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SharePoint Online upgrades cause problems for some users, developers

Juan Carlos Perez | Jan. 9, 2013
Recent back-end upgrades by Microsoft to Office 365's SharePoint Online are causing problems for some users and developers whose workflows and applications have been disrupted by a variety of bugs.

A 45-minute call to Microsoft support yielded no helpful clues, but on a second call a different Microsoft representative suggested the problem was likely related to the back-end upgrades.

Sure enough, when Object Sharp checked, their customer's SharePoint Online version had been moved to the "14 mode" version.

"But the user interface is still the 2010 interface," said Bruce Johnson, ObjectSharp's vice president of technology.

Neither ObjectSharp nor its customer got a notice from Microsoft that this SharePoint Online version would be switched over, he said.

"I assume that Microsoft thought no one would be affected," he said.

Eventually, ObjectSharp was able to regain programmatic access to the affected site.

"Microsoft has been so solid, so strong in keeping Office 365 servers up and running, that the idea that this might happen for something so silly as a back-end upgrade and not notify people, I found that simply stunning," Johnson said.

If its customer's site had been live, 20,000 internal users and any external visitors would have lost access to it. The customer has now decided to postpone rolling out this site until Microsoft completes the SharePoint Online move to the 2013 version and all the kinks have been ironed out, he said.

SP Marketplace's Trimble hopes Microsoft gets the situation under control as well.

"This has been a challenge. We're not saying don't go to Office 365. We're just sending a message to Microsoft to get a handle on this. We've got a lot of successful customers out there who love Office 365 and our apps, but they're nervous and it's not because of the platform itself, but because of the way Microsoft is managing it," Trimble said.


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