Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SharePoint 2013 Search: Error Launching Query Builder - RESOLVED

Problem
When attempting to launch the query builder when creating a new Content Source or Result Source via Central Admin you receive an error as follows:

Error: Not able to connect to search service to retrieve valid settings.


Solution
You need administrator rights to the Search Service Application - even if you are a farm administrator. (I just recently encountered this issue but thought it worked before - I am thinking that recent patches and updates plugged a security hole).

Solution Implementation - PowerShell
You can solve this easily by running the following PowerShell script with your account name:

$principal = New-SPClaimsPrincipal "DOMAIN\USERNAME" -IdentityType WindowsSamAccountName

$spapp = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication

$security = Get-SPServiceApplicationSecurity $spapp –Admin

Grant-SPObjectSecurity $security $principal "Full Control"

Set-SPServiceApplicationSecurity $spapp $security –Admin 

Solution Implementation - Central Admin
You may also solve this via Central Admin.

From Application Management, click on the Manage service applications link under the Service Applications section:


Scroll down to your Search Service Application and select it:


On the SERVICE APPLICATIONS top ribbon, click the Administrators button:


In the Administrators dialog, enter the account that needs permissions and click the Add button:

Select the account in the list and grant Full Control:


Click OK.

The Query Builder dialog will now launch properly without any trouble.






Friday, November 14, 2014

SharePoint 2013: Hiding the Blog Tools Web Part

Problem
You want users to have contribute rights to your blog site but do not wish to show the Blog Tools on the post pages. If you remove the web part, other blog web parts (e.g. Categories) do not work. If you modify the Blog Tools web part properties and select the Hidden property, the web part still renders.

Viewing the web part properties in the page (via SharePoint Designer) shows that the web part should not be visible and should be hidden:
BUT IT STILL DISPLAYS ON THE PAGE!

Solution
Modify the Blog Tools web part properties as follows:


  1. Change the Height to a fixed height of 0 pixels
  2. Change the Chrome State to Minimized
  3. Change the Chrome Type to None




Click OK and Save (or Stop Editing) the page.

Refresh and the Blog Tools web part is still on the page but does not show!

SharePoint 2013: Blog Category Links Not Working

Problem
Within a blog site while viewing posts, the list of category links do not filter the posts.


When viewing the source of the page, you notice that the anchor hyperlink references (href) are blank:


Solution
Add the Blog Tools web part back onto the page. The Categories web part does not seem to work properly if the Blog Tools web part is removed.



SharePoint 2013: Metadata Navigation Settings Option Missing from Document Library



Problem
You navigate to a document library's document settings and do not see the Metadata navigation settings link:

Solution
In order to configure the metadata navigation settings on a document library within a site, the Metadata Navigation and Filtering site feature must be activated.

Select Site Settings from the settings (gear) menu. Select Manage Site Features under Site Actions. Find the Metadata Navigation and Filtering feature and click the Activate button:


Result
The Metdadata navigation settings link is now available within the Document Settings of the document library:





Thursday, June 26, 2014

IE Crashes In SharePoint 2013 when you mouseover the Profile Image: RESOLVED

Ever since I installed Lync 2013 and started using SharePoint 2013, ever time I hovered over a person's presence indicator, IE would crash. This became very annoying. I first thought since I was one of the first whom has Lync installed, there was something funny with the installation. I tried repairing Office 2013 with no joy.

I finally resolved the issue this morning. I then searched the forums to see if others had an answer but all I found was a locked thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/dfc80784-f030-4775-9245-7a3fd26bcfb1/ie-crashes-in-sharepoint-2013-when-you-mouseover-the-profile-image?forum=sharepointgeneral

The claim was that it was not SharePoint 2013 related. In my case and in most of those cases it was. The presence in Outlook worked fine. Anyway, I was a bit upset that the thread on the forum was closed with no resolution. People are trying to find an answer.

My resolution was that I still had Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 installed on my machine. This was causing the conflict when hovering over the presence in SharePoint 2013. Once I uninstalled, the issue did not occur anymore and now I am free to move my mouse wherever I want!!

Hope this helps people looking for an answer but finding that Microsoft forums shut the door on them.

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SharePoint 2013: Database Schema Version Issue using Move-SPSite

You may use Move-SPSite in SharePoint PowerShell to move site collections from one content database to another. However after applying updates and creating new content databases, when attempting to move a site collection, you may receive the following error:


Cannot complete the copy or merge operation because the database schema versions are different.
 
 
Sometimes you content databases do not get properly upgraded during the installation of a cumulative update or service pack. There is a quick an easy fix. Just use the Upgrade-SPContentDatabase cmdlet to update the content database:
 
 
Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -Identity <<content database name>>
 
 


Just for good measure, I usually run this cmdlet on all content databases - just in case. The system will let you know if the content database does not need to upgraded.

Once all databases are in sync, you may use the Move-SPSite as normal without any database schema errors!

 

SharePoint 2013: Login failed for user 'DOMAIN\SERVER$'

Our DBAs kept seeing error messages in their SQL Server log as follows:

Login failed for user 'DOMAIN\SERVER$'. Reason: Could not find a login matching the name provided. [CLIENT: xx.255.222.22]
There was an entry for almost all of the SharePoint servers in the farm. It seemed to occur three times per day at the same times: 5:32am, 1:32pm, and 9:32pm.

I looked in the Event Viewer of one of the servers and located the error there too:

SQL database login for 'SPS_SharePointConfig' on instance 'SPSQLSERVER' failed. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.
Login failed for user 'DOMAIN\SERVER$'.


Using the Correlation ID in the Event Viewer item , I searched through the ULS Logs.

 
 
I found several items in the SharePoint ULS logs:

SQL database login for 'SPS_SharePointConfig' on instance 'SPSQLSERVER' failed.
powershell (0x03AC) 0x1324 SharePoint Foundation Upgrade SPUpgradeSession ajxme ERROR CanUpgrade [SPConfigurationDatabase] failed.

Essentially, the timer job attempts to run an upgrade check using a PowerShell call. For some reason, the PowerShell call does not run as the timer job account but yet the local system account (hence the DOMAIN\SERVER$).

Those local accounts do not have permissions to run PowerShell commands against the SharePoint farm. Therefore one must allow access to these local accounts by adding them as "Shell Admins":

Get-SPDatabase | Add-SPShellAdmin -UserName DOMAIN\SERVER$


This allows the local system account to run shell commands against each SharePoint database.

Once I issued this for each server in the farm, there were no more SQL Server log entries! The DBAs were very happy!



 

Monday, January 20, 2014

SharePoint 2013: Planning Your Survey Questions


Check out the whole end user series!


Introduction

Planning your survey questions involves both what feedback you are trying to obtain along with how it should be obtained. This correlates with the question/answer entry types that are available in SharePoint along with how the responses are presented. This post lists examples of the common types that should be used in a survey and may be used as a guide to help you decide what type of answer is appropriate for your questions.


Free Form Single Entry

A free form single  entry may be used to ask a question that may have many possible answers but not finite enough to provide choices. This is where you want the user to enter whatever they feel without being constrained to a list of choices.

User Entry Interface






Graphical Response Summary


Free Form Multiple Line

A free form multiple line entry should be used when you would like the user to describe an issue or problem, provide a relatively longer (than the single line)  explanation , expand on comments, or provide recommendations/suggestions.
User Entry Interface
Graphical Response Summary




Choice Question as Drop-Down

A choice question allows you to enter specific choices in which the user may select as the answer. For the drop-down type, the choices appear in a drop-down list. This type of answer interface is good for questions that may have several possible selections (5-10) but obviously works with two or more.

User Entry Interface









Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question as Drop-Down with Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both a drop-down menu and an option for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the options or the checkboxes (explained in the next sub-sections) provides a more naturally mapped user interface.

User Entry Interface












Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question as Options (Radio Buttons)

For the Options type of choice question, the available answers to the question are presented as radio buttons in which only one may be selected. This is similar to the drop-down menu however, the user can see all options available without having the look inside the drop-down.

User Entry Interface









Choice Question as Options (Radio Buttons) with Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both pre-defined options along with an option for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the options as shown here provides a more naturally mapped user interface (versus with the drop-down menu).

User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary



Choice Question with Checkboxes (Multiple Selection)

For the Checkboxes type of choice question, the available answers to the question are presented as checkboxes in which the user may select one or more answers.


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary







Choice Question with Checkboxes (Multiple Selection) and Fill-In

Using the optional “Allow Fill-In” selection allows you to create a question that provides both pre-defined checkboxes to check along with an additional checkbox for the user to enter their own answer.
If you are going to allow the user to fill-in their own answer, using the checkboxes as shown here provides a more naturally mapped user interface (versus with the drop-down menu).


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary



Rating Scale Question

A Rating Scale question involves one or more sub-questions (or items) that need to be ranked in some sort of fashion. The scale of numbers is configurable as well as the rating text. There is an option to include or not include a not applicable (N/A) column. The text for the N/A column is also configurable - other examples include “I don’t know” and “Prefer not to answer”.


User Entry Interface










Graphical Response Summary







Branching Questions

Survey questions in SharePoint 2013 have branching logic capabilities. You may direct the user to different sets of questions based on their answer to the branching question. It sounds like you can direct the user all over the place but really you are presenting an additional set of questions because they answered in a certain way. I like to think about it as “follow-up” questions.

In this example, if the user answers Yes to the branching question and clicks next:









They are directed to one or more follow-up questions:













The survey does not present the follow-up question and continues onto the configured next question in the survey:






Learn all about Surveys in my SharePoint 2013 End User Series guide: