Archive for SharePoint

Killing Windows Scheduled Tasks running SharePoint scripts

Many SharePoint scripts are run using the native Windows Task Scheduler to automate actions while end-users are enjoying the portal experience.

Most of these are triggered at various intervals to update lists, send automatic email notifications, reminders or some important business information to stakeholders. At various instances, I recd. issues from end-users complaining about not receiving information on time that were triggered off using the task scheduler.

My investigation revealed that the Windows Task Scheduler has tasks that were running indefinitely with their status frozen on “Running”. This was an obvious concern as most of the scripts took fraction of a second to execute. Furthermore, if I right clicked an affected item and choose to “End Task” produced absolutely no effect.

Immediate response would be to end up rebooting the server or finding some other way of killing svchost.exe tasks that could kill your SharePoint processes if they were dependent on any. It was not the scripts in itself but the scheduler threads that launched and then hung themselves.

With a bit more digging around and research, I discovered that restarting the task scheduler service did the trick. Just launch Services.msc and restart the Windows Task Scheduler. The status on the hung tasks should clear themselves or refresh to reload new status.

I’m not sure what caused this to happen. Will debug my scripts to see if they are causing it to hang.

Nevertheless, one more issue workaround for making life easier…!

Using SharePoint Data in your LightSwitch Applications

One of the great features of LightSwitch is that it lets you connect to and manipulate data inside of SharePoint. Data can come from any of the built in SharePoint lists like Tasks or Calendar or it can come from custom lists that you create in SharePoint.

LightSwitch provides the ability to connect to multiple data sources like external databases and SharePoint and relate them together. However when you want to present data from multiple data sources on the same screen you need to tell LightSwitch the order in which you want to save this data.

See link below for a video presentation on how to achieve this:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/lightswitch/hh312789

LightSwitch is the new way to go…. reduced development time, reduced effort – maximized results!

Open with Windows Explorer in SharePoint (Fix Slow WebDAV Performance on Windows 7 / Vista)

SharePoint users and likewise other application users that use WebDav Explorer mode on Windows 7 and Windows Vista PC’s may experience very slow file browsing, opening and modification (e.g. SharePoint Explorer View using WebDAV).

How simple would it be to just uncheck a certain option in IE and fix this brain busting issue, especially for Network Admins and SP Admins?

Solution

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Go to the Menu “Tools” > “Internet Options” then go to the “Connections” tab
  3. Click on button “LAN Settings
  4. Uncheck the box “Automatically detect settings” (culprit)
  5. Close and restart all running Internet Explorer processes
  6. Restart the “Web Client” Service, if needed.
  7. Start browsing again…!
  8.  

Now for a bit of knowledge building

What is the “Automatically Detect Settings” option in IE?

The “Automatically detect settings” option is there to help the user in configuring a web proxy automatically. It actually makes use of the WPAD protocol to discover a web proxy.

1. If the PC is configured to do DHCP, then it will query the server. If the response includes a string with id 252, then it uses this to retrieve a configuration file.

2. If this fails, then the PC will attempt to resolve the name wpad. It will start in its current domain, and work back through. Eg, if the PC is called bob.cs.anu.edu.au, it will attempt to resolve wpad.cs.anu.edu.au, followed by wpad.anu.edu.au, etc. If this resolves the name wpad, then IE will attempt to retrieve wpad.dat via http from the root of the server. You should probably redirect this to the configuration file.

3. If this yields no success, then IE goes direct.

 Now here is your delay, when Step 1 and Step 2 are running, time-out – finally deciding to open your WebDav folders directly. Phew!

Skip it… if you do not require the auto-discovery feature. Ask your network admin to push a GPO to turn-it-off or uncheck it by default!

SharePoint Server 2010 Beta – Key Features! Marketing gaga.

Here are some key features of “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010″

Connect and Empower People
Making people more productive is a direct result of enabling them to access resources and knowledge regardless of where they are and what device they have accessible, while providing them with a user experience that increases usability and adoption. SharePoint 2010 provides all of this through cross-device and cross-browser read/write access, seamless integration with Microsoft Office, and an exceptional user experience around accessing, editing, and publishing SharePoint sites, whether inside or outside the firewall.

User Interface
To allow people to interact with SharePoint’s rich set of integrated capabilities in an easy and intuitive way, the Office Ribbon UI has been implemented in SharePoint, providing users with a familiar and contextual experience that drives their productivity even further. This user experience is enhanced by additional technologies that boost usability and by the ability of all users to easily edit and publish SharePoint sites.

Office Integration
Microsoft Office is, by far, the most commonly used business productivity software in the world. Office has always been about automating tasks and providing people with choices in how they get things done. Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 provide users with a seamless integration of capabilities that span across Client and Server, often without users even realizing that both are involved.​

Anywhere Access
Mobile work isn’t just for the sales force anymore. Today, most businesses support telecommuting, and they expect employees to be “always on, always connected,” even when they are away from the office. SharePoint 2010 offers a diverse set of capabilities that extends people’s access to resources and allows them to be productive regardless of the tools or devices they have available.

Cut Costs with a Unified Infrastructure
Driving cost efficiencies and accomplishing more with the same resources is possible through the consolidation of business productivity solutions onto SharePoint 2010. The ability to deploy any of the integrated capabilities and new enterprise-class management tools to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites, as well as the choice of on-premises installation or hosted services, paves the way for optimizing IT resources and significantly lowering the total cost of ownership of business productivity solutions.

Platform Consolidation
The rich set of integrated capabilities for business collaboration provided by SharePoint 2010, in addition to its enterprise-scale manageability, will enable more customers to retire niche solutions and focus new solutions on SharePoint. This will accelerate their ability to drive efficiencies, allowing IT departments to achieve more impact with the same resources.

Deployment Choice
Nowadays, IT is required to support scale agility, allowing its business collaboration platform to be scaled up and out quickly, based on changing business needs. SharePoint 2010 provides IT with the flexibility of choosing whether to deploy on-premises or in the cloud, thus enhancing its ability to support any given scenario while optimizing resources and remaining relevant and efficient.

IT Productivity
With business collaboration and productivity becoming instrumental to success, IT departments are required to do more with no additional resources. With SharePoint 2010, robust management tools enable IT to multiply its impact and achieve a higher degree of effectiveness with the same resources.

Rapidly Respond to Business Needs
In times when business volatility is on the rise and time-to-market is key, SharePoint 2010 enables all users (end users, power users, designers, and professional developers), to customize the out-of-box platform and deploy solutions that will enable them to address specific business needs more quickly and more effectively. SharePoint 2010 includes tools and capabilities that allow businesses to maximize the impact of existing investments and knowledge, and to provide all users with bi-directional interaction with line-of-business data. These tools and capabilities make it possible to shorten the time between recognizing a business need and delivering a business productivity solution to address it.​

Developer Productivity
In alignment with SharePoint’s approach of doing more with no additional resources, investments like integration with Visual Studio 2010 will enable customers to rely on existing programming expertise to enrich the SharePoint platform and increase the quality and ROI on their investments.

Data Connectivity
A major advancement in SharePoint is allowing users, regardless of their technical expertise, to interact with line-of-business data, surface it in their SharePoint sites, analyze it, and make updates to be reflected in the external data source itself, such as ERP and CRM systems.

Composite Solutions
Enabling users to address specific business and collaboration needs, while relieving IT from the need to be involved all changes to the platform, is made possible through a rich set of tools and features that allow users to create no-code solutions and to deploy those solutions in an easy and secure manner.

Phew! For those who want to lure their Boss-es!

Installing SP 2010 Beta – round one! Can I run a 64-bit guest OS on my 32-bit host OS?

Many of my SharePointer buddies have begun playing with the Beta on different environments. Some have got through easily and some stuck with Step 1.

If you are running a virtualized environment and want portability for your 2010 goodies (SP 2010, VS 2010, Office 2010) you would want to ask yourself, can I install a 64-Bit OS i.e. pre-req Windows Server 2008 R2 on my guest OS that is currently running a 32-bit XP, Vista or Windows 7.

Well, VMWare has supported this since 5.5 and if you want to run a pre-check, download and run this utility. The utility from VMWare will let you know whether a 64-bit Guest OS is possible on your hardware or not!

Plus, not all 64 bit processors will work for a 64 bit guest OS (noted!). Here’s a pdf showing a compatibility list of hardware that is capable to run a 64-Bit guest OS.

Good luck!

SharePoint 2010 Beta download – now available!

Hoooray! Finally, the long awaited SP 2010 beta download for the non-MSDN subscribers in available online….

Download Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Beta
SharePoint 2010 provides a robust development platform to rapidly build solutions using familiar tools like Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. Developers gain access to a rich set of out-of-the-box features such as Business Connectivity Services for read/write integration between application data, the web and Office 2010 client.

SP 2010 Beta download page on the MSDN evaluation center:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ee390819.aspx

SharePoint Server 2010 Beta comes in two versions:

SharePoint Server 2010 (Enterprise Client Access License features)

For organizations looking to expand their business collaboration platform to enable advanced scenarios. Use the Enterprise capabilities of SharePoint to fully interoperate with external line-of-business applications, web services, and Microsoft Office client applications; make better decisions with rich data visualization, dashboards, and advanced analytics; and build robust forms and workflow-based solutions.

SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise
For organizations looking to create customer-facing public internet sites and private extranets using the full enterprise capabilities of SharePoint. This provides full SharePoint Enterprise functionality and no other technical limits.

Other links:

  • Download page for SP 2010 Beta – This is a Beta version of SharePoint Server 2010, the business collaboration platform for the Enterprise and the Web.
  • SCOM Management pack for SharePoint 2010 – A Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Management Pack is available for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products Beta (which includes SharePoint Server 2010 Beta and Project Server 2010 Beta)

Enjoy, Sharepointers!

SharePoint 2010 learning courses and videos now on Channel9 MSDN

SharePoint 2010 provides the business collaboration platform for developers to rapidly build solutions using familiar tools while leveraging a rich set of out of the box features. Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 make developers more productive and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server delivers support for application lifecycle management. Developers can integrate Line of Business data in SharePoint 2010 with read/write capability delivered by Business Connectivity Services. Sandboxed Solutions can be deployed to a shared hosting environment to limit the impact of unpredictable code to the other applications in use.

Visit the Channel9 MSDN learning courses for SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010: Getting Started with Development on SharePoint 2010 Hands-on Labs in C# and Visual Basic

Awaiting the SP 2010 Beta to be officially launched amongst the developer community, for those who want to dirty their hands with hands-on lab manuals for SharePoint 2010 to get started learning SharePoint 2010 development:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=C010FC68-B47F-4DB6-B8A8-AD4BA33A35C5&displaylang=en

The package includes:

HOL01 – Developing a Visual Web Part in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab introduces the Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint development environment. It shows how to build a Visual Web Part using LINQ to SharePoint, and how to connect one Web Part to another Web Part on the page.

HOL02 – Developing a List Definition and Event Receiver in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a list definition for SharePoint 2010 in Visual Studio 2010. It also shows how to build an event receiver for the list in Visual Studio 2010 and deploy it to SharePoint. After the list and event receiver are deployed, you can use the developer dashboard to evaluate the performance of the event receiver.

HOL03 – Developing Advanced Web Parts for SharePoint 2010 with Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab shows how to build a Web Part using several SharePoint-specific controls in Visual Studio 2010. Investigate advanced built-in Web Parts, including the Data View Web Part.

HOL04 – Developing with LINQ to SharePoint in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab explores a variety of LINQ queries on SharePoint 2010, going into more depth than the introductory hands-on lab. It also walks you through an exercise of creating a custom content type in Visual Studio 2010.

HOL05 – Developing for SharePoint 2010 with the Client OM and REST in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab introduces the Client object model for use in calling SharePoint 2010 APIs from a client machine. It also shows the use of ADO.NET Data Services to call REST services in SharePoint 2010.

HOL06 – Developing a BCS External Content Type with Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building an external content type for Business Connectivity Services using Visual Studio 2010. It also builds a form for Microsoft Outlook and shows the data being edited offline in Outlook.

HOL07 – Developing a SharePoint 2010 Workflow with Initiation Form in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a workflow in Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint 2010. You add an initiation form to the workflow and use an external data exchange activity in the workflow.

HOL08 – Developing SharePoint 2010 User Interface with Silverlight in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building Microsoft Silverlight applications for use in SharePoint 2010. You will access SharePoint 2010 data in Silverlight using the Client object model.

HOL09 – Developing SharePoint 2010 Sandboxed Solutions in Visual Studio 2010
This hands-on lab walks you through building a Sandboxed Solution Web Part for SharePoint 2010. It will also add code to the Web Part that overloads the limits placed by the sandboxed solution, and you will review how the solution is shut down.

HOL10 – Developing SharePoint 2010 User Interface Ribbon and Dialog Customizations
This hands-on lab walks you through adding a custom action to the SharePoint 2010 ribbon, and creating a Web Part that uses the Dialog Framework.

The above content is from Microsoft.
Let’s get started! :)

Fourth and final release of the MS SharePoint Administration Toolkit

Microsoft announces the fourth (and final) release of the Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit for SharePoint 2007

Why? SharePoint 2010 has some great “features on steriods” in the good old Central Administration. Can’t wait to share, check back soon… preparing a complete deployment, screen-shot installation and upgrade to SharePoint 2010!

SK

Maintain scroll position in your custom ASP.NET pages developed for SharePoint

Hello :)

I can recall more than a few instances where I might have developed custom pages to support corporate SharePoint integrated deployments with or without Dynamic Integration (specifically for long scrolling dashboard pages that are customized). And there have been quite a few cases that my friends have discussed with me on the page scrolling annoyance after a postback has occured!

This is a very common behaviour and a very simple issue to resolve since we talk about ASP.NET pages. Obvious, they all have their Page Directives, ain’t it?

Include the following tag into your page directive:

<%@ Page ... MaintainScrollPositionOnPostback="true" %>

Simple! Try it…