Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Upgrading Office 365 SharePoint Online Sites to Wave 15 (2013)

If your Office 365 tenant has just been upgraded you won't see the new SharePoint Online features unless you manually upgrade your existing sites to the new 2013 platform.  New features include:
  • Better mobile experience
  • eDiscovery
  • Improved branding
  • New Business Intelligence and Business Connectivity Services capabilities (limited in SharePoint Online)
  • OneNote
  • PowerShell for SharePoint Online
  • Records Management & Compliance
  • Revamped Office Web Apps
  • Site Mailboxes
  • SkyDrive Pro
  • Social - including Yammer (the options for Yammer should show up by July for all tenants)
  • Totally reworked external file sharing
For a more extensive education about the new features of SharePoint 2013 visit Capabilities and features in SharePoint 2013 on TechNet or specifically for SharePoint Online - What’s new in SharePoint Online–top 10.

* Note: Please keep in mind that you should always test changes in a separate environment where possible before making production system changes like this.  During the process you will be presented with an option to set up a demo site with the new features.  If you have questions about how upgrading the service will affect your content and existing SharePoint environment I recommend you test on the demo site before following these instructions. *

Here are the steps you follow to upgrade your SharePoint sites:

1. Log in to your Office 365 tenant
2. You should see a bell icon in the top navigation bar:

3. Click the bell icon and a drop-down box with additional information will appear:

4. Click on the link to "Start using them" - it will take you to the SharePoint admin console.  Or if you don't have the alert you can just choose the Admin link on the top navigation bar and click the SharePoint option:

5. On the SharePoint Site Collections page find a collection that lists 2010 in the version column:
6. Check the box next to the 2010 site collection you wish to upgrade:

7. Click the Upgrade button and select the option for "Site collection upgrade settings":

8. Click the "Link to upgrade page" and your upgrade page will open in a new window:

9. Click the "Upgrade this Site Collection" button to begin your upgrade.  If you want a demo upgrade to test your applications follow the link provided:

10. Click the "I'm ready" button in the confirmation window.  Note that you cannot go back once you have upgraded.

11.  Depending on how busy the Office 365 SharePoint automated upgrade service is you may see a notification that you are "Waiting to Upgrade."  The screen will update periodically and when its your turn to upgrade (generally just a few minutes later) you will be forwarded to the upgrade screen.

12. While your upgrade is in progress you'll see some statistics and when it finishes the screen will update to the completed screen.

13. Within just a few minutes you should see your upgrade complete successfully.  You'll be provided links to discover the new features of SharePoint 2013 or to just go to your newly upgraded site collection.

14. Go back to your SharePoint - Site Collections screen and repeat the process for each 2010 collection.  Keep in mind that you'll need to log in with an account that has admin permissions for each site collection you upgrade.

You're done!  Go explore the new features and enjoy SharePoint 2013!
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  1. Interesting. We were converted for something called wave 14.5 and I was told it was in preparation to get us to wave 15 and the ultimate Office 365 upgrade. The upgrade messed up our branding and I chose to postpone rebranding in any meaningful way until we were at wave 15.

    We were upgraded last night. Our portal shows the upgrade complete with the exception of exchange. I do not see the bell. I realize your not here to consult, but can you comment on what I am seeing?

  2. Even if you don't see the bell you may be able to upgrade by going to the SharePoint admin console. Check that out.

    If your SharePoint sites still all say 2010 and you don't have any upgrade option then that means that your portal has been upgraded but that the back-end services for both Exchange and SharePoint are still on the old platform.

    From the day your upgrade "starts" it can be 1-2 weeks before it actually completes depending on the complexity of your Office 365 tenant, the services you use and many other factors.

    I guess I would say... be patient. Its a frustrating answer, I know, but its my best advice. If you don't see the new features in 1-2 weeks submit a ticket and see if they can tell you any more.

    Best of luck!

  3. I've been pondering over this for a while now but until now haven't done anything about it - We've been upgraded to Office 365 however when I try to upgrade the SharePoint sites the Allow Upgrade drop down is set to No and disabled - is there a way I can turn this on so I can complete the upgrade, or is there someone I should call? Still looking for a support number on the site...
    - Rob.

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