Understanding SharePoint 2010 Experience in SharePoint 2013

This is interesting post for me. Many would wonder why you would care about SharePoint 2010 experience in SharePoint 2013. Once I install brand new environment for SharePoint 2013, why would I worry about SharePoint 2010?

There are number of reasons why having co-existence of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 experience you would need.

  1. If you want to have environment to try out custom solutions built for SharePoint 2010 in SharePoint 2013 environment
  2. If you want to test the upgrade and restore SharePoint 2010 environment in SharePoint 2013 environment before upgrading them.
  3. If you want to compare side by side functionality and feature set of SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013

Bottom line is you would never need SharePoint 2010 environment to test SharePoint 2010 functionality once you built new SharePoint 2013 farm or upgrade to SharePoint 2013.

To create the new SharePoint 2010 site collection in SharePoint 2013 environment, Microsoft provides new option to choose “SharePoint 2010 Experience” on the site collection creation page. On this page, if you select “2010” experience, it would allow you to select SharePoint 2010 site templates to create SharePoint 2010 version of site collection in SharePoint 2013 environment.

Once you create 2010 site collection, SharePoint would create SharePoint 2010 version of site.

From the SharePoint 2010 version of site, you have option to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 from the Site Collection Administrator Setting section on the Site Settings page. In this section, you would notice two different options – Visual Upgrade and Site Collection Upgrade.

It is interesting to see Visual Upgrade as an option. This option has been removed from the SharePoint 2013 to allow end user to visually upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 (You don’t have this option on SharePoint 2013 version of Site Collection). This is one of those links lingered from the SharePoint 2010 site templates but accessing link assures all the visual upgrade options are disabled.

Site Collection Upgrade option allows site collection administrators to upgrade SharePoint 2010 experience to the SharePoint 2013 experience. On this page, either you can upgrade site collection right away or try out the demo upgrade.

I am not exactly sure, how demo upgrade would work in real world (whether it will send request to IT admins to carry out upgrade tasks for SharePoint Site Collection Administrators or it would fire up timer process to upgrade in temporary space) but clicking Upgrade this Site Collection will prompt for confirmation. If you confirm the site collection upgrade, you can visually see how Microsoft upgrades from SharePoint 2010 experience to SharePoint 2013.

There is no reason to refresh this page. This page would refresh every minute and after 5-10 minutes depends upon site collection size, it would confirm the final upgrade status.

Upon selecting “Let’s see new site” will take users to the upgraded site collection with SharePoint 2013 experience.

You may be wondering how Microsoft supports both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 experience on the SharePoint 2013 farm. My first response would be – why they didn’t do before? The real answer lies in the SharePoint root directories in the server file system. SharePoint 2013 has both 14 and 15 directories in the SharePoint root hosting both versions of source code, site templates, features etc.

This is pretty cool. I really wonder why Microsoft never took this path and kept all the version s of SharePoint hives in previous versions of this software. It would have been great supporting past versions of SharePoint especially MOSS 2007 with side by side 12, 14, and 15 directories. This is definitely one step in right direction for future co-existence and upgrade scenarios!!!!

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One Response to Understanding SharePoint 2010 Experience in SharePoint 2013

  1. Pingback: SharePoint 2013 – Deploy solutions to 14 and 15 Hive with Install-SPSolution : Learning SharePoint

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