Well, it took me a while, but I solve this problem. In my first post about it, I explained how I was having trouble figuring out what features installed in my local VM were causing the problems instantiating my demo site in Office365 – SharePoint Online.
I got stuck with the feature that has the GUID af6d9aec-7c38-4dda-997f-cc1ddbb87c92. When I wrote the post and tweeted about it, Chris Beckett (@sharepointbits) did some digging to find out what the feature was all about. It seemed that a forced deactivation was probably the right next step. (Check the comments on my original post for the details from Chris.) Then I got busy and didn’t get to it again until today.
Since I’m speaking at the first Office365 Saturday out in Redmond in a few weeks, I really needed to get my demos copied up into my Office365 site. What sort of talk would it be if I just waved my hands and said “Imagine that this demos is taking place in Office365?”
Today I finally got back to it. The first thing I did was look for some hints about how to work with features using PowerShell. I’ve done a little bit with PowerShell on and off, but not frequently enough to remember all the commands.
I found the perfect post from Corey Roth (@coreyroth) called Activating and Deactivating Features with PowerShell in SharePoint 2010. It had exactly the right examples to help me and it was written at exactly the right level (PowerShell newbie). Yeah, I know I should be loving PowerShell and doing all sorts of things with it every waking moment, but the way I work with SharePoint I rarely need it.
First, I wanted to see what the feature actually was, just to verify what Chris told me and to make sure that I wouldn’t be shooting myself in the foot by deactivating it. Easy as pie with Corey’s example:
It was indeed something to do with Web Analytics Custom Reports, something which I don’t care about at all in my VM, so I was fine with getting rid of it.
On to the next PowerShell command to deactivate the feature:
That was pretty painless. I saved the site I wanted to move to Office365 as a template again and uploaded it to the Office365 Solution Gallery.
This time when I went to create a new site, it worked! Yippee!
I’m sticking with my original points on this, though. One shouldn’t need a Microsoft Certified Master on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010‘s help (that would be Chris) to move a site from one environment to another. Clearly, this isn’t my forte in the SharePoint space, but I still say that the error messages should be clearer and also suggest a way to a resolution. And I still think that poor Sandie, my intrepid SharePoint administrator, would be stuck in this case unless she is very good at what she does. It shouldn’t be so opaque and difficult.