Introduction to System Status Notifications in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 implements new System Status Notifications designed to provide site users information about lifecycle events to include availability of upgrade, maintenance, and read-only states.

System Status Notifications present important information about a SharePoint deployment and its availability, whether during upgrades, routine maintenance,  or conversion to read-only. Users are kept “in the know” as they receive a prominent banner on their sites that provides insight into the activity being performed—helping reduce calls to the help desk and subsequent burden on IT.

Farm administrators and developers can configure System Status Notifications to provide additional information to users and adjust upgrade delays.

SPWebApplication Properties

UpgradeReminderDelay

The UpgradeReminderDelay property is used to enable users to suppress the upgrade availability System Status Notification for a specified period of time.  Farm administrators can configure the UpgradeReminderDelay to allow users to suppress the UpgradeAvailable reminder for a period of time or alternatively set the value to 0 which shows users an UpgradeRequired reminder.  The default value is 30 (days).

image

Figure 1 above illustrates the System Status Notification when the UpgradeReminderDelay is set to a value greater than 0.

image

Figure 2 above illustrates the System Status Notification when the UpgradeReminderDelay is set to 0.

Configuring the UpgradeReminderDelay SPWebApplication property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            SPWebApplication webApp = SPWebApplication.Lookup(new Uri("http://sharepoint.contoso.com"));
            webApp.UpgradeReminderDelay = 90;
            webApp.Update();
        }
    }
}

Windows PowerShell

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$webApp.UpgradeReminderDelay = 90

$weApp.Update()

UpgradeMaintenanceLink

The UpgradeMaintenanceLink property is used to provide users additional information during the site collection upgrade process.  Farm administrators can use the UpgradeMaintenanceLink property to enable a More Information link in the System Status Notification during the upgrade process directing users to a location where more information is available related to the upgrade process.  The default value for the UpgradeMaintenanceLink property is null therefore no More Information link is displayed to users.

image

Figure 3 Illustrates the System Status Notification when the UpgradeMaintenanceLink is not null.

Configuring the UpgradeMaintenanceLink SPWebApplication property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
     class Program
     {
         static void Main(string[] args)
         {
             SPWebApplication webApp = SPWebApplication.Lookup(new Uri("http://sharepoint.contoso.com"));
             webApp.UpgradeMaintenanceLink = "http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-help/training-courses-for-sharepoint-2013-HA104030990.aspx";
             webApp.Update();
         }
     }
}

Windows PowerShell

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$webApp.UpgradeMaintenanceLink =  “http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-help/training-courses-for-sharepoint-2013-HA104030990.aspx”

$webApp.Update()

ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink

The ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink property is used to provide users additional information when a site collection is set to read-only or a content database is configured to read-only in Microsoft SQL Server.  Farm administrators can use the ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink property to enable a More information link in the System Status Notification while a site collection or content database is in a read-only state.  The default value for the ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink is null therefore no More Information link is displayed to users.  For example, if a farm administrator would like to provide additional information on the read-only experience for users, the ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink can be configured with a More information link that directs users to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd793608.aspx#proc1.

image

Figure 4 Illustrates the System Status Notification when the ReadOnly property for a SPSite is set to $true.

image

Figure 5 Illustrates the System Status Notification when the content database for a SPSite is set to read-only.

Configuring the ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink SPWebApplication property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
     {
         static void Main(string[] args)
         {
             SPWebApplication webApp = SPWebApplication.Lookup(new Uri("http://sharepoint.contoso.com"));
             webApp.ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink = "http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd793608.aspx#proc1";
             webApp.Update();
         }
     }
}

Windows PowerShell

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$webApp.ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink = “http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd793608.aspx#proc1”;

$webApp.Update()

NOTE

If a site collection or content database is set to read-only, the read-only message is displayed, upgrade status notifications are not displayed.  If ReadOnlyMaintenanceLink is not empty, a More Information link will be displayed.

If a site collection or content database is not read-only, and an upgrade is processing, “the site is currently being upgraded” is displayed.  If UpgradeMaintenanceLink is not empty, a More Information link will be displayed.

If a site collection or content database is not read-only, not upgrading, and the site is in 2010 mode, and current user is site collection admin:

  • If SPWebApplication.UpgradeReminderDelay is greater than 0, “upgrade is available” notification will be displayed. Clicking on the “remind me later” will update the SPSite.UpgradeReminderDate to be in n days, and dismiss the notification.
  • When SPWebApplication.UpgradeReminderDelay is 0, site admin will see “upgrade is required” notification. There will be no “remind me later” option. The notification will be displayed on every browse, and have to be manually dismissed each time.

 

UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays

The UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays SPWebApplication property is used to specify the default number days after which upgrade evaluation sites will be deleted. The expiration date for upgrade evaluation sites is set based on their creation date plus this value in days.  For example, in the event a site collection administrator requests an evaluation site collection, and that site collection is created on 4/16/2013, the evaluation site collection will be deleted on 5/16/2013 (the default value is 30 days).

image

Figure 6 Illustrates the System Status Notification when the UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays is set.

Configuring the UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays SPWebApplication property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
     {
         static void Main(string[] args)
         {
             SPWebApplication webApp = SPWebApplication.Lookup(new Uri("http://sharepoint.contoso.com"));
             webApp.UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays = 90;
             webApp.Update();
         }
     }
}

Windows PowerShell

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$webApp.UpgradeEvalSitesRetentionDays = 90;

$webApp.Update()

SPSiteUpgradeThrottleSettings

This class stores the throttle settings for large site upgrade, for example, a farm administrator can throttle the upgrade of site collections with a specified number of sites.

See also SPSiteUpgradeThrottleSettings members (Microsoft.SharePoint.

SPSite Properties

UpgradeReminderDate

The UpgradeReminderDate SPSite property is used to specify a date after which site collection administrators will be reminded to upgrade the site collection.

Configuring the UpgradeReminderDate SPSite property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            SPSite site = new SPSite("http://sharepoint.contoso.com");

            System.DateTime today = System.DateTime.Now;
            System.TimeSpan duration = new System.TimeSpan(30, 0, 0, 0);

            site.UpgradeReminderDate.Add(duration);
        }
    }
}

Windows PowerShell

$site = Get-SPSite http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$today = Get-Date

$duration = $today.AddDays(30)

$site.UpgradeReminderDate.Add($duration)

ExtendUpgradeReminderDate

The ExtendUpgradeReminderDate SPSite property is used to extend the upgrade reminder date for a site collection by the days specified at UpgradeReminderDate.  When called, it adds SPWebApplication.UpgradeReminderDelay to the current time, stores it in SPSite.UpgradeReminderDelay.

Configuring the ExtendUpgradeReminderDate SPSite property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            SPSite site = new SPSite("http://sharepoint.contoso.com");
            site.ExtendUpgradeReminderDate();
        }
    }
}

Windows PowerShell

$site = Get-SPSite http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$site.ExtendUpgradeReminderDate()

More Information  

System Status Notifications are rendered through sending JavaScript to the page head and do not implement server-side controls.  The ExtendUpgradeReminderDate is implemented as an xmlHttp object that sends a REST call to web.Url/_api/Site/ExtendUpgradeReminderDate.

AllowSelfServiceUpgrade

The AllowSelfServiceUpgrade SPSite property is used to specify whether version to version upgrade is allowed on a site collection.  If the AllowSelfServiceUpgrade property is set to false site collection administrators will not be able to upgrade their site collection, if set to true, site collection administrators can perform a self-service (Deferred Site Collection Upgrade).  Farm administrators can control the upgrade process either en masse or selectively by disabling self-service upgrade.

image

Figure 7 illustrates configuring the AllowSelfServiceUpgrade SPSite property to $false.

Configuring the AllowSelfServiceUpgrade SPSite property:

C#

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration;

namespace Sample_Maintenance_Link_Code
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            SPSite site = new SPSite("http://sharepoint.contoso.com");
            site.AllowSelfServiceUpgrade = false;
        }
    }
}

Windows PowerShell

$site = Get-SPSite http://sharepoint.contoso.com

$site.AllowSelfServiceUpgrade = $false;

Summary

A completely revised, backward-compatible upgrade experience is designed to balance the needs of users with those of IT. Because changing software is often difficult, SharePoint Server 2013 enables IT to upgrade SharePoint Server 2010 without having to upgrade users’ sites and content. These upgrades are deferred to the users, allowing them to choose when the time is right.

New evaluation site collections allow users to request an evaluation of the upgrade prior to upgrading production content; if satisfied with the experience, site collection administrators then can upgrade their content. It’s important to note that whether you have deployed SharePoint Server 2010 on-premises or subscribe to SharePoint Online in Office 365, the full upgrade capability is available.

Get Started with SharePoint Server 2013 Quickly on Windows Azure

In order to remain competitive in today’s business climate you need to be able to respond to change and challenges quickly.  Sometimes that means adjusting your SharePoint infrastructure on a moment’s notice to maintain a competitive advantage.

Infrastructure as a Service solves these challenges through a ready-to-use, pay as you go solution which means you can deploy in hours as opposed to days, whether you’re looking to deploy a simple SharePoint-based Internet site or to quickly provision a development environment.

SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure Virtual Machines enables you to rapidly deploy and host your business websites on a secure, scalable cloud infrastructure.

What are Windows Azure Virtual Machines?

Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable organizations to deploy custom Windows Server images to Windows Azure. Virtual Machines provide developers complete control of the application environment and allow easy migration of existing applications to the cloud. To learn more about Windows Azure Virtual Machines see also http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/scenarios/virtual-machines/.

How can I benefit from Azure IaaS?

Business Mobility

Windows Azure Virtual Machines allow you to easily move your applications and infrastructure back and forth from on-premises to the cloud without requiring any changes to the existing code – if you’ve virtualized SharePoint 2013 in on-premises you can quickly and easily move your virtual hard drives between your datacenter and the cloud.

License Mobility

With License Mobility through Software Assurance, you can deploy certain server application licenses purchased under your Volume Licensing agreement in an Authorized Mobility Partner’s datacenter. To learn more about License Mobility see also http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/license-mobility.aspx . With License Mobility through Software Assurance, you can deploy certain server application licenses purchased under your Volume Licensing agreement in an Authorized Mobility Partner’s datacenter.

Hybrid Connectivity

Windows Azure IaaS enables IT to establish a VPN connection to on-premises infrastructure which means you don’t need to move your Active Directory infrastructure to the cloud, simply deploy SharePoint 2013 in Windows Azure IaaS and have users authenticate behind the firewall.  Hybrid connectivity also means you can connect to your line of business applications behind the firewall with your Azure IaaS deployment.

Getting Started

To get started with SharePoint 2013 on Windows Azure navigate to the Windows Azure Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com/) and sign-in with your credentials.

Select + New.

Select Compute click Virtual Machine and click From Gallery

On the Create Virtual Machine Dialog click Platform Images and then click SharePoint Server 2013 Trial.

image

Click -> Next.

Complete the remaining details to provision your virtual machine.

NOTE

Extra Large, A6, or A7 are the recommended virtual machine sizes recommended for use with SharePoint Server 2013.

The virtual machine contains a complete installation of SharePoint Server 2013 and expires on October 16, 2013. To continue using the virtual machine after October 16, 2013 you will need to convert the installation to use a Retail or Volume License key. SharePoint Server 2013 and prerequisites are preinstalled with links to SharePoint 2013 Central Administrations, the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell, and SharePoint Products Configuration on the desktop. SQL Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 or SQL Server 2012 is required to complete the configuration.

Conclusion

Azure enables IT to reduce overhead and operation burden allowing more time and resources to focus on innovation.  Through a flexible IaaS architecture you can scale on demand adding compute capacity as it becomes necessary, quickly, without having to install additional hardware in your data centers, reducing your compute footprint – you’ll spend less time supporting hardware and more time innovating.

Resources

Learn more about Windows Azure

SharePoint on Windows Azure Video