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SharePoint Online URLs can now be changed

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SharePoint Online URLs can now be changed: A new feature that has pros and cons to consider

When companies change their name or merge, the old URL in SharePoint Online and OneDrive often gets in the way. So far, the only solution was to migrate to a new Office 365 tenant, but Microsoft now allows tenant renaming as a test. But simply changing the name is not enough, there are a number of measures to be followed and problems to be considered.

Reasons for SharePoint URL changes

In the case of significant changes to the brand or company name, the tip used to be to migrate to a new Office 365 tenant. The reasons that necessitate renaming the URL can vary, including but not limited to:

  • Subsidiaries or business areas that want to appear independently to the outside world
  • New brand name
  • Spin-offs, takeovers, mergers
  • Aesthetic reasons, frequent readers, etc.

With the rename program, Microsoft has now taken on the problem in response to a widespread need from the customer environment. The program is not yet open to everyone; those interested can apply to participate.

First of all, it is important to note that only the SharePoint URL is affected, as Mike Weaver explains in his article. This also includes the URL for OneDrive for Business, but it does not change the known addresses according to the “.onmicrosoft.com” scheme. This is a separate entity, the Microsoft Online Email Routing Address (MOERA).

Five considerations when renaming SharePoint Online URL:

Even if the new option sounds interesting for many users, you should approach it with caution. The following five aspects must be taken into account:

Redirects make document sharing work

One of the most important features of renaming is the redirection of document URLs. This saves users from having to re-release all shared documents. This is always a big issue, especially with tenant-to-tenant migrations.

Redirects also create new problems

If users click on old release links, Office apps and browsers can branch off to the new tenant via appropriately stored redirects. However, many other applications cannot handle such redirects correctly and can no longer find such documents. Among other things, backup solutions for SharePoint and OneDrive should be considered.

The old admin URL remains – but there are errors lurking here

The old admin url will remain even after the renaming, which ensures that many functions or scripts will work.

At the same time, however, this has the major disadvantage that existing scripts cannot simply be globally adapted to the new URL using search-replace. That means a lot of work in the form of manual adjustments.

The duration of the conversion process is unpredictable

The renaming in the tenant may process as a background process. Under certain circumstances, the process can take longer than planned, i.e. over a weekend in the case of large tenants. This requires thorough preparation and organization, also with the Microsoft account team.

Preview program, and no final product yet

The new renaming function is still in the test phase, so only limited support is provided by Microsoft. Both the technicians and the affected business areas should be aware of the corresponding risks before they start renaming the SharePoint URL.

If you have any questions contact Al Rafay Consulting (ARC) for consulting, real estate solutions and art solutions.

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