SharePoint 2016 Feature: Durable Links

Posted by Jim on September 16, 2017
O365, Office 365, SharePoint 2016

SharePoint 2016 Feature: Durable Links

New to SharePoint 2016, Durable Links is an effective tool providing link integrity management for documents on SharePoint and Office Online Server. The process works by assigning resource ID to individual documents and the resource IDs themselves are stored in the content database linked with the source documents.

So, when a user selects the Durable Link to a document, the SharePoint Server 2016 searches for it using the resource ID and opens it in the Office Online Server. In this way, Durable Links help in preserving and maintain the integrity of the documents’ linking URLs, even when they are renamed or moved.

So how does it work … let’s take for example. Here is an ID added at the end of the URL like this: fg12g0fcd105b45148d4b6c2f2xx231ce http://sharepoint-site/document-library/document.docx?d=fg12g0fcd105b45148d4b6c2f2xx231ce

What you can see here is that the first part of the URL path is Path Based. Now, if the document is moved to another document library and renamed to say, Proposal, then the new link will be like this: http://sharepoint-site/proposals/proposal.docx?d=fg12g0fcd105b45148d4b6c2f2xx231ce

In the first part of the URL that is path based will change to show the new path and document name, however the ID behind d=remains the same.

Ultimately, what is happens is that when a user comes across the old URL, SharePoint will redirect the user to the document location, which in turn opens the document in the Office Online Server.

Overview

  • SharePoint Durable Links provides another great step forward to help prevent the broken links problem in SharePoint documents as it automatically appends a resource ID to documents and makes it easier to use.
  • Durable Links works with documents that can be opened on Office Online Server i.e. MS Office files and PDF; however, it doesn’t seem to work with web pages or list items. (NOTE: In Office 365, as of date of this article, durable links does NOT work with PDF files (but the Document ID link does). PDF durable links (with q=xxx) only seems to work with on premise SharePoint 2016)

So in SharePoint 2016 Durable Links definitely expands on the functionality that the Document ID service failed to do in terms of handling broken links in legacy systems

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