1 Year Anniversary Tribute – eBay upgrade video

As a tribute to the 1-year anniversary of the start of the eBay upgrade project, I thought I would share the video I created to show at our celebration party in San Jose.  It is a great video, and shows how much fun we had (and you should too) when we did the upgrade.  The team deserves a tremendous amout of credit for the work and effort they put in…so here it is:

http://youtu.be/EnK2c_lntOY

As a run down, here is what occurs in the video:

  • The SharePoint odessey – the 2001 to 2010 evolution.  When the monkey discovers the monolith and evolves.  Simiarly, eBay's discovery of SharePoint 2010 starts with a monolithic-white board (its only appropriate that we use Richard Struass's Also sprach Zarathustra to show this)
  • You see that it really is a love of "SharePoint" that progresses the joining of all parties
  • As we drive through the initial requirements (found and un-found), you will realize that this project was done in 3.5 months (when similar quotes were at 14 months at 4x the cost).  This drives the selection of Queen's…"Under Pressure"
  • At one point you will see Ramin and I on the ground with our hands in the air…it was a fun moment as we were not really knowing what was going to happen…
  • You will see photos of our countdown timer of the night we went live (we had an upgrade window of the weekend to finish the upgrade successfully).  It slowly winds down until the "GO-NOGO Moment"
  • As the pictures are displayed, you will see various moments over the 3.5 months of us working intent-ly getting the job done
  • Not everything went as planned and hence you see the "GO-NOGO" which occured at least 4-5 times (some elements include NDR64 discoveries and the infamous Search ResultsProvider that has claimed countless develpers…
  • Katy Perry's song of "Firework" is perfect for our dispay of the team members that worked so very hard to make the upgrade happen and thusly are amazingly bright and wonderful people that randomly came together to accomplish something amazing (NOTE: there are moments in the song lyrics that relate to hidden moments)
  • Let me be the first to say that eBay has an amazing NetOps team that just kicks butt (Kenny Cheng and Ken MacIntosh), they saved our a$$ a few times…
  • You will see a snapshot of a fortune cookie that "I" got…it was the week of the upgrade and it said "Your hard work is about to pay off", it was the best fortune EVER!
  • There were some times when we had some pretty "interesting" dinners…hence the snapshot of the menu…
  • The video ends with 00:00:00 and pictures of the eBay intranet running SharePoint 2010 and our SharePoint Conference 2011 session – "How eBay successfully upgrade their intranet to 2010"

Enjoy!
Chris

Fixing: Action 4.0.23.0 of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPSiteWssSequence failed.

This was a tough error, THAT IS AN UPGRADE SHOWSTOPPER, that I ran into a few months ago.  Just now getting around to blogging it.  Here's the full error:

[powershell] [SPSiteWssSequence] [ERROR] [9/29/2011 12:02:27 PM]: Action 4.0.23.0 of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPSiteWssSequence failed.
[powershell] [SPSiteWssSequence] [ERROR] [9/29/2011 12:02:27 PM]: Inner Exception: Field name already exists.

The name used for this field is already used by another field in the list.  Select another name and try again.<nativehr>0x81020013</nativehr><nativestack></nativestack>
[powershell] [SPSiteWssSequence] [ERROR] [9/29/2011 12:02:27 PM]:    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.UpdateField(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, String bstrXML)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.UpdateField(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, String bstrXML)
[powershell] [SPSiteWssSequence] [ERROR] [9/29/2011 12:02:27 PM]: Exception: Field name already exists.

The name used for this field is already used by another field in the list.  Select another name and try again.
[powershell] [SPSiteWssSequence] [ERROR] [9/29/2011 12:02:27 PM]:    at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPGlobal.HandleComException(COMException comEx)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.UpdateField(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, String bstrXML)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPField.UpdateCore(Boolean bToggleSealed)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPField.Update()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldIndexCollection.IndexOneField(Object field, Boolean bIndexed)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldIndexCollection.Add(SPField field)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.RestoreWorkflowAndDatasourceLibraryPermissions.Upgrade()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPActionSequence.Upgrade()

What causes this?  Diving into the upgrade code I find that it is obviously trying to add a column to a list.  But which one?  The hint was in the name of one of the methods – "RestoreWorkflowAndDatasourceLibraryPermissions".  Looking at this, it is checking for all task lists in each site that are setup for workflow.

I reran the code in powershell and eventually found the offending list:

foreach($web in $site.allwebs)

{

$ht = new-object system.collections.hashtable

foreach($list in $web.lists)

{

foreach($ct in $list.ContentTypes)

{

if ($ct.Id.IsCHildof([Microsoft.SHarePoint.SPBuiltInContentTYpeId]::WorkflowTask))

{

$ht.add($list.id, $list.id)

"Web:" + $web.TItle

"List: " + $list.Title

"Content Type:" + $ct.Name

} #end if

} #end ct

} #end list

foreach($id in $ht.values)

{

$l1 = $web.lists[$id]

#$g = new-object system.guid ([Microsoft.SHarePoint.SPBuiltInFieldId]::WorkflowInstanceID.tostring())

$g = new-object system.guid ("de8beacf-5505-47cd-80a6-aa44e7ffe2f4")

#$l1.FieldIndexes.delete($g);

$l1.FieldIndexes.add($list.fields[[Microsoft.SHarePoint.SPBuiltInFieldId]::WorkflowInstanceID]);

$l1.update()

#$g = new-object system.guid([Microsoft.SHarePoint.SPBuiltInFieldId]::Guid.tostring())

$g = new-object system.guid("ae069f25-3ac2-4256-b9c3-15dbc15da0e0")

#$l1.FieldIndexes.delete($g);

$l1.FieldIndexes.add($list.fields[[Microsoft.SHarePoint.SPBuiltInFieldId]::Guid]);

$l1.update() 

} #end hashtable

} #end web

What was the cause?   When you create a workflow, it asks for a task list.  You can point the workflow at an existing task list or create a new one.  It seems that not only did the users create a workflow that pointed to an existing list, but that list in fact was the task list that the workflow was using for task tracking!!  This causes a loop in the upgrade code and hence the failure.

Fixing it requires deleting some of the fields that were added by the workflow.

Enjoy!

Chris


CanUpgrade [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPIisWebSite] failed.

How do I always seem to be the guy finding this stuff is beyond me, but I'm always excited when I figure this stuff out…ok, was getting this error after trying to run the PSConfig after an upgrade to SP1 and December 2011 CU.

[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [INFO] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]: SPWebApplication Name=SharePoint – xxx
[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [ERROR] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]: CanUpgrade [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPIisWebSite] failed.
[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [INFO] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]: SPWebApplication Name=SharePoint – xxx
[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [ERROR] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]: Exception: The system cannot find the path specified.
[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [INFO] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]: SPWebApplication Name=SharePoint – xxx
[OWSTIMER] [SPUpgradeSession] [ERROR] [1/8/2012 1:48:44 PM]:    at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind(Boolean throwIfFail)
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.Bind()
   at System.DirectoryServices.DirectoryEntry.get_AdsObject()
   at System.DirectoryServices.PropertyValueCollection.PopulateList()
   at System.DirectoryServices.PropertyValueCollection..ctor(DirectoryEntry entry, String propertyName)
   at System.DirectoryServices.PropertyCollection.get_Item(String propertyName)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPIisVirtualDirectory.get_Path()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPProvisioningAssistant.GetBuildVersionOnIisWebSite(Int32 iisInstanceId)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPSequence.get_CanUpgrade()
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeSession.CanUpgrade(Object o)

So what is causing this?  Using the handy reflector tool I went into the upgrade code and found the sequence that upgrades SPWebApplication objects.  This creates a list of all children objects that must be upgraded and then upgrades those objects one by one.  One of the children objects is the created or extended IIS web sites.  In order to check if these "CanUpgrade", it must look at the file in the IIS virtual directory "_vti_pvtuildversion.cnf".  If it can't find this file (the virtual path is deleted or missing), then the upgrade will stop for that web application and your upgrade is stuck in a weird state with this crappy error "Product / patch installation or server upgrade required"!

How do you fix?  You can try to add the directory back, but how do you know what the directory is that you need to add?  Funny thing, you can't find it unless you open up the SharePoint_Config database.  I will spare you the details and jump to the "supported" way of fixing this.  In Central administration you won't see the offending missing zone to delete it, therefore you must resort to powershell:

$webapp = get-spwebapplication "http://yourfailedurl"

foreach($setting in $webapp.iissettings.values)
{
$setting.path
}

foreach($zone in $webapp.iissettings.keys)
{
$z = $zone
}

$webapp.IisSettings.Remove("missingzone")
$webapp.update()

Rerun your PSconfig command, viola, you are back in business!!!

Enjoy!
Chris

Case Study: How to Use Managed Metadata in Site Creation to drive Searchability

As part of our eBay presentation at the SharePoint Conference 2011, we showed how we performed the upgrade in 3 months and utilized Managed Metadata (MMS) in site creation to drive searchability across the SharePoint Farm.  The biggest question I have received so far from the presentation is about the MMS subject.  So I'm going to outline it in detail here. For those of you that are not familiar with MMS, I like to describe it using the 3rd rule in my three rules of development.  The first rule is "Don't code the same line of code twice", if you see the same line of code twice, you did something wrong (no polymorphism, missing base method calls, inheritance, etc).  The second is don't put the same thing in memory more than once (this really needs no clarification).  The third rule says don't put the same thing on disk twice.  By doing this, you now must implement synchronization between the multiple instances.  The only product I worked with over the years that ever implemented this pattern perfectly was Lotus Notes.  It is for this reason, we have MMS in 2010.

In SharePoint 2007, imagine you have created a list in SharePoint that uses a choice column. You would have 50 states, plus the other various items the US owns (Examples: Guam, Virgin Islands…can you name them all?).  If you use the state column in other places in the Farm, you pretty much have to copy and paste all the items over and over again.  This is somewhat of a problem.  For instance, if Texas ever successfully succeeds from the union, you gotta remove them from all the choice columns!  What about Iraq and Afghanistan?  Maybe those should be added to the list?   Who knows what might happen in the future, but you'd have to update each and every source in order for the data to be meaningful.  Therefore, rule #3 is a good one…don't put data on disk more than twice.  MMS helps us do this by centrally stored our list data in one place. 

So how did we use MMS at eBay?  The summary of the process is that when users create their own site, the content inside the site should be pre-tagged with MMS data so as to allow for simple searching of their content via FAST Search.  Here's a breakout of the parts:

Site Creation:

The first step is to create a site creation form.  This can be anything you are comfortable with (an aspx page, an infopath form, web parts, etc).  In the case of eBay we used two web parts.  One is the site creation landing page web part.  Previously the values used to "tag" the sites was hardcoded in the code.  As part of the upgrade I changed this to pull dynamically from MMS.  This web part allows the entry of the following information:

  • Business Unit (MMS)
  • Organization (MMS)
  • Office Location (MMS)

  • Site Name
  • Description
  • Keywords (terms that will allow users to find the site later)
  • Template (teamsite, blog, etc)
  • Security (allow inheritance/everyone to view the site)

When clicking submit, several things happen:

  • Create a new list item with all the details of the site creation request
  • Submit to the site creation processing webpart with the site creation request id
  • Start a long running transaction
  • Impersonate the user that made the request
  • Get a site number from a database for the site URL (example: 12345)
  • Determine what site collection to add the site to (allows for load balancing the sites across content databases)
  • Create the new web
  • Add to the custom site directory list (this list is used for later look up on a site lookup web part)
  • Setup navigation for the site
  • Set the web property bag with the Organization, BusinessUnit and Location properties
  • Create the metadata columns (outlined below)
  • Add the site keywords to FAST Search

All throughout this process if any errors occur another list is setup to keep track of the errors and steps of the long running process.  This allows OPS to debug the process and work with development in case something needs to be tweaked.

Site Directory:

You will need to ensure you have a list setup to keep track of your sites.  In the case of a pre-existing site directory it is likely that you have already created a choice column with your values.  This doesn't move very easily to MMS.  You will have to migrate the values to new MMS columns (create new column with different name, move value over, deleted old column, create column with old name, copy values again) .  If you already have this site directory, it is simple to run back through all the sites and add the web properties and then add the MMS columns to all the existing lists in the already existing sites (so not only new sites have MMS, but old ones too)!

MMS Setup:

We used the following PowerShell script to pre-populate the MMS:

$session = get-sptaxonomysession -site http://contoso.com
$termstore = $session.termstores["Contoso Corporate MMS"]

$termGroup = $termstore.groups["Contoso"]

if (-not $termGroup)
{
$termGroup = $termstore.creategroup("Contoso")
}

$termSet = $termGroup.TermSets["Organization"]

if (-not $termSet)
{
$termSet = $termGroup.CreateTermSet("Organization")
}

foreach($t in $termset.terms)
{
$t.delete()
}

$termSet.createterm("Finance",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Human Resources",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Information Technology",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Legal",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Marketing and Sales",1033)

$termSet = $termGroup.termsets["BusinessUnit"]

if (-not $termSet)
{
$termSet = $termGroup.CreateTermSet("BusinessUnit")
}

foreach($t in $termset.terms)
{
$t.delete()
}

$termSet.createterm("Corporate",1033)
$termSet.createterm("PayPal",1033)
$termSet.createterm("StubHub",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Bill Me Later",1033)

$termSet = $termGroup.termsets["Location"]

if (-not $termSet)
{
$termSet = $termGroup.CreateTermSet("Location")
}

foreach($t in $termset.terms)
{
$t.delete()
}

$termSet.createterm("APAC – Australia",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – China",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – Hong Kong",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – India",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – Israel",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – Korea",1033)
$termSet.createterm("APAC – Taiwan",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Austria",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Belgium",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Czech Replubic",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Estonia",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – France",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Germany",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Ireland",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Italy",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Luxembourg",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Netherlands",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Poland",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Spain",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Sweden",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – Switzerland",1033)
$termSet.createterm("EU – UK",1033)
$termSet.createterm("NA – Canada",1033)
$termSet.createterm("NA – U.S.",1033)
$termSet.createterm("Global",1033)
$termStore.CommitAll()

Note that once it is created, you should not delete the values.  This will cause the linkage between any previously created columns to be eliminated.  Not fun to look at and fix later.  So be sure to tell the ops team not to run the create more than once…EVER…

MMS Columns:

The hardest part of the entire process is the MMS column creation.  It works like this:

  • Check to see if the web prop bag has been set, if not then set the web props to the values in the intranet site directory list, otherwise set to some default values
  • For each list, add the metadata columns
    • You should not add metatdata to lists that are "hidden" or that are type "Survey".  It will break those list types
    • Great example is the HiddenTaxonomyList, kinda weird adding a MMS column to that one as it keeps track of MMS usage across the site, creates a bit of a loop…not good!
  • You should also avoid everything but the following site types, if you don't you will get some VERY ugly messages from SharePoint 2010 (try adding MMS to an Access Services site, it doesn't work!):
    • STS
    • MPS
    • BLANKINTERNET
    • CMSPUBLISHING
    • PUBLISHING
    • WIKI
    • BLOG
    • SPS
  • Adding the metadata column involves the following process:
    • Detemine if the column already exists (choose your column name wisely), in this case, we preappended with "Geo" to avoid any clashes with already existing column names and internal SP names
    • Provision a note field to support your MMS field (yup, each MMS column is actually two columns)
    • Create a new taxonomy field using the Guid of the note field in the TextField property
    • Set the default value of the field using the "WSSID;#VALUE|TERMID", hint: use -1 if WSSID has not been defined yet

The result is every viable list has MMS columns added:

Each MMS column has a default value set:

When a new item is created, the user doesn't have to do anything!  The values are pre-populated with the values they selected at site creation time!

Search:

As part of the site creation there is a keyword text box.  Users can type keywords delimited by semicolon.  Their keywords are then added to FAST Search.  Initially we thought adding to both SharePoint Search and FAST Search was the answer, but that didn't work as it actually would show two keywords in the results and not just one.  You can also have the keywords added as search suggestions.  What this means is that when they start typing in the search box, you will see the keyword displayed as a suggestion:

Then when the search is executed, you will see the site as a keyword and the results for that keyword displayed as business as usual:

 

Once the columns have been added to all the list items in all the sites, you have setup FAST Content SSA and indexed the content you will get some pretty cool results.  Because of the TaxonomyFilter refiners that is preconfigured in the FAST Search Center, you will see the pre-defined MMS column values on the left side of the screen:

Users can now find content specific to their geography, organization and functional group.  Results are now more meaningful and can be found much faster than with SharePoint 2007!

Enjoy!
Chris

SharePoint Conference 2011 Recap

Here is a short recap of all the cool stuff that happened this week.

Over 7,500 people showed up in Anaheim, CA on Sunday to enjoy networking and learning about SharePoint!  The event started off with the exhibit hall reception where you got your first sneak peak at the vendors. 

Exhibit Hall

The first big booths you would get to see was Quest and HP in the center.  HP didn't have much that interested me, but the Quest folks sure made things entertaining with their "Bonk" game.  You can find lots of pictures of SharePoint superstars on facebook and twitter, it was quite humorous and they gave away lots of cold hard cash to answer SharePoint questions!  In the following pictures you'll see @joelolsen @michaelnoel @buckleyplanet and then @ZlatanDzinic and @eusp

 

 To the left of HP was the the great guys from AvePoint (@danholme, @tweetraw, @jthake)!  As they have done for the past few SPConferences, they had a killer Ducati motorcycle to giveaway to some lucky attendee:

 

AvePoint also hosted the party of all parties, The Red Party, at a local bar called Heat Ultra Lounge.  Everyone was dressed in Red and the inside has all red lights, it was amazingly awesome!  AvePoint announced their new product versions including a Governance tool that has been under the wing of Jeremy Thake

On the right side of Quest were the very cool K2 guys showing off their awesome BlackPearl product and other workflow tools.  They were giving away a Segway for some lucky attendee!

 

Behind Quest and K2 were the good ole boys from fpweb.net ("fp" by the way means "Front Page" which was from an acquisition from a company called VTI which is the name of the web services directory VTI_BIN). fpweb pretty much has the coolest booth I had ever seen.  It has two stories with a full living room on the top floor.  It was of course roped off to only special fpweb MVPs and customers.  After a long day of sessions and walking the exhibit hall it was great to relax and drink a glass of wine on their very comfy couches.

 

fpweb.net had a couple of events during the week, including one that I master minded called the "Move like Jagger Contest".  There were several people at the conference that brought wives and kiddos and need extra passes.  It just turned out that three people gave me their passes and we decided to make people work for them by moving like Mick Jagger.  Rob LaMear, CEO of fpweb, put in some extra incentive by placing $100 bills on each of the passes, that got us about 10 people to do some Mick Jagger moves, one such person is @grumpytech. 

 

I'll be posting the video very soon!  The other event was a "fpweb.net is flexbile", where several young ladies came out and did some pretty amazing moves:

 

As far as new comers to the SharePoint software space, I though these two vendors had a pretty rocking demo:

  • #1 – ESRI – a long time ruling company in geocoding and mapping software came out with a Solution Package with a web part, custom field type with wizards to pull SharePoint list data and backend data to do geo-coding and mapping with heat maps. This stuff even knows how to use the SQL Server SpatialTypes to generate the data – AMAZINGLY COOL!  
  • #2 – SouthLabs – A very nice looking iPad and iPhone app for connecting to SharePoint with many authentication method support.  They were some very cool and bright guys from Uruguay and I think they will be able to win quite a lot of business from SharePoint customers with their mobile apps.
  • #3 – Pingar– They have an auto tagging solution designed by several computer science artificial intelligence people which used wikipedia as an input source to determine how to auto tag content in your SharePoint Farm.  It is by far the most advanced auto-tagging solution I have seen

And of course the hottest booth babe was my wifey who was hanging out at the @sharesquared booth:

 

Keynote:

The keynote area was HUGE!  As you can imagine, fitting over 7500 people into a room is quite a task.  During the keynote we had SharePoint Team member @thekameleon dj'ing.

 

The SharePoint trio, Jared Spararo, Jeff Teper and Kurt Delbene spoke and in-between they played some "cute" videos of celebrities, but unfortunately they didn't have anyone actually "present" for us to look at. 

 

The real highlight for me of the keynote was when the customer video played.  The very opening of the video had my customer eBay's intranet called "TheHUB".  The eBay mobile app also made an appearance with my name displayed and then immediately followed by me making a cameo on screen! 

 

I'll post the video link later so you can watch it!  One of the other neat demos they did was have a SQL Server Denali instance setup in a cluster with some pretty crazy numbers around data corpus.  They pulled the network cable on the active SQL Server and had the cluster failover to the passive SQL Server node.  The hardware was in the range of $1.5 million and as much as it was a fun demo to see, it is not likely that many customers would be purchasing hardware of that magnitude.  Especially when you need have to build out the disaster recovery component at a similar cost in a different geographically located data center:

 

Sessions:

There were lots and lots of sessions!  One thing I noticed was that FAST Search made an appearance in each of the session sets.  It was great for me as I had just finished my FAST Search course and was able to validate that everything was actually covered!  One of the coolest sessions on FAST was the one held by Joshua at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  They had done some pretty amazing stuff with FAST Search Center. The other impressive FAST Search session was done by Paul Branson, he was very knowledgeable and impressed me quite a bit with his demos and movement around the FAST directories.

Our eBay upgrade session was on Wednesday at 3:15, so we were able to party the night before and not have a early morning session where everyone was hungover and sleeping from the previous night!   We packed the room (with standing room only) with several Microsoft folks and saw several SharePoint colleagues in the audience.  I guess we did a pretty good job as our scores are right around 4.6 out of 5.0.  That's pretty outstanding survey results!  After the session I had several people ask me to blog about the MMS implementation and my upgrade tool.  I'll be doing that next week for everyone!

I'll be posting the slides to the SanSpug.org site for our members to check out as soon as I am able to meaningfully categorize them all. 

Parties:

There were a ton of parties this week. As I already mentioned, the best party was the AvePoint "Red Party" party, having an entire dance club to ourselves is pretty darn awesome! 

 

The next best party would have to be the Speaker Party on Thursday night.  They brought in two in-and-out burger trucks and cooked us up fresh burgers, fries and shakes…the best part however was their was a DJ.  And not only were the speakers invited, but the event staff too.  The speakers and MS folks kind sat around chatted, but the staff got down!  Two of the staff folks were just flat out awesome break dancers and started a competition…it was killer!  The DJ started to play the last song and then I yelled "Move like Jagger", he pointed at me and said "That's a better one…" and mixed/faded into it perfectly from Sister Sledge.  We danced for a good hour at that party and I had my heart going and sweated it up…

 

The next best party was the Disneyland event hosted by Nuedesic.  They managed to rent out the entire park just for the SharePoint conference, and what was even more cool, they had bars setup all over the park.  The staff said they had never seen alcohol served park-wide before, so I'm guessing they spent a heck of a lot of money getting that event setup for us:

 

The next best party of the week was the Octoberfiesta party, although we didn't make it over, I heard they did some pretty cool stuff and everyone enjoyed it:

 

The next best drinking event was the karaoke late into the night on Wednesday.  We had the likes of Andrew Connell, Dux Raymond, AvePoint folks, Dave Milner and several others singing it up.  I did the Sister Sledge, "We Are 'SharePoint' Family",but I'd have to say the best singer ended up being Dave Miler!  We (Randy Williams and I) tried to get a mosh pit going with some body banging, but the karaoke lady stopped us right away…darn it…

 

Summary:

Even though we didn't learn anything new about v.next (other than that they have hired alot of UI developers), the event was a great chance for the SharePoint community to come together, "new kids on the block" vendors to show off their products and have one heck of a set of parties!

Enjoy!
Chris

SharePoint Printing Services, UrlAction, STSNavigate2 – Fixing "Invalid page URL:" in SharePoint 2010

After the eBay upgrade, I have decided that it is really easy to do SharePoint upgrades and thusly I'm doing another upgrade here in San Diego.  As part of the upgrade, you have to go through and analyze the 3rd party components that are installed and make sure they are going to work in 2010.  As I have learned, most are not SP2010 ready (OutlookPowerTools, older CorasWorks versions to name a few).  Some of them work with some tweaking.  That's what this blog post is about. 

This particular customer has the PrintingServices.wsp that allows a one click approach to printing pages and items.  What this product does is adds custom actions with a javascript url as the target of the click.  This works great in SharePoint 2007, but unfortunately, does not in SP2010.  The reason it does not work in SP2010 is that they do not simply pass the URL to the page anymore.  It is now wrapped by another javascript method called "STSNavigate2":

function STSNavigate2(evt, url)
{ULSxSy:;
    STSNavigate(url);
}

As you can see, it in turn calls function STSNavigate:

function STSNavigate(Url)
{ULSxSy:;
    if (window.location.search.indexOf("IsDlg=1") !=-1)
    {
        if (Url.indexOf("?") !=-1)
        {
            if (Url.match("&$") !="&")
            {
                Url=Url+"&IsDlg=1";
            }
            else
            {
                Url=Url+"IsDlg=1";
            }
        }
        else
        {
            Url=Url+"?IsDlg=1";
        }
    }
    if (isPortalTemplatePage(Url))
        window.top.location=STSPageUrlValidation(Url);
    else
        window.location=STSPageUrlValidation(Url);
}

STSNavigate in turn calls STSPageUrlvalidation:

function STSPageUrlValidation(url)
{ULSxSy:;
    return PageUrlValidation(url);
}

It then calls PageUrlValidation – THIS IS THE KEY PART:

function PageUrlValidation(url)
{ULSxSy:;
    if ((url.substr(0, 4)=="http") ||
        (url.substr(0, 1)=="/")     ||
        (url.indexOf(":")==-1))
    {
        return url;
    }
    else
    {
        var L_InvalidPageUrl_Text="Invalid page URL: ";
        alert(L_InvalidPageUrl_Text);
        return "";
    }
}

Notice that the only valid URLS start with http and contain a colon!!!!  Not sure the reasoning behind this "validation", but it breaks any custom actions that had a simple "javascript" call in them. 

You can fix this by changing the C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14TEMPLATELAYOUTS1033Init.js file.  Note that this file has been minified (variable names reduced and spaces removed) and does not match the init.debug.js file.  Find the following text in the init.js file:

function PageUrlValidation(a){ULSA13:;if(a.substr(0,4)=="http"||a.substr(0,1)=="/"||a.indexOf(":")==-1)return a;else{var L_InvalidPageUrl_Text="Invalid page URL: ";alert(L_InvalidPageUrl_Text);return ""}}

Change it too:

function
PageUrlValidation(a){ULSA13:;if(a.toLowerCase().indexOf("javascript")>-1) return a; if(a.substr(0,4)=="http"||a.substr(0,1)=="/"||a.indexOf(":")==-1)return
a;else{var L_InvalidPageUrl_Text="Invalid page URL:
";alert(L_InvalidPageUrl_Text);return ""}}

This will then allow the older javascript links to work.  be sure to document the change as it would get overwrite with any service packs later.

Enjoy!
Chris

SharePoint Conference 2011 Session – How eBay Successfully Upgraded their Intranet to SharePoint 2010

Dear SharePoint Colleagues, 

Join the eBay team and myself as we discuss the eBay upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and how we did it in 3.5 months.  The Conference session link is here:

How eBay Successfully Upgraded their Intranet to SharePoint 2010  

Here is an outline of what we plan on speaking about:

  • Why eBay moved to SharePoint 2010
  • The environments (2007 and 2010)
  • eBay Governance
  • eBay Project Plan – how we managed the project and the methodologies we used
  • How we documented the farm
  • How we approached the technical side of the upgrade
  • How we increased performane by 30%
  • How eBay implemented disaster recovery
  • And alot more!

We will answer questions after the session, but to have a one on one with the eBay team, join us Wednesday night at our SoCal SharePint.  We will have a limited number of drink tickets and details on how to get the tickets are here:

http://blogs.architectingconnectedsystems.com/blogs/cjg/archive/2011/08/24/SharePoint-Conference-2011-_2D00_-SoCal-SharePint.aspx 

Hope to see you there!
Chris

 

What the hell is NDR64 and why should you care?

Sooo, I mentioned that we did a few *firsts* at eBay.  One of them was to put Windows Server 2008 R2 in the DMZ and try to get SharePoint 2010 to work.  Needless to say, after setting everything up properly, it didn't.  After enabling 500 failed request tracing in the web servers and doing some crazy port analyzer stuff with good ole WireShark, I determined that there was some kind of firewall issue occuring between IIS and the domain controller in the DMZ. 

Everything was setup properly in the firewall, with IIS and with SharePoint, so we all were very confused by what was occuring.  It got so bad, that we made a preimer support call to see if someone could help us figure out what the hell was going on.  Turns out we got one of the top IIS guys in Redmond on the phone and he was able to very quickly tell us we were having an RPC problem.  We were all very confused, why are we having an RPC problem?  He quickly told us about NDR64.   NDR64 is a new protocol for RPC communicaiton in windows server 2008 and windows server 2008 R2.  This protocol was not exactly written by Microsoft nor did Microsoft want to implement it (hint it was a MS partner that drove them to do it, but NDA keeps me from saying who and why).  here's the details of NDR64:

 http://bit.ly/nN1YOt

So what does that mean?  Well, let me explain it…turns out that today's firewalls are able to recognize RPC packets and conversations and can dynamically open the ports between servers based on these conversations.  The new NDR64 is a 64bit version of the older 32bit version of the RPC protocol and MOST firewalls today, DO NOT know how to handle or interrogate the traffic.  SO what does that mean?  It means that you better be ready to open a whole bunch of high level ports to ensure that your authentication traffic will work when running SharePoint 2010 in your DMZ on Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2.

Until all the firewall vendors write a new bios/software to support his new RPC protocol, you will have to keep from implementing a DMZ 2010 environment, or open a lot of ports until your firewall vendor figures it out.

I'd start calling your firewall vendor NOW and see when you can get the latest firmware/software version.

Enjoy,
Chris

SharePoint 2010 Upgrade Project and Goverance Plan Samples

Dear SharePoint Colleagues, 

We are pleased to announce that we are making available generic MS Project Plan and Governance plans and the SP Build Guide and MS Project Deployment Project based on all the upgrade projects we have been involved with over the years (including the latest eBay project).  I will post the PayPal links for these later this week in this blog post and will setup a seperate site for them.  Licensing will be based on user and will be non-transferrable except for projects you work on at least 25%.  I'll post some pictures of the generic outline of the sections for both so you see what you are getting.  You will get a full stampled PDF version and/or a MS Project template of each as part of your purchase.  These items have been and will continue to be included in ACS SharePoint courses at no additional charge.

OR get all four for a discount!

  • SharePoint 2010 Documentation Package – $599
  • Each of these are based on large SharePoint projects and years of working with customers around the globle implementing SharePoint 2007 and 2010. The most recent being the large eBay upgrade project.

    Enjoy!
    Chris

    SharePoint Conference 2011 – SoCal SharePint

    Dear SharePoint Colleagues,

     

    Get ready for a great evening at the 2011 SharePoint Conference!  On Wednesday night, Oct 5th, after the exhibit hall reception, we will be having a SoCal SharePint party.  Join us at Bar Louie's outside patio reserved specifically for us (directly across the street from the Convention Center) for a quick drink from 7 to 9pm. Meet the eBay team, one of a few reference customers of the SPC11 conference, and several SharePoint MVPs and superstars.  After the SoCal SharePint, we will head over to enjoy another SharePint in the ESPNZone in Downtown Disney!

    This event is hosted by the local Southern California companies that want to make sure you have a great time while in Anaheim, CA:

    Get your free drink tickets!  There are several ways to get a free drink ticket:

    • Find any of the eBay team (they will be wearing eBay shirts and badges as well as have a session during the conferece) and ask them about their upgrade, and you get a free drink ticket!
    • Stop by the ShareSquared booth and ask them about their great SharePoint offerings, and you get a free drink ticket!
    • Call your local SoCal New Horizons Account Executive, 888-825-6684, and/or stop by the New Horizons office in Anaheim, and you get a free drink ticket!

    Looking forward to seeing you there!
    Chris