Tag Archives: SharePoint 2010

Notes on SharePoint Alerts

Recently I have been working with a business user who believed ‘Immediate’ Alerts were not functioning correctly on a list he was maintaining and he was not being notified of some occurrences.  An investigation has not found a repeatable problem nor any information in logs that might point toward an error occurring for his particular list and email notifications were being sent correctly. The end result was a lack of understanding of how Alerts function in SharePoint 2010.

Being a business user I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to have a technical understanding of Alert functionality but it is worth letting your end users know some of the basics such as:

  • If multiple changes are made to a document before the alert mail is generated, SharePoint alert will only send the latest change that was made. This is to prevent spamming with too many alerts or too many changes in a digest when people hit “save” again and again.
  • The currently ‘immediate’ alerting cycle in SharePoint 2010 is 5 minutes by default. It can be changed to be more or less if required by this would need to be weighed against additional overhead for more immediacy or longer notification cycles. 5 minutes seems a good balance.

  • Once you choose “yes” for “Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited” and then upload a new document, you will only get the “change” alert about “checked out” information as this change happens after the item is created. This is apparently by-design behaviour.

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Filed under General SharePoint Development, Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

Problem rendering infoPath forms for External Lists

I was configuring a set of external content types and associated external lists the other day and encountered the following error message “The form cannot be rendered. This may be due to a misconfiguration of the Microsoft SharePoint Server State Service. For more information, contact your server administrator” when I create the lists to have associated InfoPath based forms (the ASPX based forms were still created).

The form cannot be rendered. This may be due to a misconfiguration of the Microsoft SharePoint Server State Service. For more information, contact your server administrator.

It turns out that because we chose to perform the configuration of services manually the config wizard wasn’t run and as a result the State Service wasn’t configured. To fix this problem we need to configure the state service either by running the config wizard through Central Admin or using the following process from within the SharePoint Powershell command window…

  1. Login to the server using the SharePoint Admin account
  2. On the Taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then open the Windows PowerShell Modules as administrator.
  3. In Windows PowerShell, create a service application by typing $serviceApp = New-SPStateServiceApplication -Name “State Service”
  4. Create a State Service database and associate it with a service application, by typing New-SPStateServiceDatabase -Name ”StateServiceDatabase” -ServiceApplication $serviceApp.
  5. Create a State Service Application Proxy and associate it with the service application by typing New-SPStateServiceApplicationProxy -Name ”State Service” -ServiceApplication $serviceApp -DefaultProxyGroup.

Once these instructions are run, you should have a new State Service Service Application visible under the Service Applications list. You might also need to verify that your web Applications iare associated with the new State Service Service Application before things will start working properly.

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Filed under Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, SharePoint 2010, Uncategorized

Installation of SP1 for SharePoint Foundation failed

I installed SP1 for SharePoint Foundation yesterday on a brand new insatllation and encountered no problems at all. Today I’ve attempted to install it on another SharePoint Foundation enviornment but this one has a handful of custom Features installed but basically no content loaded. The installation ran fine but I hit a problem when running the config wizard at step 10 (the final step). The progress dialog displayed progress until it reached around 91 percent complete i.e.

The farm is being upgraded in the timer service process. The task is 91.28% completed.

before it failed with the ambiguous error message:

An exception of type Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.PostSetupConfigurationTaskException was thrown.  Additional exception information: Failed to upgrade SharePoint Products.
One or more configuration settings failed.  Completed configuration settings will not be rolled back.  Resolve the problem and run this configuration wizard again. 
The following contains detailed information about the failure: <log file detail>

I examined the upgrade log file to try and determine what had caused the failure and found the following error:

SyncUpgradeTimerJob: Upgrade timer job failed. Return -1.
07/06/2011 11:25:33  12  ERR                  The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed.

There was nothing further to indicate in this log file what caused the problem. At this stage, as far as I can tell everything is working ok, I can still access the site collection and Central Admin running on the server. Given the problem seemed to be a failure of a timer job I reviewed the status of the Upgrade Time job and found that it has its own log file. Upon reviewing this timer job’s log file I found the cause of the failure of the Upgrade timer job:

[OWSTIMER] [SPContentDatabaseSequence] [ERROR] [7/6/2011 11:23:07 AM]: Found a missing feature Id = [e2bd7171-e179-451d-b6b1-6d15a0297e41], Name = [Custom Feature 1], Description = [This feature requires that the Custom Feature 1 feature is enabeld to ensure that all sub sites inherit the required master page.], Install Location = [My.SharePoint.Feature]
[OWSTIMER] [SPContentDatabaseSequence] [ERROR] [7/6/2011 11:23:07 AM]: The feature with Id e2bd7171-e179-451d-b6b1-6d15a0297e41 is referenced in the database [WSS_Content_DB], but is not installed on the current farm. The missing feature may cause upgrade to fail. Please install any solution which contains the feature and restart upgrade if necessary.

So it appeared that it was apparently related to a missing custom feature. After a few checks I ran the config wizard again and it completed successfully and when I checked the upgrade status in Central Admin it shows that the upgrade to SP1 has completed successfully.

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Filed under General SharePoint Development, SharePoint 2010

Problems Caused by IE Developer Toolbar

I’ve had a shocker of a time over the last day or so after I installed the IE Developer Toolbar on my new Windows 7 64bit laptop. I had been trying to debug some issues with a custom SharePoint list form and having used the toolbar on my old laptop to great benefit and with no problems have no hesitation installing it on my new one.

I downloaded the latest version (1.00.2189.0) and proceeded to investigate the issue with cascading styles in my page. The first problem that I started encountering was that some web sites (unrelated to the SharePoint customisation I was looking into) would simply hang. This seemed to get progressively worse to the point where I would have to restart the browser.

Next Microsoft Word 2010 started to intermittently hit problems and close down. Again this got progressively worse until everytime I tried to open a document (both .doc and .docx) Word wouldn’t even open it before  the error dialog appeared and off it went on its merry way trying to work out what went wrong, notify Microsoft and then close down.

Thinking that it could be related to the installation of the developer toolbar I reluctantly uninstalled it and restarted Windows. This seemed to fix the issues with the browser hanging but Word still wouldn’t open documents so I tried doing a Repair of the installation of Microsoft Office 2010 Professional to see if this would fix the issues with Word. After completing the repair and restarting things seemed to be ok and I was able to work on a document review for a few hours last night.

BUT, when I logged in this morning and opened up a Word document I was immediately hit with the problem again. DOH!!!

As a last resort I reverted to the restore point prior to the installation of the IE Developer Toolbar and restarted Windows. This seems to have worked and I have been able to work on various Word documents and in IE without problems since. In my books this confirms without a doubt that the installation of the IE Developer Toolbar on my system was the cause of all these problems. From now on I’ll limit its use to my development server VM’s where I haven’t encountered this problem before.

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Filed under General SharePoint Development, Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, SharePoint 2010