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Updating from the VisualSP Classic Solution to the Modern Solution

Applies to: VisualSP
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Overview

AUDIENCE: Owners / admins of an on-premise SharePoint farm using the VisualSP Classic product

PURPOSE: Defining the process for you to move from our classic product, which is embedded within the SharePoint classic mode ribbon tab, to our modern product, which is compatible with SharePoint’s classic and modern interfaces – and beyond.

Preparation

  1. Provide basic information about your organization.

Send an email to your customer success representative identifying the required information for us to create a subscription for your organization. This subscription is where we setup the features, content, and configuration you are licensed to use.

Domain name(s) used for user accounts  
Primary contact within your organization for VisualSP  
Destination address for any feedback collected by the tool  

Include any special requests you may have discussed with your customer success representative. For example, it is possible to hide the new help tab from non-admins until your desired launch date. You may also wish to try using the modern solution to support other tools outside of your on-prem SharePoint farm.

  1. Collect metadata from the custom help items in your classic solution.

We’ve written a PowerShell script that can gather this information for you automatically into a format we can refine and use for importing to the modern solution.

This script finds all site collections that are configured to host help items, and exports those help items to a CSV file for analysis and conversion.

Reference: Find VisualSP provider sites and export help items – VisualSP Support
  1. Install the modern solution on your SharePoint farm

As in all deployments regardless of product or method, we always recommend performing the steps in a non-production farm first. This will help you become familiar with the architecture and process of the solution, as well as potentially identify any unique challenges in your environment.

Activating VisualSP throughout a SharePoint farm is addressed in the following knowledge article

Reference: Deploy VisualSP to SharePoint On-Premises via PowerShell
  1. Import your custom help items into the modern solution

Our Bulk Help Item Uploading tool provides a spreadsheet template to help you build a list of items to import.

Titles, URLs, and other core meta-data about your help items can be copied / pasted from the export gathered in step 2.

Once the contents of this spreadsheet are ready, use the associated PowerShell script as described in this article to convert it into JSON format so that it’s ready to import directly into your subscription.

Reference: Use the Bulk Help Item Uploading Tool – VisualSP Support
  1. Remove the classic solution from your SharePoint farm

Now that the modern solution is installed and your content is migrated into it – simply remove the classic solution from your SharePoint farm using our installation wizard.

Reference: Uninstall-VisualSP-Classic.pdf

If you would prefer to use more traditional SharePoint admin tools to remove our classic solution, this is possible using the Central Administration site.

Updated on December 19, 2023

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