well worth it for us. I had been involved in a voluntary capacity in implementing an online ticketing system for the conference (using Eventbrite
, which I would highly recommend - feel free to get in contact
if you need any advice around this) and when the topic of paying for an exhibition table came up, I jumped at the opportunity. The SCI conference is the perfect opportunity for me, as the provider of a solution to the social care sector, to meet potential clients and get crucial feedback. Over the course of the two days I spoke to many social care workers, unit managers, operations managers and company directors about the current internal systems and processes they used to record the data on their young people, while also outlining TaskLight's offering and providing hands-on demos of our solution, TIMS (TaskLight Information Management System). I learned a lot from the two days, including that one care provider pays €150 a month in archiving costs for all of the paper records of the young people who have ever been in their care and that these records are archived every 3 months
! The legal requirement to store a copy of the information on the young people in care indefinitely is absolutely justified and necessary, but the requirement to store a paper
copy might be prohibitively expensive. In this case, for example, to read an incident report that is only four months old, the provider must find the relevant barcode of the report, contact the archiving company and wait up to 5 days to receive the report - all of this while, with TIMS, you would be able to read that information in less than a minute! Demonstrating this to the provider, they were blown away and could immediately see the benefits.
Anyway, it was great to meet so many people in the industry and to get some warm feedback about TIMS. Enjoy this photo of our stand (below). That big iMac was playing our 'A Story About a Residential Care Company' video
, which also seemed to get a lot of people's attention! You'll see me there, looking busy, as well as a giant tub of chocolates which, at times, seemed equally as popular as TIMS!
Social Care Ireland Conference - Photo of our stand with Conor (and the tub of Roses)