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April 7, 2011

Maybe I’m wrong

Filed under: Uncategorized — phil @ 5:31 am

I tend to write and talk as if I’m an authority on a subject. I do it because it keeps arguments to a minimum. It’s also easier to push your agenda when you’re aggressive.

That said, I am in no way claiming that anything I write on this blog is 100% accurate. I’ve looked at sources, I’ve tested the solutions, but I still may be wrong. I may have patched some issue that was ancillary to the problem I was hoping to address, I may have made a change that covered up the problem I was trying to solve originally.

The short version of what I’m saying is this: Correct me. Leave a comment if you see something is wrong, or you think I’ve led people down the wrong path. I’m not above correcting my posts. This isn’t a static document. I honestly want to makes things easier for others struggling down the same path. I believe I would be remiss in not doing so.

March 23, 2011

SharePoint: Error, Event ID 6482

Filed under: Errors,SharePoint — phil @ 6:06 am

Affected software: Windows SharePoint Server 3.0

Type : Error
Date : 3/23/2011
Time : 8:52:17 AM
Event : 6482
Source : Office SharePoint Server
Category : Office Server Shared Services
User : N/A
Computer : xxxxxxxx
Description:
Application Server Administration job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance (94fda143-13d5-4bd2-bab1-d23b38f4ad95).
Reason: The current operation timed-out after 3600 seconds
Techinal Support Details:
System.Net.WebException: The current operation timed-out after 3600 seconds
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance.SynchronizeDefaultContentSource(IDictionary applications)
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance.Synchronize()
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.ApplicationServerJob.ProvisionLocalSharedServiceInstances(Boolean isAdministrationServiceJob)

Solution: This is caused by the Office Server Search Service having bad authentication information. First, go to Central Administration and click on the affected server. This should take you to the services on server view. Click on the Office SharePoint Server Search Service link and it will take you to the settings page. Enter the correct login information. On the machine itself, restart the Office SharePoint Server Search service in the Services management console. This should generate two new log entries Event IDs 10044 and 10045 indicating that changes to the configuration were successfully saved and imported. To re-enable search indexing on your site, restart IIS.

March 15, 2011

Preventative Maintenance

Filed under: General — phil @ 6:38 am

I’ve always been a big proponent of fixing problems. And I don’t mean band aid solutions. I mean looking at logs, testing ideas, and permanently fixing something that’s broken. I have often been (and will probably continue to be) at the receiving end of poor performance evaluations and mounting management frustration because of my “attitude”.

I have found vindication.

This article, Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened, was written a decade ago. If only I’d read it then.

February 28, 2011

SharePoint: The State Service

Filed under: PowerShell,SharePoint — phil @ 8:13 am

Normally, one wouldn’t be writing this blog post. Normally, one wouldn’t be looking for the information contained in this blog post either. See, usually when you do the installation of SharePoint, you run the Configuration Wizard and the end and tell it to set up all of the basic services. We didn’t do it that way.

In fact, we manually set up all of our service applications so that we had complete control over what application pools they were assigned to, what they were named, and what database (if any) was created to support them. This worked splendidly for all of the service applications that have a constructor accessible via the Central Administration interface. As you may have already surmised by the content of this article thus far, the State Service does not. The only way to created a State Service application (and associated proxy) is to either create it using the configuration wizard, or create it via PowerShell.

Using the configuration wizard will create the service and create the application proxy and create the application database using the farm SQL server. This is perfect if you don’t really care what things are named or where they are stored. I don’t like to do things that way.

When you use PowerShell, you have control over the name of the service application, the name of the application proxy and the name and location of the database file. Below is the code to create the State Service application.

$serviceApp = New-SPStateServiceApplication -Name "State Service"
New-SPStateServiceDatabase -Name "StateServiceDatabase" `
-ServiceApplication $serviceApp
New-SPStateServiceApplicationProxy -Name "State Service" `
-ServiceApplication $serviceApp -DefaultProxyGroup

The following site contains this information as well as the instructions on how to do this using Central Administration and the farm configuration wizard. http://www.topsharepoint.com/sharepoint-2010-state-service

January 26, 2011

Context is everything

Filed under: General — phil @ 6:54 am

I have often been amused at my own ignorance. More than a few times over the past 10 years or so I’ll stop and reflect back on a situation and think, “Wow, I didn’t know a damn thing back then, did I?”

Today, as I perused the giant repository of information called the internet, it struck me again. I’ve been pondering this whole SharePoint thing recently, from the what-business-value-does-it-actually-provide perspective. And I’ve been testing and playing with different aspects of the software. Recently, that has been the My Sites social media experience that they now tout. Now, I have long been of the opinion that social media has no place in the workplace. It is a distraction at best and a productivity killer at worst. I know, I’ve killed my share of productivity. However, it would seem that the business world is moving in this direction. Blogs, tweets, networking, all ways to stay connected…to your business associates. Fine.

This presents a problem, however, when the institution hoping to implement this idea does not have the back end infrastructure to support it. SharePoint is a Microsoft product, and as such, it is tied very heavily into Active Directory. Most places don’t use Active Directory solely as their identity management system as many institutions long ago implemented mainframe systems to house human resources and financials information. Unfortunately, Microsoft has made Active Directory so robust and useful that it’s hard to deny it’s benefits from a systems management standpoint. So, now you have a particular employees information stored in two places: the human resources system and the IT system.

Ideally, you’d only have one system, but that’s never the case. At best, a company will undertake a project to synchronize their multiple directory services. At worst, the two systems never talk to each other. Usually, there’s some hybrid fix that allows limited functionality both directions.

(This is the part where I made the initial “Ah ha!”. See, I’d been at institutions in the past that implemented these synchronization projects, and I’d thought, “What’s the point? The IT folks will keep doing their thing and the human resources/financial folks will keep doing their thing. So, really you’re just making more work for me.” Context is everything.)

So the question becomes, “How does one present the idea that synchronizing a directory system is in the best interests of everyone?” The initial answers are, it isn’t. Like I said previously, neither IT nor human resources will probably immediately take advantage of the integration. In fact, they probably won’t ever take advantage. However, it would make any application development inside of the system infinitely easier on the authentication side. You wouldn’t even need to necessarily change current authentication methods if the systems were synchronized. People could keep using old thing the way they’re used to, but now the data available is more useful and complete.

Here’s the second “Ah ha!” moment. I am not the first person to realize this. Hell, I’m not even in a statistically significant cross-section of the number of people that have already had this thought. But again, it didn’t occur to me prior to now because I wasn’t forced to think about it. Context is everything.

So the next question becomes, “How do I change my context without actually changing my context?” This is clearly an incredibly useful ability to cultivate. Past experience indicates that it’s not possible. I wouldn’t be where I am now had I not actually changed my context. However, I am not naive enough to think it’s not possible. I’m just hoping it’s not another 10 years down the line that I look back and think, “Wow, you didn’t know a damn thing then, did you?”

January 24, 2011

SharePoint: Error, EventID 5586 (and 2159)

Filed under: Errors,SharePoint — phil @ 10:59 am

Log entry for EventID 5586:
Unknown SQL Exception 297 occurred. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.

 

The user does not have permission to perform this action.

Log entry for EventID 2159:
Event 5586 (SharePoint Foundation) of severity 'Error' occurred xx more time(s) and was suppressed in the event log

What’s going on? This is occurring because your SQL Server has not been configured to use named pipes.

Fix:

  1. Open the SQL Server Configuration Manager (assuming you are using SQL 2008)
  2. Browse down to SQL Server Network Configuration – Protocols for <namedserverinstance>
  3. Right-click “Named Pipes” in the right pane and choose Enable
  4. You may need to restart the server for changes to take effect

> EDIT < Christopher Hatton adds (from the comments):

Granting the farm database access account “VIEW SERVER STATE” under the SQL Server properties will also resolve this issue.

SharePoint: Error, EventID 6482

Filed under: Errors,SharePoint — phil @ 8:14 am

Log entry:
Application Server Administration job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance (2059dee5-7de2-4e07-ba60-3a5630abdbe1).

Reason: Object 67211af6-bd76-4344-852c-3d331ab57d81-query-0 not found.

Technical Support Details:
System.Collections.Generic.KeyNotFoundException: Object 67211af6-bd76-4344-852c-3d331ab57d81-query-0 not found.
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance.Synchronize()
at Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.ApplicationServerJob.ProvisionLocalSharedServiceInstances(Boolean isAdministrationServiceJob)

What’s going on? The service account specified for “Windows Service – SharePoint Server Search” does not have permissions in DCOM to launch and activate.

The fix:

  1. Go to the Control Panel on the SharePoint application server running search
  2. Launch Component Services
  3. Browse to Component Services – Computers – My Computer – DCOM Config – OSearch14
  4. Right-click OSearch14 and choose Properties
  5. Go to the Security tab and click the first Edit button (under Launch and Activation Permissions)
  6. Add the domain\username of your service account and make sure the check boxes for Local Launch and Local Activation are checked

You should no longer receive Event ID 6482 errors.

SharePoint: Error, Event ID 8213

Filed under: Errors,SharePoint — phil @ 8:02 am

Log entry:
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: The process that hosts the writer with name OSearch14 VSS Writer and ID {0ff1ce14-0201-0000-0000-000000000000} does not run under a user with sufficient access rights. Consider running this process under a local account which is either Local System, Administrator, Network Service, or Local Service.

Operation:
Initializing Writer

Context:
Writer Class Id: {0ff1ce14-0201-0000-0000-000000000000}
Writer Name: OSearch14 VSS Writer

What’s going on? The account you have designated as the service account for the “Windows Service – SharePoint Server Search” service does not have the correct permissions to the registry keys required for normal operation. By default, this account is the local system or farm account, both of which already have permissions.

The fix:

  1. Open regedt32.exe on the SharePoint application server running search.
  2. Browse to HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/VSS
  3. Right-click the key VssAccessControl and add a new DWORD (32-bit) value
  4. Name it with the domain\username of the account you have specified as the service account, set the value to 1
  5. Right-click the key Diag and set permissions; add the service account username and grant it full control
  6. At a command prompt run: net stop osearch14. Once the service has stopped, run: net start osearch14.

You can now check the logs and make sure you are no longer getting Event ID 8213 errors.

The generic information for any vss writer application is also available on the german technet site: http://technet.microsoft.com/de-de/library/cc734219(en-us,WS.10).aspx

As an addendum, you may also receive errors with Event ID 12289:
Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error RegOpenKeyExW(-2147483646,SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Diag,...). hr = 0x80070005.

Operation:
Initializing Writer

Context:
Writer Class Id: {0ff1ce14-0201-0000-0000-000000000000}
Writer Name: OSearch14 VSS Writer
Writer Instance ID: {3e52236a-60d3-4ffa-a0ac-22e0f676c972}

You might receive this error if you add the service account value to the VssAccessControl key, but do not also grant them permissions to the Diag key.

January 21, 2011

SharePoint: Office Web Apps – PowerPoint Broadcasting

Filed under: Uncategorized — phil @ 9:05 am

So I thought I’d give the Office Web Apps installation a try, just to see how things worked.  The installation itself is pretty easy.  You may see a lot of stuff go flying by in the SharePoint Configuration Wizard (that you have to run after the Office Web Apps install is finished) that would seem to indicate that it’s creating a bunch of service applications.  Don’t worry, it’s not.  I assume it’s just doing a check to make sure all of the applications that are supposed to be installed are installed.

At any rate, once that was done, I wanted to set up a PowerPoint Broadcast site.  This turned out to be a learning experience, so here are a few gotchas.  The PowerPoint Broadcasting is only available as a site collection template.  I assume there’s probably a way to shoehorn it’s functionality anywhere using Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer, but I just wanted to get it up and running.  So, when you create a site collection, do it then.  Also, when you create the PowerPoint Service Application you can also create a site collection that will be the “default” broadcasting site.  However, if you don’t do it as part of the service application creation process, you can’t add a “default” broadcasting site afterwards.  Live and learn.

January 18, 2011

SharePoint: You’re not the only one that can’t find anything

Filed under: SharePoint — phil @ 9:30 am

I find it amusing that as I delve deeper and deeper into SharePoint, I find that a lot of my questions have been answered.  Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find them.  Or, they’re actually being documented in near real time to my looking for them.  Or, they’re being discussed at a higher level at conferences and summits occurring, for all intents and purposes, right now.

Microsoft’s TechNet has a LOT of good information, but it’s very vanilla, and in order to answer specific questions you need to sort of piece together the answers out of the information provided.

Specific to actually building a farm, from the administrator’s standpoint, Joan Resnick Ehrlich has a fantastic set of articles that she’s publishing over at NothingButSharePoint.com.  The first one is titled: Life on the Farm: SP2010 Configuration – Prep Work Part 1.

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