We have some news on the SharePoint project. Michael and I had our monthly review meeting a couple of days ago, where it was revealed to us that instead of moving forward wind Office 365 we will most likely be implementing SharePoint 2010 with Exchange Server 2010. This direction is being taken due to the uncertainty behind Micosoft Office 365 such as the unreliable up time (Microsoft are under investigation by the Advertising standard agency claiming they can’t meet their advertised 99% up time) and the uncertain costs behind the educational version of SharePoint, we also already have the SharePoint lisencing fees.
For the last couple of days we have been helping in filling out a Business Case document, the document had to review all options that the University could take, including the unfavourable options. This included staying with SharePoint 2003, migrating to SharePoint 2010 or migrating to Office 365. We wrote the down side to staying with SharePoint 2003 and the benefits to migrating to SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Online. We will hopfully hear something back soon.
In the mean time we will both be looking into migration even further so we can start to create a plan as early as possible.
Over the last few days I have been looking at Workflows in the Enterprise Edition environment, after they were very limited in the Small Business Edition. I started by creating a reusable workflow, that can be applied to almost any list or document library. This workflow would allow users to request annual leave, the workflow would then get their line manager to approve or deny the request. This worked very well, and did what I expected it to. After accomplishing this Rob and I decided to add more functionality, which would add the leave (if approved) to the corporate calendar. At this point I discovered that the workflow would need to be associated with a specific list to enable it to obtain all the fields within the Annual Leave list. This time I recreated the workflow as a list workflow and selected the list to associate it with. I could now access the required fields to add the approved request to the corporate calendar. However upon testing the workflow, it stopped at a certain point and returned an error. Below is the workflow that has been created, and the sections in red appear to be causing the problem, this process does start though as an email is sent to the initiator to say this.
I have been trying to find a solution to the problem, but so far have been unsuccessful. I have discovered though, that the workflow may need to be split in to two. When the workflow is initiated, it runs under the permissions of that user, which will not likely have permission to approve items. I will be looking at this soon too.
After submitting a service request to Microsoft, I have this morning (17/10/2011) been contacted by a representative, who has taken me through some troubleshooting. Throughout this he took screenshots to enable the process to be recreated, to try and identify the problem. A solution is expected on Wednesday.
The representative from Microsoft has since been in touch to inform us that he is still working on the problem. A solution is expected any day now.
I think i might have found the solution to the SharePoint issue
After asking around the office, I have discovered that SharePoint 2003 MAY be running service pack 2, if this is the case then the solution may be simply to upgrade to Service Pack 3 and install any hotfix’s that are available. It appeared that a handful of people have had a similar issues (not exactly the same but similar) and their issues have been fixed by upgrading.
It is clear from issues such as this that we NEED to upgrade to either SharePoint 2010/Online, it is a much easier platform to use and manipulate.
After some research around the SharePoint 2003 issue, I have come to believe that the problem with the RTE error is not the browser but the operating system. I know this might sound strange as it should not affect the operation of SharePoint on the browser. If this is the case, I have seen a number of fixes for this on the internet, they mostly involve a hack. I will test this theory more when I get to work tomorrow (I have been researching from home today)
I was wrong
Michael and I have been presented with a challenge involving SharePoint 2003, to attempt to resolve a very strange compatibility issue. A content editor is used to input text and images into a SharePoint site, it uses a Rich Text editor to format the text, for some reason the Rich Text Editor (RTE) will work perfectly fine using Internet Explorer 7, however it will not work in any newer versions of Internet Explorer or any other web browser. This is a very odd Error as it is assumed that Microsoft would try keep it compatible with future updates.
Along with the Microsoft SharePoint research, over the next few weeks we will be looking into this issue and will attempt to resolve it.