Wednesday, October 31, 2007

SharePoint V3: Error: Shared Services Provider creation failed


When creating a new Shared Services Provider in a MOSS 2007 farm, the SSP creation results in an error:

"Failure! Shared Services Provider creation failedReason: Timed out waiting for Shared Services Provider 'SSPName' provisioning timer job to startCheck the event log for details. Note: SSP provisioning will be retried periodically. If you correct the error that caused this failure, provisioning will subsequently succeed. To stop provisioning from being retried, delete the SSP."

The SSP remains in "Provisioning" status.


Exam the event viewer for errors.

Refer to Microsoft KB article number 934838,

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934838. If the failure error is being caused by a service account login failure, then use stsadm.exe to update the password of the service account.

Once the underlying issue is resolved, SSP will complete the provisioning process automatically.

Friday, October 19, 2007

SharePoint V3: Error: Your Client Does Not Support Opening This List In Windows Explorer


SharePoint V3: Error: Your Client Does Not Support Opening This List In Windows Explorer

Users who are running IE 6 are are unable view SharePoint document libraries in Windows Explorer view. Users who have IE 7 do not have this problem.


IE 6 doesn't support Windows Explorer View when the URL is more than 100 character URLs. If it is not feasible to upgrade to IE 7, there are a couple KB articles that explain the details and provide instructions to obtain a patch that remedies this issue.

KB 923906
When you try to open a folder in a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 document library in Explorer View, the folder does not open

KB 325355
You cannot access Word documents by using Outlook Web Access on a server that is running SharePoint Portal Server

SharePoint V3: Recover Site Collection from SQL DB Backup

Here are the steps to follow if you need to recover a deleted site collection from a SQL database backup. For purposes of covering various scenarios, I tried to outline related IIS and AAM configurations to be aware of during the process.

* SharePoint Central Administration > Operations > Backup and Restore
Perform a full farm backup

* SharePoint Central Administration > Application Management > Create or Extend Web Application

* Create a new Web Application
It doesn't matter what you name this database, it will be deleted in a later step

* SharePoint Central Administration > Application Management > Content Databases
You will see that the number of sites is 0 because there are no site collections associated with this web application yet

* SQL Management Studio

* Locate the content database backup which contains the site collection you would like to restore

* Restore this content database, overwriting the one you created for your new web application
Here is where you want to be concious of the name you give the restored database. I like to name the first content database for a web application WSS_WebApp_WebAppName and subsequent content databases for the web application as WSS_SiteCollection_SiteCollectionName.

* Attach the restored content database to the new web application
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN> Stsadm.exe –o addcontentdb –url http://servername –databasename databasename –databaseserver servername

* SharePoint Central Administration > Application Management > Content Databases
You will now see the content database you restored. The number of sites should be 1 if there was originally 1 site collection in that database when it was backed up.

* Navigate to the URL of the new web application. Verify that the site collection was restored and is
functioning properly

* IIS Management
Note all IIS settings for the original web application including host headers and ip addresses of the IIS web site

* SharePoint Central Administration > Operations > Alternate Access Mappings
Note all of the AAM's for the original web application

* SharePoint Central Administration > Application Management > Delete Web Application
Delete the original web application

* SharePoint Central Administration > Operations > Alternate Access Mappings
Add all of the necessary AAM's to the new web application, make sure the default AAM is fully qualified

* IIS Management
Update the IIS web site for the new web application with all necessary host headers. If the original web application had its own unique, internal ip address asssigned to it, then assign that ip address to the new web application

* Test the URLs for the restored site collection

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SharePoint V3: Stsadm.exe Backup Script

Create Backups Directory
Create a backup directory for storing the scheduled SharePoint backups (e.g. c:\backupsharepoint)

Create Bat File Directory
Create a directory for storing the backup script file (e.g. c:\scriptssharepoint)

Create Bat File
Create a bat file using the code below, modified for your environment. Use UNC paths when using in a server farm environment.

@echo off
echo ====================================================
echo Backup Script For Office SharePoint Server 2007
echo ====================================================
cd \program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\bin

@echo off
stsadm.exe -o backup -url http://servername -filename c:\backupssharepoint\backupsharepoint.dat -overwrite
@echo off
echo completed

Schedule bat file
Schedule the backup to run frequently, during off peak hours.

Open Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks
Add a Scheduled Task

Scheduled Task Welcome Screen, Click Next
Click the program you want Windows to run, Click Browse
Select the backupsharepoint.bat file you created (e.g. c:\scriptssharepoint\backupsharepoint.bat)
Name the task, Schedule it (e.g. Daily)
Start Time, Frequency, Start Date
Username and Password (use a domain user account that has proper permissions and non expiring password )

Verify Backups
Keep the backup directory secure. Monitor the job to ensure the job is running properly. Perform test restores from the backup files.

Click Here if you need similar instructions for SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Microsoft Download Center: 2007 Office System Document: Developer Posters

Microsoft Download Center: 2007 Office System Document: Developer Posters
-Developer Roadmap for the 2007 Microsoft Office System
-Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 Managed Object Model Poster
-Developer Map for SharePoint Products and Technologies Poster

Monday, October 15, 2007

SharePoint V3: Basic Backup Plan Using Out of Box Tools


Using the SharePoint Central Admin Backup/Restore Utility, perform a full farm backup after each time you make configuration changes to the SharePoint farm. This backup will protect most of the farm configurations.

Schedule an stsadm.exe backup script to run at least daily on each site collection. These backups will protect the site collections and their content.

Create a SQL Server maintenance plan to backup all databases and transaction log filres on a regular schedule. SQL database backups can be also used to recover site collections. SQL backups also protect farm configurations.


To test a full restore, you can first restore the farm using the SharePoint Central Administration Backup/Restore Utility. Next, you can restore each site collection from the latest backups using stsadm.exe. This should get you to to a healthy state, as of the time of your latest site collection backup.

You may also want to test restoring a content database by creating a new web application on the farm, restoring a content database backup in SQL, then running the stsadm.exe command for attaching the content database to the new web application. Run iisreset /noforce then try hitting the restored site collections from the browser.

SharePoint V3: 64 bit PDF iFilter

Here is a link for a 64 bit PDF iFilter http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/ifilter/.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

SharePoint V3: Technique for Creating Branded Site Template

The process of creating a custom master page and CSS file to brand a site is often necessary. When creating a portal with multiple site collections, I like to template the branded site first and then create subsequent site collections using the template.

I start by creating the first web application and site collection. Next, I create the custom master page and CSS file. I upload the necessary images and logos to the publishingimages or sitecollectionimages directories of the site collection.

Once I have the site collection looking the way I want, then I use stsadm to backup the site collection. Then, I create a new web application and restore the sts backup. Now I don't have to brand the second site collection manually.

SharePoint V3: Pros and Cons of Managing Users and Groups

Here is a whiteboard dump from a session I had earlier today.

Provisioning SharePoint sites using Active Directory users:

* Site Members web part displays the names of the users
* Provisioning can be delegated to site owners instead of IT
* User names and respective permission levesls are visible on Permissions screen

* Portals with large memberships require a lot of maintenance
* Sub-sites that do not inherit security from parent require a lot of maintenance
* Adding and Removing members requires constant maintenance

Provisioning SharePoint sites using Active Directory groups:

* Administration can be done completely from Active Directory
* Mail-enabled security groups provide a way to delegate group membership to people who are not AD administrators (they can manage memberships through Outlook global address book)
* Can nest AD groups within other AD groups to automate the process of provisioning users in SharePoint sites

* Site members web part will display group names but not user names
* It isn't possible to view user membership from the SharePoint site permissions page, only group names appear
* Detailed security audit requires parsing multiple queries to Active Directory and SharePoint

SharePoint V3: Out of Box Options for Backing MOSS 2007 Farm Configurations

This post is about backing up farm configurations. Backing up web applications, site collections, and sites is a different subject.

SharePoint Central Administration Backup/Restore Utility
Central Admin > Operations > Backup and Restore

Cannot be scheduled

Program Files > Common Files > Microsoft Shared > Web Server Extensions > 12 > Bin > stsadm.exe

a. Identify the components you would like to backup
stsadm.exe -o showtree

b. Perform Backup Operation
stsadm.exe -o backup -directory file://servername/backup_share_name -backupmethod full -item farm -backupthreads 1

Cannot backup the following:
Configuration Database
Central Administration web application
Shared Services Provider web application
Shared Services Provider database
User Profile Application
Shared Services Index
Shared Services Provider Search database
Search Instance
WSS Search database

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