SharePoint Holmes: Solving the Case of the Missing Message
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SharePoint Online
Sep 28, 2023 1:22 PM

SharePoint Holmes: Solving the Case of the Missing Message

by HubSite 365 about Ellen van Aken
External Blog Post
Pro User

SharePoint Online

Uncover SharePoint mysteries with SharePoint Holmes: investigating a curious case of the missing message in this engaging Microsoft guide.

Key Insights from Ellen van Aken's Recent Blog Post

Author Ellen van Aken, in her blog, dives into a common issue encountered with SharePoint Online and presents a meticulous investigation as well as an apt solution, underlining the ease and efficiency of SharePoint Holmes.

Her issue pertains to a reader's inability to access a news post on SharePoint Online despite it being recently posted on the site. SharePoint Holmes steps in to examine this puzzling occurrence.

After authenticating the viewer's access rights and confirming that the problem doesn't lie here, Ellen compares the URL stated in the error and that of the post's origin. This leads her to infer that the post was disseminated via SharePoint's convenient 'News Link' function.

Verifying her hypothesis, Ellen discovers that the problematic post originated from a 'Communicationsite' while the error message pointed towards a URL starting with 'Intranet'. She finds out later that the original post had been erased accidentally.

SharePoint Holmes fleshes out a solution wherein the original post is restored, and this fixes the broken link on the Intranet site.

As a preventive measure, Ellen also discusses the utility of a news lifecycle management system that would only clear posts that have been around for more than a year unless they pose a risk if retained. She also suggests updating News Publishers about these potential issues while using the 'News Link' option.

Ellen also shares a useful tip - You can check if your news post has been employed in another site by searching for the title on the Microsoft365 homepage. If you plan on deleting the post, you could give a heads up to the Publishers who have added your News post to their site.

The Bigger Picture

In the digital workplace setup, the goal is to promote seamless communication - SharePoint excels at this by offering an effective platform for creating and disseminating content. However, certain issues can arise, as seen above. The post brings to light an often overlooked aspect - link management. An effective link ecosystem ensures that content is accessible and reliable. Establishing proactive measures, such as checks and balances within the system and educating users about potential issues, can further enrich user experience and ensure SharePoint's utility within an organization.

Read the full article SharePoint Holmes and the Missing Message

SharePoint Online - SharePoint Holmes: Solving the Case of the Missing Message

Learn about SharePoint Holmes and the Missing Message

SharePoint Holmes in action: Unraveling the case of the elusive message, an intriguing tale of how SharePoint News is not just for content creation and management, but also serves as a detective’s best friend in solving the mystery of disappearing content. Here’s a synopsis of this interesting story:

The Problem: When a News reader encountered an error whilst trying to access a recent News post on a SharePoint site – even after multiple attempts at refreshing, reopening, and logging in and out – the situation called for our detective, SharePoint Holmes.

The Investigation: SharePoint Holmes started by checking the reader's permissions, confirming that the site was indeed accessible to all employees. The post, which presented an error upon clicking, was visible on the site's homepage. Our detective noticed that the site's URL showed "Intranet," while the error pointed towards a "Communicationsite". It emerged that despite the original post being in "Intranet" site, the error message corresponded to an item in a "Communicationsite".

This led to the revelation that the News post was created using the "News Link" option, which essentially facilitates News sharing between sites. Although the title, and description get auto-populated, the redirect to the original post depends on the availability of the post in the site it was shared from - which in this case was "Communicationsite".

Now the question remained; why was the linked post missing? Our investigator figured that the original News post might have been deleted since the image, which is normally visible, was missing.

Digging deeper by opening the "Communicationsite" and checking the Site Pages Library and eventually the Recycle Bin, SharePoint Holmes found the missing item. Turns out, it was accidentally deleted by a user. Interestingly, the image was still visible, indicating the deletion had occurred recently.

The Solution: At a simplistic level, restoration of the deleted post in the original "Communicationsite" reinstated the News post in the "Intranet" site. However, this begs us to consider more holistic solution, such as having a Life Cycle Management for News posts within an organization.

Remember these key takeaways:

  • News posts deletion can cause issues when using the "News Link" option.
  • Site owners aren’t always privy to where their News items are getting shared.
  • Prevention measures include agreement between news publishers, form of life management cycle for news posts, and post deletion protocol.
  • Before deletion, use Microsoft Search to see if the item exists somewhere else and appropriately inform or warn others.

Apart from the informative content, this story serves as an interesting case study on a unique SharePoint issue and the steps taken to investigate and resolve it by SharePoint Holmes.

In real-world scenarios, users can apply these investigation practices to understand and resolve such issues, which will ultimately enhance their experience with SharePoint.

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