Friday, 29 July 2011

SP2010 Enterprise Search Crawl log error

Problem: Using enterprise search after a clean SP2010 install using autoSPInstaller, I preform my initial full crawl of the content source and receive the following error in the crawl log "The account password was not specified. Specify the password."

Resolution: Edit the Search Service Application to use the appropriate password.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

RFP's for SharePoint

Overview: For some reason many companies seem to select inappropriate vendors to supply SharePoint consulting services.  Smaller projects often tend to be given to consultancies with existing relationships which is great except the consultancies often have little or no experience with SharePoint.  Larger projects at least tend to be more selective and Request for Proposal (RFP) are requested from suppliers.  A good rule of thumb for larger projects is to invite 6 companies to RFP/tender/Invitation to tender(ITT's) and short list 3 companies.  The 3 companies will compete on multiple factors helping highlight the questions you should be asking all the vendors.  Regardless of size always get multiple quotes.

When creating you RFP/ITT/RFT the most important factor is the RFP document contain as much detail as possible for the supplier to accurately tender for the contract.  Even consider building a project team to understand what you want built and you could use a consultancy as they can add appropriate SharePoint language/guidance.  If the tender is clear it helps the supplier provide a concise and accurate tender.  It also avoids the all too common problem whereby the project is agreed and the supplier ends up charging like a wounded buffalo (lots) for tons of change requests.  Holding a short meeting with each supplier helps clarify the Request for Proposal (RFP) document, allows the supplier to get a better understanding of what is required and answer any potential technical questions that will assist the supplier in providing a better proposal.

If the RFP is clear you will find the proposals are a lot easier to compare.  The list below lists what should be included as a minimum in the RFP:
  1. Background (your company and division.  Quest the suppliers background information this must included their SharePoint experience, expertise available, proposed team structure);
  2. Supplier proposed approach (suppliers approach/methodologies);
  3. Aims & objectives of the project;
  4. Project details (details on what you are trying to achieve, do you have a vision for how the solution should be created); 
  5. Technical constraints (technical constraints i.e. do you have a SharePoint 2010 farm, number of users, versions of Software, logical architecture, hardware, current and envisaged usage, remote access, network, state of AD, Office version, users desktop OS); and
  6. Business constraints (Change control, handover, support, training, methodology, existing staff/contractors, access to stakeholders, how do you deploy the solution, DTAP).
Tip: Consider using MS partners, and do due diligence of previous SharePoint projects they have delivered.

    Remote Builds using PS

    Enable Powershell Remoting
    Login to each server that needs to run PS scripts, this will allow centralised deployment of PS Scripts.

    Friday, 22 July 2011

    Working with QR Server in FS4SP

    Overview:  The Query Results Server is an IIS website that allows you to check that FAST search is working.  You can see if managed properties are being populated, navigators are working ect...
    • To use QR-Server you must be on the local machine use the url: http://localhost:13280/
    • SP2010 uses a users session for security so using QR-Server won't work (always returns empty results) so you need to turn off security as follows:
    1.> Turn off security in the config file C:\FASTSearch\etc\qrserver\qtf-config.xml (take a copy before modifying the file);
    2.> Comment out the line element instance-ref name="securityfql" critical="1"
    3.> PS C:\FASTSearch\bin> .\nctrl.exe restart qrserver
    This will make the QR-Server take the xml config security change.
    4.> Perform your query

    Thanks to Job Maelene for all his FS4SP patience.

    More Info:
    leonardocsouza has a great series on FS4SP

    Thursday, 21 July 2011

    Managed Properties in FAST

    Problem: Create mapped managed properties in FAST (FS4SP) using PoweShell.
    Initial Hypothesis:  You can create Managed Properties that are mapped to crawled properties using the UI thru CA.  However, for deployment thru environments it is better to script the mapped managed properties creation using Powershell.
    1.> I created a Document Library that has extra columns for: Section, Appointment, Clinic & Hospital number as shown below.
    2.> Ensure you have performed a "Full Crawl" on the Content SSA (FS4SP has 2 SSA in order for it to work, the content/index and the query SSA).
    3.> PS to retriev the crawled property names, they will be at the bottom of the txt file created and are prefixed with "ows_".
    4.> Find the crawled property name, this will be used in the next PS script that associates the crawled property with the managed property.  Open c:\cp.txt to see the crawled property name, this is usually at the bottom of the file.
    5.> Use PS to 1) create a new managed property, 2) map the appropraite crawled property onto the managed property.
    6.> Run the Full Crawl again thereby propulating the Managed Properties
    7.> Check the managed properties in Central Admin (CA)
    8.> Perform a search to ensure the managed property works i.e. clinic:CL123

    Office Web Apps on a DC

    Problem: Office Web Apps on a developer machine which has it's own domain controller.  Can view word documents in the browser, editing of docx files stangely works.

    FAST previews/thumbails need Office Web Apps running.

    Summary: Install Office Web Apps pre AutoSPInstalller is run.  Then activate in the autospinstaller.  Otherwise install the office web apps but only do the config of the web apps, don't run the SP config wizard.

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    Adding FAST for SharePoint to PowerGUI

    Problem: Add FAST for SharePoint 2010 intellisense support in PowerGUI.
    Resolution: Open PowerGUI and add the FAST for SharePoint library.

    Monday, 11 July 2011

    VS2010 Strongly Name key issue

    Problem: Visual Studio 2010 using TFS2010 on multiple developer machines keeps erroring on all developers VM's after they get the latest code "cannot import the following key file" and mentions the sn key.

    Resolution: On the projects properties > Signing > Click the drop down for "Choose a strong name key file:" Click the option, click "Cancel" button.  You are prompted with a dialog "enter password to enter file", add the keys password and select OK.  VS will stop erroring after you have done this once.

    More Info:

    Building a WCF Web Service for InfoPath data

    Problem: Create a WFC web Service to store an InfoPathForm

    Initial Hypothesis:  Project consists of 3 parts: 1)SQL Server table for storing form data, 2)WCF web service for exposting the storage web service method and 3) consuming the Web Service using infoPath.

    1) SQL Script to create the datbase table.  Once the table is available for storage we need to build the WCF web Service.
    2) WCF web service:
    2.1) Add the LINQ to SQL proxy (dbml file) to persist the data
    2.2) Assign
    2.3) Wire up the WCF WS
    Edit as needed (apply business logic)
    2.4) Expose the WCF thru an IIS website on your Dev machine (Create an IIS web site to host the WCF):
    2.5) Publish the WCF using VS2010 as shown below to the local machine
    Ensure the WCF service is available using the browser.

    3) Consuming the WCF WS in InfoPath forms

    How to Add a Service Reference?

    1.> Ensure the WCF exists i.e. http://wcf-service/FormService.svc

    2.> Generate the WCF proxy (VS > Right click the WFE project > Add Service Reference > Insert the url and save the WS reference)

    3.> Copy the contents of the app.config bindings & endpoints elements into the web.config (this needs to be automated in the deployment script thru a configurable feature) Web.config is shown below:

    4.> Call the WCF web Service (consumer)
    WCFBanner.BannerClient ws = new WCFBanner.BannerClient();
    WCFBanner.PatientBanner pb = ws.GetPatientBannerByPatientId("G3");
    lit1.Text = "PatientId: " + pb.PatientId;

    Additional Info:
    Comparing SharePoint InfoPath lists vs forms

    Monday, 4 July 2011

    Web.config change

    Overview: Change all the web.configs for all web applications on the farm except the Central Admin web application.

    Tip: Use the id attribute as shown in the yellow box, it will ensure there are no duplicates created by reactivating the web.config.

    Friday, 1 July 2011

    SP1 and SP2010 June 2011 CU

    Overview:  There has been a lot of chatter on twitter about SP1.  I incorrectly installed SP1 on a dev machine and after reading "So what the Fuss? - Service Pack 1 and June 2011 CU for SharePoint 2010" from Spencer Harbar I thought I'd summerise the correct approach as detailed in Spencer's article.
    • MS has released SP1 for SP2010 and June 2011 CU on the same day 27 June 2011. 
    • There are seperate downloads for SPF (SharePoint Foundation) and SPS (SharePoint Server) updates, you should install both.  Install the SPF update first followed by the SPS update.
    • June 2011 CU is not part of SP2010 SP1, only install the June 2011CU if directed by MS and wait a month to see the fall out regardless.
    • SP1 contains all CU updates including the April 2011 CU plus some other updates not in any CU.
    From Spencer Harbor's blog regarding installation order "I approach the installation like this:
    1. SPF SP1
    2. SPF language packs SP1 (as needed)
    3. SPS SP1
    4. SPS language packs SP1 (as needed)
    5. OWA SP1 (as needed)
    If it asks you to reboot, reboot once after the installs, not each time it asks. Then of course you run PSConfig on each server in the farm.".

    As always test updates on your DTAP environment pre release onto production.

    More Info:
    New features added by SharePoint 2010 SP1
    Patch SP2010 farms