You might not learn this from SkyKick but they do not support SharePoint Online lists that have custom columns. Recently, I had a troublesome experience where I was tasked with decommissioning our company’s SharePoint Online site as we no longer required the added capabilities for our team. I did have a single subsite with a very important list. This was a list that contained mostly custom columns that we used to coordinate our quarterly meetings. I deleted the top level (parent) SPO site which in turn deleted my subsite and the list therein.
I wasn’t terribly concerned given that our entire Office 365 tenant was being backed up daily by SkyKick. I engaged them on August 20th, 2018 asking for help restoring this subsite since it glitched and wouldn’t work for me. They intervened and was able to restore the site. Much to my dismay, after checking the site all the data contained in my super-important list was gone. I re-engaged SkyKick to figure out why.
Fast-forward to August 30th (10 days later)
The engineering team reports that all issues should be resolved. I inform them as to the situation with my list not having any data (the SPO list was there, just empty). After scouring through my screenshots folder for an image of the list I was able to find one, and promptly sent it over to SkyKick support.
Fast-forward to September 27th (28 days later, with no progress)
I finally received the following update from SkyKick which reads,
Hello Clif, We have received an update from our engineering them and we apologize for the delayed response. Typically our response times are significantly sooner and hope that this experience does not sour our relationship. This is NOT the experience our support & engineering team want to provide to our partners. We would like to schedule a call with your account executive to discuss any resolution path that we can provide you. I’ve CC’d myself and Logan Yohanan-Campi to this email thread who will be able to jump on a call with you to further discuss. In regards to the restore of this SharePoint subsite our engineers responded that currently Cloud Backup does not support the this type of metadata (custom columns) on SharePoint lists to be backed up. This is currently how the platform is designed and we are having internal discussions on supporting this at a later date in time. If there are any worries about SkyKick backing up data I can confirm that our snapshots have been running for this SharePoint site successfully. All data this is supported by our technology is backup, and I’m providing a link for more information about what data Cloud Backup supports.
Again we would like to apologize for the amount of time it has taken to get this information delivered to you. Please feel free to schedule a call with us to further discuss.
Here is the weird part – at the time of writing this article the link SkyKick provided it doesn’t clearly state anywhere that SharePoint Online Custom Columns are not support and CANNOT BE RESTORED using their services. Skykick custom column support is not existent. Skykick does not support custom columns and cannot restore them.
What is the most concerning is that they lost my data, and that nobody during my entire engagement said anything about custom columns within a SPO list not being supported. Consider this a public service announcement to others using SkyKick. SkyKick does not backup custom columns within lists so you might think about exploring other providers to backup your sensitive data.