Problems creating list or library views based on created date

The situation

Data retention and deletion…I’m sure this is a something that anyone involved in Office 365, SharePoint on information management in general gets fed up of saying since the recent GDPR legislation!

Recently we have been rationalising and cleaning up our data in preparation for moving to Office 365. We are starting with SharePoint as the first target repository or silo of content.

The general consensus is to delete files and folders over 7 years old unless there is a pre-existing data retention policy to adhere to. So the next task is to identify those files that fall within our threshold, and ultimately delete.

Luckily, we have Tree Size Pro and ShareGate so I was able to relatively easily identify the files in question (there were a lot!).

The setup

As our SharePoint environment is a) rather full; and b) rather old, I made the decision to incrementally delete files rather than en-masse to mitigate risk, targeting the lists/libraries containing the most out of date content. I started by creating a view in the first library – library A with the following parameters:

  • Standard library view
  • Filtered by Created Date if less than or equal to 01/01/2011
  • Folders or Flat: Show items inside folders
    Show this view: In all folders

(all other settings are left default)

Results this returned looked good, I could see folders and files in this view that matched the criteria – brilliant! Based on my previous statement I decided to delete in batches out of working hours, again to mitigate risk. I deleted first from library A, then from the first stage and finally from the second stage recycle bin all in this fashion.

The problem

I had permanently deleted around 50% of the total volume of content to be deleted from library A when we started to receive reports of current files being ‘missing’ from library A…not a good day.

After these reports were investigated they were indeed true. It turns out that when folders are included within a library view, folders that match the filter will be shown in the view, regardless of whether the files inside match.

We tested the view exluding folders and all the files returned matched the filter criteria. The same results were demonstrated from a SharGate report of the same nature. The report of all files over 7 years old brought back folders over 7 years old, but they also contained files that were newer.

Conclusion

At present, we are not entirely sure as to why these filters are not able to drill down past a top-level folder. It appears to be difficult to specify via view settings to only show files within folders, including the folder itself that matches the criteria.

We have decided to omitt folders from our reports and views going forward and to solely focus on files as this is the most reliable way we can delete files.

Bonus: for those of you with ShareGate, heres an example of my report we created to bring back all files over 7 years old, excluding folders. I ran this report across the entire intranet application over a weekend and it worked a treat 🙂

SG-report

Microsoft 365 update for January 2019

After a brief hiatus here’s all the best bits of the Microsoft 365 update covering all the latest enhancements and updates to Microsoft Office 365.

Make sure you watch the video in full here: https://aka.ms/m365update-youtube

Improvements to Microsoft Teams

Shifts in Teams

Teams is introducing a new app called Shifts, which allows managers to plan, create and adjust their team’s schedules. Team members can also update their availability, review schedules, and request time off. Shifts replaces much of the functionality in Microsoft StaffHub, which is scheduled to be retired in October of 2019.

New Shifts app in Microsoft Teams

Custom navigation options

Everyone likes to use the tools within Teams differently. Now with the new customizable navigation experience Teams users on mobile devices, you can edit the navigation menu to prioritise the most important features that suit you. You will also soon be able to share you location information and record audio messages through the Teams app.

left: customising the navigation, centre: share location, right: record audio in Teams app

Find out more

Microsoft Stream plus forms integration

Stream is becomming more closely integrated with Forms which will allow you to seemlessly add quizzes, surveys, and polling right into the video. The results from these forms would be available to analyze to help improve the video content.

Stream will also be available to embed within PowerPoint presentations, along with all other video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

The Stream app for iOS is now available along with the android version.

Stream with forms integration

Find out more

New Yammer conversations webpart for SharePoint

New to the long list of readily available webparts in SharePoint is Yammer Conversations. You can include conversations from any Yammer group, topic, user or home feed onto just about any SharePoint page, news article, or site.

Yammer conversations webpart

Find out more

SharePoint Migration Tool generally available

The SharePoint Migration Tool is now in general availability, which along with the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool, these free tools are key to helping move forward the journey to Microsoft 365.

This free solution migrates content from on-premises SharePoint sites and file shares to SharePoint Online or OneDrive in Office 365.

Quirks of routing document sets

Recently I encountered an issue with a process that was created that routed document sets from one library into another. There were a number of document sets that followed this process that encountered errors when trying to move.

The process was automated via a standard sharepoint workflow, typically there were no useful errors in the workflow history list – just error occurred! Well as it turned out there wasn’t any issue with the workflow or the process of moving document sets to a drop-off library.

There are however, limitations when moving document sets to drop-off libraries to consider, such as:

Document Sets over 50MB in size cannot be moved to the drop-off library

Whether this is done using a workflow, or the send to feature a document set can’t be any bigger than 50MB.

docsets-filesize-error

Document Sets containing folders won’t move

By default, you aren’t able to create folders in document sets using native sharepoint controls. However you can bypass this by opening with explorer view. This will still result in the document set erroring when trying to move.

XML file types will cause issues

If your sharepoint environment allows for this type of file, it will still cause the document set to fail to move to the drop-off library.

Routing of Document Sets requires timer job

When document sets are sent to a drop-off library, they will wait there until content organizer rules route them to their destination. This process is is driven by the content organizer processing timer job, which runs daily by default.

If you have found any other quirks when routing document sets, please let me know…otherwise it’s a piece of cake 🙂