Thursday, 22 November 2012

PowerShell to Create User Accounts for SP Install

Problem:  I keep building this script to setup accounts with permissions to put a SharePoint farm using AutoSPInstaller.  I have decided to post so I don't have to go look for this each time.  My list is based on the accounts for AutoSPInstaller recommended install accounts per Tobias Lekman's blog post series.

Use Powershell to create the accounts (This script was originally given to me by Mark Slavik)

Download the PS file here (rename to be a ps1 file)

Note: ThePowerShell file creates tha accounts in the right groups.  The User Profile Service/Synchronisation Account needs "Replicating Directory Changes" permissions, this can be done in various ways and depends on if the NETBIOS name and domain name match. 

Steps to add "Replicating Directory Permissions" to the User Profile synchronisation account:
1.> Open "Active Directory Users and Computers".  Right click on the domain name in the management console and select "Delegate Control..."
2.> On the "Delegation Control Wizard" click "Next" > On the "Users or Groups" screen used to delegate control.  Click "Add" and add your User Profile Sync account.  Click "Next".
3.> On the "Tasks to Delegate" screen select the option "Create a custom task to delegate" > "Next".
4.> On the "Active Directory Object Type" screen accept the default settings and click "Next".
5.> On the "Permissions" screen check the box to allow "Replicate Directory Changes" and Click "Next".  The last screen is for review and select "Finish".

Check your account has permissions using PowerShell.  I needed to amend Tobias Lekman's script  to make it work for me; this is 99% Tobias's work.  I also check if the account is a domain administrator as if they are you won't need to add the special permission (not recommended).  Your other option is to make the User Profile Synchronisation account a local administrator on the VM where the User Profile Service is running.
Alternatively check the permissions thru the AD User and groups UI:

Summary: Add 10 (or as many as you decide to use) accounts.  SP_Install needs administrator domains permissions all the others just need domain user account access.  The SP_Install account needs SQL roles DBCREATOR and SECURITYADMIN. Lastly, ensure the SP_ProfileSync account has "Replicating Directory Changes" permissions.  These permissions are implicit if the SP_ProfileSync account is a local admin or part of the domains administrators group.

Tip: The Execute method of job definition Microsoft.SharePoint.Diagnostics.SPDiagnosticsMetricsProvider (ID ..) threw an exception. More information is included below. An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action. The object SPWebService was updated by demo\sp_farm, in the OWSTIMER (8140) process, on machine... 

Friday, 16 November 2012

List of SP2013 improvements

My SP2013 Favourite Changes
This list is just random thoughts pls add your comments and I'll make it longer.
  1. Delta's for Document management (don't use a full version for each version of an Office document),
  2. Sparse columns,
  3. WCM (cross site collection navigation OOTB, improved publishing & page size options),
  4. Search is 1 product (FAST & SP Search),
  5. App model (development options are more numerous),
  6. REST (OData) is a 1st class citizen - improved access to REST API/external access to services such as search,
  7. .NET 4.5 instead of .NET 3.5 (Workflow is a big winner),
  8. Workflow (Workflow in SP2010 is better than MOSS) but performance and architecture is greatly improved,
  9. Side by side Enterprise and standard edition CAL's to lower TCO,
  10. Sticky sessions no longer needed - distribute cache is shared,
  11. SharePoint 365 is awesome,
  12. People search is even better with less customisations being required - OOTB it does more,
  13. UPS has 3 sync options in SP2013 as opposed to 1 method in SP2010 - the simpler AD sync and an option to link to FIM (beautiful),
  14. Improved OOTB pdf support,
  15. SkyDrive Pro 2013 replaces Workspace (may not be good but I do like SkyDrive),
  16. OWA is a separate product not bundled with SP2010 as a Service Application.
  17. Licencing (simplified and cheaper, OWA is free.  Search which is the FAST replacement is part of SP2013.  There is no longer a separate Internet (FIS) and Internal SP Server licence.)
  18. Search-Driven content
  19. Search Provides html previews without OWA.  OWA adds previews/thumbs for search results on Office documents.  I believe pdf can also be setup with some work.
  20. Search has REST API that support requests in both Keyword Query Language (KQL) and FAST Query Language (FQL).

 Comparison of the SP2013 On-Premise editions

Sunday, 11 November 2012


Sunday 11 Nov 2012:  It's the middle of the night in Las Vegas and I'm wide awake still being on UK time, registration for SPC12 is in 18 odd hours so I thought I'd write a post about #SPC12.

Booking has been easy and glad it's in Vegas again.  I've looked at the sessions for the conference and they look good.  I'm pretty eager to jump into SP2013 so I have done some prep such as reading Sahil Malik's pamphlet/book chapter on "SharePoint 2013 Planet of the Apps" and I watched a couple of video's from the \\Build\ conference last week that they are repeating at SPC2012.

As always for SPC the sessions look good and there are just way to many of them so I have to try figure out what I want from SPC12.  Personally the big to changes for me in SharePoint 2013 are "Apps" & "Search" and with the architecture being more of an amendment than a fundamental shift, these are the 2 areas for me.  There are arguably other areas to focus on such as workflow & WCM but Apps & search are game changes for in my world.  Saying that there are so many sessions on these 2 topics I'm still double or triple booked using the MySPC tool (really nice tool by the way).

Register & collect my Surface & Nokia phone (probably not).  Walked thru the vendor stands see what is out there.  I also have a challenge with a colleague to find the most useless piece of SWAG for our team to judge once we are back next week  -their is a lot of utterly useless SWAG out there.  I did see Skytap that is worth a look at.  It's pretty much a development cloud solutions but I definitely think this is a great service - Good

Anyway I'll keep updating as time permits. 
Registration has been open all day - but going t the evening reception and too see the vendors.

Monday 12 Nov 2012:
Monday: Looks like a moan for Monday
  • Wifi Access  is lousy at the conference. - Poor
  • Keynote - no great shakes, yes there is yammer/social, developer model is a big change.  I'm pretty underwhelmed; not nearly as good as I was expecting.  The pitch of trust us it's good and what a great community - isn't really what I was looking for.  It ended pretty well with Scott Guthrie's Azure/developer piece - Average
  • Hands-on labs where closed most of the day - Poor
  • What’s New for developers in Office 2013 & SharePoint 2013
    Session has been informative on the app model.  It’s all CSOM, REST and azure apparently for SharePoint developers.  I’m certainly not sold on the app dev model, the security looks like a minefield - Average
  • Met 2 people from Texas over lunch – interesting stories and their thoughts quite different on the keynote - Good
  • The 1st afternoon session went to “What’s New in Search for SharePoint 2013”, search looks great, the UX is really good and all the best parts of FAST have been used for the SP2013 search.  FAST and SP search are now 1 product.  Management of search is great – I’m really glad I attend this over the dev session that that from all reports was brilliant - Great
  • Last session of the day I decided to go to “Search Architecture in SharePoint 2013” as I enjoyed the last session.  It was good.  Architecture is more like fast than SP2010 search.  The big component areas are: 1) Crawl 2) Index 3) Query 4) Analytics – relevance, links.   The is no managed property database in SP2013, it stored within the index.  Management of the crawl and query components looks good - Great
  • Met up with 2 guys to discuss the sessions we all went to for 1 hour at the end of the day, got their thoughts and really useful insights into other sessions and points- Great
Tuesday 13 Nov 2012:
Tuesday:  Pretty long day with some mixed sessions.
  • I couldn't get into my 1st 2 session options for the 1st morning session "Hybrid Overview Connecting SP2013 on-prem. to Office 365" or "Customizing Search Experiences in SharePoint 2013" - Poor
  • "0-60 with Office and SP2013 apps using Napa and VS2012" was my 4th choice session and it was OK - tool seems OK, it is good that it can move the code from the online IDE (NAPA) to VS 2012 - Average.
  • "Crawl and Index all enterprise Content for SP2013 Search - good presentation with lots of good tips - Great
  • Hands-on labs worked for me and I did 2 on search they are really good.  Others were having connectivity issues but it worked for - Great
  • "Understanding OAuth, REST & OData" with Ted Pattison was full - Poor
  • In it's place I went to "People search Extensibility in SP2013" there are excellent improvements in people search such as phonics search, improved user profile integration, both presenters were engaging and there demos we good to watch  - Great
  • "Step-by-Step: Building search driven applications" by Scott Hillier was good - search is so powerful and he showed great improvements for non-coded solutions.  The CSOM/REST search api's are great and his explanation of when to choose the options we good.  In summary for C# use CSOM for JavaScript either is good.- Brilliant
  • Getting pretty tired and the last session was "SharePoint 2013 Identity and Authentication Smackdown" fire alarm pretty much ruined the session and I was too tired to take in the content, the guys seemed knowledgeable but I got very little out of this session. Poor
Not looking forward to the Bon Jovi BBQ evening but going to check it out as I need to get dinner anyway.  Poor
Booze Session with Vitali & Chad was fun but burnt myself out.

Wednesday 14 Nov 2012:
Wednesday:  Missed the morning sessions (sic).
  • "Understanding 2013 tools and best practices for creating enterprise forms" - InfoPath is still there but not a preferred option and it looks like no improvements have been done.  Access services looks good, you use the access client app to describe for views (used to be called forms) and the underlying tables.  These tables are created in SQL or SQL Azure.  This looks like a good tool to cover the mini application space in organisations that is taken care of by Lotus Notes or Access client dbs (mdf).  Lastly we looked at using HTML5 and JavaScript to interact with SP lists as the underlying data source, this works but it remains to be seen if developers and organisations will embrace this manner for form generation - Good
  • "Custom Security Trimming for Search in SP2013" a really interesting session where the extremely knowledgeable guys looked at having ACL's/security trimming for 3rd party indexed systems.  It can be done but it get tricky real fast.  Early vs late filtering in the query pipeline were reviewed - Great
  • "Creating Custom Workflow Activities and Actions" was good - The tooling SPD is good for declarative workflows.  Obviously code activities are only available for on-prem. full trust farms (not on SP365).  Workflow is based on .NET 4.5 so a lot better than workflows in SP2010 - Good
  • Went to ask the experts and spoke to some folks at the vendor stands, nothing outstanding - Average
Thursday 15 Nov 2012:
Thursday:  Glad it's coming to an end

Highlight was the beer house in Vegas.  Didn't speak to much SharePoint at this Corey Roth Organised event.  Met some good guys and went onto a soiree/booze session in a suite in the Mandalay bay, continued talking and met some really nice folks.  Dean the reluctant SharePoint barmen pours way to a strong drink - Brilliant

Overall: SPC was good again, couple of small improvements such as poor Wifi & room size selection but overall this is always streets ahead of the other SP conferences.  Met some good people, learnt a lot from the speakers and attendees.  I'm kind of done with Vegas and it's a long trip for the folks from Europe but it's so good. I'll hopefully come to the next big release SPC - paul. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Prerequisites for SP2013 Offline Install


Background: This is a codeplex project that will slipstream SharePoint 2013 & SP2010.  It flattens out the binary install files, gets the latest CU, language packs & pre-requisites.  This will then allow you to install SharePoint to the latest build pref using AutoSPInstaller.

Doing an Offline install is useful as most production environments don't allow internet access to download the pre-requisites.  It's also useful as you don't need to wait for the download on each server.  In my current scenario it's useful as I am building over 100 VM's in My DTAP environment and a lot of these are full CI daily rebuilds.

Overview:  I have been doing SP2013 installs using AutoSPInstaller and I have put this post together to help people use Bian Lalancette's (@brianlala) AutoSPInstaller tool. Pretty obvious but AutoSPInstaller is a great tool so use it or Gary Lapointe install scripts to automate SharePoint installations.  I have been using the tool to install 2013 and this post shows all the pre-requisites to SP2013 RTM for an offline install.

Findings:  There are 13 files I am downloading to install SP2013 without an Internet connection.  Brian Lalancette has a codeplex project that you should checkout, I hadn't seen it until today.
It helps build the slipstreamed images for SharePoint both 2010 and 2013 so you have a full patched version of binaries to run offline installs.
Add the prerequisites to "C:\Software\SP\SharePoint\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles"
List of Files to download for SP2013 RTM prerequisites:
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  13. (

Files I add to my SP2013 binaries for an Offline install

Rather use the new tool "AutoSourceCodeBuilder"

My slipstreamed SharePoint 2013 binaries
 Update 07 November 2012: For my Windows 2008 R2 SP1 OS installation, the WCFDataServices.exe prerequisite will look for trusted certificates on the Server, if it can't find them it will try get them from the Internet.  I downloaded "Rootsupd.exe" (I'm not sure about support for "Update for Root Certificates For Windows XP [April 2012] (KB931125)" for my Windows 2008R2 SP1OS install from Microsoft).
The PowerShell to install the certificates is (this can be incorprated into your autobuild scripts if you need it or just run it (be warned there is not feedback on the install)):
PS> & "c:\rootsupd.exe"

Update 15 July 2013: Below are the latest pre-requisites I downloaded for SP2013 using AutoSPSourceBuilder.

Note:  I like to have a large disk for my c rive for the system files and also the Windows "page file", when calculating my disk space for my c drive assuming my page file is going to my c drive, I add 3 times the possible memort upgrade per machine.  So it is common to start with 32GB on a SQL box, when their is a bottleneck, it is often SQL and memory is key to SQL performance.  So my page file portion of my c drive would by on 64 GB multiplied by 3.  So My c drive in this case would be 64GM x3 plus program files, so at least 250 GB.  I'd probably go for 300GB.  this is my preference and I'm sure I'm going overkill but in controlled wel managed environments this will aloow for growth.

More Info:
WCFDataService install issue: