Tuesday, July 25, 2017

When Cumulative doesn't mean Cumulative

 So, I just tried adding a new server to a farm, after patching it to the same level as all other servers in the farm (April 2017 CU).
Surprisingly, the SharePoint configuration wizard told me off, saying the server is missing the December 2016 CU.

Yes, that is right - the April 2017 CU does not include the CU that was released 5 months before it...Cumulative? nope!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Taxonomy field value doesnt set

We had a puzzle today, which we were sure was an issue with the document property parser in SharePoint. Every time we tried to set the value of a specific column using either our existing powershell script or an event handler that works on every other library in the system, the document would be updated with the property value, but after a second we'd refresh the page and see the value went back to null.

It was frustrating! I was sure it was because the document had an empty value in the document properties that was overriding the value from my code - despite the fact that my code is implemented with a delay to ensure it runs after the parser.

We troubleshooted several ways and couldn't find the solution...until we noticed something weird when we were looking at the content type schema - the taxonomy field was set to support multiple values! our code was specifically written for that field, which is not supposed to support multiple values. Some nasty little elf went into the column setting in the library and changed my precious from its normal settings. Setting it back and everything went to normal.

Moral of the story - since setting a taxonomy field's value in code is different if the field supports multivalue or not, make sure either your code is robust enough to handle a nasty user making a change, or tell your users to keep their hands to themselves!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creating links to documents inside document sets - BUG

This is a bug a client of mine found in SharePoint 2010, and I verified on 2013 and Office 365 (as of today - not yet fixed).

The issue is when you create a link to a document inside a document set. If you are not familiar with this - users can create links inside document libraries, using a content type called "Link To Document". You can also create document sets - which is a special type of folder. To do so, add the two content types to a document library:

You then also have to configure the document set content type to accept links to documents in the document set settings under the content type settings:

The problem is when you create a document set, and in it you then create a link to document:

The result is that the users get redirected to the wrong URL, and instead of seeing the actual document set they started from, with the new link (or any document that is already in the document set) the users see a default view of a generic document set - not the one they started from:

The reason for this is different in 2010 and 2013. I have yet to pinpoint the reason for the issue in 2013, but in 2010 the issue is that the URL when creating a new link to document has two "RootFolder" parameters, and that confuses the server when the users click "OK" to save the link and to get redirected back. Instead of seeing the document set, they see the default document set home page - with no parameter to tell the server which document set to actually display the contents of.

I have created a workaround for 2010, and am yet to modify it for 2013 (since the behaviour in 2013 is slightly different, though the results are the same). The workaround is to use javascript to detect if we got to the current page from the edit form, and if the current page is a document set home page and if the current page parameters have two question marks in them. If so, redirect the user, removing the second "&RootFolder=" parameter. This will not work in 2013 since the url there doesnt have parameters after creating the link to document.

Here is an example of the code. To inject it I used a farm level feature that added a ScriptLink to all pages in the farm. The script link was to a .js file that contained the following code:

function FixDocumentSetRedirect() {
    if (document.referrer.indexOf("EditForm.aspx") > 0 && document.location.href.toLowerCase().indexOf("docsethomepage.aspx?id=") > 0 && document.location.href.toLowerCase().indexOf("docsethomepage.aspx?id=") < document.location.href.indexOf("?")) {
        var source = document.referrer;
        source = source.substring(source.indexOf("Source=") + "Source=".length);
        var firstRootFolder = source.indexOf("&RootFolder=");
        var secondRootFolder = source.indexOf("&RootFolder=", firstRootFolder + 1);
        if (secondRootFolder > firstRootFolder) {
            source = source.substring(0, secondRootFolder);
        document.location.href = source;


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Users able to open documents using links, even without permissions

Recently I had to troubleshoot an issue where end-users were able to open links to documents they had no permissions to open. If they tried opening the library they got the "access denied" message that is expected, but clicking a link directly to a document in the library resulted in the document either opening up in the browser, or downloaded. We double checked the documents did not have item level security, and they didn't.

What a puzzle!

Turns out that those libraries were provisioned by code, and the code set a property on the library called "AllowEveryoneViewItems" (msdn documentation). This property, when set to true, means that anyone- even unauthenticated users, will be able to download and view items in the list or library - even without permissions.

The reason to turn it to true is when dealing with anonymous sites - for example, if you have an internet site and you want to put links to documents from pages, but you don't want users to be able to browse the library itself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Activating the Document ID feature by code causes document sets welcome pages to show each web part twice

This is a weird one - I have a feature, that when activated loops over a list of other features and activates them - using "Force" :

site.Features.Add(currentFeatureID, true);

This works fine on most sites, but in Document Center sites, where the document ID feature is already activated document sets in the site suddenly show the web parts on the welcome page twice. I debugged it, and it turns out that this happens when the document ID feature is the culprit. However, this doesn't happen if I activate the ID feature using powershell.

My only solution at the moment is to check if the feature is already activated before activating it. This stopped the problem, but doesn't explain it.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Finding if a site column exists in a site, by ID

Scenario - you have an ID of a site column (SPField belonging to SPWeb)and you want to find out if there is a field by that ID in the collection.

Problem: if you try something like:

web.Fields[fieldID] == null

The result is an exception if the field doesnt exist. What a shame.

The solution is to use the Contains method of the Fields collection:


*Thanks Ofer Gal for pointing this out.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fields not sortable or filterable

A client alarmed me today, showing me that in one document library a field I created didn't allow users to filter or sort on it. I couldn't find why in that library it did that, while the same site column in all other libraries allowed filtering and sorting. Checking in sharepoint manager showed no difference between the field in the different libraries - so I was stuck on that one as well.

After a while it dawned on me - the difference between the libraries was that in the one that was misbehaving the column was specified as a key filter - to help users filter and sort on it from the metadata navigation panel. This disabled the sort and filter in the list view.

Learn something new everyday = high blood pressure for the rest of your life.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Folder sorting in views

A client has alerted me to an unexpected behavior of list views where folders are involved.
The client wanted to make sure the folders are always on the top of the view, regardless of sort order, and, looking at the settings of the view it should have happened. However, seemingly at random some document libraries stopped doing that, while other libraries were fine.
After digging into it a bit, I realised what the issue is: enabling and disabling folders.

You see, the client had custom folder content types added to some of the document libraries, and in those libraries the client wanted to make sure the users don't create folders of the built-in content type using the "New Folder" button in the ribbon. To achieve this, they changed the setting in document library advanced settings to not "Make "New Folder" command available?".
Turns out that when this setting is set to "no", there are other ramifications than just not showing the new folder command. It also tells views to behave as it there are no folders - and treat all folders items. Result - in those libraries folders were sorted with items, and were not at the top of the views. Makes sense if you consider that that setting is mapped to the SPList.
in code - meaning it tells the list that folders are not available - even though you can still create folder using the "new" button and choose a content type that inherits from folder.
To resolve this, we made sure the "Make "New Folder" command available?" option is always set to "yes", but we activated a feature that disabled the new folder button itself - not touching the document library setting.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

SharePoint error 0x81020030 Invalid file name

If you try to upload a file to a sharepoint document library, and get an error about invalid file name or url, it could be that your problem has nothing to do with the file name - it could be a problem with a corrupt column that has been added to the document library.

In my case, I had to remove column by column until I found that the issue goes away if I remove a calculated column that I created using a feature (using CAML), and the XML definition of the column was missing a critical attribute - the ResultType attribue. Adding that attribute to my XML solved the problem.