Office 365 SharePoint Online Site Collection Update

I’ve been finding it really difficult to parse together all the information over at the Office 365 wikis and forums to figure out where I am in their upgrade path for the P1 (Small Business Plan) I use for personal stuff.  Below you will find some musings, sources and comments on what my experience has been so far.


I would like ultimately to have my “Team Site” have the 2013 look and feel. Also, I would like the “Team Site” link on the Admin page lead to somewhere other than an awful 2010 MySite


It’s not only for aesthetic reasons, it’s just a drag in terms of navigation.

Have I been upgraded?

This part is a little bit scattered.

Microsoft Communications


I get an email that my Office 365 SERVICE UPGRADE is complete. I’m excited. I’m thinking, “Wow, it’s gonna rain 2013 UI and features!” I go to my Team Site, it’s same old. I try the site collection upgrade, but no dice (more on how I try that later).

office365 upgrade


I get an e-mail that my “SharePoint Online environment will soon receive a planned service update beginning within the next 24-48 hours and will be completed within ten days.” Nevermind that it doesn’t tell me which of my 4 tenants this service update was for, or the nature of the service update. I’m thinking: “This is it. I’m finally gonna run v.15 (SPO 2013).” A month later, I go back to the Team Site. Still v.14 (2010) UI.

SharePointOnline update

I can’t find any follow-up e-mails in either mailbox so I’m not sure how the SPO update went…

Office 365 UpGrade

I know it’s done. How? Check Office 365 wiki. Also, my Admin UI is Blue.



SharePoint Online: which version of SharePoint am I actually running?

There is a difference between Office 365 upgrade and SharePoint Online update, apparently.

I head to blogs and learn that I can quickly check this over by trying: 

(Source:  Rene Modery)



I’m running 15! Ok, so why doesn’t my Team Site look like 15?

I need to Upgrade My Site Collection

Fortunately, Microsoft has prepared a great document on how to accomplish this. They did not, however plan that their instructions wouldn’t work for me.

1. I check the health of my site collection (I made the appropriate changes to get a “Clean Bill of Health”)

2-3. The rest of the suggestions do not work for me. I do not have the options they suggest I should have on this page.

When I navigate:

Site Actions > Site Settings > Go to top level settings > Site collection upgrade (Under “Site Collection Administration”)

I get a page that tells me “Upgrade is currently disabled for your site collection”


I want to enable site collection upgrade!

I found a great forum post that shows you how to “Allow upgrade” as global administrator.

Unfortunately again, THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ME!

One of the steps involved requires a drop down on the Admin tab in the portal:


This is my portal nav bar:


No drop down!

That’s where I’m stuck now. Turning to the forums for help… Will keep ya posted.

More sources:

Office 365 / SharePoint Online: Dealing with Lync Presence

Another thing I had to sort out within SharePoint Online is the presence issue.

The benefit of presence is that from within SharePoint, other users can see who has been modifying/creating content and see their status: online, offline, away, etc… associated with their Lync presence.

In my Team Site site collection, Lync Presence was showing up fine

However, this was not the case in my MySite site collection.

Luckily, the work around for this is quite simple.

All you have to do is add the site collection that is not reporting presence to your ‘trusted sites’ zone in Internet Explorer (IE)

I’m using IE9, so make changes to this accordingly.

  1. Select the Options wheel:
  2. Select “Internet Options”
  3. Go to the “Security” tab
  4. Go to “Sites”
  5. If your site is not in the trusted zone, it will populate in the “Add this website to the zone” area.
  6. Simply click “Add” and close out of all windows

Presence should be working after you restart the browser.

If you are wondering why your Team Site is already in this zone, it is because it’s one of the steps in the “Set up your desktop for Office 365” that you run when you first get started.


Office365: Alien DisplayName

I had the chance to speak with a Microsoft engineer at SharePoint Conference 2011 in Anaheim, CA and he was looking for input on the product. During the conversation, it came out that we’ve been having many an issue with the service. The engineer interviewed me (on camera!) and asked me if I had a blog… I do! He said he’d follow up here, so here’s what we talked about!

I’ve been working on these issues for something of a while now, so it’s great to put them out to the community. Many of these topics have been covered on the community forums, but for an all-in-one look at how to fix some of the issues, keep reading! Also, huge shout-out to the support engineers that I used to speak to at least once a day while we were sorting these issues out. I plan to write a couple of these, so keep coming back!

Also this is from an E3 account… I’m going to be blacking out the domain as I plan to put this out to “The Grid”

Alien Display Name

I have been assured this doesn’t happen to everyone and the bug that used to create this issue (sometime around GA) is now fixed. If your site collection and users are already created, and you have this issue, here’s the fix. Now I have sorted this out in my primary site collection, but not in MySites…

How to tell you’re having this issue:

When you login to your SharePoint Online site, your Claims info is displayed instead of DisplayName in the top right:

Also, any documents you have recently modified (or whatever metadata column you use that pulls from UserProfiles…) are shown to have been modified by some alien version of your name–

How to fix this in your non MySite site collections –

  1. Login to your Team Site as a site collection administrator (a different account from the one you’re trying to change). You have many different types of administrators. In this case, you best be a site collection administrator for SharePoint Online (you have to be a site collection admin – just confirmed). This how-to starts from scratch, including how to create a site collection admin. If you are a site collection admin start on 10. If you are not site collection admin, continue to 2.
  2. Login in to your portal
  3. If you are a portal admin, you will have an Admin tab, go there
  4. Under SharePoint Online > Manage

  5. Select Manage Site Collections
  6. Use the checkbox next to the Site collection to select the site collection within which you are trying to change the claims info.

  7. Select “Owners”
  8. Manage Administrators
  9. Add user to the “Site Collection Administrators” area (the bottom one)

  10. Go back to Team Site and navigate to Site Settings
    1. Team Site > Site Actions > Site Settings
    2. or Quick tip: add /layouts/settings.aspx to the end of your url [ex: ]
  11. Find Users and Permissions > People and Groups  
  12. You want to go to:

    I did this with support on the line, and I didn’t really get it. Now that I have more time to be introspective about what this actually means, check out this header:

    You are now viewing all people from the site collection. If you are not a site collection administrator, you will get this far without problems.

  13. Now you get to feel really important (as site collection admin).
    1. Select your alien/trouble users
    2. Select Actions

    3. Delete Users from Site Collection (will not be visible unless you are site collection admin)

Now, we would hope to add that person back to the site collection. You can’t add users from the All People screen we’re staring at now.

However, just add this person to any regular Group or as an individual where he/she needs to be.

I have yet to sort out a similar procedure with support for MySite site collection. Through the online management panel, I can’t force someone other than myself as the administrator of mySite. Meaning I can’t remove myself from the site collection group and re-add myself later.

As mentioned above, I have a few other posts in the works on issues, so come back!


Testing 1-2-3

Hi all,

Sorry for the time away. Sometimes urgent projects at work need to take precedence over things like blogging and tweeting…

I’m just throwing this up quickly from my dad’s iPad that I will be using at SPC next week. I’m testing out the feasibility of using the wordpress App to live blog with SharePointEduTech. So far so good!

I’m really looking forward to meeting some new people next week as well as seeing the spstcdc crowd. If you see me around, come say hi!

I am mostly guest blogging at Matt’s or Dave’s these days. Will try to keep some content here though too!

Also trying to see what the photo functionality is on here…



Printing Multiple pdfs all at once

Today my colleague posed an interesting query: “How do I print multiple .pdfs without opening them all in Acrobat?” I did a quick google search and found this gem: The Print Conductor. Download here. This piece of free beauty has a drag-n-drop type interface that made me the hero of the day!

I hope Microsoft will allow for something similar soon, if it doesn’t already. I know that with Macs you can just drag n drop to the printer icon with the same result.

hope this helps someone!


A little social media obsessed

How much Twitter is too much Twitter?

#spstcdc has reinvigorated my passion for many things, but most disruptive right now is my propensity to monitor Twitter (yes, I am using hashtags in my blog post – blame twitter.) Before I went to #spstcdc I followed a couple of folks on twitter, read some blogs, and continued on with the more productive tasks of the day. However, after meeting more people in the SharePoint world out in DC, and now being able to put names to faces (and say, fav drink orders 🙂 ), I am actually genuinely interested in following what SP people are doing in their lives outside of SharePoint.

Sure, a lot of really ‘business’-valuable content gets delivered in those 140 chars sometimes, but a tool I use to keep my finger on the pulse of the SharePoint community has now become a distraction… And so I ask, how business-necessary is it for me to have TweetDeck open?

Again, I am the only person in my office to ever really know what I’m working on. Most of what I do appears to be gibberish to my colleagues… I have really no contact with others unless there is an IT support issue, in which case I am not really interacting with colleagues anyway. My ‘isolation’ here has become more and more evident based on how I am more comfortable talking with the MS Support Tech who calls everyday than I am with people I sit next to.

Where does an isolated tech-geek go? Twitter (and sometimes G+). In that glorious space, I get to not only read about cool new ways to use SharePoint, but also what the people behind those are ideas are thinking, doing, eating, drinking, etc… While I am reading my feed, sometimes I feel like I’m intruding on other people’s ‘in-jokes’. Sometimes I laugh at the hilarity of circumstances people wiggle themselves into. Sometimes I commiserate on hard times faced. All times I am experiencing the human facet of SharePoint. Without these great people, their struggles with the product, their personal accomplishments and contributions, the SharePoint community would be as flat as the words on a printed page.

Now that I have rationalized having TweetDeck open, I have to think about how I will choose to contribute to this community.

Still dreaming about cuddling with the zebras, lions and prawns in ZA,


New beginnings

I’m letting our web designer continue to explore our branding possibilities while I get busy with the nitty-gritty of our Office 365 deployment.

My current operations will impact about 15 people who are used to doing their job the way they always have. With any migration, there has to be an end-user buy-in, a way for me to explain to these people why I will disturb their operations. In order to accomplish this, I need to come up with a little marketing presentation, and some robust end-user training. All this to ensure that the end users will be comfortable in their new environment and will be on board when the changes will come.

I’m also working on getting a good handle on all the migration options and steps. If you haven’t read this blog before, the company I work for is on 2007 Hosted Exchange and WSS.

I’ve started my formal documentation of the project and have devised some key elements of the ‘plan’ (quick sketch below):

  1. Migration – What am I moving? Where is it going? How will it get there? What tools do I need? How much can I do myself? (Email, SharePoint, …)
  2. Deployment – getting all office computers Office 365 ready with Lync, Outlook, etc…
  3. End-User – ‘marketing’ materials for the end-user. Training for them, geared to their level and competencies…
  4. Support – I have a couple of open support tickets
  5. Community – joining the Grid, answering relevants posts online, blogging, twitter…

That’s my quick sketching for now… Lunch beckons…