Solutions Using the Microsoft Office System

I recently ran across a little gem on the TechNet website: “Solutions Using the Microsoft Office System: Learn how to use the Microsoft Office system to solve your business scenarios
This page includes over 40 large Visio diagrams detailing the Microsoft Office system, over 30 of which specifically reference SharePoint as a central topic.

The topics include InfoPath and Forms integration, scenarios using SharePoint (such as a Call Center, Intranet Portal, Internet News Site, etc.), Records Management, Business Intelligence, and detailed SharePoint Server topics including:

  • Application Security
  • Backup and Restore
  • Topologies
  • Baseline Site Hierarchies
  • Customization
  • Database Administration
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Extranet Topologies
  • Inter-Farm Shared Services
  • Search Administration
  • Shared Services

The information presented can give you a really good understanding of the functions of SharePoint Server. I am currently diving into the Backup and Restore diagram. I just wish I had a poster printer for them!

Upgrade WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2003 to MOSS

It would be great if we all had a detailed guide to show us the upgrade steps specific for us. A step-by-step guide is a little more complicated than you might think. Without knowing your environment, any plan anyone will give you will be at least a little generic.

However, Microsoft has done a pretty good job at providing the steps. You will need to make your decision on how you will upgrade your environment. Your choices are gradual upgrade, in-place upgrade, and database migration. Basic concept: if you have a highly-customized environment, you will have a more complicated, but not impossible, upgrade path.

Instead of rewriting what has already been said, I suggest following Joel Oleson’s advice in his post labeled Best of… Upgrade and Deployment Guides for WSS v3 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

If you follow the steps listed on Microsoft’s TechNet site, you will probably have a successful upgrade. But, you have to read it all!
I suggest start at the beginning: Upgrading to Office SharePoint Server 2007

Here are the links to the sections below the link above.

If you want to do this correctly, you will need to read the content and make an informed decision on your path to upgrade. I have done upgrades and it can be a pain. But once it is done, you will love your new environment!

Response to a SharePointU post here:

SharePoint Backup and Restore Plan

There are several items that need to be part of your SharePoint backup/restore plan.

  • SharePoint Application Files
  • Custom Applications (such as webparts, add-on “features”, etc.)
  • IIS Info
  • Databases

If you are performing a complete, exhaustive backup of each SharePoint server, then the first two should be fine (some custom apps will need dlls, etc. on the file system), as well as some of the IIS Info (web.config for each SharePoint application, for example).

The remainder of the IIS Info can be captured via a IIS Metabase backup. Remember, changing some items within SharePoint’s Central Administration will change the IIS configuration and so this backup needs to be done on a regular basis.

If you are following best practices for backup the databases, then you should have this one covered as well.

I personally have a script that on a scheduled basis performs an stsadm backup of all my site data. I keep a “rolling” week’s worth of those backups on my server and it gets backed up using file-system backup software. Also, the backup/restore functionality provided within SharePoint’s Central Administration is a wonderful too, however it can’t be scheduled. During my latest (notice I didn’t say my only) crash, I used these backups to restore my environment.

I suggest picking up a good book that has some more detailed advice concerning the topic of backup/restore. A good book I have purchased and am looking at right now is entitled “Real World SharePoint 2007: Indispensable Experiences From 16 MOSS and WSS MVPs” by wrox press. In Chapter 3, Todd Klindt gives some good insight on backup and recovery.

Also, make sure you give a good read to the Technet article: Choose backup and recovery tools (Office SharePoint Server)

In response to SharePointU post here:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1

Microsoft has released the first service pack for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) .

The 'bug' I posted about below titled "Mobile View Doesn’t Work on SharePoint ( WSS 3.0) List" does NOT appear to be fixed with the service pack.

However, another bug I have encountered is listed in the " Downloadable list of issues that the service pack fixes". The document lists it as " You have a discussion board whose Subject view contains the Reply column. When you click Reply in the Subject view, you receive an "HTTP 400" error."

I ran into the problem by putting a webpart view of a discussion board on my front page. I then included the "Reply" column in the view so users could reply to the post with one click. However, when you did click the Reply button, you received the error mentioned above. I will begin testing the service pack soon and hopefully it will fix the issue.

Change Service Account and The Password in MOSS and WSS 3.0

I get the quesiton of how to switch the service account for MOSS and WSS 3.0 fairly often.
There are many reasons why one would want to change the account or the password to the account used for SharePoint. Microsoft has now put up a KB article on exactly how to do it. They even included a sample script!

Mobile View Doesn’t Work on SharePoint ( WSS 3.0) List

I recently ran into a situation where I couldn’t get the ‘Mobile View’ in WSS 3.0 to work on a list that I had created. I went into the view of the list and selected the Mobile checkboxes (‘Make this a mobile view ‘ and ‘Make this the default mobile view‘), but it still was not showing up on my SharePoint site’s mobile homepage. My first thought was “What makes this list different than the other lists that have mobile views that are working?”

The answer was easy: I had created the list by selecting Custom List in Datasheet View from the ‘Create’ page. There are no mobile view choices for datasheet views, so I had created a new ‘standard’ view for the list. Even though I could check the ‘ Make this a mobile view ‘ checkbox, it was not showing up on the mobile homepage.

I basically had to recreate the list using the Custom List option, instead of Custom List in Datasheet View option. This is likely a bug; I haven’t been able to come up with a reasonable explanation as to why it would act this way (and the fact that the Mobile options showed up reinforce my bug theory).

How to Enable Incoming Email within SharePoint 2007



SharePoint 2007 allows for emails to be accepted into discussions, document libraries and lists. To enable this functionality, a few steps will need to be followed. One thing to note: integrating SharePoint with Exchange is NOT needed for this functionality, but if you do choose Exchange, you will get some added benefits.


-SMTP Service

You will need to install the SMTP Server Service on the SharePoint server. This is done via add/remove programs, and within the IIS component listing.


-Enable Incoming Email

Now, enable Incoming Email from the Central Administration website. It is found by following: Central Administration > Operations > Incoming Email Settings


-SMTP Connector

You will finally need to configure an SMTP connector within your email server so it knows where to send emails you designate for SharePoint.

SharePoint Database Performance – Moving the SharePoint SQL Database to New Location on the Same Server

I run an instance of WSS 3.0 on a machine at home for testing. I don't use it much because it is so slow unless you are on the LAN. I always knew it was because of SQL, but I didn't really have time to look into fixing it. See, I don't have the option of having two separate drives in the machine. NOTE: You should never run SQL databases on the same HD spindle where the OS is located due to exactly what I was experiencing: slow response.

Then I woke-up to the year 2007 and apparently there are external HDDs you can buy…okay, I knew about them; I just didn't put too much thought into it. This evening, I moved my SharePoint databases to the new external HDD and the responsiveness of SharePoint increased tremendously.

I did a search on how to move the dbs without causing problems, and honestly, I was unable to find any websites/postings that matched my scenario exactly. The postings talked about: 1) moving from the Microsoft SQL Embedded Edition (MSEE) version to full SQL or 2) Moving to a different server

So, here are my pretty simple steps to move my SQL database to a new HDD:
1) Made sure I had backups of the database and of the SharePoint sites!
2) Make note of the dbo for all SharePoint databases
3) Stopped all SharePoint services
4) Detached the existing databases
5) Copied all SharePoint database files and db logs to the new location
6) Individually attached all the SharePoint databases with the new location
NOTE: Pay special attention to the db owner selection when attaching the databases. You should have made note of the correct dbo in step 2.
7) Started all services
8) Load the SharePoint website.

Simple enough and it worked, which is even better.

Exclude Managed Path

In the SharePoint version 2.0 products, to exclude a directory from SharePoint “control”, you add an Explicit Exclusion to the Managed Paths for the site using the Central Administration Website. You also add Explicit Inclusions and Wildcard Inclusions at the same location.

However, in SharePoint version 3.0 products, it is a bit different. You still create Explicit Inclusions and Wildcard Inclusions on the administration page for the site. However, to create an Explicit Exclusion, you just have to create a new Virtual Directory in IIS underneath the appropriate IIS Virtual Server. This is because ASP.NET knows that when you create a new virtual directory, it should not touch it. Pretty nifty, eh?

When I set my excluded directories up, I did run into a minor issue. It was so minor that all I had to do was give the Network Service account read permissions on the physical directory.

Differences between Windows SharePoint Services and Portal Server 2003 ( WSS vs. SPS )

The question comes up pretty often: "Which product is right for me?"
Honestly, there are many factors that come into play to answer that question:
The white paper does an okay job at describing the differences and I think everyone should take a look at it before deciding which SharePoint product to deploy.