Files Channel Tab Loses Connection to SharePoint
Being able to rename the URLs for SharePoint sites was one of the most popular features shipped by Microsoft in 2019. Site renames work and SharePoint makes sure that old links work too by creating redirects for the old URLs, but there are some known side-effects of a site rename that should be considered before proceeding. Losing the connection between the Files channel tab in Teams and the underlying SharePoint document library is one of the known problems. Figure 1 shows the error that you see if Teams can’t connect to SharePoint.
Microsoft’s documentation notes that the “issue is actively being worked on and will be addressed soon.” The problem has been known for several months and Microsoft rolled out a fix in mid-November. The original fix made sure that site renames no longer affected Teams and a backfill process run by SharePoint corrected the link in any sites that had been renamed to that point. At least, that was the plan. And like any good plans, it survived until the first hiccup, which was when some renamed sites stubbornly refused to cooperate.
A new fix takes care of the recalcitrant sites and restores the connection between Teams and SharePoint. The fix will roll out over the coming weeks.
MVPs and Microsoft Development Groups
Part of the unique joy of being a Microsoft MVP is the opportunity to work with development groups to test new features (always interesting) or chase down problems (maybe not as interesting, but often more valuable). I’ve been helping the Teams developers figure out what went wrong and how to fix the problem for a while. The process was slowed by the holidays, but everything clicked in the new year, meaning that the Files channel tab started to display the right information (Figure 2).
You might consider that Microsoft was slow in fixing a problem affecting two major Office 365 applications. It’s true that solving the issue took more time than predicted or desired, but that’s probably due to the nature of cloud software distributed across multiple Office 365 datacenter regions and SharePoint Online farms, the need to gather and analyze logs and run tests, and so on. The other point is that this issue only affected a small number of renamed sites which have a mixture of upper and lowercase letters in the new site URL. In any case, the bug is now squashed and we can now rename sites happily in no danger that Teams will be affected (the other side effects still remain).
The writing team for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook are all MVPs, which explains where we get some of our information and insight that we share in the book. But of course, we can’t tell you the really interesting stuff… If we did, we’d lose our MVP status.