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So i had this thought about how I could put up a message for users to see while i was working on things with my farm...essentially instead of seeing the normal intranet page they would see an alternate one letting them know about the outtage etc...

Has anyone ever come up with something like this...does it involve page redirection? DNS adjustments?

I tend to think that in an ideal sharepoint environment you really shouldn't have much down time or if you figure out a way to load balance you dont ever have to worry about service interuption...but in my world i dont have those things in place and there are times where it may be good to put up a notice...instead of the standard...404 cannot be displayed...



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Just as an update i was curious if the app_offline.htm method would impact a service pack or CU update and found out that it would not.… – Jacob A Aug 21 '12 at 18:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

You should be able to use the app_offline.htm method. Create a file called "app_offline.htm" and put it into the root directory

Info here:

Also, it seems like some people have written features to help manage this:


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The problem with this approach is that it does not handle the physical server being restarted / down. I've also occasionally had problems where it would not work if the SharePoint site had any custom httpModules in place – Dave Wise Jul 17 '12 at 16:15

I've taken various approaches to this but usually end up doing something like create a separate website on a server not in the farm and placing the custom outage pages there and then routing server requests to that site instead of the SharePoint site during the outage. It isn't automatic or elegant but gets the job done and allows me to even restart the SharePoint servers themselves.

On occasion, I've also hosted the 'outage web site' on the same servers as SharePoint and just swapped the host headers around in IIS for the outage. That approach can't gracefully handle a physical reboot but does handle routine maintenance without affecting DNS.

All that said, I would love to hear more ideas about this from the community.

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