Sunday, 16 October 2011

Displaying Project Server fields in SharePoint site

Recently I was working on the SharePoint project and the client wanted to display and edit some Project Server fields on Project Server SharePoint site. You can do this using OOTB Project Fields webpart which comes with Project Web Access (PWA) add-in. But there's a catch. This webpart can be used only on some specific pages which support Project Server context. If you place the webpart on a page which doesn't support the context, you'll get "The webpart cannot be displayed in this context" error message. To overcome this limitation I develop webpart which works on every page on  the Project Server site.

And here is the screenshot:

The SharePoint solution is available for download here.

Friday, 22 July 2011

SharePoint 2010 warm up console app

I'm sure you could  find a lot of PowerShell scripts around which do the same. This simple console app just makes it much easier. It warms up all site within Sharepoint farm and all you need to do is to schedule it in Task Scheduler. Or you can run it manually, of course.

  • User account running this application must have at least read permission in all sites. If not, the site won't be warmed up.

Sample app output

The application is available for download here.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Turning on Detailed Error Messages in SharePoint 2010 - SharePoint ignoring value in the CustomErrors tag issue

This is not new but I found the situation in which the following recommended procedure won't work.
  1. On the web server, navigate to the site directory (probably something like: C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80 )
  2. Open the web.config file in Notepad
  3. Search for the safemode node with the word "CallStack" and change the CallStack status to true
    <SafeMode MaxControls="200" CallStack="true" DirectFileDependencies="10" TotalFileDependencies="50" AllowPageLevelTrace="false">
  4. Search for the CustomErrors node and set the mode to Off
    <customErrors mode="Off" />
  5. Save and close.
So what to do if you update web.config and you still can't see detailed error messages?

The problem is that you're probably running into the error in the _layouts subfolder. In that case the solution is easy:

  1. On the web server, navigate to the c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS folder
  2. Open the web.config file in Notepad
  3. Search for the CustomErrors node and set the mode to Off
    <customErrors mode="Off" />
  4. Save and close.
Hope this helps,


Force to open InfoPath forms in the browser

If you were working with browser-based InfoPath forms in SharePoint 2007/2010, you might run into a really annoying issue. In some situations the forms are opening in the client application, this usually happens when:
  1. You have InfoPath application installed on your computer.
  2. You're opening the form from within the task (e.g. task in Approval workflow) - see next picture

To overcome this problem, I created a simple SharePoint solution which forces SharePoint to open the form inside browser. It uses JQuery framework and it's packaged into the standard SharePoint solution. All you need to do is to install the solution and activate Open InfoPath forms in browser feature under Site Collection Features.

You can download the solution here.

Hope this helps,


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Prompt when opening PDF in SharePoint

This is a really annoying problem. You can see on the next screenshot what I'm talking about.

Why SharePoint just can't download the file and open it? It's the PDF file so you can't edit it anyway.

To be honest, we can't blame SharePoint in this situation. The SharePoint starts to treat PDF files this way after you install PDF iFilter and modify docIcon.xml file in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\XML folder.

In this article by Microsoft you can find that when installing PDF iFilter you need to add <Mapping Key="pdf" Value="pdf16.gif" /> entry to docIcon.xml file. The entry should be <Mapping Key="pdf" Value="pdf16.gif" OpenControl="" />. After you update the entry and restart IIS using iisreset, everything should be OK:

Hope this helps,


Monday, 9 May 2011

Publishing site with multiple master pages

OK, let's be honest, this is not a common scenario. Usually you can live only with one master page and it should be enough for everyone. But from time to time you run to crazy clients which want to rape the SharePoint and turn it upside down.

You'll need another master page if you want to create page/pages inside SharePoint site which are a quite different from your current master page. It could be a different page structure or look and feel.

To implement multiple master pages you need to:
  1. Install DavidK.SP.Publishing.wsp solution
  2. Create a custom master page
  3. Create a custom page layout which will reference your custom master page. The easiest way to do this is to copy BlankWebPartPage.aspx, then edit the page layout and change the Inherits attribute to:

    DavidK.SP.Publishing.PageLayoutWithCustomMasterPage,DavidK.SP.Publishing, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=a9645fc7d9034814

    Also, add the MasterPageFile attribute which should contain the path to custom master page. In my case it is the following string:


Page layout with a custom master page
That's all, just check in the master page and page layout, approve it and create a new publishing page from this page layout.

Hope this helps,


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

SharePoint 2010 RSS Feeds Aggregator

For those who would like to aggregate the RSS feeds from multiple lists/document libraries in SharePoint, I developed the SharePoint 2010 RSS Feeds Aggregator. The aggregator is just a ASPX page which generates aggregated RSS feeds depending on the parameters passed in URL. You can also configure the title, link and description of the final RSS feed xml. The URL can be then used in the standard SharePoint RSS viewer webpart or together with any third-party RSS webpart.

After installation of the SharePoint solution, simply go to the following page: 

This page contains instructions and the sample settings.

If you encounter "The RSS webpart does not support authenticated feeds" error while configuring the RSS viewer werbpart, you need to change the authentication provider settings from NTLM to Kerberos:
  1. Go to SharePoint 2010 Central Administration and click on the Manage web Application
  2. Select your web application and click on the Authentication Providers
  3. Click on the zone and under the IIS Authentication Settings select Negotiate (Kerberos)
Apart from this you don't need to configure anything else.

You can download the solution from here.


Sample output

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Moving SharePoint with Reporting Services (SSRS) to a new server

Imagine you want to move your SharePoint installation to a different server (i.e. server with a different name). You can do it simply by installing a new SharePoint on the server and restoring content databases. If you were running SQL Server Reporting Services in SharePoint integrated mode, the reports stored inside SharePoint won't be working anymore. Here is the fix:

1. Stop Reporting Services service on the server hosting the reporting services
2. Update path references in Reporting Services database:

UPDATE [ServerParametersInstance] SET [Path] = REPLACE([Path],'http://old-server','http://new-server')
UPDATE [Schedule] SET [Path] = REPLACE([Path],'http://old-server','http://new-server')
UPDATE [Schedule] SET [Path] = REPLACE([Path],'http://old-server','http://new-server')
UPDATE [Catalog] SET [Path] = REPLACE([Path],'http://old-server','http://new-server')

3. Start Reporting Services service again
    Don't forget to replace old-server and new-server tokens with your values.

    Back from New Zealand

    Just returned from New Zealand. We had a wonderful time in this amazing country of wine, mountains, wild rivers and rain forests... and if you're into rock climbing and bouldering as I'm then Castle Hill is the place you must not miss...

    All pictures taken by this amazing photographer

    Thursday, 14 April 2011

    Barcodes generating web handler as SharePoint solution

    I'm just working on the project where I need to generate barcodes and display them inside SharePoint. I needed some component which would generate these barcodes and  I wanted it as SharePoint solution (wsp file) which would make the deployment easier and administrator friendly. I decided to develop a web handler (ASXH file), all you need to do is to call the web handler and pass all information (i.e. barcode data)  as URL parameters.

    Here is the example of generated barcodes:

    Visual Studio 2010 project is available here. You'll need WSPBuilder extension  to create the wsp package and Free 3 of 9 font installed on the server or dev machine.

    Wednesday, 13 April 2011

    How to display Exchange calendar (shared resource) in SharePoint 2010

    One thing that I really missed in SharePoint 2007 was a deeper integration with MS Exchange, specifically the ability to display shared resources (e.g. conference room, projector etc) as a calender. This is actually a quite common requirement and almost every client running MS Exchange is asking me for this type of integration. So what's new in this area in SharePoint 2010?

    SharePoint 2010 comes with a revamped calendar list, you can now add up to 10 other calendars as overlay layer so the result is one calender view displaying data from several calendars:

    When adding overlay calendar you can choose from two calendar types: SharePoint and Exchange.

    And here is the catch. You can add Exchange calendar... but ONLY ONE... and ONLY YOURS! If you try to add another Exchange shared resources, you'll get either some weird permission errors or the calendar will be empty. Unfortunately this SharePoint feature is poorly documented so I raised Microsoft Support ticket and after more than one month I got my answer from Microsoft Specialist:

    Our technicians think the Calendar overlay” solution was never intended for Exchange resources or multiple user calendars. It was intended only for multiple SharePoint calendars.

    So why the hell there is the option to add Exchange calendar?

    Anyway if you were trying to integrate SharePoint with Exchange, this is not a way. The only solution would be a custom development. Hope this will save your time.

    Friday, 8 April 2011

    Domain name, NetBIOS name and SharePoint User Profile Service

    One month ago I was installing SharePoint for one of my client. After the installation I went to Central Administration, configured the user profile import from AD and then started a full synchronization job. When the import was completed, I checked which users were imported and found out that login names in imported user profiles where different from login names used by users to log in to SharePoint:

    • User login in User Profile service: contoso\user1
    • Actual user login used by user1:\user1
    It's obvious there's something wrong. At this situation SharePoint is not able to match SharePoint user with his/her user profile because the user login is "primary key" used to locate the user profile. It means you can't use My Profile page, you can't use information in the user profile like the manager field and job title in workflows etc. 

    So the question is what is the problem? What we can do to prevent this from happening?

    The problem lies in NetBIOS name. Usually the domain name looks like and NetBIOS is then contoso. In this case both NetBIOS name and fully qualified name were the same: For some unknown reason (bug?) when SharePoint imports users from AD it trims everything after the first dot. I was consulting it with Microsoft support specialist and his advise was... to rename domain and NetBIOS name. Yes, RENAME domain and NetBIOS name. Wow!

    So what is the lesson learned? Never use dots in NetBIOS name... and  always check NetBIOS name before installing SharePoint. You can do it easily with nbtstat -n command.

    How to back up SharePoint with Backup-SpFarm PowerShell command

    The first you need to know is what components you can back up. You can list all SharePoint components available for the backup in the hierarchical tree format by running the following PowerShell command:

    Backup-SPFarm -ShowTree

    The result should be something like this:

    OK, let's say I want to backup my web application on port 80 which was named SharePoint Intranet - 80 together with all components under this node:

    Backup-SPFarm -BackupMethod Full -Item "Farm\Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application\SharePoint Intranet - 80" -Directory "\\MySP2010Server\BackupDirectory"

    For full description of all parameters see the Microsoft technet:

    After backup is completed, go to Directory folder. There should be a new directory with many backup files and one spbackup.log file. If everything went well, the file should contain the following messages at the very end of the file:

    [6/04/2011 10:25:12 PM] Finished with 0 warnings.
    [6/04/2011 10:25:12 PM] Finished with 0 errors.
    [6/04/2011 10:25:12 PM] Backup completed successfully.
    [6/04/2011 10:25:13 PM] -------------------------------------------------

    Now when we have PowerShell script which is working, next step is to create a scheduled task so you can run a back-up on regular basis. To do this, create a text file with PS1 extension and copy & paste the following line.

    Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell

    The second line should the actual PowerShell back up script, in my case:

    Backup-SPFarm -BackupMethod Full -Item "Farm\Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application\SharePoint Intranet - 80" -Directory "\\MySP2010Server\BackupDirectory"

    Now you're ready to go to Task Scheduler and create a backup scheduled task using the script file you just created.

    The most common issues you're probably going to face are:
    • Operating system error code 3 (The system cannot find the path specified)
    You'll run into this error if you specify the local path in Directory parameter (e.g. c:\Backup). The reason is that SharePoint delegates the content database backup to SQL Server which is probably located on different server and the back up directory doesn't exist on that server. That's why I use UNC path together with a share folder.
    • Operating system error code 5 (Access denied)
    Actually this error is related to the previous error and this time the problem is permission related. As I said before a content database backup is delegated to SQL Server and it means that SQL Server (e.i. account running SQL Server service) needs to have the write/modify permission on the folder specified in Directory parameter. So check the folder permission and update it if needed.
    • Database permission denied error
    The account you're using for the back up has to have backup rights . If it doesn't, the backup will fail. You can use either SharePoint farm account or you can create specific account just for this purpose.

    Saturday, 2 April 2011

    Be careful when installing Office Web Apps

    Last week I've been installing Microsoft Office Web Apps for my client. The client is running  rather smaller farm with 1 WFE server and 2 application servers.

    After running installation packages on all servers I went to one site and what was my surprise... I got Internal Server Error 500.

    In few minutes I found out that installation corrupted ALL web.config files of ALL SharePoint web applications, specifically it duplicated staticContent tag so it looked like this:

            <mimeMap fileExtension=".atomsvc" mimeType="application/atomsvc+xml" />
            <remove fileExtension=".svg" />
            <mimeMap fileExtension=".svg" mimeType="image/svg+xml" />
        <staticContent />

    When I removed the duplicated tag, the site started to work again. However I had to update 15 web.config files (5 web apps, 3 SharePoint servers). This could be a serious problem if you are running middle-size or large-size farm with tens of web apps.

    This is just another reason why web.config files should be a part of your SharePoint back ups.

    How to change Authentication type of the existing SharePoint web app?

    When you create a new SharePoint web application in Central Administration you can choose from Classic Mode and Claim Based Authentication. After the application is created there is no way how  to change it in Central Administration. Nevertheless you can still do it in PowerShell:

    $app = Get-SPWebApplication [web app url, e.g. http://portal]
    $app.UseClaimsAuthentication = "True"

    That's all!