Sunday, December 9, 2007

Announcing The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool (Beta)

I recently attended DevConnections 2007 in Las Vegas, and on one of the sessions, a new SharePoint Tool was presented: The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool.

The tool is now released in its first beta version, and it can be downloaded here.

The SharePoint Capacity Planning Tool is both a pre-sales/pre-deployment, and planning tool, and can be used for helping out companies in several scenarios. Here are some examples:

  • I don’t know if I need 10 Servers or 1 server to meet the needs of my large law firm of 1000 users.
  • Should I buy 10 Server CALs or 5? I know I need something to get started, but not sure where to start.
  • I’m confused by the capacity planning documentation; I wish I just had a tool I could put in a few inputs to get me started.
  • I don’t want to have to hire a consultant to tell me I can handle my small 200 person deployment with a single server, but I can’t figure it out on my own based on available product documentation.
  • I’ve used the HP capacity planning tool and I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but I would like a more platform agnostic view.
  • My deployment is blocked until I can figure out what kind of topology I should be running to get basic high availability
This tool uses the System Center Capacity Planner 2007 (SCCP) as an engine to provide for data collection, visualization, simulation and report writing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Windows Update didn't update - follow-up

Thought I would update you all on what has happened since this occurred.

The day after I manually installed the updates, things really began to happen. Nothing worked...

To sum it all up, if you are experiencing any trouble at all after applying one or both of these updates, please check out this thread on MSDN Forums.

I had to reinstall both SQL Server 2005 and MOSS myself, being unable to wait for a resolution. I was able to this, since in my case, it happened on a test server. However, people have been in contact with MS Support. Look for a resolution in the end of the thread.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Automatic Windows Update didn't update...

This morning I got to work bright and early, the sun was shining, and the weekend within reach.

After grabbing a cup of coffee, I logged on my test server. As a geek I am, I always log on to my test server to check the Central Administration... :-)

But this morning, the output was somewhat different. First it gave me the error "Page cannot me displayed..". I immediately checked my SharePoint web application on the test server, and it gave the same message.

OK, on to the IIS, only to find out that all the sites were down... Hmm...
So I started them up again (actually I did an "iisreset"). Going back to the browser to check my Central Administration again, this time with the following error:

"Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.SharePoint, Version="

What the f¤#"!!??!! OK, then I thought this day is going to be interesting...

I started a deeper error searching, including Event Log, SharePoint logs, and the assembly.
I actually found out that Microsoft.SharePoint was missing from the assembly. (How did that happen??) Anyway, I still found it in the usual place (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.dll), and dragged it over to the assembly. Crossing fingers...

New error:

"Method not found: 'Void Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.SetHttpParameters..."

What the h¤#" is going on...?

I went back to the event log again, this time looking with both eyes. I managed to find a GUID for a component: 5A94BDCF-C8C8-4858-9FD0-8597018B7348. Did a search on the local harddrive, and found one file in C:\Windows\Temp. This file was called MSIxxxxx.LOG, and it contained the following:

Error 1935.An error occurred during the installation of assembly component {5A94BDCF-C8C8-4858-9FD0-8597018B7348}. HRESULT: 0x80070005. assembly interface: IAssemblyCacheItem, function: Commit, assembly name: Microsoft.SharePoint,version="",processorArchitecture="MSIL",publicKeyToken="71E9BCE111E9429C",fileVersion="12.0.6039.5000",culture="neutral"
=== Logging stopped: 12.10.2007 03:01:12 ===

Notice the time the logging stopped? 03:01? What is running each night at 03:00 (if you have it enabled to do so? You guessed; Windows Update!

So I opened up Windows Update, and checked the update history. Finally I've seemed to find the reason for the errors. A couple of SharePoint updates failed to update:

I started Windows Update manually, and the updates were installed successfully. Rebooted the server, and voila! Everything was back to normal. Puh!

Funny thing with this, is that when the update fails, it crashes your entire SharePoint installation. Probably because it re-registers some dll's. But if it fails, it should be able to roll back the installation. Microsoft, shame on you!

Tip: Check your Windows Update settings, and set it to automatically download at an interval, but not install. This way, you can manually install updates when you get in to the office in the morning, with all the updates already downloaded and ready to install.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Migrate from MCMS 2002 to MOSS 2007

Thinking about migrating your Content Management Server (MCMS) to MOSS 2007? Head over to Stefan's blog for this 4-part article on the whats and wheres on how to accomplish it.

The article series is called "Deep Dive into the SharePoint Content Deployment and Migration API", and consists of some samples and advanced deployment scenarios.

Monday, October 8, 2007

SharePoint Conference 2008

Don't miss out the SharePoint Conference 2008.
It will be held in Seattle, between March 3-6.

For more information, see

Thursday, August 23, 2007

DevConnections, here we come!

Well, now it's official. I am attending DevConnections in Las Vegas, November 5th - 9th, 2007.
Or more specifically, in my case, SharePointConnections.

I will be one of six (!) people traveling from ErgoGroup. Thanks to our boss :)

The conference will be followed by a week of vacation for all of us, which is including a trip to Grand Canyon, and some days and nights in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Can't wait!

Activate fly-out menus in SharePoint 2007

SharePoint comes with a great new menu control called AspMenu, for displaying both top menu and quick launch (left menu). This control has several cool properties (most inherited from ASP.NET 2.0 Menu control. One of them is MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels.

This control can be found in the default.master page. Out of the box, this property is set to 1. If you change this property to a higher number, it will display several levels of fly-out menu items (if you have subsites under sites and so on.

Check out this great article from Heather Solomon with step-by-step on how to set this up.
If you do run in trouble, check out these tips:

  • Make sure that you have checked "Show subsites" in the Navigation Settings
  • In default.master, when not modified after installation, there are two menu objects: "QuickLaunchMenu" and "TopNavigationMenu". Make sure you make changes on the correct one, which is "TopNavigationMenu"
  • When you have made the change and saved the master page, make sure you also publish it! Otherwise, only you will see the changes, and no one else.
I've set this up on our MOSS installation now, and it works like a charm. But, as Heather states, beware of setting this level to high, as the end users might get trouble navigating. For most cases, a level setting of 2 should be sufficient.

MOSS and WSS SDK Updated

Yesterday both MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0 SDKs were updated to version 1.2. Both packages have been updated with the following:

MOSS 2007 SDK:

  • Improved installation
  • Start menu items, for easy access to elements in the SDK
  • Lots of new tools and samples
  • Several "How do I" overviews
  • Code samples
  • White pap
  • Visual Studio Project Templates for SharePoint Server 2007 workflow
WSS 3.0 SDK:
  • Compiled Help file that contains technical articles and Visual How Tos.
  • Web Part Framework Create, package, and deploy Web Parts on SharePoint sites.
  • Server-side object model Work with individual lists and sites or manage an entire Windows SharePoint Services deployment.
  • Web services Use default Web services, or create custom Web services, to interact with Windows SharePoint Services from external applications.
  • Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) Customize the schemas that define lists and sites, define queries for use with members of the object model or Web services, and specify parameters for use with methods in Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol.
  • Master Pages Specify all of the shared elements of your site in the master page or pages, and add content page-specific elements to content pages.
  • Workflows Create workflows that encapsulate business processes to be performed on items in Windows SharePoint Services, and attach those workflows to items in Windows SharePoint Services.
  • Custom Field Types Create custom field types that conform to your business data. These custom field types can be based on the base field types already included in Windows SharePoint Services, and can include custom data validation, field rendering, and field property rendering and processing.
  • Information Rights Management (IRM) Specify IRM for files located in document libraries and stored as attachments to list items. Create IRM protectors for your own custom file types.
  • Document Property Promotion and Demotion Use the built-in XML parser to synchronize the document properties and list column data for XML documents. Create document parsers to do the same for your custom file types.
  • Search Use the new Query object model and Query Web service to retrieve search results. Search in Windows SharePoint Services now shares the same SharePoint search technology used by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
Both is said to be compatible for installation on Windows 2003, Windows Vista and Windows XP. However, to take advantage of samples and samples projects, Visual Studio 2005 and WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007 is required, which at the moment narrows it all down to Windows 2003.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Make a copy of your SharePoint Portal 2003 for migration to MOSS

JHolliday has written a great post on creating a copy of your existing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 solution.

This article takes you through all the steps needed to create a new front-end web server with a copy of your portal.
When done, you can use this copy to play around with when testing migration from SharePoint Portal 2003 to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS).

Read the post here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

PDC 2007 postponed

I was really looking forward to attend this year's PDC. But late on Thursday May 24 2007, Microsoft announced the cancellation of this year's conference.

For those who haven't heard about it, PDC (Professional Developer Conference) is a conference solely for developers. Its function is to present the latest on development tools and technologies coming out from Microsoft in the future.

However, since many of the new tools and platform technologies already exist among developers as betas and CTPs (Windows Server 2008, SQL Server "Katmai", Visual Studio "Orcas" and SilverLight), Microsoft chose to postpone the event until further notice.

Instead of waiting for it to be rescheduled and since it is a bit late to register and attend Tech Ed 2007, here's some alternative conferences for you to attend this fall:

For more information, check the official PDC 2007 web page, and this article at ZDNet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Using tokens in your site definitions

When working with site definitions, or onet.xml, as the feature also has been called from time to time, you can now use different tokens to refer to the site collection you're working in or the site you are creating itself.

For instance, if you are to refer to a file on your root web, say a picture in an image library, you can insert the url for image as Url="~sitecollection/myimagelibrary/myimage.jpg".

You can also refer to the site you are creating with the site definition. If you want to refer to a newly created image library in your new site, you would write Url="~site/myimagelibrary/myimage.jpg".

So, the two new tokens are "~sitecollection" and "~site". These are also referred to when setting custom master pages. For more information, see this article on MSDN.

For my case, I wanted to place a web part on my new site when it is created. This web part was going to have 3 links, all pointing to new lists or document libraries created when the site was created. So, for each of the links, I entered the url using the token "~site", like this:


This url will most likely correspond to the actual url you have given your list or document library, i.e. if your list further up in the onet.xml file is created like this:

<List FeatureId="00BFEA71-2062-426C-90BF-714C59600103" Type="103" Title="My Cool Links" Url="Lists/MyCoolLinks" />

you would insert a link to this like this: Url="~site/Lists/MyCoolLinks".

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Upcoming books about MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0

So far, there hasn't been published a lot of books about MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0. Although the software was released in November 2006, the release on the reading material has been a slow process.

The following links provide a good overview of upcoming books from some of the publishers and book stores:

In addition, check out these excellent blog posts at the MS SharePoint Team Blog about SharePoint Training.

I'm on the air!

Finally, I've managed to find the time and energy to create my own blog. This is my views on how to do things in SharePoint and MOSS, and what challenges and solutions I bump into. I hope you find some interest in my writings in here.

I'm fairly new to the SharePoint world, but find it very interesting and challenging to work with.

Currently I'm working on a migration project, and as many of you already know, this is not any easy task. But I learn new things every day, and look forward getting it done. We are migrating from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which both my employer and our customer is looking forward to get up and running. We have a lot of plans! Go MOSS!