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Archive for July, 2010

Modify the default scope for your search box

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 28, 2010

MOSS/SharePoint 2007

To modify the default scope

Go to your home page and navigate to “Site Actions” –> “Site Settings” –> “Modify All Site Settings“.
On this page, pick “Search scopes” under the Site Collection Administration.
Here you’ll see some different “Display groups“, one of them is the “Search Dropdown” (which is the search box you see on your SharePoint site).
If you click on the “Search Dropdown” link, you’ll be taken to a page with some settings for this group and the bottom one is where you set your default scope.
Modify this to whatever you want, click OK and you’re done!

Posted in Search, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Moving MOSS 2007 SQL Databases part 3

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 27, 2010

If you haven’t seen the earlier posts on this topic: Part 1 and Part 2

D-Day has arrived, it is time to actually move my SharePoint 2007 sql databases to a different SQL Server.  My previous posts touched on the research I did leading up to this event.  This post will cover the actual tasks and outcome.  I am writing this as I go through the process, so let’s all cross our fingers that it goes smooth.

My Plans

A summary of my plan is as follows:

  1. Backup the SharePoint farm
  2. Backup all SQL db’s
  3. Move those backups off to a “safe” spot on the network.
  4. Start the process defined in the TechNet article Move all databases (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
  5. Backup the SSP’s
  6. Remove SSP’s
  7. Stop the Farm (services)
  8. Backup sql db’s
  9. Copy backups to new sql server
  10. Restore sql db’s on new sql server
  11. Apply roles, permissions, etc. to new sql server & restored db’s
  12. Restart Farm
  13. Restore SSP’s from backup
  14. Cross-fingers and check to see that our SharePoint intranet is up and running
  15. Go have a beer

Round 1

I attempted these steps and all went smoothly until I got to step 13 – Restore SSP’s from backup.  The restore made it to 50 percent complete then ran into this error:

SqlException: Timeout expired.  The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

After several attempts and a grueling session of troubleshooting I found that the SQL Server Agent was not running on my ‘new’ SQL server (SQL Server 2008 R2 64-bit, running on Windows Server 2008 64-bit).  The fun part was that I couldn’t get it to start.  The Agent would just stop after every attempt to start it.  I tried several solutions found on-line, none of which worked.

At this point my weekend was over and we needed the production server back online, so I did the restore BACK to the original SQL Server.  SharePoint was up and running fine very quickly.

Finally, I un-installed SQL Server 2008 R2 from the new server and started over.  After carefully reinstalling SQL Server 2008 R2 I no longer had any problem with the SQL Server Agent.  Hurray, now will the SSP restore work?  I have to wait until the next weekend to find out.

Round 2

Friday – A week has gone by and I am now preparing to walk through all of those steps again.  More confident than last time perhaps, but concerned at what I might run into this time around.  I will do all of the initial steps – the backups – tonight, Friday night.  Saturday morning I will start the scary part, removing the SSP’s and moving everything to the new SQL Server.

Saturday – Everything went well up to the restore, again. This time the error was an Access Denied error pointing to the SharePoint backup directory.  Short-story resolution: change the SQL Server account to use a Domain account, make sure that domain account had permissions to the backup folder and to the sql database files folder.  I also wanted to make sure I didn’t have any more trouble getting to the backup folder so I opened it up (temporarily) to several other accounts – my ssp and app-pool users.

The SSP Restore completed successfully, with zero errors and zero warnings.  Hurray!

Hold-on, the process outlined by Microsoft ends here.  What about my content databases?

Searching about I found that I need to use stsadm to detach the content databases, one by one, from the SharePoint server and add the databases on the new server.  So I begin this task and have no problems until I get to the Config database.  It detaches fine, but then the services become disabled and the attach (setconfigdb) results in “Value cannot be null.  Parameter name: str” !  What the?!  Time for Microsoft Support calls.

Support helped resolve the ‘migration’ issues, however now the SSP is not working-including search, and there are several other things missing.  I am told I will have to add any solutions back in, and find whatever features or web parts that might not work and fix them.  Also have to open a new ticket for ‘advanced troubleshooting’ on the SSP.  It has been a long Saturday.

Round 3

Sunday – Monday (ouch)

After hours on the phone and several rounds of running psconfig we were able to get a new Config db setup and restore over it to capture most of my configuration data.  The SSP is a different story.  We had to create a new SSP, which left me with a few more days of reconfiguring the SSP, Search, Audiences, etc. before I was “back” to normal.


Some good came from this pain… since I had to reconfigure the SSP I could apply some lessons learned since the original install.  Now I feel like my SSP is “better” than it was before. 😉   I improved our Search features, including a federated search we were using, I cleaned up some Audiences that were not used, etc.   I just had to find some improvements!

Posted in Commentary, Install and Configure, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Email Enabling a Document Library

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 23, 2010

There are many reasons why you might want to e-mail enable a Document Library in SharePoint.  One of them could be simply because some manager doesn’t want to navigate to the library to upload a file.  Another, better reason is because they are traveling and want to post a document  on your Intranet without having to VPN into your network.  Regardless of the reason, the steps to make this happen are easy so let’s get started.

Step 1 – Know what you want

Do you want the documents to all go into the root library or into folders?

Do you want anyone in the world to post files to this library?

Will your e-mail system allow incoming email to route to SharePoint?

I will assume you get those questions answered and are ready to go now.

Step 2 – Navigate to the Document Library you want to e-mail enable.

I will use “Shared Documents” for this example.

Step 3 – Select Settings > Document Library Settings

Step 4 – Select Incoming email settings from the Communications section of the Library Settings page

Step 5 – Enable Incoming e-mail

  1. Allow the document library to receive e-mail – yep, that is why we are here.
  2. Enter an e-mail name for users to send files to this library.  You may want to use some form of the document library name.  Since this is a test run for me, I used ‘test’.

Note that the full email address contains “@sharepointserver” dot your company domain.  This is something you may have to ensure your e-mail system will allow.  You also may have to setup a specific e-mail box and use that address here to allow it to work.  See the references at the end of this post.

  1. Select the appropriate options for E-Mail Message, and Meeting Invitations (if you are not sure just say No, it is likely the best option).
  2. Read the Caution under E-Mail Security and set the E-mail security policy.

Step 6 – Click OK and test your e-mail setup

Step 7 – You are done, el’ fine!


Planning for Incoming E-Mail:

Reference this article for details on configuring your SharePoint SMTP services:

Posted in Install and Configure, SharePoint 2007 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

“New Item Added” Alert not working

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 23, 2010

I hope there is a happy ending to this story, I will update it when I find out. [Updated 7/26/2010]

Here is the situation

MOSS 2007, Alerts set on a Survey list.  Users complain that although they have set up Alert Me to tell them when a New Item is Added they are not getting the email alert.

I setup my own Alerts to test behavior, here is the run down:

  • Creating an Alert produces the “successfully create an alert” email message
  • Changing an item produces the item “has been changed” alert email message
  • Deleting an item produces the item “has been deleted” alert email message
  • Creating a new item DOES NOT produce the “New item added” alert email
  • Alerts on other lists in same site behave normally (all Alerts work as expected)

Some of the things I have done to troubleshoot/resolve this behavior:

  • Restarted the Timer service
  • Verified the Timer service was running
  • Checked the Timer Status in Central Administration – everything Successful and 100%
  • Checked the properties:

STSADM -o getproperty -url http://YourSiteURL -pn alerts-enabled
STSADM -o getproperty -url http://YourSiteURL–pn job-immediate-alerts

  • Re-registered the Alert Templates

stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -url http://YourSiteURL -f “c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML\alerttemplates.xml” -LCID 1033

Behavior after Re-registering the Alert Templates – same as before re-registering, ugh.

Decided to test more alerts on other sites, ah-ha!

  • Other sites in the collection with lists using Alerts behave as expected – “New Item Added” Alert works!

So what do we have?  Behavior is localized to this survey and only impacts New Item Alerts.  Wait, that sentence made me verify…other survey’s behave the same way!  So the problem is not with that “list” it is a problem for all survey’s.


One workaround that was plausible was to create a workflow to send notifications when new items are created.  This seemed plausible only because in this situation, the users had already requested assistance creating an approval workflow for this survey.   I decided to do a quick test by setting up an approval workflow.  The workflow fails to start.

Following this trail actually helped me get to the bottom of all of this.  I finally came across this Microsoft support article explains how “starting a workflow from a survey response is not supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0” – and the article  “Applies To” MOSS 2007 as well.

That lead me to some blogs saying that Microsoft does not support “New item added” Alerts on SharePoint Survey’s in WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007.   These blog postings were older, so I wanted to find either ‘new’ postings or something that I could consider more reliable.  After searching further I found a hotfix mentioning this behavior – KB983307 Description of the SharePoint Server 2007 hotfix package (sts-x-none.msp): June 29, 2010.


What have we learned?

  1. The Alert behavior is a known problem in WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007; there is a fix, but you will want to review that material and make a decision regarding installing it in your environment or not.
  2. Workflows are not supported for SharePoint Survey’s for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007, so keep that in mind to avoid the obvious issues and let your users know that they shouldn’t create Survey’s if they want to eventually attach a workflow.

Epilog (of sorts)

Using Alerts to notify people of Changes to items in Survey’s does work, however you should evaluate what you are trying to accomplish and choose the best tool.  Survey’s are quick and easy to build, so make use of this nice tool built-in to SharePoint when you need it…just be aware of the potential pros and cons associated with using them.

Posted in Alerts, Lists, SharePoint 2007, Survey, Workflow | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Daily Twitter Newspapers

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 22, 2010

Some creative folks are compiling twitter feeds into a newspaper format on a daily basis. These papers capture twitter streams that have links and group them onto the page. The streams are from the previous day, but a ‘live twitter stream” is presented on the page – it seems to scramble everything over the past 24 hours and present it in that section.
Here are some of the Daily papers related to SharePoint:

#SharePoint2010 hastag stream:

#SharePoint hastag stream:

Laura Rogers Daily:

and your’s truly:

There may be other great ones out there, I just haven’t found ’em yet. Let me know if you find an interesting Daily paper related to SharePoint.

Posted in Commentary | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Resetting Colleagues in MySites

Posted by sharepoinTony on July 9, 2010

I have 4 posts in draft and continue to run out of time to complete them, so to combat that situation I am going to do a very quick post today.

We have My Sites enabled in our SharePoint 2007 intranet.  We also have a number of remote employees who rarely login to the network and have never gone to their My Site.  Internally, the My Sites are often used to find reporting relationships, colleagues and contact information.  In our environment “colleagues” are primarily co-workers in the same department…with exceptions for cross-department teams.  Employees can easily  add or remove colleagues in their My Site Profile page.

HR came to me today because one  person changed roles and the profile page shows colleagues for this person that are no longer considered colleagues.  The person is remote, has not gone to My Sites and will likely not do so, possibly ever.  HR wants to know if I can update the colleagues displayed for this person.

As a SharePoint Administrator, I cannot manage a My Site that the user has not ‘created’ .  That is, when anyone clicks on the name of a valid user they are taken to a My Site page…however if the user hasn’t created their My Site yet, this page is a profile page that SharePoint generates and it is NOT a site.  So I can’t edit the site.

After some digging around I found the answer.  There is no UI or SSP menu that will allow you to do this in 2007…it requires coding a tiny application that uses the UserProfileService web service.  The forum article that really answered this question can be found on TechNet, and sample code doing this is available on MSDN.  I hope this helps shorten someone’s research effort that may have a similar situation arise.

Posted in SharePoint 2007, User Profiles | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »