Holding Page during SharePoint Upgrade?

Tag: sharepoint Author: connykwj Date: 2009-08-01

We'll be upgrading a client's MOSS public internet site soon from a Cumulative Update to SP2 and are conscious that there will be downtime (to perform the upgrade and possibly troubleshooting!). We would like to add a holding page so that visitors still get access to key contact details and a message that the site is under maintenance.

Does anyone have any tips for doing this type of thing with SharePoint? I know of the app_offline.htm file that when dropped into the web root, will automatically prevent access to the rest of the site but wasn't sure if this was standard practice in the SharePoint world?

Any tips?

Cheers, James.

Best Answer

If the app_offline.htm works for you, then by all means, use it. I think that it will the best option for you, and to the best of my knowledge SharePoint doesn't have any other means of putting itself offline.

comments:

@Magnus: Do you know if this may cause any problems during the upgrade process? Does the config wizard need to access the site while performing the upgrade? I would assume not...
Maybe remembering wrong, but the wizard does stop / restart IIS & other services so you may find this a problem.
We're prepared for the momentary downtime caused by an IIS Reset. A simple html file won't suffer from any warming up time so the site should only be "offline" for seconds at a time. One thing we will need to do is remove any required reqources that are stored in SharePoint libraries (css, js, images etc.) and use a temporary resource folder for the html page to reference.

Other Answer1

As this is a public intranet site you are updating, presumably there is already a test environment for it that is close or the same in configuration. It is important to follow exactly the same steps for updating the test environment as you would for production. These should be documented as well and followed to the letter to reduce the likelihood of mistakes. This way you are much less likely to run into problems.

I would try app_offline.htm as you suggest (like Magnus I don't believe there is another way to take SharePoint offline). If your test environment updates with this in place you should be fine.