Troubleshooting SharePoint Online source issues

This article provides help troubleshooting common issues when indexing content with the SharePoint Online source.

Identify the issue you’re facing using the case context and symptoms provided. Then, apply the recommended resolution steps and rebuild your source.

Important

Troubleshooting symptoms are provided as a guide. Actual symptoms may vary. For example, Coveo may or may not return an error mentioned among the issue symptoms.

Review the Activity Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page for a fuller picture of an abnormal indexing activity. You can also download the source update logs for a chronological account of what happened during the indexing process.

Issues are divided into categories. Click a category description below to reach the related section.

Missing items

URL exclusion

Context and symptoms:

  • You’re using the Hub sites or Specific items content to include option.

  • All pages accessible through one of the source URLs you specified aren’t indexed.

  • The Activity Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page may display a NO_DOCUMENT_INDEXED error code.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: Your current inclusion and exclusion filters may be filtering out the URL you specified.

To be accessed, a URL must meet the following requirements:

  • It must not match any exclusion rule.

  • It must match at least one inclusion rule.

Default wildcard (*) inclusion filter required

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: When using the All sites or Hub sites option, Coveo accesses a special SharePoint Online API endpoint to discover sites in your tenant. This endpoint has a unique URL that makes it hard to include in the inclusion scope.

Resolution:

  1. Open your source.

  2. Use the * wildcard inclusion filter, as illustrated below.

    Using the wildcard inclusion filter | Coveo

  3. Save your changes.

List, library, or site isn’t configured to be indexed

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: SharePoint Online has settings to prevent list, library, and site items from being indexed. Coveo only indexes items that are configured to be indexed in SharePoint Online. For example, if items in a specific list don’t appear in your SharePoint Online source, the Allow items from this list to appear in search results? list setting may be set to No.

Resolution:

Make sure the list, library, or site setting allows indexing. The following procedure shows how to allow indexing for a list by selecting Yes for the Allow items from this list to appear in search results? option. The option name for the library and site settings are similar. The site indexing setting is located under Site Settings > Search and Offline Availability.

To allow indexing for a list

  1. In your SharePoint Online site, click the list you want to index.

  2. Click the Settings icon in the upper-right, and then click List settings.

  3. In the General Settings section, click Advanced settings.

  4. Next to Search, select Yes for the Allow items from this list to appear in search results? option.

    Allow items to appear in search results

  5. Click Reindex List, and then confirm the action.

  6. Click OK.

Too many requests

Context and symptoms:

Indexing stops with the Activity Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) displaying a TOO_MANY_REQUESTS error code.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The SharePoint Online API limits the number of requests that can be made in a given time period. One of these limits has been reached and the SharePoint Online API no longer accepts requests.

Resolution: The SharePoint Online API will start accepting requests again after a certain time period. The short-term solution is to wait for a few minutes before trying an indexing operation again.

There are several long-term solutions, including the following:

Absolute path of item is too long

Context and symptoms:

SharePoint Online items whose absolute paths are long aren’t indexed.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The SharePoint Online API supports path lengths up to 400 characters. You may be trying to index items whose absolute paths are longer than 400 characters.

Resolution:

Shorten folder and file names or rework the folder structure in SharePoint Online to reduce the absolute path length of the items you want to index.

Tagged site hasn’t been indexed by SharePoint Online

Context and symptoms:

  • You’re using the Tagged sites content to include option in your SharePoint Online source configuration.

  • All items in a tagged site aren’t indexed.

  • The non-indexed site doesn’t appear when using the SharePoint Online search box to query your list of tagged sites. For example, if you’ve set up a CoveoSiteFilter managed property and have tagged sites with value Canada, the non-indexed tagged site isn’t listed when you search for CoveoSiteFilter:Canada in SharePoint Online.

    Tagged site not indexed by SharePoint Online
Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The tagged site hasn’t yet been indexed by SharePoint Online.

Resolution:

  1. Make sure you request the reindexing of your site in SharePoint Online.

  2. Wait for the site to be indexed by SharePoint Online. When it is, the site will appear when querying your list of tagged sites using the SharePoint Online search box.

  3. The tagged site will be indexed by Coveo on the next rescan.

Content freshness issue

Symptom: Recently added items in SharePoint Online are still not appearing in the Content Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au).

Likely cause and resolution

Cause and Resolution: See Indexed content is not up to date.

Extra or unwanted items

Missing filtering

Symptom: The Content Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) shows items you don’t want to index.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: Your current SharePoint Online source filtering settings don’t filter out the unwanted items.

Resolution: Edit your source filters to exclude the unwanted items.

Content freshness issue

Symptom: Items recently deleted in SharePoint Online are still appearing in the Content Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au).

Likely cause and resolution

Cause and Resolution: See Indexed content is not up to date.

Unexpected or missing content inside items

The “Embed” web part content isn’t indexed

Context and symptoms:

When accessing the quick view of a page item, the content added using the Embed web part isn’t displayed.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The Embed web part content is added to the page as an <iframe> tag. The SharePoint Online connector retrieves the page HTML through the SharePoint Online API and indexes it as is (that is, with the <iframe> tag). Coveo doesn’t fetch the iframe content to index it. Consequently, the body of the page item, as displayed in the quick view, doesn’t include the Embed web part content.

For example, if you embed a YouTube video in a SharePoint Online page, the video isn’t displayed in the quick view. Only information about the video included in the <iframe> tag (for example, the video title) is indexed and searchable.

Resolution:

The described behavior is the expected one. As a workaround, you may consider integrating the content of the external page into the SharePoint Online page, in a text section or comment.

Quick view of site pages show HTML tags or unexpected characters

Context and symptoms:

When accessing the quick view of a page item, HTML tags or unexpected characters are displayed.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The SharePoint Online connector retrieves the CanvasContent1 field value of the SharePoint Online API response and indexes it as is. The CanvasContent1 field value contains the HTML content of the page, including web parts and their configurations. Certain web parts (for example, the Code Snippet web part) may generate content in the CanvasContent1 field that the quick view isn’t able to handle. Additionally, the quick view doesn’t replicate the SharePoint Online page CSS styles. For all these reasons, the quality of the quick view varies from one SharePoint Online page to another.

Resolution:

A possible solution may be to replace the web part (for example, the Code Snippet web part) with a more basic one in the SharePoint Online page.

Indexing by reference

Context and symptoms:

Indexing by reference
Likely cause and resolution

Cause: You may be indexing by reference. When indexing by reference, the body of the web page (used for the quick view) isn’t retrieved and no excerpt (used for the item description) is generated.

Resolution:

Access the Edit a source JSON configuration panel. If HTML documents are currently indexed by Reference, change that value to Retrieve.

Indexing by retrieve
Broken images in the quick view

Context and symptoms:

When accessing the quick view of an item, images are broken.

Broken image in the quick view
Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The connector retrieves web page HTML as is and doesn’t retrieve the images referenced in the HTML. The Content Browser quick view displays this HTML without any alteration. This means it doesn’t replace relative paths, such as <img src="/sites/…​/myimage.jpg">, with the corresponding absolute paths, such as <img src="https://…​/myimage.jpg">. As a result, when web pages contain images that are referenced using relative paths, the images can’t be displayed in the Content Browser quick view.

Images that require authentication to be viewed also appear broken when browsing the web page item quick view in the Content Browser.

Resolution: None. This is a known limitation of the Content Browser quick view.

The quick view is intended to provide a preview of the item content, not a full rendering of the web page. To view the full web page, users can open the original document by clicking the item clickable URI link in the search results.

Unexpected item field values

Inexistent field

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The field doesn’t exist. You need to create the field and the field mapping.

Resolution:

  1. On the Fields (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, at the upper right, click Add field.

  2. Follow instructions in the Add or edit a field article to configure your field.

  3. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > View metadata.

  4. Choose the metadata you want to use to populate the field.

  5. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > Manage mappings in the Action bar.

  6. Follow instructions in the Add or edit a mapping rule section to configure your mapping.

Field mapping issue

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: There may be a field mapping issue.

Resolution:

  1. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > View metadata.

  2. Make sure the metadata that should be used to populate your field appears. If the metadata is being used to populate a field, it will be shown as Indexed. If you see two entries under the same metadata name, take note of the indexed and not indexed metadata Origin values for the final step in this procedure.

  3. On the Sources (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au) page, click your source, and then click More > Manage mappings in the Action bar.

  4. Make sure the mapping rule for the field references the right metadata name.

  5. Add or edit the Origin value in the field mapping rule (for example, %[description:crawler]).

Title field value selection

Symptom: The item title field value isn’t ideal.

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: Coveo has a title field selection process to ensure all indexed items have titles. This process may not return ideal titles in your use case.

Resolution: Coveo automatically extracts several pieces of metadata that you can use as item titles. See Item title selection mapping rule options to control the value selection process. Edit the title field mappings on your source.

Indexing is slow

Indexing performance issue

Symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause and Resolution: See Indexed content is not up to date.

Indexed content is not up to date

Content scoping or throttling issue

Symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: A combination of factors may cause poor SharePoint Online source indexing performance. These revolve around insufficient content scoping and SharePoint Online API throttling.

Resolution: The Performance leading practices article provides many recommendations to improve indexing performance, namely:

Source update schedules

Symptom: Recent changes to site pages aren’t reflected in the Content Browser (platform-ca | platform-eu | platform-au).

Likely cause and resolution

Cause:

Resolution: Make sure the rescan and refresh schedules are enabled and that their frequency settings are optimized.

Number of items limit reached

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: Indexing is blocked because you’ve reached the 200% license item usage threshold.

Resolution:

  • If possible, delete unused sources to bring the item count below the 200% threshold. Then, see the July 20, 2023 Coveo Platform update for suggestions on how to reduce your item count even more.

  • To reassess your needs and discuss your options, contact your Coveo Customer Success Manager.

Authentication issue

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The SharePoint Online connector may be unable to authenticate to SharePoint Online because the access token associated with the certificate or SharePoint Online user account is no longer valid. An invalid access token occurs when:

  • The certificate expires (when using certificate authentication).

  • The SharePoint Online crawling account credentials (email and/or password) are modified (when using delegated authentication).

Resolution: After making sure that the issue is indeed due to an invalid access token, update the access token.

Changed site collection URL

Context and symptoms:

Likely cause and resolution

Cause: The site collection web address may have been changed in SharePoint Online and your source configuration may not have been updated accordingly.

Resolution:

  1. Get in touch with your SharePoint Online administrator to get the new site collection web address.

  2. Edit your source so that the URL reflects the new site collection web address.

  3. In the source Filters section, adjust your inclusion and exclusion filters to ensure the new site collection web address is part of the inclusion scope. To be part of the inclusion scope, a URL must meet the following requirements:

    • It must not match any exclusion rule.

    • It must match at least one inclusion rule.