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Doug Allen's Articles

Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 1–What is SharePoint?

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To start with and ensure we’re all talking the same thing, we need to level the foundation.  It’s easy to assume otherwise, but I continually find people at any given company across a variety of industries who don’t even know what SharePoint is.  They have heard the term perhaps, but don’t know what it is, much all it can do (beyond the dumping ground for your documents).  So let’s get started with Part 1.

How to Make SharePoint List Form Fields Read Only Without InfoPath

I was working with a client recently in a simplified signup site.  In effect what was needed was to make the fields read only based on the role of the user.  Follow me as I walk you through the steps using only SharePoint Designer, no code or InfoPath required!

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture Library

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture LibraryAs part of an auction site I was working on for a client, one part of the solution was to use an InfoPath form for users to submit their bids.  This post  focused on how to get the dynamic images from a SharePoint Picture library.

Use Power Pivot to Merge Related SharePoint List Data

Excel-2013 When working with SharePoint, you occasionally need to work with related data.  Since SharePoint isn’t setup for true relational data, that means we’re typically working with lookup columns from a child to a parent list.  This is all fine well and good, but I had a client ask me for some special filtering and output with this related data.  After reviewing my options, I found that the quickest way to do this (in under 15 minutes) is to use Microsoft’s Power Pivot add-in for Excel.  No SharePoint Designer required!  If you have Excel 2010, you will need to download and install the add-in.  If you use Excel 2013, the add-in is already installed, you just have to enable it.

Creating Managed Metadata Terms in SharePoint with PowerShell

sharepoint Create metadata term with powershell with guidWhether you are using SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013, it is very likely you are taking advantage of the Managed Metadata service for taxonomy and other purposes.  Hopefully you have a development / test environment in addition to production, and if so you know it’s a struggle to keep them in sync.  If your groups, term sets and terms are not identical down to GUIDs between the two environments, if you move a database from one to the other then all your terms will be broken… not good. 

The point of this blog is not help you sync your environments with metadata.  Let's dive in.

What’s Up With This People SharePoint Taxonomy Group Anyway?

Classify SharePoint TaxonomyAfter having some pleasant discussions in the SharePoint Yammer SPYam community on this subject and finding almost no information online about this topic, I thought I’d put some fingers to  keys and do my part to share some information.  This post assumes you have basic concepts and knowledge of SharePoint taxonomies, but review TechNet if you need more info or to get up to speed on the basic concepts.

How to Get Date Only in SharePoint 2010 Workflow

While working on a client request recently, I came across a way to easily work with date and time values in a SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow.  I was able to solve this using only SharePoint Designer.  I reviewed other solutions, and I will give links to a couple others in case they are needed.  This worked for me, and I didn’t see anyone else with this exact solution so I thought I would share for the greater good. 

 

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShell

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShellWhile working on a PowerShell script to do some updating list items in SharePoint, I first had to get some properties from the user account in Active Directory. The end goal was to update a managed metadata field, choosing terms based on the root OU that the user resided in Active Directory.  I found an easier way to do this with PowerShell and wanted to share.

Five Different Methods for How to Print SharePoint List Item

Print a SharePoint List Item If you’ve gotten to this page, it’s because you or your users make heavy use of SharePoint lists, and the inevitable request came up “Ok this is great, but I can’t print this item, help!”.  Like most things with SharePoint, there is no one right answer (sometimes there is!), but some are definitely easier than others or better depending on your needs.  I'll show you a couple different common solutions out there in one place, and what worked for me. 

 

Quick and Easy Print SharePoint Picture Library using CSS

A client contacted me the other day about some help with printing a picture library.  I found a simple way to do this, and I wanted to share to hopefully save someone some grief. 

If you search the interwebs for “print sharepoint list” you get articles that are either a fancy ribbon button for printing lists/libraries form codeplex, or doing javascript or similar to call the print dialog from a modal.  That works, and I started down that path. 

SharePoint Usage Logs Not Being Removed Fixed

I've seen folks all over the interweb and even a client of mine hit this issue, so I wanted to take a moment in this blog to document it for posterity.  It deals with the Usage logging features of SharePoint, and the all too familiar Microsoft bugs.

Missing SharePoint Document Properties after Protect with Password

In this post I wanted to share a resolution to an issue I had with a client recently.  At first I thought this was going to be a difficult issue, but as luck would have it the resolution was amazingly simple if you know what to look for. 

Outlook 2013 Only Shows Today Appointments is Fixed!

So the community responded, and someone published an add-in for Outlook 2013 that puts it back.  This worked, but sad it was required.  Many blogs reference this codeplex solution as a workaround to ease their pain and suffering.

The other day I had rebooted after some Microsoft Office updates, and to my surprise I noticed it was there!  I guess Microsoft does listen when enough people complain about it. 

What Makes Good SharePoint Documentation?

When it comes to writing documentation, it is unfortunately one of those things that you will get to tomorrow, gets pushed because this server was down, or Bob needs his password reset.  But I believe it’s important to at least have some form of documentation.  This is important because:

  1. It can prove to be very helpful when planning upgrades to the next version of SharePoint. 
  2. It can be useful if you have to rebuild your farm so you can easily replicate the environment.

How to Fix “No two choices should have the same ID” SharePoint Error

Sooner or later, you might run into this error. I was able to work out the easy solution so I wanted to share it to help someone else. You will likely run into this error if you try to go site column or site content types, or from a list or library you click add site column. In my case, I had just created a site from a custom site template and was getting this error. Let’s dig in.

Why Do Hidden Taxonomy Catch All Columns Become Visible?

EMMDoubleTagI’ve been fighting an interesting issue lately where some hidden taxonomy columns are becoming visible. In this environment, there are simple custom content types with some custom site columns, a few of which are managed metadata columns. The issue is that what seems randomly, some strange fields suddenly show up in the library columns, and on the list forms:

Why Do Hidden Taxonomy Catch All Columns Become Visible?

Disable SharePoint Alerts on a Specific List

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Here’s the scenario: You have a picture library that stores employee photos. This might be the case if you’re not storing the photos in Active Directory yet perhaps. Now, HR comes to you and says, "We want to be sure that employees can’t set an alert, because then they would know if we remove a picture when an employee is terminated." Here is what you should do...

Fix for High CPU with Multiple SPUCWorkerProcessProxy and Conhost with SharePoint



I recently had a client contact me recently with an interesting SharePoint issue. Seemingly out of the blue, their SharePoint 2010 server CPU started being consumed by two main processes with multiple instances: SPUCWorkerProcessProxy.exe and conhost.exe. Read on to find out how I fixed this issue.

Correcting SharePoint 2010 Error: Application Server Job Failed for Service Instance

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I was recently doing some routine maintenance on a SharePoint server and I happened to check the event viewer logs. Wow was I surprised! It seemed that every minute, we were getting this error message, event ID 6481: Application Server job failed for service instance Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.SearchServiceInstance (GUID).


 

Make Multiple SharePoint Fields Required with Windows PowerShell

powershell_iconThis entry includes script that was created for a recent client who asked me to make several columns required in their SharePoint 2010 site collection of approximately 25-30 subsites. This would've taken two minutes if all columns were site columns, however, that wasn't the case. As a result, the columns were not inheriting and I was forced to turn to PowerShell for a solution.

Quick Tip: Changing the Timeout Value for a SharePoint Redirect Page

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I recently had to help a client solve a URL redirection issue. We tossed around using SharePoint AAMs, IIS URL Rewrite, and other possibilities. The best solution ended up was to use a SharePoint Redirect page. It’s not something that is used very often but it certainly fit the bill for our issue. My focus on this quick tip is to show you how to change the timeout value on the redirect as I couldn’t find this documented.

 

What to do When SharePoint 2010 Timer Service Keeps Stopping


I recently completed a SharePoint migration for a client from 2007 to 2010. Overall the migration went well, however, we did have one small issue with the SharePoint 2010 Timer Service that I thought I should share with all of you. Read on for a brief explanation of the issue and my quick fix.

Working Around Inability to Insert an Image in SharePoint 2010 Page

 

On a recent client project, we implemented a solution that heavily used article pages / page layouts from the SharePoint 2010 Pages library. Most of them had images. While working through use cases with these articles, I came across some strange behavior that someone else had found but not documented (to my knowledge). As a result, I wanted to blog about the topic to make it easier for others to find.  

Troubleshooting SharePoint HTTP 500 Errors and IIS Failed Request Tracing

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I had a client call me the other day as he was having an issue with a couple of his SharePoint 2010 sites that seemed strange, the sites just stopped working. When anyone tried to access the sites, they would get HTTP 500 errors. I was able to resolve this issue for the client so I thought I should share some of my troubleshooting tips.

Quick Tip: Avoid Database Attach Error When Upgrading to SharePoint 2013

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A database attach upgrade is the only supported method for upgrading SharePoint 2010 Products to SharePoint 2013 (unless you use a third-party migration tool). Database attach is used to upgrade SharePoint content and service applications. I was doing some testing with doing database attach upgrades from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 and found an issue.

Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.