Friday, October 17, 2014

How To: Remove Collaboration Workspaces created from AX 2012 Enterprise Portal (EP)

AX has the ability to create collaboration workspaces for various records in AX (e.g. project, opportunity) automatically from within records in AX and have them available on a SharePoint workspace site.

The workspaces will show up in the workplace home page setup location in Figure 2 below using the template also in that configuration. You can get to the settings by going to System Administration > Setup > Enterprise Portal > ‘Collaboration workspace settings’.

That’s great that they’re there and they’re very useful, but once those workspaces are no longer needed, how can we get rid of them?
Figure 1 – The SharePoint AX EP site with collaboration workspaces added
Figure 2 – Legal entity settings for collaboration workspace system generation
While there is no ‘correct’ way to do this, keep in mind that the idea of this is to make AX managed SharePoint subsites for collaboration. That being said, the sites used were intended to be created, linked, and deleted from within AX. It doesn’t mean that they have to be.
To SharePoint administrators, they might go into SharePoint designer, open the link where the collaboration site is (Figure 3), right click on the site, and select ‘Delete’ (Figure 4). This works but it will create an inconsistency with data between AX and what actually exists. This will yield an HTTP 404 Not Found error when users attempt to get to the specific information that doesn’t exist (Figure 5).
The above would work but you SHOULD go into and update the individual records’ information that refer to this URL. That way, it the system won’t indicate that a site doesn’t exist.
Alternately, the site can be either deleted or ‘unlinked from within AX. Unlinking is nice as it will keep the subsite available for repurposes or archival reasons. For archives though, I’d still keep it… Removing the workspaces is as easy as the below. The bullet points I made should explain how it all ties together.
Navigate to Sales and Marketing > Common > Opportunities > All Opportunities, select the opportunity with the collaboration workspace. On the ‘General’ tab in the ribbon, click the drop down for ‘Collaboration workspaces’. There are four options (Figure 6):
·         Create collaboration workspace
o   Creates a collab workspace for the record.
o   This is a ground up workspace using the template specified in the
·         Link collaboration workspace
o   Allows a user to link an existing collab workspace to that AX record
·         Delete collaboration workspace
o   Deletes the entire collaboration workspace from SharePoint
o   The site will not show up in the EP list in Figure 1
o   If another record in AX is also using that collab workspace and the user attempts to delete the workspace, AX will only unlink the collab workspace from that record, not delete it
o   The Internal/External URL fields will become blank
·         Unlink collaboration workspace
o   Does not delete the collab workspace from SharePoint but removes the association with that specific record
o   The site will still show up in the EP list in Figure 1
o   If the workspace is linked to other records in AX, the association will still exist for those other records
o   The Internal/External URL fields will become blank
Some extra side notes:
Each object, in this case an opportunity can only have one collaboration workspace URL associated with it: an internal and external.
As hinted above in the bullet points, multiple entities in the system can be linked to a single collaboration workspace.

Figure 3 – Opening the workspace where the collaboration workspace is located
Figure 4 – Deleting the SharePoint Collaboration Workspace subsite in SharePoint Designer
Figure 5 – The data in AX will still show the collaboration workspace but the site does not exist (HTTP 404 Not Found error)

Figure 6 – Opportunities record in AX with the options for collaboration workspaces

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