Upgrading Fun with Portal Listings, Web Part Pages and System Generated Libraries

As you may well know, "area listings" or "portal listings" no longer exist in SharePoint 2007 and so are delt with slightly differently during an upgrade.

Basically, they are handled in one of two ways depending on their "content type".

  1. First a system generated list named "Listings" is created.  However, this is no longer a built-in list (you can now delete or rename it as you choose). A new "Listing" content type, (which inherits from the Link content type), is created and the new "Listings" list is set to use it.

    If a 2003 area/portal listing has it's content source as a "link/Url", it is simply upgraded/added to the new "Listings" list using the new "Listing" content type. (see John Powell's "What Happens to Listings During Upgrade and Migration" post for more details)

  2. If a 2003 area/portal listing has Html content stored against it (ie. in it's HtmlBlob attrib) then an additional "process" also occurs. A system generated doc library called "Pages" is created (by the Publishing feature) and a new "Article" page is added for each 2003 area/portal listing (using the Html as it's content).

OK... Wow, Great... everything taken care of.


However, I came accross a little problem during a client's recent upgrade.

If like many, you weren't satisfied with the capabilties of the Text Editor used by 2003 area/portal listings you may have figured out that you could create "Web Part Pages" and simply create a portal listing with the "link/Url"set to the web part page, thus giving you the fuctionality of the "Group Listings" web part, with the complete flexibility of "Web Part Pages".

(MS were even nice enough to include the "submit to portal" in the edit menu of the web part pages, which took you directly to the "add listing" page with the appropriate "link/Url" already set.)

Now if you happen to have created a Doc Library called "Pages" (say to store web part pages), the upgrade process kindly renames this to "Pages0" for you. BUT unfortunately it fails to update the "link/Url" of the new "Listing" accordingly.

Now if you have a mix of  2003 area/portal listings, some with Html content stored against them, others pointing to files in two doc libraries called "PDFs" and "Presentations" for example, and others pointing to "Web Part Pages" in a library called "Pages", then the results after an upgrade may appear slightly confusing.

Some of the new "listings/links" will be working correctly, namely the ones which had Html content are now "Article" pages in the system generated "Pages" library and the ones pointing to files in the unchanged "PDFs" and "Presentations" library.  However, the ones previously pointing to the "Web Part Pages" in the old "Pages" (now renamed as "Pages0") are no longer working. not everything's quite taken care of after all.... :(


Obviously any testing should flag this up as problem before the upgrade is finalised and (if you performing a Gradual Upgrade) whilst you're 2003 environment is still around, so fixing it shouldn''t really be that problematic.

You could rename your 2003 "Pages" library prior to the upgrade (however, depending on the number of area/portal listings, updating all of the "links/Urls" accordingly could be quite time consuming).

Alternatively, you can move the new "Article" pages from the renamed "Pages0" library to the system generated "Pages" library (can be done using SP Designer), thus making the Urls of the new "listings/links" valid.

Published by aobi
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