Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SharePoint Online!

I got an account to SharePoint Online (with mr Z's song ringing in my head)! And of course you want to change to a new master page to get rid of the ugly boring usual interface. Easy. Just open SD and enter the URL to the site. Change to your customized master page and you are back to the old days when all customization took place in SharePoint Designer. And I who just got rid of that and only brands via site def's now. Hmm.

One thing happened when I changed to a new master page: You must enter a line of code inside the Body tag to link to the Privacy Statement for Online Services, otherwise you will get an error on your Default page:




Follow the link that is displayed with the error:

http://www.microsoft.com/online/help/en-us/bpos/index.html?page=html%2F73de6bbf-dadd-48dc-b2e6-01c7724e9d7f.htm


Copy the line of code on this page:




Put it inside the Body tags on your customized master page (I used one of the four samples that you find here. I have used those templates before and they are nice to start with if you want even more customizations and branding on your site):





Save your changes and there you go:




I guess you can always hide those links within a div tag with the display:none set if you don't want them on your page (they are listed up in the top left corner on your default page).

IE 8 and compatibility view

I installed Internet Explorer 8 yesterday - yeah a bit late, I know :) Entered a customers site that I have built on MOSS and paniced a little when I found out that the drop down menus where... white!! No, not again. Not another strange issue with my customized drop down menu... the last time I had issues with the menu was in the Safari browser and then I had to do this. .... Hm, then I thought about a setting that I had checked when installing IE 8 and that was the compatibility view setting. That if a site has been built for older versions then you could enable this view to make the site look better (well, in my case - worse!). So by simply disable the compatibility view, the drop down menus looked alright again. Phew....

This is how the drop down menu looked like while the browser had Compatibility View enabled:



There is a new button to the left of "Refresh" in your address bar when you enable this view:



When you enable it, it gives you the following message:



I simply clicked on the button for Compatibility View and the menu looked normal again:



So I right clicked on the toolbar in IE 8 and disabled the compatibility view.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No results matching your search were found

A search on "All sites" returns results, but when you select the "This site: xxx" no results are returned:






Match your default zone url in Alternate Access Mappings with the url used in the Content source, then you will fix this issue.

A clarification: This issue concerned a MOSS server, not a WSS installation.

Part 2: Search issues

This is the rest of the story regarding Search issues

Problem: the customer has a server farm (the platform is one SQL, two WFE with MOSS 2007) and NLB running. When accessing one of the servers, the Search Box is missing. This is what the customer reported to me, and where my troubleshooting started.

Summary: Resolving a database schema mismatch after applying Security Update KB 956716

So, I had tried to reset the content index on the WFE in the server farm. But that crashed and I got into a real mess where I restarted the search services, reset the passwords on all search accounts, etc. Nothing helped me so that I could perform a Full crawl again. I got a lot of errors within Search Settings and finally what happened was that when I clicked on Full Crawl it only jumped back to "Idle", so nothing could trigger the Full crawl.

Then I discovered the real issue: on the WFE where Search box was disabled, a patch for SharePoint had been installed. No one knows why that patch was installed, probably it has been downloaded and installed along with some other updates. So, there was a mismatch in patches since the KB956716 only was installed on one server and not on the other (as you can see, it is divided into three instances - strange):



So, I ran the Sharepoint Configuration Wizard. That was successful, and the search box came back! Success I thought and ran a Full Crawl. Everything was working perfectly. The morning after I tested the search again... No results!! Hm, what had happened during the night?? Looked through Event Viewer and there were some error messages saying that there was a database error:

Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: Office Server SearchEvent Category: Gatherer Event ID: 10036Date: 18-03-2009Time: 14:00:07User: N/AComputer: Dxxxx001
Description:A database error occurred.
Source: Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL
ServerCode: 4060 occurred 1 time(s)
Description: Cannot open database "SharedServices2_Search_DB" requested by the login. The login failed.

So I installed the kb on the search server as well, but the first time the server hung and we had to restart it. Then I ran the kb installation again and success this time. Restarted the server. Ran the configuration wizard. and it was successful. Started CA and Search settings and tada, there was a new link, Search Administration which is the same link that you get when you install the infrastructure upgrade.Performed a full crawl.... and yes! It started!

Conclusion: always make sure your server farm has a "patch match" :) And always run the Config Wizard after a patch has been installed, then all will work fine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Attempted to read or write protected memory

I have installed WSS 3 and Search Server Express on a Windows Server 2008 machine. No problems with that, all is fine. But today I found that three errors were logged in Event Viewer. They are:

Event ID 6398
Event ID 6482
Event ID 7076



Application Server Administration job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchAdminSharedWebServiceInstance (02203890-d48f-4db7-9704-017c33fe14ff).

Reason: Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.

Techinal Support Details:

System.AccessViolationException: Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt. at System.DirectoryServices.Interop.UnsafeNativeMethods.IntADsOpenObject(String path, String userName, String password, Int32 flags, Guid& iid, Object& ppObject) at System.DirectoryServices.Interop.UnsafeNativeMethods.ADsOpenObject(String path, String userName, String password, Int32 flags, Guid& iid, Object& ppObject) at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind(Boolean throwIfFail) at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind() at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.get_IsContainer() at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntries.CheckIsContainer() at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntries.Find(String name, String schemaClassName) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Metabase.MetabaseObjectCollection`1.Find(String name) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Metabase.MetabaseObjectCollection`1.get_Item(String name) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPProvisioningAssistant.ProvisionIisApplicationPool(String name, ApplicationPoolIdentityType identityType, String userName, SecureString password, TimeSpan idleTimeout, TimeSpan periodicRestartTime) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPMetabaseManager.ProvisionIisApplicationPool(String name, Int32 identityType, String userName, SecureString password, TimeSpan idleTimeout, TimeSpan periodicRestartTime) at Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.SharedWebServiceInstance.Synchronize() at Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.ApplicationServerJob.ProvisionLocalSharedServiceInstances(Boolean isAdministrationServiceJob)

I have not noticed any errors inside of SharePoint or that any functions are corrupt. The only issue I found was that my scheduled task for the Backup has not run as it should.

Found this article today, and I will probably not install the hotfix until other issues inside SharePoint are reported. The customer runs a Sharepoint agent within Backup Exec which should take care of the backup task issue.

Monday, March 16, 2009

AvePoint Migration tool

Today I tried out the Migration Tool from AvePoint, for migrating data from Lotus Notes to SharePoint. And I was impressed, very easy tool to use and simply drag and drop a view from Notes onto either a list or document library (or whatever template you will use).

So what you must do is to install an agent on your Notes client machine and an agent on the SharePoint server and install DocAve Manager (a web app). Make sure they are able to communicate through the ports that are set in DocAve Manager and go for it! As a former Lotus Notes developer and administrator (yes I converted to MS in 2003 hehe) I am used to the Notes UI and I found it very easy to browse through the databases on the Domino server, select the view you want to migrate and just drag and drop that view onto a new list or library in SharePoint. There were some minor issues with the Notes.ini and .id file, but if you are familiar with those then it should be no problem. One thing, you cannot select the user id with which you are using in the Notes client so inside the notes.ini on the line where it displays which ID file to use, make sure it differs from the one you use on your Notes client.

You may map Notes fields to SharePoint columns (create content types) and you may also map ACL against the permission levels inside of SharePoint.

Luckily, this customer is not using Notes applications with any kind of code behind so there were no functionality needed to migrate, only documents and forms. It would have been a lot more complicated to migrate an application from Notes with buttons that triggers DBLookups, code, scripts, workflows and so on. So that part is not tested.

And one other thing, you are able to refine the ACL on a Notes database with roles. That is, you may hide or disable certain functionality depending on which role you assign a user or a group to extend a permission. I am not sure how AvePoints tool handles that kind of permissions.

But as a pure migration tool for attachments and forms, I can really recommend this product! I did take a look at Microsofts own migration tool, but that seemed very complicated and you must write your commands in a DOS Shell prompt.

So the result inside of SharePoint? Yes the list got its fields from the Notes form, great. And the document library listed all embedded files. Two different approaches, with a really nice result.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Part 1: Search issues.. again

Search had gone to status "Computing ranking", happens every now and then. Usually a Full crawl makes the index work again, and status changes to Idle, but sometimes you have to perform the "Reset all crawled content". Did that on a server yesterday, but this time the action hung and I got an error message due to a timeout in the connection. So, I opened services and stopped the Windows Sharepoint Search, worked fine. Tried to stop the Office Server Search, but that resulted in an error message due to a timeout..... Yuk. To do something and trying not to panic, since this is a production environment (of course...) I started the WSS Search again - worked. But the service Office Server Search still had the status "Stopping". And you cant stop it, not in Services and not in CA under Services on server. Now when I click on "Search settings" in CA, I get the message "The gatherer is shutting down". And there you go... stuck.
So my plan for tomorrow is the following:
- First, check out the Timer Job Definition to delete it there (if it is listed)
- Edit all passwords and re enter them on Services page and on the Services in Control Panel
- Make sure that the accounts are admins where they are supposed to be Admins
- If none of those works, I will setup a new SSP and associate my web apps to that. That should do it.
Now, I need to find out why the search hangs sometimes and gets into the "Computing ranking" state. I have had that problem on many servers, it might have to do with performance, timeout against the backend, password changes on the service accounts, and so on...
I hope that my fix list will be successful tomorrow!