Site “is down for maintenance” might mean “assign a licence”

Just wasted another chunk of time on a Force.com site.

Everything was fine by the time the development work was finished. But when set up for a demo the site just output the “is down for maintenance” page. Now I understand the idea of not exposing internal site problems to customers. But here there was no additional information reported – no debug log entry and no email to the “Site Contact” User – an exceedingly poor design choice. (And yes I did add the automatically created “Site Guest User” to the “Monitored Users” for debug logging.)

So what was it this time? I eventually found the answer in this post Force.com Sites and licensed managed package in LMA. As well as being a managed package, my package has licensing configured. Now I had looked at the normal license UI accessed via “View Installed Packages” and did not see any mention of “Site Guest User” so had made the bad assumption that sites were probably not “license aware”. But it turns out (as detailed reading of the post will tell you) that the UI to associate a license with a “Site Guest User” is well hidden and must be used to allocate a license before the site can use the package.

The fix was quick and it all makes sense. It was just way harder to find than it should have been.

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One thought on “Site “is down for maintenance” might mean “assign a licence”

  1. Had this exact issue today — thanks for posting this! Saved me a ton of frustration. The users of our package start out with Site License Trials, then we switch over to Fixed # of License Active status, so during Trial stage, everything worked. All these little quirks!

    Anyhow, for those wondering “How on earth do I assign a license to this mysterious Site Guest User? Where is this User’s page???” here’s 2 ways to find it:
    1. Create a Public Group, and add your Site Guest User to that Group. Then you’ll have a link to the Site Guest User’s record.
    2. Use SOQL Explorer or Anonymous Apex to query for all Users in your org. The Site Guest Users associated with each of your Sites will show up there, so you can grab their Ids.

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