Sunday, May 18, 2008

A must read blog post -everything about AllowUnsafeUpdates

If you are a sharepoint developer, you have to read this one: What you need to know about AllowUnsafeUpdates. While you are there, take the time to register to that blog. Hristo Pavlov looks like a blogger to watch for!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tweet - writing code that accesses a site in another application pool

sorry for the tweet - no time to explain.
<TWEET> If you are writing code that accesses (or potentialy accesses) a site in another application pool, make sure that the application pool account for the current application pool has database permissions on the database for the other application. otherwise - you'r objects will not get created. </TWEET>

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Access denied when trying to get to shared services

In the last couple of days a person next to me was trying to install SharePoint and failing every time with the shared services. After setting up the shared services, he couldnt open the shared services site - it would "access denied" him, no matter what account he tried to log on as (and we even tried the application pool account).
We immediatly suspected that kerberos wasnt configured correctly, that we didn't give enough local permissions for a system account or that some metaphysical entity just hates us sooo much.

Today I sat with the guy and watched him configure everything correctly. Still - access denied. damn!.
I turned to my trusty friend google, typed "sharepoint ssp access denied" in the search box and the second result had not only a workaround - but also an explanation why it happened and how to avoid it in the future.
So first of all - thank you Faraz for finding a work around, but more importantly - thanks to Scott who wrote the following in the comments:
"DO NOT call you SSP the same name as the AppPool you use for the SSP Admin Site.
The SSP actually uses its name to create an AppPool for use under the Office Search site.
If your SSP Admin AppPool is the same name then MOSS sets it to use the timer svc account.
If your hosting then call the SSP Admin AppPool 'Company - SSPAdmin' and the actual SSP 'Company - SSP'. This will stop MOSS clobbering the accounts.
"

This was exactly what we did wrong! We created a new SSP and this time made sure the SSP name is different from the application pool name, and here we go! ready to start.
So, if you are the Scott who wrote that comment - I thank you.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Lookup to the sub sites

A question from the forums:
"I'm creating a WSS 3 site which will have a new subsite each time there is a planning application.
From the parent site I want to be able to enter documents and say which application it belongs to but I don't want the user to have to maintain a list of application names when they could just lookup to a list of all the Application subsites that have been created.
Does anyone know if that's possible?
"

My Answer:
This is not possible out of the box (unless you use the SiteDirectory template, and create the application sites' there).

To code it, here are several options:

  1. either connect a workflow or an event handler to a list of applications, and the workflow\event handler can create the site for you.
  2. Develop a custom field control that will load the list of sub sites for the user.
    This should be more robust than option 1, since a workflow\event handler may fail to create the site and you will end up with a mess. however, custom field controls are not supported by office - so you will not be able to set the metadata on documents from within the office applications.
  3. Develop a timer job that synchronizes the list of sites into a choice field as choices.
    This will be robust, and will work in office - but will put a load on the server
  4. RECOMMENDED: develop a feature for the application sites that will add the name of the site to a list when the feature is activated.
    This will be better than option 1 because you can trigger it again if it fails, without re-creating the site. Also it will have much less load on the server than option 3, and better performance than option 2 since it will not have to check the sites every time someone wants to upload a document. Also - easy development.
  5. Develop a BDC application (using a custom web service) to show the list of applications based on the existing sites.
    This may be the second easiest option (after #4) - such a web service is easy to develop. But this will only work if you have MOSS license, as the BDC is not part of WSS.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My TechEd 2008 Presentations are on video

I gave a presentation in TechEd Israel a month ago, and it is now available to view on streaming video from Microsoft Israel.
The presentation is building an end-to-end community solution using the Microsoft Office System (sharepoint+word in this case) - using web services, custom task panes in office and even a bit of WPF thrown in for good measure.
The powerpoint is in english - but is mostly empty since 90% of the presentation was done in visual studio. If you want to see it, download it here.
The video is available for either streaming or download, but be warned - I am talking in Hebrew (and very quickly...sorry about that - wasn't given enough time to do it properly). If you are interested in seeing how to code a sharepoint web service that reads word 2007 documents and exposes their contents to a custom task pane in word, then by all means, download and watch - just mute the sound (I don't like how I sound in recordings anyway).

The other presentation I was involved in was "the 7 great tips of sharepoint deployment" where I gave the winning tip (using WSP to deploy solutions to farms). The other tips are also interesting, and again the powerpoint is in english while the video is in Hebrew - stream or download.