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Doug Allen's Articles

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

IIS7

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

SharePoint 2013 logo

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.

SharePoint Login Issues: How to Fix Users who can’t Log in via their User Principle Name (UPN)

Microsoft Active Directory

I got a call from a client recently where one particular user was unable to login to SharePoint via their User Principle Name (UPN). For those non-AD SharePoint folks out there, UPN refers to an attribute on the user account object in Active Directory. Anytime a user is created, at a minimum they will have a user logon name and a UPN suffix (domain name). The UPN is composed of the user logon name and the UPN suffix joined by the @ sign. Read on to see how I quickly resolved this issue.

Dealing with Mixed Content Prompts in SharePoint After SSL Change

Security Warning: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?For the IE users out there, I’m sure you’ve come across this dialog once or twice in your life. On several of our recent client projects we’ve been doing a lot of changing over from unsecure to secure URLs via SSL certificates in SharePoint. Invariably, as soon as you enable SSL and log in to SharePoint, you get this wonderful prompt: Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely? Find out how to get rid of this for good...

Quick Tips for the SharePoint Chart Web Part

SharePoint 2010 Chart Web Part

On a recent project I got to work with the out-of-the-box (OOTB) Chart Web Part in SharePoint 2010. My team just needed to chart some simple data, nothing fancy, but we had some fairly specific styling requirements. We tried Web parts from other vendors they already had and got close, but we just couldn’t get there. Luckily we were upgrading to Enterprise anyway, so that allowed us to use the Chart Web Part that comes with SharePoint OOTB.

4 Quick Tips: Branding SharePoint2010

Over the time I’ve been using SharePoint, I’ve been taking notes on the tools and that make my job a little bit easier. Lately I’ve focused on collecting a ton of tips for working with branding in SharePoint2010. To help other people working with branding in SharePoint, I thought I should share some of my information.

SharePoint 2010 Taxonomy Term Changes Don’t Update Content

SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata

If you’re like a lot of other folks, you’ve taken advantage of the Managed Metadata functionality in SharePoint. You’ve created your taxonomy group, specified your term sets, and created some terms. Then you’ve created your managed metadata column in your site collection, and pointed it to your specified term set. You’ve then uploaded a lot of documents and specified terms for the metadata column, everyone is “happy happy happy”.

But then you need to rename one of your terms currently called “Information Technology Department” to just “Information Technology”. No sweat, you go into the Term Store tool, rename the term. Done right? To your surprise, when you look at properties of various documents tagged with your term, they haven’t been renamed. Hmm … what gives?

How to Delete a Service Application Database that is Not Responding

powershell_iconOn a recent project, I hit an issue with databases that was interesting. We were restoring a lot of databases over to a development environment from production, as well as the managed metadata database. I had gone through the whole deal, backed up the database in the old server, restored it to the development SQL server, etc. There was an issue with the Managed Metadata service that required to have service application re-created. This lead to a situation where the service application database was unprovisioned, but not deleted.

Did You Know Microsoft Expression 4 Is Now Free?

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I don’t believe Microsoft Expression ever had a huge following from web developers and graphics designers, but it served a purpose. Whether you liked it, hated or loved it, Microsoft has done what it does best again.

In case you haven’t visited their website lately, you will notice some major changes with Expression. Basically, they are rolling the Expression products into Visual Studio 2012 and beyond, forgoing the standalone tools. For the time being, they made Expression Web 4, Expression Design 4 and Expression Encoder 4 free for download. That may not be a big deal to some, but I think it could prove useful to some.

How to Resolve the Missing Item Scheduling in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint Publishing SchedulingSo you’re going about your business in SharePoint, say when you want to publish an article page. You open the page and click on Publish, and the Schedule option isn’t there! Ack! Oh the humanity! If you’re uploading a document, the schedule items appear on the edit properties (editform.aspx) dialog.

You may be asking, what scheduling option? Well, it’s the option for being able to publish pages at a future date and time and is activated at the document library level. If you have a publishing site, this feature should already be activated on the Pages library. But it can be enabled on any site/library under the right conditions. This is very likely a simple fix. Let’s review the items to check.

How to Configure a Filtered Calendar Overlay in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 Calendar overlayCalendar Overlays was definitely a welcome new feature when SharePoint 2010 was released. They provide decent basic functionality for being to have a nice view of multiple calendars at once (up to 10 calendars). Suppose you are in a situation where you want to do some calendar overlays, but you only want to show a filtered set of calendar entries on the calendar overlay view? This turns out to be much easier than it might sound. Now you could write a simple workflow that runs on the child list and copies the list item on the child calendar to the parent calendar, but that’s not really an overlay is it?

As I said, this is actually extremely easy to configure. It feels like it should be illegal to be this easy, so enjoy the moment! So what do we need to do? Here are the overview steps:

  • Create at least 2 calendars (one child, and one parent used to display the overlay)
  • Create items on the child calendar
  • Create a filtered Calendar View on the child calendar (e.g. only show items where category=X)
  • On the parent calendar, configure the overlay, and be sure to choose the new filtered view
  • Sit back, have a drink and bask in the awe of your coworkers and boss as they bow before you in the view of this incredible display of SharePoint awesomeness

Auto-Populate a SharePoint 2010 Contact List from User Profile Data

imageWhile the contacts list is usually filled out for contacts that are outside the company, there are times when you would use a contacts list to store internal and external resources. Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to re-type your internal contacts’ information that are already in the system? Now you can with a little InfoPath customization on the contacts list.

Free SharePoint Training and other Resources

SharePoint 2010 trainingAs I work with various clients with different skill levels with SharePoint, I have on more than one occasion needed to compile a list of training resources. Microsoft (and others) provide a good number of resources so I thought I would try and compile a list in one place. These resources can be a mix of delivery methods including blogs, whitepapers, online videos, tutorials or courses. Let’s start with resources for end users, then move to the IT Pros, then to the developers. I started writing this for the purpose of training, but the lists quickly grew to include other resources, so I hope you find it a useful resource.

For the sake of this post, all resources will be for SharePoint 2010. But with the very soon to release SharePoint 2013, I will provide some information in another post. Stay tuned!

Correct Empty ULS Logs in SharePoint 2010

imageIf you're unsure what ULS logs are or what they're used for, please see my previous post where I cover the basics. On a recent project, I was adding a new server to a SharePoint 2010 farm. After the join was completed, I went to go review the ULS logs to ensure all looked well and no serious errors or other issues came up. To my surprise, it was empty! It turned out to be a simple fix, but here are some things to check when this happens:

  1. ULS logging is driven by the Windows service "SharePoint 2010 Tracing". Ensure this service is started, and if it is already running, right-click on it and choose restart. Then re-check the ULS logs.
  2. If the above tracing service is started and re-starting doesn't help, it likely is permissions related. This was the problem in my case. To fix this, do the following:
    1. In this environment, the tracing service was running as the application pool account. We need to add that account to the local user group "Performance Log Users".
    2. Check the membership of this group on a working farm server, and ensure the new farm server has the same group membership.
    3. Restart the tracing service, and check the ULS logs again for entries.
  3. If you still have trouble, check the other local security groups like WSS_WPG and WSS_ADMIN_WPG groups and ensure the problem server has the same memberships.

While you shouldn’t have to, it might be necessary to either perform an IISRESET on the problem server, or even reboot to ensure new credentials take affect.

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.