Issues with Minimal Download Strategy


Watch out for the new “Minimal Download Strategy” feature that is default on Team Sites in SharePoint 2013 as it’s full of nasty little bugs. Microsoft is pushing it pretty hard as improving load times and better for performance due to the AJAX and partial load functionality but I think it wasn’t fully tested. My recommendation for now is to disable this feature until we get a CU or SP that addresses it. Read on for some of the common errors you’ll see.

Issue #1 – Unable to Connect a Calendar to Outlook

If your “Connect to Outlook” is greyed out and you’re unable to connect a document library to Outlook then you should also go ahead and disable the Minimal Download Strategy as this definitely the cause. See this blog article from Microsoft describing the problem. The actually recommend you keep MDS enabled… and I would love to but with these other issues I’ll be waiting until a hotfix, CU or SP to recommend that to my customers.

Issue #2 – Error when Modifying a View on a List

This is one I just recently had to open with Microsoft support and it was confirmed. When you try to modify a view with MDS turned on you will receive the dreaded “Error – Cannot complete this action.”. It appears that the page is trying to make a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) to owssvr.dll which is failing with a 404 and getting thrown back to the error page. The view is actually still saved but you get a confusing error.

Issue #3 – Unexpected 401 Unauthorized Errors

Thomas Dupont has found another issue that I haven’t been able to reproduce related to 401 unauthorized errors but I’m not surprised at all based on how MDS interrupts the request chain.

When I spoke with Microsoft they made it seem like they were seeing a lot of errors related to this MDS feature being submitted through SharePoint Online so it is something to keep an eye out for.

If anyone has seen additional errors caused by the Minimal Download Strategy let me know and I’ll try to keep this list updated.

I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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