We don't want people calling the help desk, do we?


This pilot fish is responsible for SharePoint administration for a part of his company's intranet that's heavily used for managing everything from proposals to work products and deliverables.

"Early one Monday, I tried to get into SharePoint and could not," fish says. "A call to the help desk told me that SharePoint was down and they were re-booting, but it would be up shortly. An hour or so later, an email went out saying SharePoint was back up."

And shortly after that, fish starts getting frantic emails from one of the project teams. It seems that a whole series of project deliverables -- due that day -- are missing all the edits and formatting done late the previous week.

Fish tells the users to check their drafts folders and make sure everything is checked in. Then he looks at the team's SharePoint site -- and discovers that, according to the version history, nothing has been updated since early Thursday.

While the project team is researching the problem, fish gets back to work on a proposal of his own. But when he pulls up a section he revised on Friday, he finds it's missing changes too.

He checks a separate project -- a few libraries he worked on the previous week. Nothing there has been updated since Thursday either.

Fish calls the help desk again. What exactly is going on with SharePoint? he demands. This time he gets a slightly straighter answer: SharePoint was down because there was a "problem," and everything on the server had to be restored. Unfortunately, the last good backup was the one from Thursday.

"Based on past history with our IT team, I didn't bother asking why they didn't have a fresher backup," says fish. "But I did ask why their email didn't mention that users had lost everything done on Friday.

"The response: 'It would have generated tons of calls to the help desk.'"

Tell Sharky about it. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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