Friday, March 28, 2014

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.