New blog coming soon for SharePoint Saturday Columbus

My blog has been a bit dead lately. There are 2 reasons for that.

1. A slightly underestimated project has had me busting 60-80 hour weeks for the last month.

2. I am launching a new blog which will have enhanced content to co-incide with my talk at SharePoint saturday in Columbus on Aug. 20, 2011. I will be using the SharePoint 2010 blog site using my new Office 365 account. Time to eat the dog food.

Sharepoint Cincinnati Sharepoint-Silverlight files and links

I did a talk recently at Sharepoint Cincinnati on how to integrate Silverlight into Sharepoint. The code samples I used were largely mofified versions of files I have downloaded from various webacasts and materials I used in my own self-study. Here are the links to those Items for anyone who attended and woudl like a copy of the code.

MSDN Broadcast with Bob German –excellent webcast, downloads available from this site as well.

This book from packit publishing is an outstanding resource. One of the better I have ever purchased in my opinion. a little of my code was from the samples which you can download from here even without buying the book online.

finally this link as a nice module as well

These resources are all you need to get a pretty advanced understanding of sharepoint and silverlight integration. they start out at a pretty deep level. if you need a more beginner oriented approach, I recommend this link as well

Take 2 of these and call me in the morning

a quick thing that I ran into this week

#1-If you are developing in Sharepoint and you get the error screen with the message about changing your web.config entry to <customerrors=”RemoteOnly”>, and you change it for the web app and it doesnt work, REMEMBER that the web.config file in question is the one in the Sharepoint root (12/14 hive). If you change it there , it will work.

Can’t deploy VS 2010 project due to “The local SharePoint server is not available.”

A colleague of mine ran into this the other day on a new developemnt environment we had just created. He was trying to install/ deploy some code using visual studio 2010 with the right click-deploy method. he ran into this error

“Error occurred in deployment step ‘Recycle IIS Application Pool’: The local SharePoint server is not available. Check that the server is running and connected to the SharePoint farm.”

A quick search of the internet pulled up a pile of articles all advising that you should open SQL server and add the user in question to the config, content, and central admin DBs. When this was done, sure enough the deployment worked. This solution however, did not sit well with me. Since when should a developer have to go in and manually add users to the database to do their work. At a lot of places, the DB admins arent going to let you do that anyway.

while the solution is technically correct, the user needs rights to all of those DBs, cracking open SQL server is not the best practice.

The Doctor’s prognosis:

The powershell command Add-SPShell admin is the ticket. When you use the database parameter and you name the content database of the web app you are trying to deploy your code to, it will add the user as a dbowner to that db, as well as the config db and the central admin db. if you leave out the database parm, it will not add to the content db and the deploy will still fail. here is the syntax for the command and a link to the technet web page that describes it in more detail

 Get-SPDatabase | ?{$_.Name -eq “WSS_Content”} | Add-SPShellAdmin –Username <domain\username>

“WSS_Content” should be the name of your content db, but WSS_Content is a common default name for content DBs.

username should be the person trying to deploy the code. this command will add them as db_owner to the config db, the central admin db, and the content db named in the command

Content type publishing link missing in Sharepoint 2010

So the other day I am working on Chapter 13 of my upcoming book, the 24 hour Sharepoint Admin Trainer. My audience is the poor person I see in my client sites who has either been thrown the job of Sharepoint Admin or is a business user trying to use Sharepoint effectively without making it a career. My chapter deals with Content type publishing, creating a hub and publishing content types across site collections. A concept with many posts on the internet detailing how to accomplish it but certainly worth including in a reference/trainer book.

I open up my demo sharepoint environment, ready to take screenshots of the process. I create the hub, the metadata service app, the content types. I publish the content types and manually run the timer jobs. All of these steps are meticulously detailed on the internet and soon in my book :). I go to my subscribing site and VOILA!…..No link in the Site Collection Administration section as I was supposed to see. (“Content Type Publishing”)

So after a couple of hours of digging, here is the solution. I hope if you are having this issue you find this post quickly and it saves you some time.

#1-It turns out that not every site templete is set up to use the Publish Content Types Feature. This feature is provided by a feature staple feature called the TaxonomyFeatureStapler. If you browse to the Features Folder you will see it.

#2-It turns out that one of the site templates not initially supported out of the box is the blank site template. The “behind-the-scenes” name of the blank template is “STS#1”. If you open the TaxonomyFeatureStapler feature file you will see all of the templates it is stapled to, like STS#0 and STS#2. Guess which template I was using for my book sample?

#3-There are 2 ways I found to deal with this issue. One was on a blog post I was able to find after I could search the issue a bit more accurately. The blog post here….

describes activating the feature with an STSADM command.

stsadm -o activatefeature -id 73EF14B1-13A9-416b-A9B5-ECECA2B0604C -url http://toplevelsiteurl

The other solution, which I employed, was simply to add the template name  to the Feature Staple so that it would always be available on a blank site. (Still trying to figure out why you wouldnt want Content Type Publishing to work on EVERY Site template) this added line did the trick

FeatureSiteTemplateAssociation Id=”73EF14B1-13A9-416b-A9B5-ECECA2B0604C” TemplateName=”STS#1” />

Hope that helps!

The in-place upgrade 2010 version

Recently I attempted, against I suppose my better instincts, to try an in-place upgrade on a small and simple Wss 3.0 farm consisting of 1 WFE server and 1 SQL server with about 400 MB of data. Having read the marketing literature and been assured that the upgrade story was much improved over the pervious version, i gave it a try. Now of course I first dutifully baked up the virtual servers and the site collections and the sql databases. Then I ran the in-place upgrade on the development box. The upgrade ran for about 5 minutes at most and completed completely successfully.

Then I ran it on the production server. It returned with 5 errors. The central admin site semi-upgraded with a broken master page. The rest of the portal completely failed and went down…404. The only thing in the logs was a mention of an API call. I had to restore the portal from backups. Is there any more tense moment in all of IT then when you get to find out how good your backups really are? Hyper-V server snapshotting, Thank You.

So I reran using the database attach method. The method I have always used, even back in 2007, and it has never let me down. Ran like a charm, upgraded everything and I am good to go.

The Doctor’s diagnosis. Don’t use the in place upgrade for production. I have the same opinion of it as Leo Getz does of the drive thru (Google it if you must :))

Sharepoint 2010 Themes -Customize Theme missing!

So I am in the middle of writing a 24 hour trainer book for Sharepoint Admins and I am working on what I believe to be a very simple lesson about setting up themes in Sharepoint 2010 when I notice something very odd. One on of my site collections, the themes page includes a customize theme section where you can individually manage color bands within the theme, so I dutifully write up a few pages and screenshots about this. I come back to my dev farm to finish the chapter, using a different site collection, but with the same out of the box top level blank site and lo and behold! NO CUSTOMIZE THEME SECTION. Just the MOSS 2007 style all or nothing theme choice.

The last time I saw a bait and switch like this, Obama was promising not to raise my taxes. I assumed that it had to be due to some combination of features needing to be activated or de-activated, as this is usually the culprit on these sorts of inconsistencies. Sure enough after enough Activate/De-Activate trial and error, I found it. Activating the publishing infrastructure at the SITE COLLECTION level turns the theme sectoin on. Bad news if you are one of those cheapskates trying to get by with Sharepoint Foundation.

The Doctor’s diagnosis…..Get at least the Sharepoint Standard license and activate the publishing features.

One more note on this. I did a little more digging on Google and found a similar answer to mine on the Sharepoint forums. However in that post, it is mentioned that uploading a sharepoint theme is another option for emabling the custom themes section. I tried this and on my farm, uploading a power point theme did not enable the cusotmize theme section if the publishing feature was not activated at the Site Collection level