Friday, November 30, 2012

Get Inside My Head: Infographic on Millennials

            OMG: Getting Inside the Millennial Mind

                Check out our data visualization blog.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Updating SharePoint 2010 Managed Accounts & SQL Server Passwords

If you need to update the passwords for your managed accounts in SharePoint, you have a few different options. To check out your settings/options, navigate to:

Central Admin -> Security -> Configure Managed Accounts

  1. SharePoint can manage the password for you and change it automatically on based certain intervals
  2. Update the password directly within Central Admin
  3. Change the password of the account in Active Directory first, then update the account's password via Central Admin
Your organization's policies can determine which option you choose. In my experience, most organizations have a separate team of System Administrators who maintain all accounts within Active Directory and enforce password policies there.

Let's say a new password policy is coming out next week. You will need to get ahead of the curve and update all of your passwords prior to the changes taking place, otherwise you are afraid your farm will come to a sudden halt. Your system administrators will be updating the passwords but are nice enough to tell you what they are for each service account SharePoint uses. In order to update the passwords in SharePoint, navigate to:

Central Admin -> Security -> Configure Managed Accounts -> Change Password Now -> Use Existing Password -> Enter the password provided by your System Administrator -> Ensure that Enable Automatic Password Change is NOT checked-> Click Ok

The SQL administrator password needs to change to, but uh-oh, that's not one of SharePoint's managed accounts (nor should it be). Your System Administrators, have just changed the password in Active Directory and have notified you. To update the SQL passwords related to SharePoint you will need to update 2 services. Follow the steps below:
  1. Log on as administrator to the SQL Server
  2. Click Start and search for Server Manager
  3. Expand Configuration-> Services.
  4. Find the service called SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER) and right-click -> Properties
  5. Log On tab -> Type in new password -> Click OK
  6. Select Yes when a dialog box pops up informing you that services will need to be restarted in order for the changes to take effect
  7. Right click on the same service and select Stop
  8. Right click again and select Start
Follow the same steps above to update the password for the SQL Server Agent (MSSQLSERVER) service as well.

Check your SQL Server's Windows Application Event Logs. If you receive errors, be sure that the SP Timer Service has been restarted on the Web Front End server.

Change the SharePoint 2010 Farm Passphrase

If you need to change your SharePoint 2010 Farm's Passphrase, it's definitely doable. A farm passphrase is created when running PSConfig and when joining new servers to the farm. If you inherit a SharePoint farm from someone else and they have forgotten the passphrase (or they left the company), you can always reset the passphrase. You are going to use SharePoint Management Shell (PowerShell) to make this quick and easy change. Here is what you will enter into PowerShell:

$passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force

PowerShell will then ask you what the new passphrase is going to be....

Once you have that typed in, you will need to enter another line into PowerShell:

Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm

You will need to confirm the passphrase you entered before. Click Y to confirm this change. Now your farm's passphrase is updated!

Error When Deleting Search Service Application in SharePoint 2010

Scenario: You attempt to delete your Search Service Application in SharePoint 2010 through Central Admin but the process never completes or takes too long to complete (and does not actually delete the application). You attempt to delete the Search Service Application again through Central Admin but now receive an error.

You then decide PowerShell is next viable option when deleting so you use the following script:

$spapp = Get-SPServiceApplication -Name ""
Remove-SPServiceApplication $spapp -RemoveData

You receive another error and are still unable to delete the Search Service Application.

Fix: STSADM becomes your friend again here. You will first need to grab the GUID for the Search Service Application. You can do this by...

  1. Log into the server hosting Central Admin
  2. Open SharePoint 2010 Management Shell (PowerShell) as Administrator
  3. Enter Get-SPServiceApplication
  4. Find the Service Application you wish to delete and copy the GUID (You can do this by right clicking in the PowerShell window -> hitting Select All -> Control + C -> Right Click and Paste into a fresh Notepad document -> copy the GUID from the application you wish to delete)
  5. While still in PowerShell, type: stsadm -o deleteconfigurationobject -id *type in GUID here*
This will delete your Search Service Application completely!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Error When Deleting a SharePoint 2010 Web Application

Scenario: You have just created a new Web Application in SharePoint 2010 but realized after hitting the "ok" button that you have mistyped an application pool name or even entered the wrong port number. You try deleting this newly created Web Application through Central Admin and PowerShell but unfortunately receive the following error:

"Unprovisioning (your web application name) already exists under the parent Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService named "". Rename your object or delete the existing object."

Fix: You need to delete the Timer Job Definition called "Unprovisioning Web Application (your web application name)". This is because SharePoint is still trying to delete the Web Application from your unsuccessful steps before. 

To delete this Timer Job Definition, go to Central Admin -> Monitoring -> Review Job Definitions -> Paginate to the Job Definition called "Unprovisioning Web Application (your web application name)". Click on it and select Delete. 

Now you can delete your Web Application successfully.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SharePoint Publishing Site Features: Error When Enabling Feature During Upgrade

I am sure most of you are either going through, or have completed, an upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. I was recently tasked to migrate a SharePoint 2007 content database to an existing SharePoint 2010 farm. I received an error during the upgrade process which had very few related Google results. I am hoping my experience and knowledge gained through this process will help others receiving this same, and unusual error. 

To set the stage, the content database I was moving from SP2007 to SP2010 contained only one site collection and consisted of only a little over 10gb of data. Publishing site features were being used on this site, as well as workflows, lookup columns, and various other out-of-the-box features. No custom code was deployed to this site collection whatsoever. To begin, let me outlay the extremely simplified version of the migration process:
  1. Perform a backup of your content database in SP2007
  2. Restore the database in SP2010
  3. Attach the database to your SP2010 farm through PowerShell
During the database attach (which is the 'Mount-SPContentDatabase' PowerShell command) was where I received the error. I looked through the error logs and found this:

"Error: Feature upgrade incomplete for Feature 'Publishing Site' (ID:#######) in site 'http://#####'. Exception: Save Conflict. Your changes conflict with those made concurrently by another user. If you want your changes applied, click Back in your web browser, refresh the page, and resubmit your changes."

What is deceiving is that the site does migrate to SP2010 seemingly successfully and the error above occurs right at a 100% - right at the end of the database attach process. I felt uncomfortable with this and decided to do more digging. Unfortunately searching on the web for anything related to this specific error and exception is impossible. So here is my take on how to fix it...

Prior to performing a backup of your SP2007 content database, disable publishing features at both the site collection level and the site level. If you have sub-sites, disable the publishing feature there too. (You can do this through Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Site Collection Features and Manage Site Features.) After you have performed the backup, and restored to 2010, try performing the database attach through PowerShell. You should not receive any errors and this process should complete with no lovely red text at the end.

But wait, I need all of my Publishing Site Features back! You enable the SharePoint Server Publishing Site Infrastructure in the site collection but cannot enable the SharePoint Server Publishing feature for the rest of the sites! You receive this error:

"One or more field types are not installed properly. Go to List settings page to delete these fields."

What does this even mean?! What list are they referring to? And you thought you had it all figured out... Sorry, but there is one more thing you need to do and I swear it will be all done. 

Navigate to the root site in the site collection. You are looking for something called the Relationships list. Since you can't navigate to it, it's located at: http:///Relationships%20List/AllItems.aspx. 

Delete this List!

Go back and enable the SharePoint Server Publishing Site Infrastructure in the site collection and SharePoint Server Publishing feature for the rest of the sites. You should now be error free when it comes to the Publishing Site feature.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Utilizing Quick Parts in Word to Display SharePoint Document Information Panel Metadata

Quick Parts are a feature in Microsoft Word which allow document metadata from Microsoft SharePoint to also be displayed within the body of a Word document. The Document Information Panel (DIP) is a Microsoft InfoPath form that is generated from the SharePoint Document Library and contains the document library’s metadata fields. When the user selects values in the DIP and saves the document back to SharePoint, the metadata fields within the Document Library are also updated. Document metadata can also be useful inside the document itself. This is where Quick Parts come in. Quick Parts are controls that are placed inside the body of the Word document and are connected to the DIP’s metadata fields. When the user selects a value in the DIP, the same value is also placed inside the body of the document via the Quick Part. This also works when the user selects a value from a Quick Part as it enters a value in the DIP. Let’s go through the steps of creating a DIP and adding Quick Parts to a document…

#1 - Create a Document Information Panel (DIP):

**The information below assumes that you have the ability to create/edit Content Types as well as digitally sign an InfoPath form.**

1) Ensure that your Document Library has enabled the use of Content Types.

2) Be sure to add your Content Types to the Document Library. To perform this operation, click on “Add From Existing Content Types” within the Document Library Settings page. For this demo, I am using a Content Type I created called “QuickPartsDemoDoc”.

3) Within the Document Library Settings page, click on the Content Type name and select “Document Information Panel Settings”.

4) You will need to “Create A New Custom Template”. This will open the InfoPath Designer client.

5) Remove any metadata fields you may not need.
**Rimarkable Tip: When using Document Content Types, hide the Title field. You can hide this field within the Content Type settings page as well as remove the control in the InfoPath form you have just created!**

6) Before publishing this form (DIP), you will need to digitally sign the form. Go to File -> Info -> Form Options -> Security and Trust. Check the box to add your certificate. Don’t forget to double check the Security Level of your form before you leave this window.

7) Save the form locally (ex: Desktop). While the form is still open, publish the form by selecting File -> Publish -> SharePoint Server. Follow the wizard to finish the publishing process.

8) Close InfoPath Designer and click “OK” on the DIP settings SharePoint web page that is still open.

#2 - Add Quick Parts to a Word Document

1) Create a new document in your Document Library using your Content Type.

2) Notice that a custom DIP is now associated with your Content Type. I have two fields called “Date Created” and “Version”.

3) Inside the body of your document, place the cursor where you would like the metadata information to be placed. To insert the Quick Part, go to Insert Tab -> Quick Parts -> Document Property -> (Select Metadata Field Here). For this example, I am inserting the “Version” field.

4) Once you have finished inserting Quick Parts, save the document locally
5) Navigate back to Document Library Settings -> (Content Type Name) -> Advanced Settings -> Upload New Template. Upload the template you have just saved locally.
6) Navigate back to your document library and create a new document. Try editing the metadata in the DIP and notice how the body of the document contains the same data!