Friday 30 December 2011

Search crawl stuck on "Crawling full" and crawl log returns nothing

After setting up a new SSP in a new farm we kicked of the search crawl from the standard "Local Office SharePoint Server sites" content source. We had a lot of content to crawl so we anticipated it lasting a couple of hours. What we did not anticipate was it still running in the morning when we had come in the night before.

When checking the crawl log there was nothing returned.
The crawler appeared to be stuck on "Crawling Full".

A glorious IIS reset and a recrawl. I appreciate this might be a somewhat trivial point but if you have neglected to do one recently it might be worth giving it a try before you attempt some of the more elaborate solutions online.

SharePoint is a state of mind.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Sharepoint 2010 : Content type hub not publishing name change

I was trying out the content type hub amazingly for the first time the other day. I found some nice posts on how to configure it which was reasonably straight forward.

Once I had created a content type in the hub I was able to publish it to another site collection successfully after running the "Content type hub" and appropriate "Content site subscriber" timer jobs.
After this point I though I would try an update to the source content type. I changed the name and re-run the timer jobs. My subscribed content type name was not updated.

It turns out that content types must be republished once they have been changed. This is available under the "Manage publishing for this content type" link. Once I had done this and re-run the services my subscribed content type updated making me feel much better about life in general.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Microsoft Certified in SharePoint 2010

So today I completed my 4th SharePoint 2010 exam. This allows me to call myself both an MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) and an MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer).

Now I must admit I am not the biggest fan Microsoft exams as a way of testing ones knowledge but in an attempt to inflate my own ego I thought I would blog it anyway.

So now to become a master.....maybe next year.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

SharePoint 2010 : Could not find feature BizAppsListTemplates


My requirement was to back up a sub site (ie SPWeb) from one environment and restore it to another environment (which had the same features / site content types etc). I exported a site (SPWeb) from the source environment utilizing the granular back up capabilities accessible from the central admin GUI.

The import to the destination environment was conducted using the following command:

Import-SPWeb -identity http://mywebsite -path C:\mypath\myfile.cmp

After a short time the import failed and displayed the following message:

"Could not find feature BizAppsListTemplates."

There were a number of posts out there relating to this but not one had the solution I required so I thought I would blog it. One post suggested rebooting and so after trying that I decided to follow my heart and look for the actual feature.

I saw that the feature was located in the 14 hive so wanted to check that it was installed correctly.

I fired a reinstall command for the feature:

stsadm -o installfeature -name BizAppsListTemplates

This solved the reported issue.

Great news all round. I love you SharePoint once more. I know what you are all thinking though....why wasn't the feature installed in the first place? I have no idea yet......... if I ever find out I will let you know.

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Sharepoint Dev TIP: Windows 7 services with SharePoint 2010

Hey all,
so we all have SharePoint 2010 with SQl on our 8GB dev machines (yay). A lot of the time I don't require this functionality (due to remoting to other environments) so it would be good to be able to stop a load of things to free up resources.
I have created two simple scripts which I use to turn services on and off. I appreciate that these are simple and are probably not necessarily definitive but its a good start.
Copy the commands, save as a .bat file and you are off.

echo Stopping sql server
C:\Windows\System32\net.exe stop mssqlserver
echo  sql server stopped
Echo stopping Sharepoint timer (OWSTIMER)
C:\Windows\System32\net.exe stop SPTimerV4
Echo Sharepoint timer (OWSTIMER) stopped
echo  Stopping iis
C:\Windows\System32\iisreset.exe /stop
echo  iis stopped

echo Starting Forefront Identity Manager Service (Cos it got shut down in the sql stop
C:\Windows\System32\net.exe start FIMService
echo Forefront Identity Manager Service Started
echo Starting sql server
C:\Windows\System32\net.exe start mssqlserver
echo  sql server started
Echo Starting Sharepoint timer (OWSTIMER)
C:\Windows\System32\net.exe start SPTimerV4
Echo Sharepoint timer (OWSTIMER) started
echo  Starting iis
C:\Windows\System32\iisreset.exe /start
echo  iis started

Monday 18 July 2011

Sharepoint 2010 : Create a mysite for each SharePoint profile (Powershell)

So we have spent an amount of time (hopefully not too much ha) configuring the User profile service and the synchronisation which imports profiles from AD. Our filters are in place so we only have valid profiles.

For the next step we would like to automatically create all the mysites in one hit.

This may or may not be a good idea depending on your exact business requirements but if it is what you want here is a script which will iterate through the profiles and create you a my site for each user.

$site = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite("http://mysitehost"); 
$ServiceContext = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPServiceContext]::GetContext($site); 

$ProfileManager = new-object Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileManager($ServiceContext); 
$AllProfiles = $ProfileManager.GetEnumerator();

foreach($profile in $AllProfiles) 

Great fun don't you reckon.

Friday 15 July 2011

SharePoint 2010 : Managed metadata refinement is missing from Search results

  • Search service application was indexing correctly
  • Out of the box Search site was returning content correctly as expected
  • Some search refiners were missing. Specifically the ones mapped to Managed metadata and  enterprise keyword columns.
After hunting about for a whole I found the solution which was actually very obvious on reflection but not so obvious when you have a farm sat in front of you.
Within the Search Service application, a crawl rule had been created which was set to include some items. There is a setting in there when including items to a specific path as follows:
  • Crawl SharePoint content as http pages
This was checked. After unchecking it and re-crawling the metadata refinement options were presented as expected. Obviously having it checked means that no metadata on documents and the like was being indexed.

As advised. Very simple and obvious. Once you know the solution

Friday 24 June 2011

SharePoint Search Crawls : Incremental Cawls for Day to Day living

I was at Microsoft the other day talking to some of their PFEs regarding all things bright and SharePoint. The topic of search crawls came up. I received some information which I wasn't aware of which I thought I would log.
As most of us are aware SharePoint Search can conduct a "Full crawl" and an "Incremental crawl". What most people do (myself included in the past) is schedule a full crawl late evening / early morning and schedule incremental crawls at regular intervals throughout the day. To be honest I'm not sure where this habit came from. I guess it just seems to make sense......except it doesn't.

A scheduled Incremental crawl is sufficient for day to day crawling. There is no need and as far as MS have informed me, no advantage in running Full crawls on a regular basis. Full crawls are only required if a crawl rule or crawl property has been changed (there might be another couple of situations - but these are config changes).

All changes are stored in a change database and this is what the incremental crawl looks at to see what it needs to update. The changes database automatically clears down so you don't need to worry about it getting too big. There is one caveat and that is that the change database does clear itself after a certain amount of time so you have to make sure you do your incremental crawl within this time. This period is in the region of 30 days so assuming that you are going to schedule incremental crawls more frequently than this you are ok.

So, for day to day search indexing, only schedule incremental crawls.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

SharePoint 2010 Send Documents to Records Centre Link

So I was wanting to know how to send documents to a record centre manually. Took me a little while to do the digging to find out were you configure the "Send to" links so I thought I would do a quick post to remind myself.

Assuming you all ready have a record store in place and you know the location. You must go to:

Central administration -> General application settings (on left hand side) -> Configure Send to connections

Once on this page you can add a new send to connection for a specific web application.
For sending records to the records centre you set the URL to be:


Once you have done this you are able to specify whether you need to copy, move or move  the document leaving a stub in its place.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Copying dlls to and from the GAC in Windows server 2008

I have always had a cold feeling when attempting to add dlls to the gac on Windows server 200. This post here sorted me out although I did have to steal gacutil from my dev machine.

Installing an assembly into gac from windows server 2008

It also can be tough getting dlls from out of the GAC. This post hightlights the process for successfully copying all the dlls from the GAC into a specified folder.

Copying files from the gac

Very helpful when you have TFS With SharePoint WSS3.0 and for some reason content is referencing MOSS dlls.........the things we have to deal with hey.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Creating themes in PowerPoint 2010 for SharePoint 2010

A requirement was passed to me to do some light weight styling on a SharePoint 2010 site. Low and behold we enter the world of themes. Themes have been available in SharePoint in previous versions however there have been some improvements in 2010. The main improvement seems to be that you can now create themes in PowerPoint 2010, save them as a THMX file and then up load them to SharePoint for reuse on your sites.

I followed the article from the main man Joel but there was one thing which was not obvious to me from his article (no offence to the man because he truly is great) and that is that there is now a "Themes" gallery in SharePoint 2010 sites where you can store your themes. Excellent, this makes all our lives easier as we no longer need to deploy them to the server(s).

To locate the "Themes" gallery, navigate to the root site collection and view "Site settings". You will see the gallery in all its glory under "Galleries".....clever really.

View Joel's article SharePoint 2010 Themes and Resources for Upgrading a Custom Master Page .

Monday 18 April 2011

SharePoint 2010 : Verbose diagnostic logging by powershell

A simple one really, but if you want to turn on verbose diagnostic logging when central admin is being a troubled soul this command can be used in the PowerShell command window.

Set-SPLogLevel -TraceSeverity Verbose -EventSeverity Verbose -verbose

More info at :

Take care for now.


Thought I might as well put this in here too. If you want to update in STSADM you can with:

stsadm -o setlogginglevel -tracelevel verbose

SharePoint your lives away.

Friday 25 February 2011

Time saver : Host file short cut

In this world of SharePoint I often find myself having to alter hostfiles to enusre that traffic is routed correctly. So normally i either browse to or type in:


I found out the other day that you can just type in "drivers" into the run box and it will take you staight to the drivers folder.

This will actually save me time so thought I would share.Te

Sunday 20 February 2011

SharePoint 2010 Administration Roles

In SharePoint 2010 the general approach has been to make administration permissions more granular then in SharePoint 2007 so that the overall security model is more flexible.

Farm administration
  • Farm administrators are able to perform administrative tasks on the farm (conduct tasks is central administration).
    They are able to assign administrators to Service applications. This implies that farm administrators don't necessarily have to administer service applications.
  • They don't have access to site content by default.
  • Farm administrators are not able to run powershell unless give then SharePoint_Shell_Access role.
Aside : Local administrators on the server can do all farm admin features and more.

Service administration
  • Service application administration also adheres to the concept of granularity.
  • All service applications can have specific administrators assigned by a farm administrator. So the search service application for example would have its own administrator who is not necessarily a farm administrator.
  • This provides flexibility so that different service applications can be administered by different people / groups.
Feature administration
  • This is a new concept which allows specific users / ground to administer a sub set of services application settings.
  • Feature administrators are effectively allowed to administer specific features within a service application. An example would be administering 'Audience settings' within the User profile service application.
Tenant administration
  • Tenancy is a new concept for 2010 and the administrator model has changed to support this.
  • Tenancy allows service applications to be separated depending on tenant. For instance the same search service application can be shared across multiple tenants.
  • Tenant administrators can administer some service application settings  which are specific to their tenancy.
  • In addition tenant administrators are also able to create site collections.
So the key take away is...... Its more flexible in 2010 then it ever was in MOSS.

Thursday 17 February 2011

SharePoint 2010 : Cannot complete this action as the Secure Store Shared Service is not responding. Please contact your administrator.

A classic story from the front lines here. I created a new Secure Store Service application successfully. When I went to manage it however I received the following error:

Cannot complete this action as the Secure Store Shared Service is not responding. Please contact your administrator.

Hmmmmm I then thought to check the list of services on the server (Application management -> Manage Services on Server) and ensure that the service is running. It wasn't so I enabled the Secure Store Service. I thought I was on the money at this stage. Unfortunatley I still had the same problem.

So to the sharepoint logs. Here I found and entry :

Unexpected Error occured while managing Secure Store Application : There are no addresses available for this application.

This didnt really help me that much. Due to boredom I thought I would try an IISReset.

Guess what?

Problem solved. Note to self. IISReset will always solve ALL of your problems.

Monday 14 February 2011

SharePoint 2010 Concepts : Remote BLOB Storage

Remote BLOB storrage allows storage of binary data separate from its metadata. So a video file for example can be stored separately from the information describing the file.
  • The metadata is still stored in a SharePoint database. The binary file is stored on the database server fileserver.
  • This allows for content data bases to grow beyond best practice limits.
  • Available with SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2.

Thursday 10 February 2011

SharePoint 2010 Development Session 2 : Visual studio 2010 + the Sandbox

So here are some more notes I made after a second session learning about SharePoint 2010 development.  Do with them as you wish.

VS 2010 Installation

  • SharePoint Visual studio 2010 developer tools are only for SharePoint 2010. The tools are built in to VS 2010 so there is nothing extra to down load and install once you have VS installed.
  • There has to be SharePoint 2010 on the developer machine to do develop properly.
  • VS 2010  with 2010 first glance benefits over MOSS and VS 2008
  • The tools have been designed to cut down on a lot of the "wire up" procedures which where required in SharePoint 2007.
  • A SharePoint explorer view has been added to allow browsing of SharePoint assets. This is available from Server explorer. You then have read access to SharePoint files.
  • Most SharePoint development will start with a "Blank SharePoint project template". Which will then allow you to add all SharePoint artefacts as required.
  • When adding features all the wire up is automatic. All the files required for a feature are created without the need to connect them together. Feature properties can be set easily through VS designer. This includes the name / scope / feature image url / and more. Its really is easy compared with MOSS.
  • There are short cuts in solution explorer to allow you to add files to the rootfiles ( _layouts / _images / etc). This easily allows you to add files to the file system when needed. There is no configuring of XML required to tell the file where to go. Great!
  • If you want to add an event receiver to a feature this is simple with a right click. The wire up is automatic and you are up and running quickly.
Deployment / debugging
  • Everything is automatically packaged up into a .wsp file. This means that deployment of all changes is easy.
  • F5 now allows debugging without attaching to process as was required in 2007 . When f5 is pressed the code is compiled, a solution package is created and deployed to the development server and full debugging mode is entered.
  • It is possible to configure build patterns which allow you to specify whether to recycle IIS after deployment as well as a load of other options.
Web parts

Visual web parts allows you to create a web part containing and a user control. Similar to approaches in 2007 development but VS wires it all up nicely for you through the graphical designer.
Visual studio is extendible
There are extensions which are displayed under extension manager. Recommended extensions (from MSDN or Visual studio):
  1. CKS - Development tools edition
  2. VS 2010 SharePoint Power tools - Visual web part to sandbox. Aids sandbox installation.
Disposing of SharePoint objects

As we know it is important to dispose of SharePoint objects correctly or the whole farm can grind to a halt. A great tool for checking this is SPDiposeCheck / SPDisposeCheckStatic. The static version is a plug in for VS 2010 which can check that objects are disposed correctly.

Sandbox solutions
  • Sandbox solutions allow development to take place in a safe environment known as a “Sandbox” The idea is that code which runs in the sandbox will not be able to do any serious damage to the running of the rest of the farm.
  • There are limitations on what a developer can do in the sandbox. There is a subset of the object model available to make sure that developers cant cause any harm.
  • Solutions are deployed at site collection level to a solution gallery. This task can be done by a site collection administrator so there is no need for farm administrators to get involved.
  • In VS if you have selected "Sandbox solution" the intelisense will attempt to hide code not available in sandbox. Ultimately however there is no difference in the compiled code. It follows that a .wsp file is not targeted at a farm level or at sandbox level. There is no difference in the wsp. It is restricted by where the code is to run (either in the sandbox or not).
  • Sandbox solutions can be banned from a farm by a farm admin if deemed to be dodgy.
  • Visual web parts dont work in sandbox because of ascx deployment to the file system but the Power tools do have a way around this (see power tools extension mentioned above.
Things you cant do in the sandbox:
  1. Modify file system
  2. Access external sources (web services / databases etc) (although Sandbox proxy service can allow external access calls if really needed).
Things you can do in the sandbox:
  1. Create Webparts
  2. Create Lists
  3. Create List templates
  4. Create custom UI actions
  5. Create some work flows
  6. .... More YES
Solution execution
  • Sandbox solutions don't have to run on the wfe they can run on another backend server.
  • WFE will wait until the sandbox code has run and completed. There is a hard limit of 60 secs for this.
  • The code runs under SPUCWorkerProcess process/.
WSP files (an aside really)
"Save as template" now saves as WSP file in the solution gallery. This can be opened in SharePoint designer. Sounds cool! From here you can customise the lists which are in there and so forth. Very flexible. Great for modifying site templates.

So that is my second quick session with 2010 development. Sorry its a bit notey but I doubt anyone will ever actually read it so it doesnt matter too much haha.
Bring on that SharePoint Farm


Wednesday 9 February 2011

SharePoint 2010 Development Session 1 : Introduction

Despite being hands on with SharePoint 2010 during the beta version, I haven't had much exposure to developing in 2010. Obviously there has been information release which I have read but I havent got my hands dirty in a while. When I was offer then chance to sit in on some SharePoint 2010 Dev training I jumped at the chance. This post relates to the first session which gives you an intro to development in SP2010. These are my notes but you are welcome to read them.

SharePoint 2010 Developer introduction

A developer training virtual machine is available for free at
The following links are usefule sites relating to the development community. 
SharePoint 2010 Development Stack
  • Development can be done on client operating system.Don't have to develop on the server.
  • 64 bit windows server 2008 for production (Windows 7 possible for local)
  • .net 3.5 (Not .net 4.0)
General points relating to SP2010
  • There is a client object model for silver light and JavaScript
  • Can share service applications across farms.
  • SharePoint designer will help you connect to BCS as opposed to old school XML files
  • Claims based authentication allows you to authenticate against other providers. Eg Google / face book and so on.
New User Interface
  • Contains the ribbon which is inline with existing office version.
  • The page editing tools have given more power via the UI. It is possible to change the layout, insert a picture and format text, insert web parts more easily.
  • List management is improved. A user can select item and edit without post back due to AJAX functionality.
  • List management also allows selection of multiple items in a list and act on them as a group. Previously the only way to group list items by selection was via manage content and structure. This method only allowed administrators to perform certain tasks.
  • Essentially the interface is more user friendly.
SharePoint Dev Terminology review (Object model) 
  1. SPFarm - Farm object
  2. SPWebApplication - Web application
  3. SPSite - Site collection
  4. SPWeb - Site / Sub site
  5. SPList / SPDocumentLibrary - List or document library
  6. SPItem / SPFile - Item or document library
SharePoint 2010 Development Tools
Introduction to Visual Studio platform
  • When adding references it is possible to configure Visual Studio to have a tab to allow you to select SharePoint assemblies without browsing the 14 hive.
  • If you receive an error saying file not found when you run code, it is likely that the assembly is not compiled in 64 bit.. You must change the build to be 64 bit in VS there will be an error.
SharePoint designer 2010
  • SPD can be started from site actions menu.
  • When opening a site the a "Site object" browser is available which allows viewing of Content types / external content types / lists/ master pages / workflow / groups sub sites / all files (and more).
  • Can see permissions of objects directly via summary screen so can update permissions this way through SharePoint designer.
  • Summary pages shows other information including list id and other relation ships / forms views / etc
  • Makes it easier to use
  • The are options to copy and modify the SharePoint workflows. This includes out of the box workflows like approval.
  • Can have site workflow to apply to whole site. So can upload lots of files and process as one group.
  • Workflow designer is improved and is not in wizard form (although some of the pop ups are the same).
  • Site work flows available from the all site content screen
  • Preference is PowerShell over Stsadm.
  • Cmdlets are used to provide functionality and to do administrative tasks
  • Pipe lining and formatting allows output to be filtered and formatted in a particular way. This can be piped to file.
  • To run .ps1 files execution policy will need to be set. There are 3 levels  Restricted / unrestricted / bypass.
  • All dos commands are available as well as others.
  • "Tab" key allows command completion
  • "Integrated Scripting environment" will help you come up with power shell commands and writing code. Intelisense and debugging is available in this environment. (Need to add SharePoint commands to load SharePoint snap in for your profile).
  • Add ps snap in to the Micrsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell to allow SharePoint to access SP commands.
  • Help is there "Get-help"
  • Can write powershell snap its which are like stsadm extensions. (Gary lapoint is still doing it at
SharePoint 2010 Ribbon and UI
  • Ribbon control development is the same as for office except for the "Ribbon gallery control".
  • Alerting the user can be doing by status (at the top of the page) / page notifications (pop up in to right hand corner of the page..You can write to these as a developer. They don't require postbacks.
  • In place editing allows users to edit in place without doing postbacks. Highlight and edit. (There seems to be a lot of focus on not doing postbacks so bare this in mind when implementing modifications).
SharePoint 2010 Dialogs
Modal Dialog pop ups are available through JavaScript calls which are great for replacing traditional "pop up alerts".
Var dialog = {url : "", title: "hello", width: 400, height: 400};
Sp.UI.Notify.addNotification to add the notification

Custom actions

These allow you to add extra actions to various parts of the interface. This includes the ribbon.
Actions can be added directly through SharePoint designer making it much easier than 2010.

  1. Create a new view for a list in SharePoint designer.
  2. Add a custom action to the ribbon so that there is a quick way to get to the list view.
Other points
  • All sites now have pages and page libraries.
  • Sites contain the following Master pages( V4.master, Minimal.master, Simple.master, Default.master)
  • SharePoint now contains Well formed XHTML (cant believe this is advertised as a selling point - but hey at least we are finally here)
  • SharePoint Cross browser IE Firefox and CHROME
  • WCAG 2.0 AA supported OOTB
  • Rich text editor supports XHTML
So there we have an introduction to SharePoint development in note form.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

"Access denied" to Site Collection administrator

This post is to remind me of something which is a "school boy error" in my world of SharePoint. I had been handed a farm which was in a mess and I was attempting to get it up and running. One of the problems I had was I kept getting "Access denied".
  • I got access denied when I accessed that root of the site. http://site/
  • I got access denied when I accessed the settings page http://site/_layouts/settings.aspx
  • I got access denied when I tried to modify any file in SharePoint designer. 
I was defiantly a site collection administrator.
Then the sun started to shine. It turns out that the site collection had been locked when I checked in "Site collection Quotas and Locks". Now why didn't I think of this sooner. I should have known better.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

SharePoint 2007 license key

I am constantly looking these up so I thought I would stick them in my blog so that I can find them quickly.

SharePoint Server Standard Trial: XJMKW-8T7PR-76XT6-RTC8G-VVWCQ
SharePoint Server Enterprise Trial: F2JBW-4PDJC-HKXTJ-YCKRP-T2J9D

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Replacing Central Administration on a corrupt server

I was handed an issue whereby one of the SharePoint servers in a farm had fallen apart. For reasons I won’t go into now, this application server had been rolled back so that all that remained was a clean windows 2008 build. There was not a hint of SharePoint on this poor thing. The task was to reintroduce this server to the farm.

This sounded straight forward at first but was made a little more complicated by the fact that central administration was on the machine which was lost so I was unable to make any farm alterations this way.
The farm in had two web front ends and cluster sql boxes. The dead application server waited to join the farm.

My approach was as follows:
  1. Back up existing farm settings and content - Log on one of the web server and Back up IIS websites, 12 hive and main site collections.
  2. Run SharePoint products and technologies configuration wizard – Run wizard on web server and configure to install central administration on this web server.
  3. Remove redundant server from farm – Navigate to central administration and remove the application server from the farm (via operations -> Servers in farm -> Remove server). This updates farm so that there is an accurate representation of server architecture. 
  4. Install SharePoint on Application server and connect to farm - Log on to application server and Install SharePoint and connect to existing farm.
  5. Run SharePoint products and technologies configuration wizard – Run wizard on Application server and configure to install central administration on this application server.
Hey presto, you have a central administration up and running again on the correct server.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Configuring the User profile service application - User Profile Synchronization Service stuck on starting

OK so I thought it was about time I cleared this one up for my own sanity.

As described in my post User profiles in SharePoint 2010, the User profile service application is required to sync user information. A well known issue when configuring this is that the the User profile synchronisation service actually gets stuck on activation. It just says:

"User Profile Synchronization Service - starting"

N.B. The service probably isn't stuck. It is just retrying to start a number of times.
The following points might help you get through without error.
  • Use a farm account to run the service. Potentially use the same account as installing.
  • Add this account to local administers group whilst setting up the service. This can be removed later and will only need log on access.
  • Ensure that the user account which is being used can read Active directory (assuming ad is source). The account requires the "Replicating directory changes" permission in AD. This was new to me so pointed our infrastructure guys at to get them to add the permission at domain level and include all descendants. This will allow the service to access.
  • Ensure the managed metadata service is running.
With a bit fortune on your side you should be up and running.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

User profiles in SharePoint 2010

Why do we need them?

User profiles are the foundation of many of the SharePoint 2010 features. Including:
  • People search ( searching on expertise / interests)
  • Organisational hierarchy browser
  • Content targeting
  • "My Sites" functionality (including notes / interests / ratings and the like).
So in short, you need user profiles.

What makes up the user profiles architecture?

There are two main parts relating to SharePoint.

1.  User profile service application(UPA)
This service application allows the management capability of the user profiles. So it provides a central location for configuring:
  • User profile properties
  • Organisation profiles
  • Audiences
  • Profile synchronization settings (you can also write back to source due to forefront identity manager capabilities)
  • Organization browsing and management settings
  • My Site settings (my site host / my site website)
A "user profile service " instance is required and allows all these features to be available via an api

2.  User profile synchronisation service
This is effectively a SharePoint wrapper for forefront identity manager components. It adds two windows services and is responsible for synchronising profile information with the user source. It is important to note that in SharePoint 2010 it is possible to send information back to the source in additional  to the predictable pulling of data.

There are three databases related to the user profiles:
  • Profile database - Stores the user profiles
  • Social database -Stores notes, tags and ratings
  • Synchronisation db - Used by the synch service for managing its operations

So there it is, a quick look into User profiles in 2010.

Related links:
Technet : User profile service overview
Technet : Create, edit, or delete a User Profile service application
This post is after listening to Spence talking in this video:
TechNet Radio: User Profiles in SharePoint 2010
I decided to make some notes for myself so I could refer to them in the future.

RSS feed stopped providing content

I was passed an issue whereby RSS feeds had "stopped working" for an Internet facing website. On closer inspection I found that the web site was using feedburner to provide their feeds. After getting the details from feedburner I was able to work out that the SharePoint feed was coming from:

I called this page and surprise surprise it returned blank - feeds not working.

Looking at the query string for the requested page suggested the following:
  • The feed related to the '/news' site.
  • The feed related to a specific page denoted by the guid.
  • The feed related to a specific web part denoted by the guid.
After navigating to the '/news' sub site, I was able to see that there was only one page and on this page there was a content Query web part which was RSS enabled. This web part was not returning any results within the page. When I clicked on the RSS link I was taken to the same URL referenced by the feedburner so I had worked out where the RSS content was coming from.

I edited the web part and found that it was pointing that a sub site which no longer existed. Ergo, no results were displayed and therefore there was no rss content for feedburner to index.

After the CQWP was reconfigured to pull content from a site which existed, the RSS feed populated itself and everyone was able to get on with their lives. :)

Very simple really.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Backing up live site collections - STSADM backup without lock

I required a back up of a production site collection today. I usually take backups OOH but for the task I was conducting I wanted a quick backup so that I could do a fast restore and run a few tests.

The default stsadm backup operation (after service packs installed) will set the database to read only which is obviously not a good idea for production environments. Fortunately there is a switch which doesn't look the database which was exactly what was required in this case.

stsadm -o backup -url http://mainsite/ -filename d:\backup.bak -nositelock

Thursday 13 January 2011

SPFarm / SPWebApplication / SPSite / SPWeb - Ever get confused?

Hello all,

Finally I am starting to put something in this blog.

Sometimes I refer to the following image when I havent been developing for a while to remind myself of the heirarchy of SharePoint objects. Perhaps some of you might find this useful for reference.