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The most common issues with SharePoint

Even at its most basic, SharePoint is a complex application that offers a massive amount of functionality.  For most businesses, this complexity is heightened through the addition of different plug ins and customisations to help tailor it to specific needs.  As with all complex applications, things go wrong sometimes, and this can lead to major problems in businesses which rely on the platform to manage processes and facilitate work.

Sometimes, even a simple failure can cause a cascade of problems for end users, and it can be difficult for inexperienced technical staff to properly identify the root cause of an issue and resolve it efficiently.  This can result in the symptom rather than the disease being cured, and as a result, many instances of SharePoint build up significant technical debt as patches and fixes are applied to a creaking foundation.

Slow SharePoint Performance

One of the most common issues with SharePoint is slow performance – either accessing documents or data can take a long time and even fail.  This can be frustrating for staff and cause delays in work being completed.

Unfortunately, slow performance can be a symptom with many different causes.

The immediate reaction of many SharePoint technical support staff when faced with poor performance is that the SharePoint may be insufficiently powerful to handle the demands of the application. 

If SharePoint has been hosted in a cloud environment, then increasing the spec of the different VMs that underpin the farm is straightforward, however there is a cost to this, and in the case of a legacy SharePoint hosting arrangement, it may not be possible to simply up the power.

While insufficient power in the SharePoint farm may be the cause of the slow performance, the real root is often software based – commonly an issue with the indexing software running when it shouldn’t or an add-on demanding more resources than it should.  Under these circumstances, simply increasing the spec of the SharePoint farm will not solve the problems.  Out of control applications will simply consume the additional resource and the problem will recur.  If the technical response to slow performance is simply to “add more”, then the issue with continue to grow – along with the hosting costs.

To accurately diagnose the cause of performance issues, a support specialist will need to audit the log files for SharePoint to identify what is consuming resource.  If this is a specific application or system within SharePoint, the specialist may need to disable, update, or reinstall the application.  There may be a configuration issue which is causing the add-on to request data to frequently, or simply a missing file which is not returning the correct error code.

Taking the time to analyse the cause of the performance issue and resolving it properly may mean that you do not need to upgrade the SharePoint farm – which will help with costs.

Lost Documents in SharePoint

SharePoint’s document management features are a boon to remote workers who need to collaborate with colleagues and access information anywhere.  However, like all file management systems, documents can be lost – either by being deleted or misplaced.

Missing documents can be a major headache within a business – especially if they are at the core of a common workflow.

Recovering a deleted document

If a document has simply been deleted, then recovery is straightforward.  Just like the file manager on your PC, SharePoint has a recycling bin where files are stored prior to being fully deleted.  For security, the recycling bin can only be accessed by the administrator of a Site Collection.

Once they have logged in, they can navigate to the folder and recover any documents that have been placed there in error.

Finding a misplaced document

Saving a file in the wrong place is something we have all done, and it can be frustrating trying to locate it quickly when it is needed.

SharePoint search can be incredibly helpful in these instances.  All files are indexed on the server and a full text version is stored in the database.  This means that provided you are able to remember either the name of the file, or a snippet of information from within it, you can simply search for it, recover it, and then re-save it in the correct location.

Do you need help with SharePoint?

If your business is struggling with SharePoint – either because it does not meet your needs and you want to upgrade, or that you are having regular issues with performance or compatibility, we are here to help.

Contact a member of our team today to discuss your needs and we will provide you with the ongoing support that you need to ensure that SharePoint works correctly.

Call now on 0203 697 0302 to speak to a member of our team

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