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I have the following scenario inside our sharepoint online and sharepoint on-premises 2013:-

1) We have an enterprise wiki site collection inside our sharepoint on-premises 2013. the enterprise wiki have 6 managed metadata columns which allow multiple values as follow:- enter image description here

2) Now when i go to the Wiki Pages library >> Add Indexes >> i were not able to add indexes for any of the managed metadata which allow multiple values, and seems sharepoint does not support indexing managed metadata column which allow multiple values. so currently we only have these indexes:-

enter image description here

3) I have enabled the metadata navigation for the wiki pages list and i added the managed metadata fields to them.

Now i have the following 6 questions:-

1- our wiki pages library is reaching 3,000 wiki pages, and the threshold inside our SP on-premises 2013 is set to 5,000. so i think when the wiki pages exceeds the 5,000, the main list view which is showing all the wiki pages sorted by modified date will stop working,, is this correct? or since i am sorting based on the "Modified date" which is indexed then my main view will work well and will be able to show all the wiki pages ?

2- Now we depend a lot on the "Metadata Navigation" filtering a lot, but since the "Metadata Navigation" contain 6 managed metadata columns which can not be indexed, so does this mean that if the wiki page list exceed the 5,000 items, then the ability to do a metadata navigation will not work? and what will be the workarounds?

3- Now inside sharepoint on-premises we can increase the threshold limit for the web application from 5,000 to let say 8,000 and we can live happily for the next couple of years, as we had 3,000 wiki pages in almost 3 years. but now we are planning to migrate our enterprise wiki site collection to office 365, and inside office 365 we will not have any option to increase the list view threshold, nor office 365 allow indexing managed metadata columns which allow multiple values.. so what are the options we have to manage this enterprise wiki site collection inside office 365 incase the wiki pages exceed the 5,000 threshold?

4- generally speaking, there is an unclear point about indexing. for example in our case we add an index to the "Modified" date field, and our main list view which show all the items, sort items based on the "Modified" data descending + it does not have any filtering, so which of the below situations we will face if the main list view exceeds the threshold:-

  • since the list view is been sorted based on an indexed column"modified", so the list view will show all the wiki pages (5,000 +++)?

  • or sharepoint will only show the latest 5,000 wiki pages?

  • or will show an error?

5- let say i add a filter to the list view such as ("Modified date" > [Now]-365) , to show only the wiki pages which have been modified in the past 365 days. so which situation we will face if the main list view exceeds the threshold:-

  • Sharepoint will show all the wiki pages which satisfy the filtering, even if the result exceed the threshold.

  • Sharepoint will show an error if the wiki pages which satisfy the filtering criteria exceed the threshold.

  • or Sharepoint will only show the latest 5,000 wiki pages which satisfy the criteria?

6- last question. in sharepoint online is there any plans for Microsoft to exceed the 5,000 list view threshold? or to allow us to have the options to exceed it manually (as in the on-premises cases) ? or can we do an assumption that sharepoint online will not have any threshold limits in the future?

Thanks in advance for any help on the above 6 questions.

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I can only partially answer your question. I can't speak to the questions surrounding the managed metadata columns or metadata navigation, but I can try to clear up some of your confusion over indexed columns and the list view threshold.

The way to manage large lists is to create a view that has a filter using an indexed column that will return less than 5000 items.

So in your question part 4: you have indexed the Modified column, and you have a view that sorts on that column but does not filter - in this case, if there are over 5000 items, the view will break and you will get an error, because there is no filtering happening to reduce the number of items returned for the view.

In your question part 5: you have indexed the Modified column, and you have a filter applied using that column to only show the pages that have been modified in the last year. If that amount is less than 5000, you will see the view and you will see the list of pages that were modified in the last year. If the amount of pages modified in the last year is over 5000, the view will break and you will see an error.

The mere presence of an indexed column in a view does not give you a free pass on the list view threshold. You must use one (or more) indexed columns to create a filter that returns less than the threshold. If your filter (even using indexed columns) returns more than the threshold, the view will break.

Also, if you use a non-indexed column to create a filter, even if that filter would result in less than 5000 items, if the list actually has more than 5000 items, the view will break. This is because data from an indexed column is stored.... well, honestly I don't know exactly where it is stored, but it is stored somehow in a way that makes it available to SharePoint without having to query the entire list. If you have a filter using a non-indexed column, SharePoint actually has to get all items from the list before it can start applying the filter, so if there are more items in the list than the threshold, the view will not work.

  • thanks for the valuable reply and info.. but what are microsoft's plans regarding lists' thresholds especially inside Office 365? are they planning to increase the static number of 5,000 or to totally remove this bad list views thresholds? as inside sharepoint online the situation is worst compared to on-premises, as in the on-premises we have the ability to increase the list view threshold, but inside SP online it is a loss-loss situation when it comes to large lists that have columns which can not be indexed (such as the managed metadata which allow multiple values) ... – SharePoint TestDev Mar 27 at 16:03
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    Well, the reason for the 5000 limit really doesn't have to do with SharePoint itself, it's a SQL limitation, and I have heard that newer versions of SQL have resolved this limitation. I would assume for SP Online they are using the newest version of SQL possible. A quick search came up with this article from 2017 that says the limit online has increased to 20k items. – Dylan Cristy Mar 27 at 16:12
  • yes i know the reason behind the 5,000 threshold.to be more accurate, it is related to the bad way SP display the items. But the article seems a bit confusing,, they are saying that Microsoft will do an automatic indexing for the list views for modern UI, and it will allow indexing a list which have up to 20,000. so what about classic UI (which we have a lot of them since some list forms contain custom scripts that does not work in modern UI) + what about the columns that can not be indexed (such as managed metadata which allow multiple values)? or i did not understand the article correctly ? – SharePoint TestDev Mar 27 at 16:19
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    Unfortunately I do not know the answers to those questions, hopefully someone else here can answer them. – Dylan Cristy Mar 27 at 16:21

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