Friday, August 24, 2012

Major SharePoint 2013 upgrade issues and workarounds

After looking at SharePoint 2013 upgrade path, it’s clear that in-place upgrade is never recommended since you might also need to use new Window 2012 server and SQL 2012 server. The recommended migration procedure and I would see the only procedure is database-attach upgrade approach.

Here is standard upgrade procedure from Microsoft “When you use the database-attach upgrade approach to upgrade from SharePoint 2010 Products to SharePoint 2013, you upgrade the content databases and several service application databases. You do not upgrade the configuration database for your farm.” With this approach, there are many issues after the upgrade and I’ve listed some of the major ones in this blog.  Some of the issues we have workarounds but others we do not have solution.

1. The first issue is email enabled lists will no longer receive emails. The upgrade procedure indicated “do not upgrade the configuration database for your farm” and the email enabled list configuration is inside configuration database. We have encountered this issue in 2007 to 2010 upgrade and there are many ways to resolve this.

The easiest solution as I published earlier is to copy EmailEnabledLists from 2010 configuration database to 2013 configuration database.

2. The second issue you might have is the “In Progress” workflow tasks created from Out of the Box workflows cannot be completed. This should be same issue published before after installing Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2010 or upgrade from 2007 to SharePoint 2010. 

Every workflow task has a reference to its workflow definition. When there is an in-flight workflow and its tasks, the Workflow definition file of the original Out of the Box workflows is replaced with new ones if we upgrade the farm or Site Collection. This makes the tasks of the previous version of Out of the Box workflows lose the reference to their workflow definition and get into locked state when a task assigned attempts to update (complete like “Approve” or “Reject”). Eventually workflow instances ofthe previous version of Out of the Box workflows cannot be completed

Workaround is to complete all “In Progress” workflows before the upgrade or “terminate this workflow now” menu in workflow status page shown below, which will also remove all the locked tasks related to that workflow.

3. The third issue is the major and critical one that all managed metadata data columns un-editable and terms are not available even you associate the new MMS with the migrated database. The issue applies to not only global terms but also local terms. This is expected since we have this issue on 2010 when we migrate content from one farm to another.

Solution is to use toll we developed with Microsoft to fix managed metadata data as we discussed before. We might need to recompile the code against 2013.

4. The forth issue is SharePoint Web Analytics system will no longer be available or upgradable to SharePoint 2013 since web analytical service will be replaced by new 2013 search service. The previous analytics reports will not be imported into new version and there is no procedure from Microsoft how we migrate existing web analytical reports.

Solution is unknown and I’m following up with Microsoft on this.

5. The fifth issue is around removed templates and features. One example is the Group Work site template is no longer available as a site option. The issue is whether existing sites created from Group Work site template will be able to upgrade to 2013. We had issue fab40 sites are able to beupgraded to 2010 from 2007.

Solution is unknown and I’m following up with Microsoft on this.

There are many other issues you may encounter for 2013 upgrade and we will share our findings.

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