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Tag: Service Pack 1

Debugging an Explorer View issue

Debugging an Explorer View issue

During a recent SharePoint 2010 upgrade project, we applied SP1 and DEC 2012 CU & encountered a frustrating issue. Everything in the farm was working as expected after we did the installation & ran PSCONFIG, except for an issue where some users could not use Explorer View to open some Document Libraries.

More detailed user testing revealed that the issue only occurred for user who were using computers running Windows Vista or later. Windows XP users could open in explorer view without a problem.

WebDAV vs Front Page RPC

The reason for the OS disparity is due to the different protocols by which SharePoint will try to open in Windows Explorer. As it is explained in a Microsoft white paper from 2006 on SharePoint Explorer View:

“The Explorer View prefers WebDAV over FPRPC. Because of the underlying design of the Explorer View and the default network provider order, it always tries to use SMB first, then WebDAV. Only when SMB and WebDAV have failed does it actually attempt to use FPRPC. This means that forcing the Explorer View to use WebDAV is more a case of creating an environment that makes sure WebDAV is successful instead of actually forcing the Explorer View to choose it.”

While the WebDAV protocol relies on the Web Client Service, the FPRPC protocol does not, instead relying on WebFolders. WebFolders are disabled by default beginning in Windows Vista, but are available in Windows XP which explains why Explorer View worked in XP and not later Windows OS.

Compounding the confusion

This client was leveraging nested managed paths. This caused a secondary issue because the managed path contained a “”, causing the WebDAV protocol not to be able to parse the address. The fix simply involved creating a wildcard Managed Path for the first part of the compound address. So if you have a URL which is “statecounty” you would just add a managed path for “state” and explorer view via WebDAV will work. Here is what this would look like:

clip_image001

Take Away

The lesson here is to avoid using compound Managed Paths in your SharePoint web applications. If you absolutely must use compound managed paths be sure to add a wildcard path for the first part of the compound path.

Thank you’s

A big thank you to Todd Klindt, of Rackspace, for giving us some good leads & Evan Riser from my team for chasing this all the way down the rabbit hole to a resolution.

SQL Server 2012 SP1 is here & it’s huge for SharePoint 2013 BI

SQL Server 2012 SP1 is here & it’s huge for SharePoint 2013 BI

This is a massive deal for SharePoint 2013 BI.  Here is an excerpt from What’s New in SQL Server 2012:

Business Intelligence highlights (with SQL Server 2012 SP1, Office and SharePoint Server 2013 )

Business Intelligence highlights (with SQL Server SP1, Office and SharePoint Server 2013 Preview) are:

  • Enable self-service BI as a natural part of users day-to-day activities in Excel 2013:

  • Access and mash-up data from any source (PowerPivot). Documentation related to PowerPivot in Excel 2013 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=255958).

  • Stunning visualizations and data discovery (Power View). Documentation related to Power View in Excel (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=255957).

  • Work with hundreds of millions of rows of data (powered by xVelocity in-memory technologies).

  • Discover, assess and audit user created spreadsheets via SharePoint Server 2013 Preview.

  • A new version of the Reporting Services add-in for SharePoint and an updated SharePoint mode report server that supports SharePoint 2013. For more information, see the following:

  • A new architecture for SQL Server 2012 SP1 CTP4 PowerPivot that supports a PowerPivot server outside a SharePoint 2013 farm. A Windows Installer package (spPowerpivot.msi) that enhances the PowerPivot for SharePoint experience. Additional features include PowerPivot Gallery, schedule data refresh, and management dashboard. For more information, see the following:

  • Share and collaborate on self-service BI assets via SharePoint Server 2013 Preview and SQL Server 2012 SP1.”

The key takeaway and true game changer is that the SQL SSAS engine for PowerPivot is no longer required to be on a SharePoint box.  This means you no longer need a SQL license for your SharePoint App server to be able to run PowerPivot.  Don’t miss understand, you still need to license SQL to run PowerPivot, but you can do it on a separate box that can support multiple SharePoint farms and multiple Tabular BISM solutions.  Pretty huge shift.

You can download SQL Server 2012 SP1 & SQL Server 2012 SP1 Feature Pack from these links.

Enjoy… I know I will!

Review of the new storage “guidance” for SharePoint 2010 SP1

Review of the new storage “guidance” for SharePoint 2010 SP1

Rob D’Oria, father of StoragePoint, has written a very comprehensive review of the new storage “guidance” from Microsoft with regard to the limits on ContentDB size when using RBSEBS.  It is a very long post, but completely worth reading from start to finish. 

For a peak at what you can expect, here is a direct excerpt from one of my favorite sections:

Everyone hold on, here’s the super-hard backup/restore process you have to follow in this brave new world:

Backup

  1. Backup content database
  2. Backup BLOB store(s) referenced by content database

Restore

  1. Restore BLOB store(s) referenced by content database
  2. Restore content database

Did anyone pass out?  Anyone hyper-ventilating?  Anyone soil themselves?  I didn’t think so.  That’s the process in all of its complicated ugliness.  In this scenario the worst thing you end up with is some orphaned BLOBs…you have some extra BLOBs in the BLOB store back-up that are not reflected in the content DB backup because it was taken first.  Upon restoring these datasets the extra BLOBs are orphaned, but they will be garbage-collected if the EBS/RBS solution supports it.

And, oh by the way, this is your worst case scenario.

Please take some time and read Rob’s full post, which can be found here: http://blog.sharepointedutech.com/2011/07/11/sharepoint-contentdb-guidance-too-many-shades-of-gray-along-with-a-little-brown/

Connect with Rob on Twitter at @robdoria or on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/robdoria

Rob’s opinions in his post of ISVs are his own.  I may or may not agree with everything he says, so be sure to rub a couple of brain cells together and form your own opinions.

The big news: Data Storage Changes for SharePoint 2010

The big news: Data Storage Changes for SharePoint 2010

I go on vacation for one week and they try to change the entire strategy on us, eh?  When I first started hearing rumbles about the changes announced by the Microsoft SharePoint Product Group via their blog it sounded like the world was completely changed and that all previously known storage strategies can be thrown out the window in favor of using RBS and storing whatever you want in the Content DB!

Happily that is not at all what was being said.  While the recommended limits have been revised by Microsoft to suggest that significantly more can be stored, the key word in the statement is CAN, not should.

Let’s examine a few telling things from the Product Group’s blog article:

For a SharePoint content database up to 4 TB you need to additionally plan for the following two requirements:

  • Requires disk sub-system performance of 0.25 IOPS per GB, 2 IOPS per GB is recommended for optimal performance.

  • Requires the customer to have plans for high availability, disaster recovery, future capacity, and performance testing.

  • And you need to review additional considerations in the TechNet Boundaries and Limits article.

What this part is suggesting to us is we can us a single mirrored set (RAID1) for a large content database and get what Microsoft is defining as “optimal performance” using a 15k RPM drive scenario (approximately 180 IOPS per drive).  Great if you are looking to get some separation and you are doing sequential I/O, however when you separate the BLOBs out of the ContentDB you aren’t doing sequential I/O anymore.

Office Web Apps Service Pack 1 is here!

Office Web Apps Service Pack 1 is here!

It has almost gone overlooked, but Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 are not the only products to get a Service Pack 1 release today.  I know that the Office Web Apps are a bolt on to SharePoint 2010 and so they don’t get a whole lot of attention, but from an end user feature enhancement perspective, I am almost more excited about the Office Web Apps SP1 than anything else released today (Office 365 not withstanding).

Sourced directly from Microsoft’s KB2460073:

Overview of Office Web Apps SP1 improvements

These are the key areas of improvement in SP1.

All Office Web Apps

  • OpenDocument Format (ODF) support:
    Lets you view and edit ODF documents in Office Web Apps.
  • Lets you use Office Web Apps with the Google Chrome browser.
  • Outlook Web App document attachment viewing (for Exchange Online only):
    Lets you view Office document attachments in the browser directly from Outlook Web App.
  • Lets you use Office Web Apps with Internet Explorer 9 in Native mode.

Word Web App

Lets you print Word documents from Edit mode (in addition to View mode).

Excel Web App

  • Added a Close button.
  • Lets you insert charts in Excel Web App.
  • Lets you copy and paste values and formulas by dragging the fill handle.

PowerPoint Web App

  • Lets you print presentations from PowerPoint Web App.
  • Lets you edit text in more shapes, not just placeholder shapes.
  • Lets you insert clip art in PowerPoint Web App. (By default clip art support is disabled. An administrator can decide to enable it.)

 It is important to keep in mind that Microsoft has already released the June 2011 Cumulative Updates that contain security patches important enough to be released simultaneously with these Service Packs, so be sure to install that as well.

Also, Microsoft has already released a list of known issues when installing Service Pack 1.  The Office Web Apps specific item,sourced directly from Microsoft’s KB2532126, is:

  • If Office Web Apps will be used in a mixed version environment, where Office Web Apps has SP1-or-later applied while SharePoint Server 2010 remains on the RTM version, you must install the following two updates before you install SP1 for Office Web Apps:
    • 2510639 Description of the SharePoint Server 2010 update: April 12, 2011

    • 2510648 Description of the Office Web Apps update: April 12, 2011

Here are the download links:

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 (KB2460073)
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26639

Downloadable list of issues that the service pack fixes
http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/0/D/B0D1540B-6CF6-4674-9C8E-7A45FD91C163/Microsoft%20SharePoint%202010%20and%20Office%20servers%20Service%20Pack%201%20Changes.xlsx

SharePoint Foundation 2010 June 2011 CU (UPDATED)
http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbln=en-us&kbnum=2536601

SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 is here!

SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 1 is here!

Today Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for SharePoint 2010 which is a rollup of all previous Cumulative Updates through April 2011, which means that deploying directly on top of RTM bits supported, as well as number of stability, performance, and security enhancements based upon customer feedback.  There is a detailed white paper that about the Service Pack that can be found at this location.​

CAVEAT: Microsoft strongly recommends installing the June 2011 Cumulative Update immediately after the installation of Service Pack 1. The June Cumulative Update includes several important security and bug fixes that are not included SP1.

Here is the list of of the new features in SP1:

· Support for SQL Server Code Name “Denali”

anyone who has read any of my tweets or articles has probably noticed that I am a fan of Denali, so this is a huge feature for me

· Shallow copy functionality

this new feature allows sites with externalized blobs to be moved from one contentdb to another without having to reinternalize the blobs using the Move-SPSite powershell cmdlet. 

The white paper states​:

Prerequisite
In order to use shallow copy, you must have installed the Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 Remote Blob Store. The Remote Blob Store is included in the Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 R2 SP1 Community Technology Preview Feature Pack (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/LinkId=221775).

There are a couple of things that jump out at me here that are concerning:

  1. The link doesn’t work
  2. SP1 supports functionality that is only available in SP1 CTP?  RBS is supported in SQL 2008 R2, does it work with that? (I fully intend to test this and post back, but it is a concern that I felt was worthy of raising)

I’m not getting all nervous about this just yet since this all just released today.  It will be interesting to see what comes of this over the next couple of days/weeks, but it is a VERY exciting feature if it works as advertised.

· Site recycle bin

Great feature to allow self recovery of Site Collections and Sites without having to revert to backups or third party tools.

· Improvements to storage management (StorMan.aspx)

Storage Space Allocation is huge when dealing with quota enforced sites.  This page, which was available in versions prior to 2010, allows end users to view their large files and determine what fat to trim to keep within their quotas.

· Cascading filters for Performance Point services

Quoted from the white paper: “New cascading filter support enables you to pass the value of one filter to another.”

· Additional browser support

Better support for Chrome

One more piece of really useful information to come out of the white paper:

Updated Windows PowerShell Commandlets

· NEW: Get-SPDeletedSite (SharePoint Server 2010)

· NEW: Remove-SPDeletedSite (SharePoint Server 2010)

· NEW: Restore-SPDeletedSite (SharePoint Server 2010)

· Move-SPSite (RBSProviderMapping parameter added) (SharePoint Server 2010)

Here are the download links:

Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Foundation 2010 (KB2460058)
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26640

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 (KB2460045)
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26623

Downloadable list of issues that the service pack fixes
http://download.microsoft.com/download/B/0/D/B0D1540B-6CF6-4674-9C8E-7A45FD91C163/Microsoft%20SharePoint%202010%20and%20Office%20servers%20Service%20Pack%201%20Changes.xlsx

SharePoint Foundation 2010 June 2011 CU (UPDATED)
http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbln=en-us&kbnum=2536601

SharePoint Server 2010 June 2011 CU (UPDATED)
http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbln=en-us&kbnum=2536599