Friday, April 18, 2014

#SP24 : SPOnline public site branding issues by @gusfrases


@gusfrases presented #SP24S067 Office 365 Public Websites The Good The Bad 
the Ugly #SP24 Online conference. The ugliest part was the most attractive one.


In that part he showed the challenges and issues around branding of a SPOnline public facing site.

Here are the most prominent challenges and issues:

Mobile
No customizable device channels

Anonymous users issues
Workaround:

Sandbox solution
JSlink (and yes, you can do a multiple JSLinks ListView Web Part issues with JSLink and Display Templates – A solution?)
  • No cache

Not a real workaround for cache issue:
 CDN for jQuery
 Client -side options for caching
 Lazy load;
 Content optimization

>> Takeaway>> NO for a Search-driven application on SPOnline public anonymous sites


Site management issue

No UI for Site columns, content types, search schema and creation of the subsite
Some default site templates are not available

Workaround:
Some features are accessible through direct links, some via SPD.

User Code Service not reliable in O365
Instead of Sandbox solution, consider JSLink when possible

>>Takeaway>> Why and why not to use SPonline for public facing sites?

*Search = OOTB Search

Resources:
Blog by Gus Frases
SPOnline Public Site with search which is possible built by Gus Frases



Thursday, April 17, 2014

#SP24: SharePoint 2015 by Bill Baer

Bill Baer opened the SP24 Online conference.
His topic was "What's next in SharePoint?"

1. SP2013 SP1
SP1 turned out to be buggy , the features that have been packed are to integrate SP On-prem more closely to Office365:
 - Redirect to OneDrive for Business; 
 - Integration with Yammer


2. SharePoint 2015 Is this the last version for on premises?
No, Bill assured that Microsoft will ship on-prem as long as there is a demand on it. 
Next version of SP2015 will introduce a deeper integration with Yammer through the new concept of "GROUPS" (yammer groups).
These groups will be visible in the Outlook and you can see discussion within the groups in the outlook as a tree from Yammer discussion. The document will have a tree view discussions attached to them in the Yammer.


3. SPOnline will have ENCRYPTION AT REST



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Powerpivot for sharepoint configuration: The user is not a farm administrator

PowerPivot for SharePoint 2013 Configuration gives an error 
“The user is not a farm administrator. Please address the validation failures and try again.”

MSDN says 
Either login as the account that installed SharePoint or configure the setup account as the primary administrator of the SharePoint Central Administration Site.
 Let me tell you, I have tried both and DID NOT HELP
 To keep it short and to help you faster, I will just enlist all things I have done that finally gotten rid of the error/
WARN YOU, I don't know which of these 5 actions allowed me to run PowerPivot configuration successfully. Feel free to try one at time.
Please let me know what helped you in the comments below.

 I assume that install account is the same as a farm account.
 Even though my recent hero recommends to have a distinct install account apart from farm account in real life scenarios most of the time, the account that gets installed the binaries IS the Farm account under which timer service and CA app pool is running.

So I went ahead and check account which runs SharePoint Timer service - it was, let's say, sp_farm account and then

 1. I have added (as as temporary evil) sp_farm to Local Administrators group;
 2. Add sp_farm to Farm Administrators group directly.
Before the Farm Administrators group has only built in group of local Administrators (sp_farm got belong to it, but I didn't trust the PowerPivot configuration is smart enough to get this know to)
 3. Set sp_farm as Central Adminstration site collection administrator

ATTENTION: All 3 actions  AGAINST BEST PRACTICES. After you have finished with PowerPivot configuration, please rollback the changes made for sp_farm.

 4.  CA - Configure service account -> re-select the farm account to sp_farm account and hit ok.
The page is written the way it seems that it doesn't validate that the value is the same as before, so seems like it saves the values back to config. My idea is to remind the farm who is the farm account here.
 5. Run PowerPivot for SP2013 configuration as a sp_farm account.


P.S. I have noticed that post that suggests that tool wants to have you run as an installation account. So that suggests that MSDN article doesn't reflect truth when says that you might be a CA primary administrator.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Managed metadata: 5 things that you wish you knew before using term store management tool in SharePoint

My recent posts are more on the darker side. I see the mistakes, issues and flaws in SharePoint, as well as in working with SharePoint.
It doesn't mean that SharePoint is getting worse, it just means I am getting better). I know more, I see more.
Last couple of years, I was working on understanding how to use SharePoint right. Where SharePoint is helpful, what feature is more appropriate for the specific use case. 
Finally, I have figured out where Managed metadata can bring value. 
More on that:

I have implemented managed metadata, and have used it successfully to improve findability in the portal.
Nevertheless, working with managed metadata in the real world portal highlights some flaws that currently exist in Term Store management implementation.

1. No history, no versioning
There is no way to see changes made in the term store, nor you can't revert changes.

2.No author of the term
The term doesn't have an author field. So, there is now way to know who created or modified and when the term.

3. No usage (where value is used)
Being in the term store you can't trace where the term has been used.

4. No UI to backup\restore
What you can do is to reach out for PowerShell to export term to backup it.

These 4 things can be easily significant in the large implementation of the SharePoint. I hope that you know them before making decision. And it doesn't mean that these facts stop you, but you will be better equipped to set the expectations right.

5. No sync options in case of Hybrid Cloud Architecture
There is no way to maintain term store in sync between 2 farms: on-prem and SharePoint Online

Common mistakes in SharePoint 2013 Arhitecture

I am participating in the upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to  SharePoint 2013 on premises. It is nice to be back in upgrade work since it was my main activity last 6 years). This time it's a little bit different.
First of all, the upgrade is from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013. We do it through a transitional SharePoint 2010 farm.
And second of all, I wasn't involved in the architecture phase of building the farm. I jumped on the upgrade bandwagon just before the final prod upgrade. So, what I do mainly is  verifying that new farm is in the working conditions and testing once again the content migration.
Along the way I see how people built the farm and streamlined the upgrade process. It's a good experience to have to observe different style of working with SharePoint. I am free of making architectural decisions, but at the same time I am experienced enough to see outcome of decisions that were made by others.
This post is about my observations on common SharePoint 2013 architectural mistakes.

I can get "editing in the browser" feature with no additional configuration
No, you have to have 2 conditions to have Office Web Apps on the farm:
1. Office Web App server
2.  Claim based web application

You need to have OWA server. You can't place OWA on App server. It should be a dedicated server for Office Web App server.Plan for an additional server in the farm.
Office Web Apps can be used only by SharePoint 2013 web applications that use claims-based authentication


OWA server will handle all Excel calculation
Office Web Apps Server enables you to view workbooks that contain Data Models that use native data. However, you can’t explore data in items such as PivotTable reports, PivotChart reports, and timeline controls that use a Data Model as the data source.

Excel Web App runs in one of two modes:
SharePoint view mode   In this mode, Excel Services is used to view workbooks in the browser.
Office Web Apps Server view mode   In this mode, Excel Web App is used to view workbooks in the browser.

       Excel Services, and Excel Web App all have a lot in common, but they are not exactly the same. These applications can differ in what workbook features are supported for viewing in a browser

More on SharePoint 2013 architectural pain points

SP farm doesn't use SQL alias
 An old and common mistake. I have just recently jumped on the project after the farm was already configured. The first thing that makes me sick in the farm, that there is no alias for SQL.
So, in case you sql server dies and need to make sure that you name the new server the same way as previous one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

User Profile Service: View the management agent run history for details.

Do you still use FIM for User Profiles in SharePoint 2013?
If requirements allow, I highly recommend to switch to SharePoint Active Directory Import

If not, you may be lost with intricacy of FIM configuration. I hope this How to start User Profile Synchronization service post alleviate some configuration pain.

One the Sp2013 uses FIM, and I recently found an error message in the event log:

The management agent "MOSSAD-User Profile Synchronisation" failed on run profile "DS_FULLIMPORT" because of connectivity issues.

 Additional Information
 Discovery Errors       : "0"
 Synchronization Errors : "0"
 Metaverse Retry Errors : "0"
 Export Errors          : "0"
 Warnings               : "0"

 User Action
 View the management agent run history for details.

And was wondering where IS this agent run history.

Here it is:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Synchronization Service\UIShell

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Project Server 2013 error: Faulting application name: schedengine.exe

As me moved to Project Server 2013, I have made several posts along the way describing new bugs introduced in the Project Server 2013.

Here is the one that I see pretty regularly:
Can't save or published the project. It's been queued and never finished.
The event log registered an application error:

Faulting application name: schedengine.exe, version: 15.0.4551.1507, time stamp: 0x52700711
Faulting module name: schedengine.exe, version: 15.0.4551.1507, time stamp: 0x52700711
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x000000000048508b
Faulting process id: 0x1e68
Faulting application start time: 0x01cf3eca3fc01ef1
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Bin\schedengine.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Bin\schedengine.exe
Report Id: 6a2866f8-aad9-11e3-9414-00155d52365a
Faulting package full name: 
Faulting package-relative application ID: 

This bug is not a new one based on the reply in this thread
In my experience, the common cause of such behavior is wrong dates for task duration.
What I mean by that is the following:
As an example, you have a Task 1 with duration 1 d and dates are: start date: 3/12/2014 and finish date: 3/13/2014. It's 2 working days based on the dates.
That situation is never been reproduced intentionally, but I saw it after the fact. So, I don't know how to reproduced, but it's obvious how to fix it.
You need to open the project in Project Professional and recalculate dates (F9).
In some cases, it might be the other issues related to some wrong data that appeared in the project, that schedengine can't get it straight (which is a whole another discussion)
As a recent example, when I checked the dates and nothing was suspicious about them, I have tried to publish the project through Project Professional, which is really helpful since you have a error message more easily than scanning through event and trace logs. So I have got a Job UI that failed and search by it in the ULS log messages field and found the following error:
Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'pub.MSP_PROJECT_RESOURCES'. 

I have checked the resource values that are not currently in the resource list and select the actual one, saved and published the project successfully.


This is a known bug and acknowledged by MS


I have ran the recommended sql to fix the issue. That ensures that we will not have this issue from now on.

Nevertheless, the inflected projects ARE NOT FIXED AND NEEDED MANUAL ADJUSTMENT.
Almost every project is affected. 
To fix the remain residue:
1.      open the project in the Project Professional ;
2.      re-add missing resource;
3.      re-select the resource in the tasks that shown with numbers instead of resource name
4.      Save and Publish