Students Staff

Management Information Systems

March 12, 2015

[Service Alert] Problem with some online services that require authentication

Filed under: Management Information Systems, Other, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Dan Jolly @ 9:54 am

We currently have a problem with some online services that require authentication. More information to follow.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 16, 2014

SharePoint is changing

Filed under: Management Information Systems, News, SharePoint — Dan Jolly @ 3:58 pm

Information Systems Services (ISS) are committed to maintaining SharePoint as a platform for delivering corporate systems, and electronic document management.

The University is currently using SharePoint 2007 which Microsoft will soon cease to support. In order to continue to provide you with a robust and fully supported SharePoint service, it is critical that we make upgrades.

When is this happening?

Between the dates of Thursday 3 July and Monday 7 July 2014 we will be moving all SharePoint sites over to SharePoint 2013, hosted on a set of six brand new servers.

What will be the benefits of the migration?

  • Better, faster hardware.
  • A more resilient SharePoint service (all new servers will be paired with a second server in the new set up).
  • Microsoft supported.
  • New look SharePoint sites.
  • Improved search.
  • Mobile compatibility.
  • New features including: real-time document thumbnail previews and in-browser editing of Word and Excel documents.

How will this affect you?

  1. From 6pm on Thursday 3 July 2013 we will be preventing any further changes to any SharePoint sites. We will do this by making all SharePoint sites read-only until the migration is complete. This is to protect users from losing any data once the migration process has started.
  2. There will not be any prolonged period of downtime as our old servers will continue to host your site (as read-only) during the migration. However, there may be a brief break in service on the day we switch over from the old servers to the new ones, most likely out-of-working hours.
  3. Some site’s URLs (web addresses) will change after the migration. We will be retiring the URL of https://mylife.essex.ac.uk and replacing it with https://sp.essex.ac.uk, and personal sites will move from https://mylife.essex.ac.uk to https://mysite.essex.ac.uk . We are also taking this opportunity to consolidate the URLs in use on https://sp.essex.ac.uk. You will need to inform your users, and update any bookmarks, although ISS will also be taking appropriate measures to redirect users to the new web addresses. To see a full list of URL changes click here.
  4. Users of our Outlook plugin for ESF and UG/PG EAF services will need a new version of the Outlook plugin to be installed. (Instructions will be circulated to affected users.)
  5. Users who need to scan in documents for ESF and UG/PG EAF services will need new software installed called ‘Websio’ to replace the old software called ‘Dark Blue Duck’. (Instructions will be circulated to affected users.)
  6. Once the migration is complete, all SharePoint sites will look different. Any sites which use customised templates, called ‘themes’, may lose some, or all, of their customisations. In such cases the sites will revert back to the default SharePoint look.
  7. Some webparts which were available in SharePoint 2007 are no longer available in SharePoint 2013.
  8. Some URLs (web addresses) of specific SharePoint libraries will change. If an existing SharePoint 2007 site contains a library which has a ‘Library Title’ that differs to the URL used to access it, the new library on SharePoint 2013 will change the URL to match the ‘Library Title’. SharePoint 2013 will adapt automatically to this URL change – updating navigation and links within your site to cope. It is only if the URL is published or used elsewhere outside of your SharePoint site, that hyperlinks will need updating to reflect the new URL.

Training

We understand that the upgrade to SharePoint 2013 may make the environment unfamiliar to users, and will therefore necessitate some user training, although priority will be given to our users of ESF and UG/PG EAF corporate services. Details and dates to be confirmed.

What you can do nowsharepoint-needs-you-230

  • Don’t plan any major changes to your SharePoint site for the days surrounding the migration dates.
  • Ensure that any documents/pages you are editing are checked-in before 5pm on 3 July.
  • If you have a ‘mylife’ site which is using workflows, these may be broken by the migration if they are still ‘in process’ when the migration starts. To minimise issues:
  • Aim to complete any that are ‘in process’ before 3 July.
  • Do not start any new workflows until after the migration is complete.

IMPORTANT: This does not apply to workflows for ESF and UG/PG EAF.

How you can help

The migration will not mean any loss of data. However, we will be asking site owners to test their sites post migration to ensure all is working as expected. Particular attention will need to be paid to any sites containing workflows or reports as these will need specific testing to ensure they have retained functionality correctly.

Keeping in touch

Please forward this information to colleagues whom you feel would benefit from its content.

If you have any queries resulting from this correspondence, please email the SharePoint Team: sphelp@essex.ac.uk.

Subscribe to the all-new SharePoint Users Group to stay up-to-date with announcements, training, and helpful hints about SharePoint 2013 by email.

Thank you,

SharePoint Team (MIS)
Information Systems Services

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

September 3, 2013

Important information for SharePoint MyLife Site owners

Filed under: Management Information Systems, News, SharePoint — Dan Jolly @ 5:27 pm

Information Systems Services (ISS) are committed to maintaining SharePoint as a platform for delivering corporate systems, and electronic document management.

The University is currently using SharePoint 2007 which Microsoft will soon cease to support. In order to continue to provide a robust and fully supported SharePoint service, it is critical that we make upgrades to the systems that both host and store MyLife site content.

In the early part of the Autumn Term we will be migrating all MyLife sites over to SharePoint 2013, hosted on a set of six brand new servers.

What will be the benefits of the migration?

  • Better, faster hardware;
  • A more resilient SharePoint service (all new servers will be paired with a second server in the new set up);
  • Microsoft supported;
  • New look SharePoint sites.

How will this affect site owners?

In the days prior to the migration we may prevent changes to MyLife sites. (Or we may simply request that site owners avoid making changes until after the migration is compete.)

We do not anticipate any prolonged period of downtime as our old servers will continue to host sites for the time being, although there may be a brief break in service on the day we switch over from the old servers to the new ones.

Site web addresses will change after the migration. We will be retiring the web address of https://mylife.essex.ac.uk and replacing it with https://sp.essex.ac.uk, plus we are taking the opportunity to consolidate the web addresses in use . Site owners will need to inform their users, and update any bookmarks – although ISS will also be take appropriate measures to redirect users to the new content locations.

Please note we are not permitting creation of any new MyLife sites until after the migration.

Once the migration is complete, sites will look different. Here is a PDF showing the sort of new look screens you can expect to see, at least initially. (Further changes to the appearance may follow at a much later date, with the aim of reflecting the University’s brand in the SharePoint Service.)

We are aware that the upgrade to SharePoint 2013 will make the environment unfamiliar to users, and will therefore necessitate some user training, which will be provided. Details will be circulated.

What we need site owners to do now

  1. The migration will not mean any loss of data. However, we will be asking site owners to test their sites, post migration, to ensure all is working as expected. Particular attention will need to be paid to any sites containing workflows, or reports, as these will need specific testing to ensure they have retained functionality correctly. If you believe your site(s) contain workflows or reports, please email sphelp (non-Essex users add @essex.ac.uk) for more specific guidance, before 16 September 2013.
  2. Please also check the document detailing the proposed  web address changes. If you have any problems with the proposal for your site(s) you must contact  sphelp before 10am Monday 9 September 2013. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you are happy with the proposed changes.
  3. If you know of any printed publications which contain one or more MyLife site URLs please e-mail sphelp as soon as possible, so we can accommodate those URLs when planning the redirection of users to the new location, post migration.
  4. If you know that you have a MyLife SharePoint site which is no longer needed, and which can be safely deleted, please also contact sphelp.

When is this happening?

The exact date of the migration is pending confirmation, but we will notify site owners as soon as this is known.

Further information

If you have any queries resulting from this news post, please e-mail sphelp.

Please circulate this information to colleagues whom you feel would benefit from its content. (If you have sub-sites within your site, please forward to the owners of those sites.)

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

 

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