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  • 05/05/13--21:44: Nauplius.WAS 1.0 Released
  • I’ve released Nauplius.WAS 1.0 to CodePlex.  This release includes many improvements over the previous versions, including UI and functionality improvements, as well as bug fixes. Nauplius.WAS allows a user to interact with SharePoint’s Word Automation Services functionality, allowing a user to easily convert a document from one file type to another using a simple, ribbon-based [...]

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    Just a quick note that I’ve released Nauplius.WAS 1.01 which has a few fixes for SharePoint 2010 and adds full support for SharePoint 2013. Project Site Download Page Discussions Issue Tracker

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    This new version includes a SharePoint Designer Custom Activity!  Now you can automatically convert documents by dropping them into a specific Document Library, or integrate them as part of an overall document management workflow. You can download this new version from the Nauplius.WAS Downloads page.  Both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 solutions are available. Project [...]

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  • 05/19/13--13:53: SharePoint TreeView
  • Part of my Word Automation Services project was to provide an alternate save location.  WAS takes this in the form of a string [url].  I figured I would start off just by using SPTreeView control and return the selected node [url] back to the parent form. SPTreeView, unfortunately, sets the NavigateUrl property.  When this property is [...]

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    Within a Records Center under Site Settings -> Manage Records Center, there is a link on the right hand side titled “Generate a file plan report”. When clicking on this, I was seeing either the standard correlation Id error dialog or a yellow screen of death.  The following error appears in the ULS: [crayon-519d9ff99b00a/] You’ll [...]

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    With the questionable life span of the Microsoft Forefront brand, the Application Request Routing module for IIS7+ serves as a replacement reverse caching proxy.  In conjunction with the Web Farm Framework and URL Rewrite, the ARR, in some cases, can provide an alternative to licensed products, such as Microsoft UAG, for todays needs.  This guide [...]

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  • 05/28/13--23:31: Nauplius SharePoint Products

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  • 05/29/13--20:44: SharePoint Community
  • I’ve been involved in a (relatively) new community, SharePoint Community.  Started by Mark Jones and Vlad Catrinescu, SharePoint-Community.Net offers a place for SharePoint users of all types, from beginners to business users to experts, and everyone in between, to communicate, collaborate, work together, and socialize.  Currently the community is composed of over 1,200 members from all over the world and growing every day.  In addition to discussions and chat, SharePoint-Community has weekly giveaways for members (it’s free!), all you have to do is participate.  If you get a few minutes, come by and say ‘hi’ in the chat, or leave your thoughts on the current state of SharePoint, or perhaps let us know who your SharePoint Hero is! Visit SharePoint Community and follow them on Twitter @SharePointPart.

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    Recently I was ask about URL Rewrite support for SharePoint, given the article I previously posted about the Application Request Routing module, which leverages URL Rewrite.  Microsoft has released a KB article on what is, and is not supported for URL Rewrite (and ARR). http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2818415 The supported scenarios are 301, 302 redirects, as well as symmetrical rewrites (e.g. http://sharepoint/sites/sitename/ to http://intranet/sites/sitename/). Asymmetrical rewrites (e.g. http://sharepoint/sites/sitename/ to http://intranet/sitename/) are not supported. Note that in a redirect or symmetrical rewrite, the Alternate Access Mapping must reflect the protocol, domain, and port of the target redirect or rewrite rule. Rewriting of the path (/sites/…) is not supported!

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    I’ve made a few changes to SharePoint.Nauplius.net over the past week or so.  I’ve acquired a new theme, and even designed myself a (mini) logo. More so than the visual changes to the site, I wanted to bring your attention to the “Recommended Current Patch Level” widget on the left hand side.  This is my personal recommendation, based on what I’ve seen with the patch from my own testing, along with various other sources…  It is not a guarantee you will not have issues with the specific patch level!  You should always test patches in a pre-production environment that closely mirrors your production environment, testing all facets of business critical SharePoint functionality that you’re realistically able to.  I will not be including Security Patches with the widget (for example, MS13-035), as I always recommend you deploy security patches as soon as possible.

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    Full disclosure: As part of the MVP Program, Acceleratio has offered MVPs a Consultant Premium license.  This license offers the full features on an unlimited number of farms.  However, I’ve been using a purchased farm license since the 1.0 version. If you’ve ever had to document a SharePoint farm, perhaps even a single server installation, you know that the amount of documentation required can be enormous.  One farm I worked on was a 200+ page book, screenshots included, to document a medium sized farm.  This level of documentation was a requirement for disaster recovery purposes and frankly, nearly impossible to keep up-to-date with all of the changes to the farm (luckily those are well noted in helpdesk and change requests!).  With the Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint (SPDocKit), this process is automated for you.  Originally, SPDocKit just compiled the most relevant information and provided the output to you in Word or PDF format.  The tool has now grown into much more, providing far more settings that are documented for you, best practices, log review, permissions review, etc. This overview covers version 3.2.1 on SharePoint 2013.  SPDocKit is also available for SharePoint 2010. After installing the application, creating the SPDocKit database, and enabling the snapshot service to track farm changes, the first task is to load the farm data.  This will parse through the farm — Web Applications, Service Applications, Services Instances, servers, hardware, and various other settings.  When the load is complete, we’re left with a tree view of (almost) all of the settings you could want.  Here is my boring farm topology: This version has a Site Explorer feature, which allows you to view not only the Web Application settings related to sites, but also deployed solutions to both the Web Application and Site Collections.  One feature I like is the ability to display the People Picker settings.  This level of detail is essential to successful documentation for recovery purposes! Another feature I leverage on a weekly basis is the snapshot functionality.  These can be scheduled by way of the snapshot service (and emailed automatically), or taken manually.  In this example, I’ve taken a snapshot automatically (on initial load), changed a peoplepicker-searchadforests property on http://sp2013webapp1, then manually took another snapshot.  By comparing the snapshots, you can see how easily it is to narrow down changes to the farm:   Not only is this invaluable for settings changes, but also for changes to security of the farm, such as additions or removal of Farm Administrators.  You can compare different farms (this would be valuable for comparing pre-production to production, for example), Web Applications, or Site permissions. A relatively new feature is the Best Practices.  This shows some overall best practices for SharePoint, and whether or not the farm is configured according to those best practices (either as defined by Acceleratio, or custom defined best practices).  A helpful dashboard is included with an overall status, showing errors, warnings, and passes). Not all ‘best practices’ defined here will fit every farm deployment, but in general the values are appropriate.  This allows you to easily target and resolve issues that may otherwise go undetected, such as database autogrowth settings. Back to the original purpose of SPDocKit, farm documentation, the output it generates is very well laid out and easy to read.  You can customize the style and company logo, but otherwise SPDocKit will insert a Table of Contents as well as great looking tables for the farm settings.  The output is customizable.  You can configure if you just want the overall farm topology, or even documentation down to the configuration of each Site Collection. The resulting output is similar to this: Each table is collapsable, which makes reading the Word document significantly easier.  Another option that is probably better suited for consultants or small businesses rather than enterprises is a SkyDrive or Dropbox synchronization feature.  This function allows you to automatically or manually synchronize farm settings, snapshots, and documentation to ‘the cloud’.  I can see this as being useful for monitoring farms, but I can also see this as being an issue for security-conscious organizations allowing core documentation to reside off site in a location that could potentially be compromised. A couple of negative points, the first being just a limitation of the SharePoint platform: SPDocKit must be run on a SharePoint server that is a member of the farm in order to load changes.  You can run SPDocKit on a machine without SharePoint to open a saved farm and perform a review of the existing settings, but you cannot update SPDocKit with changes to a farm.  The second function that I’ve had issues with is the Monitoring function, specifically the Event viewer built into SPDocKit.  Be careful when using this function as the memory for the SPDocKit just balloons when viewing the ULS log.  For example, loading 242K rows of ULS resulted in a 400MB increase in the SPDocKit process memory usage.  That said, it is very useful for diagnostic history.  It allows you to sort and filter log events, as well as export to Excel and PDF.  It is significantly easier and faster to parse through than using the ULS Viewer, providing Excel-like filtering and sorting.  This is not a replacement for the ULS Viewer as it does not monitor the log file in near-real time.   A property that I actually need, but is not part of the feature set, is a record of IIS MIME Type additions as well as the SPWebApplication.AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes.  Since all of my Web Applications are set to Strict, over time I’ve had to add various media files to this particular property. Overall I feel this is a must-have product for SharePoint Administrators.  It has saved me many hours of documentation updates (I only wish it existed prior to building my farm!) and allows me to track changes to the farm easily and efficiently; changes I may otherwise be unaware of.  I’d encourage SharePoint Administrators to evaluate it on a test platform to see if it meets their organizations needs.

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    Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 SP1 and SharePoint Server 2013 has introduced the ability to leverage FIM for User Profile Synchronization with Active Directory, versus the built-in version of FIM included with SharePoint Server. Currently, the process to support this is in beta. It also only official supports SharePoint Server 2013, but will unofficially support SharePoint Server 2010. You will need a few Domain accounts.  An account to run the FIM Service (s-fim), an account to run the FIM Management Agents (s-fimma), the SharePoint farm administrator account (s-sp2013farm), and finally a synchronization account for Active Directory (s-sp2013sync).  For the last account, this guide will be using the same account as the one used for the UPA connection.  Configure the permissions appropriately for s-sp2013sync. Provision the UPA and UPSS per the standard instructions.  Once both services have been configured, stop the FIM services on the SharePoint server and set them to Disabled.  In the UPA under Configure Synchronization Settings, you have Enable External Identity Manager selected. First, we’ll start out with a SQL Server running SQL Server 2012 SP1 with the Database Engine, Integration Services, and Management Studio.  All other settings are at their defaults.  If you are using a SQL Server that is not running on the same server as the FIM services, make sure to install the SQL Server Native Client on the server running the FIM services. The FIM server will run SharePoint Foundation 2013, the FIM Synchronization Service as well as FIM Service and Portal, along with the SharePoint User Profile Connector. Install SharePoint Foundation 2013 and create a Classic Web Application for the FIM Portal.  The FIM Portal does not currently work with Claims-based Authentication.  Next, install the FIM Synchronization Service.  During the installation, specify the FIM Synchronization Service account. Next, install the FIM Service and Portal.  The Portal will leverage our SharePoint Foundation installation and Classic Web Application.  The Classic Web Application has been configured with an Alternate Access Mapping of “FIM02″ in this example. Enter the SharePoint site collection URL. Enter the hostname of the FIM Service server.  We’re installing the Portal and Service on the same server, so again we’ll use “FIM02″ here. Enter the hostname of the Synchronization Service, along with the Management Agent account. Again, enter the FIM Service service account information. You can either let FIM generate a self-signed certificate, or use a certificate signed by a Certificate Authority.  For purposes of synchronization, a self-signed certificate will work. Enter the mail server information.  Since we’re just after synchronization, the remaining options are unchecked (leaving the polling option checked, if not configured properly, will generate Event Log warnings). Enter the database server name and database name.   Finish the installation of the FIM Service and Portal.  Next, install the KB2832389 update for the FIM Synchronization Service and FIM Portal and Service.  This update is required prior to installing the SharePoint User Profile Connector.  Until the SharePoint User Profile Connector goes RTW, it can be downloaded from the Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Connect site.  Install the SharePoint User Profile Connector on the FIM Synchronization Service server. The next step is to use the FIM client and FIM Portal to set up our Management Agents, Synchronization Rules, Workflows, and Management Policy Rules.  This will cover the basics required, but you will want to adjust the attributes used and users targeted based on business requirements.  Lastly, this will only cover User objects, but Contact and Group objects are also available for synchronization. First, let’s add a new attributes that we’ll use.  Using the Synchronization Service client, under the Metaverse Designer, select the person object type.  Create one attribute: Attribute name: sAMAccountName Attribute type: String (non-indexable) Next, create the Management Agents.  Create a new Active Directory Domain Services MA.  Go through the Management Agent, enter the appropriate information.  For the username to connect to AD DS, specify the same account used for the User Profile Application connection (e.g. s-sp2013sync).  Select the Directory Partition as well as specify any Containers (or all Containers) you want to synchronize objects from.  Under object types, make sure at least User objects are selected.  Under Attributes, select: displayName, givenName, mail, objectSid, sAMAccountName, sn, telephoneNumber Click Next until you complete the Management Agent. Create the FIM Service Management Agent.  For this agent, under Connect to database, specify the values used to connect to the FIM Service.  In this example, the values are: Server: localhost Database: FIMService FIM Service base address: http://localhost:5725 Using Windows Authentication, specify the FIM Service Management Agent account (not the FIM Service account): User name: s-fimma Password: <password> Domain: nauplius Under Object Types, make sure the Person, and optionally Group, object type is selected.  All Attributes should be selected.  Configure the Person Object Type Mapping to map from “Person” to “person”.  This is the only Management Agent where we will configure the Attribute Flow.  In this example, the flow is configured with these values: Click Next until you complete the Management Agent. The last Management Agent we will create is the SharePoint Profile Store Management Agent.  Under Connectivity, specify the hostname and port number of the server running Central Administration.  Enter the domain credentials of the SharePoint farm administrator account.  For the picture flow directly, we are going to select “Export only (NEVER from SharePoint)”.  This will flow pictures from Active Directory to SharePoint.  Select all 3 Object Types.  This Management Agent will throw errors when attempting to synchronize with SharePoint if any of the object types are left deselected.  On the Attributes, select at least the following: AccountName, Anchor, domain, FirstName, LastName, Picture, PreferredName, ProfileIdentifier, SID, UserName You may also add other attributes, such as WorkEmail, WorkPhone, and so forth.  This example will use some of these other attributes later in the Synchronization Rules.  Complete the SharePoint Management Agent. If you export pictures from Active Directory to SharePoint, make sure you run the following on the SharePoint server: [crayon-51ac1dca0f1bb/] Configure Run Profiles for each Management Agent.  The Active Directory Management Agent requires Full Import, Full Synchronization, Delta Import, and Delta Synchronization.  The FIM [...]

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    SharePoint Foundation: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817346 SharePoint Server 2013: Project Server 2013: Office 2013 June 2013 Cumulative Updates: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2855356

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    SharePoint Foundation: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817392 SharePoint Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817363 Project Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817368 Office 2010 June 2013 Cumulative Updates: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2855357

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    Many of the primary binaries of the June 2013 Cumulative Update have a build number of 14.0.7xxx.1000.  The last available SharePoint 2010 SP2 Public Beta build numbers were in the same range.  For example, Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.dll SP2 Public Beta has a build number of 14.0.7010.1000 and the Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.dll June 2013 Cumulative Update has a build build number of 14.0.7011.1000. Microsoft has reserved the .1000 builds for Service Packs in the past (.5000 series for Cumulative Updates). It looks like we may be nearing SharePoint 2010 SP2 release!

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  • 07/05/13--12:30: Nauplius.WAS 1.6 Released!
  • Today I have published Nauplius.WAS 1.6.  The major change is the ability to convert entire Folders, including subfolders, in Document Libraries.  This allows you to convert eligible documents within a Folder to a different file format. Another major change was the ability to save to an alternate location, such as another Document Library in the same Web or Subweb, etc.  This is available both for each individual document conversion as well as Folder conversion. The Web Application workflow solution is no longer activated by default.  The Web targeted solution continues to not be activated by default.  Lastly, the PowerShell installation script will now indicate whether or not the Word Automation Services instance as well as Service Application are online or not. All of these changes are present in both the SharePoint 2010 and 2013 solutions. Download from the Nauplius.WAS project page.  Also check out my other solutions in my portfolio!

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    If a Word document contains Ink in a SharePoint 2010 farm with the December 2012 Cumulative Update or later, the document will not display correctly when downloaded.  Word will open, but the document will not display, instead showing the background pane of Word. To work around this issue, you can run: [crayon-51e3a30446b5d235368114/] This will fix the issue for any newly uploaded documents, but will not resolve the issue for any documents previously uploaded. The June 2013 Cumulative Update was supposed to resolve this issue, but in testing, it has not (this CU was also pulled). Microsoft believes a fix will be provided in the August or October 2013 Cumulative Update.

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    TechNet has a great resource located on their Microsoft Security Bulletins page to list all of the security updates for all products, including SharePoint Server.  To see the list of updates, go here, then under Search by Product or Component, select the appropriate version of SharePoint, then click the Search by Product or Component button.  It will list all applicable security updates below.   And of course, standard SharePoint updates can be found in the TechNet SharePoint Update Center for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.

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    I am currently a moderator on the TechNet SharePoint 2010 and 2013 General as well as Setup/Administration forums.  There are a lot of people asking for help every day, and I’m glad I’m apart of the community that helps not only manage, but to answer questions. However, it helps those who are answering questions if you can provide some very basic information about what you’re attempting to accomplish or resolve.  Here are my suggestions for information that you should outline in your original post when asking for help: The build of SharePoint you’re using, which you can find by running [crayon-51e3a30443b83740171215-i/] If necessary, check the Control Panel “Programs and Features” to look at installed updates to validate Service Packs are installed The general architecture of the farm, number of SharePoint servers, their overall roles, number of SQL Servers; indicate if this is a single-server install, with or without SQL Express The error you’re seeing from an end user perspective (if applicable) and server perspective Validate you have checked all the log files for errors; the ULS, Application Event Log, System Event Log, and under Applications and Services, the SharePoint Event Logs Provide any information about ancillary servers and services, such as Exchange, AD RMS, ADFS or 3rd party SAML providers, and so forth Let us know your comfort level on accomplishing the task or resolving the error!  It helps target an answer at an appropriate level for the person asking the question With all of this information, it helps those who are answering questions get off to a great start to quickly answer your question.  Many of us are aware, for example, of specific SharePoint Service Packs and Cumulative Updates that break specific features… knowing your farm build version helps answer this question without a lot of troubleshooting or back-and-forth. One last suggestion would be to post the question in the correct forum.  I see a lot of developer questions in the General forums when they should have been asked in the Development forums.  Moderators can move your questions to the appropriate forum, but if one day goes by before the question is moved, it will likely be on the third or fourth page of the Developer forum and no one may see it. If you have any other suggestions for information to provide up front when asking a question, I’d love to hear about it.

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    The June 2013 Cumulative Update for SharePoint 2010 has been re-released with new knowledge base articles. SharePoint Foundation: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817552 SharePoint Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817527 Project Server 2010: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817530 Office 2010 June 2013 Cumulative Updates: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2855357

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