18 April, 2013

This workbook is larger than the maximum workbook size allowed to be opened in the browser.

Problem: Whenever client wanted to open the attached Excel file from a discussion board. He gets the below error.  

Error message: This workbook is larger than the maximum workbook size allowed to be opened in the browser.
Reason: By default the Maximum workbook upload size allowed in SharePoint is 10mb (this was 100mb in 2007 environment) increase this to 50 MB the issue goes away.

How to do this:

1.   In Central Administration, in Application Management, click Manage service applications.

2.   Click Excel Services Application.

3.   Click Trusted File Locations.

4.   Click the location. This will be an added trusted file location for the site collection or a new file location.

5.   Scroll to Workbook Properties.

6.   In Maximum Workbook Size, increase the file size from 10 to 50

Reference Article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-in/library/ff487972.aspx

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

                  SharePoint Foundation 2013.

Online interview SharePoint professional – 4 pragmatic questions I asked

Finding and getting right people to work for your company isn’t as easy as you think even you find many awesome things in resumes. To SharePoint field, the difficulty of recruitment becomes more true because of complexity of SharePoint platform and different uses of it. Have you ever been responsible for interviewing SharePoint professional working for your company? Which questions would you like to ask your candidates?

Recently, I’ve been assigned to be part of recruiting team in my company, responsible for online interviewing some candidates whose good-looking resumes on my table. I, although, did quick search on Google using keyword “SharePoint Job interview questions” but I never used any of them to ask the candidates. I didn’t ask something like “What is the X method?” or “Is there any difference between X and Y?” or “How does execution of X code impact on Y environment?” because I did know someone could readily put his fingers on the Google search box and then quickly found good results. So what did I ask when doing an online interview? In this post, I would like to share only 4 pragmatic questions I asked for SharePoint Solution Director candidates.

Can you tell me about two most favorite projects you have worked on?

A brilliant candidate should get started with brief introduction, his role and responsibilities, project size and duration. Through his answer, you probably know he has hands-on experience, especially his passion on those projects. Candidates can’t find the answer to my question on Google or another search engine.

Let’s see a sample answer: “One of the most favorite projects done was to build a logistic management application built on top of SharePoint platform. I worked as Lead Architect, responsible for planning and designing architecture covering infrastructure, capacity, storage, security and development. We had 6 team members working within 4 months to complete the project.”
After getting such a clear answer, you can possibly have a few extra questions such as:
  • Can you concisely describe features of the logistic management you completed developing? Using this question, you can figure out how complex this project is.
  • How many roles in this project? Which was the most important role you think? I know this question should be focused for SharePoint project manager but if he actually has good mindset, he should probably get to overall picture of the project.
  • Can you describe a little bit of the environment? You may get an overview of SharePoint farm maybe with a staging farm. It looks really cool, isn’t it?
Which challenges/issues did you get in the two projects?

A real experienced SharePoint professional has to note challenges and issues or at least remember during his project. The reason I ask is to know how he solves problem if occurred, and more details in solution architecture and probably soft-skill he has. Sometimes you expect to see soft-skill a candidate has rather than technical skill used to solve complexity of SharePoint project. That said, when asking an Indian candidate, I was expecting to get more of X management challenge such as risk management, change management or so on. However, he mostly focused on answering code stuffs, e.g, “They didn’t have the latest code available for the custom code solutions deployed in SharePoint 2007”, or “We had to update the existing code and then build it on x64 platform before upgrading to SharePoint 2010.” At this point, you can see this guy can fit developer role rather.
I know code related issue is one of the most common challenges in SharePoint project but I need to know if there is something else that keeps me asking in more details because of my curiousness.

Let’s see a sample answer: “Although we used Microsoft Solution Framework to manage SharePoint project, we still had problem with customer requirement that were changes of functionality. We had to deal with that, and built a SharePoint site collection used to track changes and manage the problem. Another issue was that we didn’t have a Team Foundation Server professional so our collaboration process got some times delayed.“

The Indian guy I interviewed worked with a customer that had SAP system and they wanted to pull data from it to push to SharePoint. He had to write a custom web service. I know he is really good at customization but what I was expecting to see from his answer should be like: “The customer had SAP system and they wanted to pull data from it and then push to SharePoint. We knew that Duet enterprise was an epic but the customer didn’t have enough budget so we had to customize web service to meet the business requirement and fit the budget.” Duet Enterprise was my focused point that would denote his breadth knowledge.

What are different/same things between any two projects you have done?

I don’t need candidates to elaborate differences, or list all different/same things. What I expect is to see if candidates have good brain to remember what they have done, and how they response in systematic way, and their brain be organized logically.

Let’s see a sample answer:  “We had two SharePoint document management projects (A and B) but A had document processing workflow but B didn’t. Conversely, B required digital signature issued by a PKI (Public-key Infrastructure) but A didn’t. One of the same things were the functionality of search based managed metadata.”

What do you think about the concept of SharePoint Out-of-the-box (OOTB)?

There are many .NET geeks turned SharePoint developers often do many customization on SharePoint-based application because they think they can do everything on such a platform built .NET framework. I really expect to see how much candidates are familiar with SharePoint OOTB in order to reduce effort of customization. There are many business solutions that can be done very quickly by using OOTB but folks often go with really hard ways. Workflow that has multiple approval processes is an example. Building dashboard by Dashboard Designer and PerformancePoint without writing code is another one. I’m not talking about complex dashboard. By the way, I strongly recommend reading “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 – Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects” book and “Professional Workflow in SharePoint 2010 Real World Business Workflow Solutions” and “Beginning SharePoint 2010: Building Business Solutions with SharePoint“. The books cover real-world no-code business solutions.

When having a blueprint in your hand, take a glance at SharePoint OOTB to see if it can meet business needs without code, or write a little code putting in Content Query web part to trigger something, for example.  At this point, you can supposedly bring out a scenario, e.g., ABC is the marketing company that helps customer in promotion of products and services by organizing conference. Each conference has its own a set of documents that likely consists of marketing plan, budget plan, program plan and other documents related to the conference. ABC is using SharePoint and wonder if it can help manage such a set effectively. As an experienced SharePoint professional, what would you like to suggest them? I’m guessing many of you immediately propose Document Set feature that actually addresses to the concern. Ironically, you might forget asking which SharePoint version the marketing company is using, right?


In my opinion, these questions do qualify someone who indeed has much experience on SharePoint platform and he has done many real-world SharePoint projects whether those are big or not. These questions are connected logically so if you don’t really have much SharePoint experience, you could get stuck at any of the questions. Besides, candidates can’t find good answers from Google or even they refer to friends of theirs.
When you do an online interview, try to avoid your candidates doing search by asking intelligent questions. You shouldn’t ask kind of “How-To” question or technique focused. Having good technical skills is really good these days but it’s not enough for working in the harsh world.

Thuan Nguyen - SharePoint MVP

17 April, 2013

The Business Card As A Career Tool: by Jim Adcock

After talking with a job seeker the other day, I asked for his card so I could keep in touch with him. He replied that his company didn't give its employees business cards. He didn't have a personal business card either.
I was asking for his card because I had spoken with him a couple of months before, and he took my card and said he would contact me so I could pass job leads to him. But I didn't hear from him, and I had no way to initiate contact with him, so he missed a couple of good leads.
I realized that not everyone has been taught the value of a business card - their own personal business card - to their career.

Quick Fix: “The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Compatible application could not be found to edit the document” by Jim Adcock

A user tries to open an InfoPath form in the application instead of the browser, and get an error message:
The user can open in the browser just fine, and has been able to open the forms previously with no problem. User is able to download the form to their desktop and open the form in InfoPath. But when they try to open the form in the application from the context menu, the above error is shown.
In researching the error, I found a support posting that provided a clue to the problem. In it, the user is instructed to enable Add Ons in their Internet Explorer:
  1. Go to Tools in IE, click Internet Options
  2. Click Programs at the top
  3. Click “Manage add-ons” near the bottom
  4. Click Publisher, then you can see all of Microsoft Corporation together
  5. Scroll to SharePoint names (May be one or several)
  6. Make sure they are all enabled by clicking on the name; the Enable button is towards the bottom.
  7. Then click OK and OK and restart IE
Can you guess what the problem was?
Read more of this post

Migrate managed metadata from one environment to another in SharePoint 2010

What will be the requirement?
Your user will be raising a ticket for to create a replica of the production site in development environment.

Quite easy - correct? You can easily implement this by using PowerShell but now the problem starts from here. If your site collection admin has created a term store in production site then you will not get those in development environment. Hmm- seems to be difficult now, isn’t it?

Reason: Managed metadata terms and term sets each have a unique guid and the guids don't match up

Nothing to worry about as we have a solution for that :)

Let me brief some details as local terms can be created by 2 ways:
-centrally i.e. @Central Administration Level
-Locally i.e. @site collection level

Let me talk about ‘Centrally’ first: There are some ways by which you can implement this.
-By using Export and Import
-By using Database method

Let’s discuss about the first method i.e. Export and Import

Export Example:
$mmsAppId= "e1c96163-7767-4497-8e92-51eb154f0c70"
$mmsproxy = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy -Identity "4d4b3094-a9ad-4cee-99f4-392d489a1657"
Export-SPMetadataWebServicePartitionData -Identity $mmsAppId -ServiceProxy $mmsproxy -Path "E:\backups\SP2010_Backups\mms.bak"
You must be wondering as how to get this App ID Guid Placeholder and Proxy ID Guid Placeholder. It’s very easy-please refer the following steps:
How to get App ID Guid:
-Central Administration
-Application Management
-Manage Service Applications
-Managed Metadata Service Application
-refer the browser now and copy the guid which is after tsid=

How to get Proxy ID Guid:
-Open the PowerShell console
-execute this command-  Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy
-You will see a list of proxy id’s and you need to copy ID that belongs to managed metadata.

Follow the same process in Import also and get the guids. Obviously they will be different as they belongs to different farm i.e. target farm.
Import Example:
$mmsAppId= "d7b7b20c-aed1-4cag-ba6a-45baa9d6adf2"
$mmsproxy = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy -Identity "df8606f1-cfca-4283-89db-9270e0a5adec"
Import-SPMetadataWebServicePartitionData -Identity $mmsAppId -ServiceProxy $mmsproxy -Path "\\SP2010_SQL\SP2010\mms.bak" –OverwriteExisting
Database approach:
-Backup the managed metadata database in your source farm
-Delete the MMS service in your target farm
-Restore the managed metadata database to your target farm
-Create a new MMS service in your target farm
-Ensure correct service accounts have full control of MMS

How to move local term stores?
We can easily move the local term stores by using the following tool:
Documentation is already provided on the above site only so I will not go much deeper in reference to this tool but it’s very easy and user friendly too.
If you have any queries/questions regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know, thank you.

Error in creating a SharePoint Wiki site in SharePoint 2010

Problem Description: Error in creating a SharePoint Wiki site in SharePoint 2010

Creating a subsite underneath site collection by using ‘enterprisewiki’ throws an exceptions.

Please refer the following exceptions which is a series of error messages and helpful to understand the cause behind it.

Error Messages:
Error#1: Failed to activate site-scoped features for template 'ENTERWIKI#0' in site ‘http://sharepoint2007/sites/SP2010Projects’.    a41b91e6-385b-42a9-a10f-c69e15de613a

Error#2: Failed to activate web features when provisioning site at url " http://sharepoint2007/sites/SP2010Projects" with site definition "ENTERWIKI#0"
Error#3: Failed to apply template "ENTERWIKI#0" to web at URL " http://sharepoint2007/sites/SP2010Projects".  a41b91e6-385b-42a9-a10f-c69e15de613a

Error#4: SPContentTypeBindingElement.ElementActivated(). ContentType '0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF39004C1F8B46085B4D22B1CDC3DE08CFFB9C' not found on web ' http://sharepoint2007/sites/SP2010Projects'.              a41b91e6-385b-42a9-a10f-c69e15de613a

Error#5: specified argument was out of the range of valid values. Parameter name:content type not found(‘0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF39004C1F8B46085B4D22B1CDC3DE08CFFB9C’).

Wiki template is a dependency section of Publishing Infrastructure as per the following articles:

Activate publishing infrastructure at the site collection level as well as at the site level.

How to do this:
Activate Publishing Infrastructure @site collection level:   
-Open the site
-site actions
-Site settings
-site collection Administration
-activate “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure”

Activate Publishing Infrastructure @site level:   
-Open the site
-site actions
-Site settings
-site actions
-manage site features
-activate “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure”

That’s it; your issue will be resolved.

If you have any queries regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know.

I would be more than happy to help you as well as resolves your issues, Thank you.

Product Applies To:
SharePoint Server 2010
SharePoint Foundation 2010

SharePoint workflow solutions – Surface Tablet door prize

Able Solutions next event — Automate Business Processes using SharePoint and Nintex — is just 2 weeks away! If you haven't already registered, I would encourage you to do so now.

We will be hosting lunch at the Microsoft Office in Alpharetta on April 30 to take a deep dive into the things you really want to know about using Nintex to enhance your SharePoint deployment. You'll hear from our top consultants and a key customer or two. One attendee will go home with a free Windows Surface!

Click this link to register today: https://clicktoattend.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=168956


Creating customized search results in SharePoint 2013

With the launch of SharePoint 2013 came some exciting new features and improvements in the realm of Web Content Management (WCM). Content authoring improvements like Image Renditions and the ability to drag and drop navigation items directly onto a page create a better experience for content authors, while branding advancements like the new Design Manager and Device Channels further empower web designers. Throw in Managed Navigation, Cross-site Publishing, Catalog-enabled lists and libraries, Category pages, clean URLs and the ability to capture a video thumbnail straight from the video and it is clear that WCM has received quite the facelift courtesy of SharePoint 2013.

Read the full tip here...

Extending your Enterprise Workflows and Forms with Services Offered in the Cloud

Today’s modern company is comprised of multiple offices, telecommuters, business travelers and clients on various continents in different time zones.  In this global economy, business applications are required to meet the needs of each employee and customer whether they are in Atlanta or Hong Kong.  No one wants to be sitting in an important meeting not being able to access and interact with the data and processes they need.  For this month’s Tip of the Month, we’re examining the benefits of utilizing the powerful cloud features of Nintex Live with Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms.

Read the full tip here...

How to Customize Windows Explorer Search Connections for SharePoint Server 2010

One of the best improvements in SharePoint from version to version has been with Search. Search Server Express was added for SharePoint WSS 2007. Fast Search was introduced in SharePoint Server 2010 among other great feature improvements around the search service. In SharePoint Server 2013, Fast Search technology is now included in the standard search service and a new feature known as continuous search has been added. SharePoint's Search service is far superior to list views to locating documents and item information in SharePoint. There are so many features of search that can be easily utilized or extended upon so much so that each deserves its own article. One feature that this article will focus on is searching SharePoint content from your computer using Windows Explorer and how to extend its capabilities.

16 April, 2013

Can I send Email Alerts From SharePoint 2010 To Distribution Lists

Yes we can send Email alerts From SharePoint 2010 To Distribution Lists.

How ?

The answer is First you need to convert the DL into a security group for the DL to get resolved in Sharepoint . As Sharepoint doesnt recognise DL`s

After that is done .

1. Log in to your SharePoint site and navigate to Site Actions > Site Permissions

2. Add this distribution list to the site as a member of an existing SharePoint permission   
    group . you can give Read permissions no Higher permissions needed .

3. Navigate to Settings > Group Settings and make sure that the following is true

  • Who can view the membership of the group: Everyone.
  • Group permissions level: at least,Read permissions

  • 4.  Navigate to the library or list and click Library (List) > Tools > Set alert on this library (list)

    5.  Add the distribution list in the field Send alerts to

    The alerts now will be sent to the members of this distribution list.

    The Managed Metadata Service or Connection is currently not available. The Application Pool or Managed Metadata Web Service may not have been started. Please Contact your Administrator

    We have created a new UAT environment for the deployment purposes and everything is new. Suddenly the requirement comes up for managed metadata. As this environment is newly built so we have not created all the service applications and work/create as per the requirement arises.

    If you find a different solution, please report it as a comment to this post. Be sure to double-verify it: undo your solution and verify that the problem comes back, then redo it and verify that the problem goes away.

    Problem Description:
    Creation of new service application named as ‘managed metadata’

    I have created a new service application by providing the following data:
    1.   Name of the service application Example. Managedmetedata_DEVSP
    2.   Name of the application pool
    3.   Selecting the appropriate service account from the dropdown which has sufficient privileges to create the SA.
    4.   Click OK

    Now the service application is created without any issues.

    As soon as I clicked on it then I got the following ERROR MESSAGE:
    The Managed Metadata Service or Connection is currently not available. The Application Pool or Managed Metadata Web Service may not have been started. Please Contact your Administrator.

    Make sure the managed metadata service is already started.
    How to check this:
    a)   Central Administration
    b)   Manage services on server
    c)   Managed metadata service
    d)   Start

    Once the service is in started mode then check the results again by clicking on the managed metadata service application, it has to open the page without any errors\exceptions.

    If you face the same error message as mentioned above then please execute IISRESET once and that’s it.

    If you have any queries/questions regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know, Thank you.

    15 April, 2013

    Your backup is from a different version of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation and cannot be restored to a server running the current version

    Problem Description:
    Requirement comes up to transfer the backup of one site collection from production to development environment.

    -          Took the backup of the site collection by using PowerShell command without any issues
    -          As soon as I tried restoring the backup then I faced the following error message

    Error Message:
    Your backup is from a different version of Microsoft SharePoint Foundation and cannot be restored to a server running the current version. The backup file should be restored to a server with version '' or later.

    -Compare the development SP version with the production version and found out the following info:
    Development- 14.0.6123.5006
    Production- 14.0.6120.5006

    -it’s quite obvious from the above versions that it’s not going to work L and we should be ready to hear the answer “It seems that you need to update your development server with the same patch which is running in production and then you can restore the backup” / upgrade your destination farm to the same version of the source farm, After your farms are at the same product version, the restore will succeed.

    You must be wondering as How exactly I have achieved this resolution?

    Here are the details:
    -Restored Production backup to staging application but in a separate database

    -Took that database and restored to development environment – which automatically place that DB to the same version

    -Attached the database to default application, that’s it- issue resolved J

    Site is up and running, easily restored to the development environment without any waiting time.

    If you have any queries/questions regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know, thank you.

    The SharePoint Health Analyzer detected an error. One or more services have started or stopped unexpectedly

    Problem Description:
    The SharePoint Health Analyzer detected an error. One or more services have started or stopped unexpectedly.

    Error Message:
    The following services are managed by SharePoint, but their running state does not match what SharePoint expects: SPAdminV4. This can happen if a service crashes or if an administrator starts or stops a service using a non-SharePoint interface. If SharePoint-managed services do not match their expected running state, SharePoint will be unable to correctly distribute work to the service.

    SharePoint was unable to automatically repair this error.

    To stop or start a service managed by SharePoint, use the SharePoint service management interface in the SharePoint Central Administration Site. If a service has crashed, restart the service manually on the affected servers by running "net start [service name]" from a command prompt. For more information about this rule, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=142683.

    - All services are running fine.
    - All SharePoint sites as well as web applications are running without any issues.

    Basically it’s a clear cut indication that the one of the required service is un-reachable.

    Resolutions you can try as there are multiple things by which we can resolve this issue:
    - Check the administration service is running or not in services console. if its stopped/disable then please restart it.
    - try to reboot the server and check the results again.
    - try restarting the services by using command prompt
    - after the above things and if you are still facing the problem then please check the SP logs and surely you will find the  exact error which will tell you the root cause behind it.

    If you have any issues/queries regarding the above mentioned information then please let me know, Thank you

    Product applies to:
    - SP2010
    - SP2013
    - SharePoint Foundation 2010