Microsoft BPOS Limitations – Be Careful.

Daily, we get customers who are learning the hard way that Microsoft’s Online Services BPOS (business productivity online service) does have significant limitations when it comes to SharePoint. To save you time, they are listed below. Go ahead and skip to the bottom if you like, you won’t hurt my feelings. I would also like to qualify this post by saying that BPOS is a solid offering for a small startup that also needs Exchange hosting and Live Meeting. For a couple of users, it is a good value, however, for more than a few users with growing storage needs, maybe not; crunch the numbers and decide for yourself.

Another interesting note is that Microsoft is encouraging to put forth a BPOS offering of our own incorporating fully functional SharePoint (WSS v3). I think you will see a fully functional SharePoint Hosting / BPOS on steroids offering in Q3 from the friendly folks at

So, before you get too far down the road, pause and add this list to your due diligence.
WARNING – failure to read and think through the following may cost you and your team hundreds of man-hours and lots of moola.

Features NOT Available in Microsoft BPOS:

  1. Anonymous users supported
  2. UI enhancements
  3. Server control
  4. Customization / Code Deployment
  5. 3rd party web parts installation
  6. Unlimited user account creation with no additional fees
  7. Daily site backups
  8. Custom domain names supported
  9. Dedicated solution for any number of users

And yes, if you’ve just finished reading that list – those are all features that are supported by WSS v3, MOSS 2007 and SharePoint Server 2010 from SharePoint Hosting Provider

About Rob LaMear IV

Rob,’s founder and biggest evangelist, believes the best thing about is its people and energy, hands down. As a graduate from Notre Dame, Rob has led lots of past business lives as a window washer, golf artwork sales, accountant and D1 soccer coach. Passionate about doing things right and homemade apple pie, Rob is a firm believer in the American Dream and knows if you can dream it, you can do it. As much as he likes work and technology, Rob loves spending time with his family completely unplugged, fly fishing or joining a pickup game of soccer in the park. Follow Rob on Google+
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17 Responses to Microsoft BPOS Limitations – Be Careful.

  1. dibyendu dawn says:

    For your information, as of date 22 feb, 2012.. all the limitation you have mentioned… have fully supported by BPOS-D enviornment.. even BCS also supporting now.

  2. When do you mean by Q3 for BPOS on steroids? (Not sure of your fiscal calendar.) As someone who is already using your hosted Exchange and WSS, we would love to hear more!


  3. Jackson Wilson says:

    Have your opinions of BPOS changed over the last 12 months?

    Are your noted shortcomings in the BPOS offering still gaps or do you believe Microsoft has addressed them?

    Thank you – Jackson

  4. @Jackson Wilson

    BPOS will continue to evolve and there are even rumors that some server access will be allowed in future releases. However, with both BPOS and BPOS-D, you are limited by the number of users you have. You can only have so many for BPOS, and you have to have an EXTRAORDINARY number to even qualify for BPOS-D. Even with server access – Microsoft will never support the level of free, unrestricted customizations that we do. will continue to serve our customer base – comprised of everyone else, needing flexible SharePoint hosting that’s “just right” for them. No matter the users, the storage, or the customizations our clients need – we fit the bill. We also continue to provide personalized customer service to our customers who we know by name – not by number. That is something that a company the size of Microsoft will never be able to provide.

    It is important to point out that we work very closely with Microsoft – including the BPOS team to ensure that every company who needs SharePoint – has a solution that works for them. We are happy to be the provider that Microsoft recommends to those who need customized, flexible SharePoint Hosting solutions.

    Thanks for reading.

  5. HELP! I don’t know where else to go. I recently closed a new client and am getting them set up on BPOS. Exchange gives 25GB per seat. But Sharepoint… 1.25 GB for five seats?! that’s 250MB/seat. This is 2010, storage is not measured MB. To purchase 100GB of additional storage is $250/per month. Deal killer! I can get a $6/month hosting account at with 150GB.

    What am I missing here? 1.25 GB is useless for Sharepoint. Why 25GB per mail box and such a uselessly small amount for Sharepoint?

    No, seriously, I have to go back to the client an tell them that their licenses will cost $50/month, but storage is $250/month. Then the laughing begins. Then I lose the client. MS, what ARE you thinking?

  6. Sven says:

    Does any one knows a good solution that will automatically upload PST files onto hosted Exchange (or BPOS for this matter)?

    I know Datamills EdgeSafe have a beta for a soultion that will migrate PSTs directly from workstations into mailboxes (per central configuration), and I wonder if there are other solutions you know of?

  7. Everett says:


    What we did was to import the PST file after the mailbox was created in BPOS. This worked very well with the exception of the largest mailboxes which ended up being only 2 users.

    Hope this helps.

  8. Brian says:

    Does anyone know the cost difference from BPOS-S to BPOS-D? I would imagine that volume licensing would incur some cost savings?

  9. Rob says:

    Hey Brian,

    BPOS-D starts at 5,000 seats and they do offer some discounting once you get into this sort of volume.

    Let me know what you need ( and if can’t help you, I will put you in touch with the Microsoft BPOS-D team.


  10. Mr. WorkedThere says:

    You are sooooooo right on. These are things they really don’t want you to think about. I had the honor of being witness to seeing how these issues (and customers) are being dealt with while they continue to construct and sell this juggernaut they can barely control. There are many terrifying truths that won’t be mentioned to you when you sign up. Exempli gratia: How the Exchange teams don’t know a thing about Active Directory (nor do they care) and likewise how the many heads of this hydra don’t communicate with each other before acting.
    I remember the old days when any bugs in the software were immediately assigned to developers for a hotfix. Of course, that was when only one or two customers experienced the problem & when it turned out to be a bug. Any administrator will tell you that applying a hotfix always implies an element of risk to the topology. So, imagine if applying a hotfix threatened to blow away your house of cards. (i.e. BPOS – all of it.) Probably not a risk Microsoft is willing to take. So whether big or small, don’t believe that your bug will be fixed in short order, no matter how critical. However it will, I’m sure, be added to the list of issues to be dealt with in the next “revision”.

  11. Jason says:

    Service Descriptions:

    BPOS servers are backed up every 12 hours with backup datacenters.

    There is a dedicated version of BPOS called BPOS-D, the “D” stands for dedicated. BPOS-S is the standard version. With BPOS-D you get access to Central Administration.

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