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.