SharePoint 2013 Upgrade Improvements

SharePoint 2013 has got a great set of features that would certainly entice existing SharePoint users to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. Along with the feature set improvements, SharePoint 2013 also brings in a lot of improvements to the upgrade process that makes the upgrade easier, manageable and flexible.

The improvements that are available in SharePoint 2013 upgrade process include

  • Upgrading Service Applications
  • Site Collection health checker
  • Deferred site collection upgrade
  • True SharePoint 2010 mode
  • Upgrade cycle event notifications
  • Upgrade Performance throttles

Upgrading Service Applications

As the database attach is the only upgrade method allowed in SharePoint 2013 an upgrade will only upgrade the content and not the settings. However, SharePoint 2013 allows the below services databases to be upgraded separately after configuring them in SharePoint 2013

  • Business connectivity services
  • Managed Metadata services
  • Performance point services
  • Search services
  • User Profile Service
  • Secure store services

Site Collection health checker

Site collection health checker rules allow site collection administrators or owners to run a set of rules against a site collection to detect issues and address them before upgrading. The rules that are included in site health checker are

  • Customized Files
  • Missing Galleries
  • Missing Site Templates
  • Unsupported Language Pack References
  • Unsupported MUI(Multi User Interface) References

The health checks have to be performed manually and after the execution is complete a report with the list of potential issues and way to address them will be generated.

Deferred site collection upgrade

SharePoint 2013 allows Site collection owners to upgrade their sites to the new SharePoint 2013 user interface on their own timeline. Deferred site collection upgrade replaces the visual upgrade feature in SharePoint 2010 and allows using the UI from SharePoint Server 2010 more seamlessly. With the differed update the master page, CSS, Scripts, and features will remain in SharePoint Server 2010 mode.

True SharePoint 2010 mode

Visual upgrade in SharePoint 2010 is not a true preview because the site itself has already been upgraded to the new functionality and some web parts may not display correctly. In SharePoint 2013 upgrade, site collections are not upgraded when content databases are upgraded to new version and administrators can view the site in true  SharePoint 2010 mode

Upgrade cycle event notifications

Sharepoint 2013 upgrade process allows administrators to determine whether to allow site collection administrators to upgrade their sites to 2013.  Administrators will be able to control the following upgrade options and upgrade notifications

  • Whether the site collection administrators can upgrade their site collections.
  • Which Sharepoint version mode (2010 or 2013, or both) is available when site collections are created.
  • Whether to add a link to more information from the Upgrading now the status bar.
  • The number of days to wait before sending an upgrade reminder  to site collection administrator

Upgrade Performance throttles

Throttles are set up by default to prevent performance degrades even if many site collection administrators decide to upgrade their site collections to SharePoint 2013 at the same time. The throttles are built in at the web application, database, and content level. Administrators can also override the default throttle settings when they do an Upgrade.