Category Archives: SharePoint

SharePoint 2013

Even More SharePoint 2013 Setup Tips

I have spent a great deal of time researching various topics during my installation of SharePoint 2013. Here are some more tips, changes from previous versions and troubleshooting items that I hope will be helpful to you in setting up SharePoint 2013. I encourage you to read my previous posts if you missed them for more Part 1 and Part 2.

Sign On As A Different User

This feature has been removed in SharePoint 2013 and understandably if any of you have used it in previous versions. It is great for testing but I have spent a great amount of time signing in as a test user, then trying to sign back in as myself only to navigate to another page and it caches the test login. There are time where this can still be useful however, there are a number of blogs showing how to modify the code to add the feature back. I like this approach better from Nothing But SharePoint that provides two methods for testing SharePoint under a different account. One is running the browser as a different user or even easier, pasting a parameter onto the URL to fool SharePoint into prompting for credentials.

My Tasks

My Tasks

My Tasks Feature

If you navigate to your My Sites profile page, you will see a Tasks option. This tool aggregates all assigned tasks in one location to help manage your work items from one location. The initial setup of this feature though can be a bit tricky since the Tasks option will be present but then it will give an error saying that it is having trouble retrieving your tasks. SPKNB has a blog feature on making sure all the relevant features for the Tasks option is installed and setup properly.  Following these instructions got the feature up and running; however, I am still doing some research into what Tasks are displayed. Currently only my project tasks show in this view and I am attempting to find a way to display Workflow Tasks in this view as well to include things like Document Approval to create a centralized workspace.

People Search Health Analyzer Error

If you see “People Search relevance is not optimized when the Active Directory has errors in the manager reporting structure” pop up in your health analyzer it may not be clear from the error what needs to be done. There is a simple fix of adding at least one company leader that of course will not have a manager fillled out in their Active Directory profile. This TechNet article will provide the PowerShell commands needed to get this person(s) added and remove this error from the Health Analyzer.

SharePoint Office Error

Disabling Multiple Office Version SharePoint Support

Office Version Issues

My main PC has Office 2010 installed and after getting SharePoint 2013 setup, I decided to install SharePoint Designer 2013. Later as I was testing opening documents, I received an odd 404 Not Found error when trying to open an Excel or Word document in Office 2010. Some research pointed to some changes that SharePoint Designer 2013 made when it was installed (this is also true of other Office applications). Fortunately the fix was pretty simple although would have been difficult to track down without this TechNet article and it was as simple as doing a Add/Remove Program modification to the Designer install.

eDiscovery Setup

A feature that has been a big desire for our legal department is the eDiscovery feature (even though they did not know what it was, it fits exactly what they wanted). They needed a way to easily gather documents and information stored in SharePoint from certain points in time and easily freeze this in place without disturbing the current work being done on the site. Most overview books on SharePoint touch lightly on eDiscovery although Enterprise Content Management with Microsoft SharePoint by Microsoft Press gives some good insight into eDiscovery. And this MVP article goes over the initial setup of the eDiscovery site, if your organization has any legal requirements to provide information stored in SharePoint this is a must have feature that will sell it to your legal team.

SharePoint 2013

Sharepoint 2013 Event ID 6398 AppFabric Distributed Cache Error

A few days ago, I started seeing repeated errors with Event ID 6398 and description of:

The Execute method of job definition Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.LMTRepopulationJob (ID 581fc80e-f7fb-4b3b-99cd-7affa208f57b) threw an exception. More information is included below. Unexpected exception in FeedCacheService.BulkLMTUpdate: Unable to create a DataCache. SPDistributedCache is probably down.

This error occurs every 5 minutes as the User Profile Service – Feed Cache Repopulation Job ran and it also prevented anything from populating the My Sites Newsfeeds section. The Newsfeeds page would only return “We’re still collection the latest news. You may see more if you try again a little later.” I tried to follow a multitude of blog posts, forum posts and TechNet articles on repairing the AppFabric Distributed Cache Service and was unable to correct the error.

My next step was to try to get the AppFabric service back to the initial setup. Remove the AppFabric setup from Add/Remove Programs. More information on this process in this MSDN article and also follow the link from there to Clean up any remaining AppFabric settings either manually or using the Cleanup Tool they provide.

After rebooting, I downloaded the AppFabric 1.1 Installer from here. However, do not install it manually, instead use the SharePoint 2013 setup disc to use the prerequisite installer to install and configure AppFabric using the following command:

prerequisiteinstaller.exe /appFabric:C:\pathto\WindowsServerAppFabricSetup_x64.exe

Now you can continue on with the initial configuration of the AppFabric service. I ran the following command from the SharePoint 2013 PowerShell as Administrator

$instanceName ="SPDistributedCacheService Name=AppFabricCachingService"
$serviceInstance = Get-SPServiceInstance | ? {($_.service.tostring()) -eq $instanceName -and ($_.server.name) -eq $env:computername}
$serviceInstance.Provision()

then run

Add-SPDistributedCacheServiceInstance

You should see the Distributed Cache service running in Manage Services on Server in Central Administration and also see the AppFabric Caching Service running in Services. If you don’t then try Remove-DistributedCacheServiceInstance and Add again. After completing this process, I was able to go back to MySites and see the Newsfeed as it should be and also no more errors in the Event Log.

newsfeedworking

NewsFeed Working

 

I would love to know why this occurred since I was not working on anything with the Caching service prior to the errors; however, I hope this helps someone else caught up in this problem. Let me know if this helps or you have more information about this issue.

SharePoint 2013

More SharePoint 2013 Setup Tidbits

I have continued with my first SharePoint 2013 server setup and wanted to post some more items that worked for me to get some things configured for my environment. Check out my previous post for more tips.

Changing the Favicon

Default SharePoint FavIcon

Default SharePoint FavIcon

A little branding item that can prove to be useful in helping your SharePoint stand out in the multitude of open tabs is changing the Favicon. The blue SharePoint 2013 icon is unique but does not help your end users associate it with your company or organization. SharePoint’s favicon settings are a little different than setting them for a regular website. Mohitvash has a nice blog post pointing to the location of the favicon and how to make the setting changes in the SharePoint master pages. Fore more details on modern Favicon settings check out this blog post on Big Favicons which includes some nice examples and links to a tool I used to create the Favicon for my site.

Using the User Profile Import Service to Create Phonebook Style Contact List

One of the items I hope to replace on our current Intranet is a manually updated contact list of employees. I want to centrally manage that through Active Directory and in turn SharePoint using the User Profile Service. You can use existing SharePoint imported profiles individually but it does not lend itself to a simple list of all employees very well. On SharePoint Use Cases, there is a nice PowerShell script to copy the user profile service entries into a Contacts list and also to update these list items as things change. I added some additional fields to the script which was easy to map. I place on scheduling this to run on a regular interval to keep things updated. I also wanted to remove old disabled users; however the current script does not do this. I may just delete the list before import each time. Here is another PowerShell script to delete all items in a list, be careful to select the correct list!

Remove Sync Option

Sync Button

Sync Button

The Sync option is another tool that appears by default in the upper right ribbon and may not be a good fit to leave as an option for end users depending on your organization. This allows users to download a local copy of files for offline work. I want users to work off live copies from SharePoint and avoid saving additional copies of files since that has been an issue in the past. Removing this option is very simple and Learning SharePoint has good step by step instructions for disabling Sync.

Bulk Convert .DOC files

Office Web Apps is an amazing feature; however, if you are migrating a lot of older documents to SharePoint 2013 and you start to open a .DOC file with Office Web Apps, it will prompt the user to convert the document to the newer Office file type. This is nice, but in reality it is creating an entirely new copy of the file so your document library could quickly be littered with two copies of files, confusing end users. So during content migration I will be doing bulk conversions of older documents and removing the older copies. There are various methods including PowerShell and third party tools; however, Microsoft has a tool that is fairly easy to use and works very quickly. It will also convert a variety of Office file types, not just Word documents. Eric White’s MSDN article explains how to use the tool. One thing to note of course is that you will lose the version history; however, I intend on having a document archive repository and will just place the pre-conversion files there with their version history in case they are needed. Most of these files have not been touched in quite a while so hopefully it will not become a problem.

SharePoint Health Analyzer Rules Reference

SharePoint Health Analyzer Alert

SharePoint Health Analyzer Alert

I wanted to add this link to this Microsoft list since it has been invaluable in starting to track down any issues that appear in your SharePoint Health Analyzer. 

I enjoy any feedback or thoughts on these tips. I will continue to post as I work through this migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 Some Useful Links and Notes

So I just began setting up my first SharePoint 2013 farm and  there were some odd issues, quirks and additional features I wanted to share. Here is a short list of some of the topics and helpful links I have found along the way. I am setting up a SharePoint 2013 server on Server 2012 with a SQL 2008 R2 backend with an additional Office Web Apps server on Server 2012. I found the book Professional SharePoint 2013 Administration by Shane Young, Steve Caravajal and Todd Klindt to be extremely useful in providing concise overviews of various aspects of SharePoint 2013 and also providing useful instructions in installing and configuring your farm.

PDF Previews in Document Libraries and Search

PDF Previews

PDF Previews

The Office Web Apps features of document previews in document libraries and search is an awesome feature that not only nice looking but also very useful. One glaring omission is the lack of previews for PDF files. After running the cumulative updates, I followed SharePoint Architect Wictor Wilén’s guide here to get the PDF functionality setup. Of course I have to admit, if you look toward the bottom of his post, he links to the WSP file to deploy if you want to skip the heavy lifting steps. It works well and will fill in the gap for the large number of PDF files that many organizations have floating around.

Additional Steps to Get new SharePoint 2013 Workflow Functionality

Workflow options showing 2010 or 2013

Workflow options showing 2010 or 2013

After installing SharePoint Designer and starting a new workflow, you will see the option of Platform Type and the only type available is SharePoint 2010 Workflow. In order to get the new 2013 workflow features you will need to setup Workflow Manager. This setup is a little more involved than just adding a server feature and this TechNet guide helps cover the basics. This installation was something I did not read enough on when I first started my setup and I spent a considerable amount of time getting it setup and running error free.

Remove/Hide SkyDrive Link

One of the additions in SharePoint 2013 is the default SkyDrive link and to a lesser extent NewsFeed and Sites links. If you are using on premises SharePoint in a corporate environment, there is a good chance you do not want to provide this link to your end users. Fortunately this is easy to remove and I used option #1 on the following link from Learning SharePoint to remove these links.

Enable Blob Cache

The Blob Cache feature is disabled by default. The Blob Cache is helpful in performance of certain file types like images and videos by caching the files on the Web Front End server. This MSDN blog gives the basics of enabling and changing the configuration of the Blog Cache. Sean McDonough also details how the Blob Cache works and gives some further examples of scenarios to take into account when enabling the Blob Cache.

This is the basic change I made in web.config during initial testing:

[code]<BlobCache location=”D:\BlobCache” path=”\.(gif|jpg|jpeg|jpe|jfif|bmp|dib|tif|tiff|themedbmp|themedcss|themedgif|themedjpg|themedpng|ico|png|wdp|hdp|css|js|asf|avi|flv|m4v|mov|mp3|mp4|mpeg|mpg|rm|rmvb|wma|wmv|ogg|ogv|oga|webm|xap)$” maxSize=”10″ enabled=”true” maxAge=”0″/>[/code]

Document ID Preservation

documentIDfield

Display Properties shows the Document ID

One feature I have been looking forward to moving from SharePoint 2007 is the Document ID feature that preserves document links by assigning a document ID even if that document is moved within the library. It seems though that this is not quite as simple as turning the feature on and forgetting about it. The files still have to be moved in certain ways to preserve this ID so instructing end users will be key to getting the most out of this feature. Max Morrow has a great entry on testing the various ways this process works and does not work.

Look for continuing posts as I continue my setup and implementation. If you have any feedback or questions, I would love to hear them.

SharePoint 2007

Easily the best blog post I’ve ever read about SharePoint 2007 code

In an attempt to troubleshoot issues with SharePoint 2007, I ran across Emil Stenström’s post regarding the default.master page in SharePoint 2007. He gives a great summary of the horrible code used by default in SharePoint 2007. I had almost gotten used to looking at this unwieldy beast and my brain shut out exactly how awful it is. Please give it a read, I laughed out loud and I think anyone else will that has done a reasonable amount of web development, especially those that have dealt with SharePoint 2007.

Default HTML in Sharepoint 2007 – Friendly Bit.

SharePoint 2007

System.What?: No SharePoint 2007 Menu Flyouts/DropDowns in Chrome

I recently added some jQuery and Javascript to a page in SharePoint 2007 and noticed it created a problem with the drop down menus in IE 10. After finding this post on System.What? that addressed the issue in Chrome 15 or later, I applied it and it also resolved the issue for IE 10.

System.What?: No SharePoint 2007 Menu Flyouts/DropDowns in Chrome.

SharePoint 2007

Modifying SharePoint 2007 Web Part pages with Javascript

I have recently been attempting working with a list in SharePoint 2007 that had several Multi-select lookup columns. Unfortunately the Display Form view of these lists is not easy to read. The items are listed next to each other with a ; (semicolon) between them. For example:

Item Label Item 1; Item 2; Item 3

I wanted to get these to display in a list format for readability and to achieve this, I tried working with the SharePoint XSL Templates on CodePlex. There are several templates in this package that should have been able to make this transformation; however, due mostly with my lack of experience in dealing with XSL, I failed to get them to work.

While not particularly strong with Javascript or JQuery, I wanted to attempt to make this modification with a few lines of Javascript to basically find the semicolon and replace it with a line break. I ended up with the code below that I placed in a Content Editor Web Part that was placed below the list on a Web Part page

[code language=”javascript”]

<script language=”javascript” src=”jquery-1.9.0.js”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function injectStyles(rule) {
var div = $(“<div />”, {
html: ‘&shy;<style>’ + rule + ‘</style>’
}).appendTo(“body”);
}
document.body.innerHTML = document.body.innerHTML.replace(/<\s*[\/]?A\s*[\/]?>;/gi, ‘<br />’);
injectStyles(‘.ms-stylelabel { vertical-align:text-top; }’);
</script>

[/code]

This achieved the effect I was looking for, the key to the list modification is:

[code language=”javascript”]

document.body.innerHTML = document.body.innerHTML.replace(/<\s*[\/]?A\s*[\/]?>;/gi, ‘<br />’);

[/code]

Which looks for the trailing end of the list item link and the semicolon and then replaces it with a line break tag. The difficulty was figuring out the regex expression to use to find this tag. The injectStyles function is included to move the list labels to the top of the cell to align with the list. I did quite a bit of Google-Fu to piece this together but some of the useful links are listed below.

Stack Overflow Post on Javascript Replace

CSS-Tricks “Inject Styles Snippet” 

SharePoint 2007

Yanling’s Blog: Expand the multiselect box in SharePoint

I encourage you to check out Yanling’s blog for some great short tips in SharePoint. I found this solution when trying to change the size of Multi-select lookup column boxes. I tried SPServices which didn’t work out how I had hoped and this solution ended up being the easiest to implement on the SharePoint 2007 edit and new forms I was attempting to edit.

Yanling’s Blog: Expand the multiselect box in SharePoint.

2704-1-harmon.ie-sharepoint-mobile

Evaluating Harmon.ie For IBM Notes 9

I’ve spent the past two days evaluating the new Harmon.ie release of their software for IBM Notes 9 that connects to our SharePoint farm. I’m using a SharePoint 2007 farm currently but am looking forward to seeing the connection to 2013 as well. The results have been pleasantly surprising in adding additional functionality to Notes and SharePoint. One unexpected feature that has been really helpful is the people connection that pulls user information from within Notes. Current emails will automatically show the sender in the sidebar to provide more context the conversation.

The document browsing feature is also easy to use to browse the farm and instead of sending documents back and forth in Notes, you can simply drag the file and it will create a direct link to the SharePoint document. From within Notes you can view the author, version information and comments of a document. Another nice feature is being able to pull SharePoint calendars easily into Notes and overlay them; which was the original purpose at looking at the product.

The Harmon.ie add-on was easy to install with the only caveat being the installation of a mail template that was added by my Notes administrator due to permission settings for our environment. The template allows the functionality of dragging emails and email attachments directly into the Harmon.ie bar and drop these items directly into SharePoint. It even will prompt for appropriate metadata that may be required.

Overall I’ve been very pleased with the product and am looking forward to evaluating it for the next week and seeing how it changes my work processes. I may also take a look at their mobile solutions for accessing SharePoint.