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Month

August 2008

SharePoint Back to Basics

I’ve decided to write a series of posts covering some of the basics of SharePoint. You’ll likely find a lot of posts on the subject out there already, and I’ll try including links to some of my favorites with each one of my postings. I do often get asked about the subjects I’ll be covering, and find it difficult to remember where to refer those asking the questions. My intent is to cover these subjects in the most basic manner, an introduction to the world of customizing and developing for SharePoint. I’ll be tagging the series “Back2Basics” which should make the posts easy to find. I welcome any requests or recommendations, in the mean time the following are some of the topics I plan on covering:

 

  1. SharePoint Back to Basics: Common Terms
  2. SharePoint Back to Basics: Logical Architecture (Web Applications, Site Collections, Sites)
  3. SharePoint Back to Basics: Features
  4. SharePoint Back to Basics: Master Pages
  5. SharePoint Back to Basics: Working with the DataForm (aka. DataView) Web Part
  6. SharePoint Back to Basics: Working with the Content Query Web Part

 

I’ll be updating the list above with links to each posting as I make them available, as well as additional topics. I cant guarantee that I’ll be covering them in that order. Again, requests and/or recommendations are always welcome.

SharePoint and SSRS Deep Integration: "An unexpected error occurred while connecting to the report server. Verify that the report server is available and configured for SharePoint integrated mode."

I recently encountered this error while configuring SQL Reporting Services for deep integration with SharePoint. The error would show up whenever we clicked on the “Set Server Defaults” link in the Central Administration site. Other than the error message, we didn’t have much to go with. Looking through the SharePoint Logs and the IIS logs on the report server we noticed a number or 401 errors that coincided in time. We figured it must have had something to do with the configuration of the Report Server Website, and tried to access it via the browser. In doing so we encountered another error, this time in the browser; “HTTP Error 401.1 – Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials”. Searching the web for that error lead to the following article (and the solution to the error): You receive an HTTP Error 401.1 – “Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials” error message when you try to access a Web site that is part of an IIS 6.0 application pool. The article presents a couple of options, both made the error go away (I recreated the problem and tried both solutions)

The first option consists in setting up an SPN with the NetBIOS name and the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the server and the domain user account that the application pool is running under; assuming your SQL Reporting Services App Pool account is a domain account. You’ll need to install the “Windows Server 2003 Support Tools” that are included on your Windows Server 2003 CD before you can setup your SPNs; these can be installed on any server in the domain. Once installed, run the following commands in the command prompt:

setspn.exe -a http/ DomainName\<UserName>
setspn.exe -a http/ DomainName\<UserName>

Where:

  • is the NetBIOS name of the IIS server running the SQL Reporting Services report server (example: MySSRSServer01)
  • is the fully qualified name of the same server
    (example: MySSRSServer01.domain.com)
  • is the username of the SSRS report server application pool identity

The second option requires you to force IIS to use NTLM as your authentication mechanism on you SQL Reporting Servers Web Server. Keep in mind that going with this option will make NTLM the default Integrated Authentication Mechanism for all of the sites in that server. To do this, follow these steps on the SQL Reporting Servers Web Server:

  1. Locate and then change to the directory that contains the Adsutil.vbs file. By default, this directory is C:\Inetpub\Adminscripts.
  2. Type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    cscript adsutil.vbs set w3svc/NTAuthenticationProviders “NTLM”

SharePoint Backup, Recovery and Availability Resource Center

If you have been looking for information from Microsoft in regards to SharePoint back-ups, disaster recovery, or availability; Microsoft recently launched the “SharePoint Backup, Recovery and Availability Resource Center”. A one-stop-shop on the subject containing:

 

– Planning and “how-to” content for backup and recovery.

– Pointers on how to use versioning and the recycle bins.

– Content describing how to use System Center Data Protection Manager to protect Office SharePoint Server.

– Availability content, including a great white paper and case study on using database mirroring in a single farm.

 

The site also includes a number of useful diagrams and links to relevant information. Check it out at:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sharepointserver/bb736212.aspx

Moving Site Collections from Content Databases

Don’t be surprised if after running SharePoint for some time you find yourself having to move site collections to new content databases. Maybe one or more of your content databases are experiencing greater growth than you originally anticipated, or you only have one Content Database and would like to logically group your site collections into multiple. Whatever the case may be STSADM includes an operation that allows you to move all or a specified subset of site collections from one content database to another. The operation is MergeContentDBs and was introduced in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 1.

Creating a New Content Database

If you are moving the Site Collection(s) to an existing content database you may skip this section; keep in mind that the target content database must be associated with the same web application as the source content database. If you need to create a new Content Database to move your Site Collection(s) into follow these steps:

  1. Start the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.

  2. On the Application Management page, in the SharePoint Web Application Management section, click Content databases.

  3. On the Manage Content Databases page, click Add a content database.

  4. On the Add Content Database page:

    1. Select a Web application for the new database.

    2. Select a database server to host the new database.

    3. Specify the authentication method the new database will use and supply an account name and password if necessary.

    4. Specify both the total number of top-level sites that can be created in the database and the number at which a warning will be issued.

  5. Click OK.

Moving all the Site Collections to a Different Content Database (Merging Content Databases)

If you are moving ALL of your Site Collections from one content database to another follow these steps, otherwise skip this section

  1. Run the following stsadm command:
    Stsadm -o mergecontentdbs -url -sourcedatabasename -destinationdatabasename -operation 2

  2. where is the address of the Web application that contains the site collection that you want; is the name of the database that you want to move the site collection from; and is the name of the database that you want to move the site collection to; operation 2 is the “Full Database Merge” operation.

    (Example: stsadm -o mergecontentdbs -url http://localhost -sourcedatabasename WSS_Content 
    -destinationdatabasename  WSS_Content2 -operation 2)

  3. Restart IIS by typing the following command, and then pressing ENTER:
    iisreset /noforce.

     

Moving Specific Sites to a Different Content Database (Splitting Content Databases)

If you are moving specific site collections from one content database to another follow these steps:

  1. Run the following stsadm command, to get a list of all the sites in your web application

    Stsadm -o enumsites -url > .xml

    where is the address of the Web application that contains the site collection that you want to move, and is the name of the XML file that you want to create with the site collection data.

    (Example: stsadm -o enumsites -url http://localhost > c:\Sites.XML)

  2. Open the XML file that you created in a text editing application. If there are any URLs for site collections that you do not want to move, be sure to delete them from the file. The only URLs that should remain in the XML file should be for the site collections that you want to move.

    Note:
    There is no need to change the site count or any of the other site collection information in the file. Only the URLs are relevant to this procedure.

  3. Run the following stsadm command:
    Stsadm -o mergecontentdbs -url -sourcedatabasename -destinationdatabasename -operation 3 -filename

    where is the address of the Web application that contains the site collection that you want; is the name of the database that you want to move the site collection from; and is the name of the database that you want to move the site collection to; operation 3 is the “Read from file” operation; and is the name of the file that you created in step 4.

    (Example: stsadm -o mergecontentdbs -url http://localhost -sourcedatabasename WSS_Content 
    -destinationdatabasename  WSS_Content2 -operation 3 -filename c:\Sites.xml)

    Note: This step assumes that all of the sites in the Sites.xml file where in the source database name. If the sites are located in multiple databases you may need to repeat these steps for each source Content Database.

  4. Restart IIS by typing the following command, and then pressing ENTER:
    iisreset /noforce.

For more information reference the TechNet Articles:
Add, split, and merge content databases (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Mergecontentdbs: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server)

 

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