Collaboration, Search, Extranets, and Internal Communications Built on SharePoint and Microsoft 365

Author: Dave Wolf (Page 1 of 5)

"I help companies improve collaboration, knowledge management, and internal communications through systems based on Microsoft SharePoint. Do you need help making your investment in SharePoint pay off? Contact me - I can help you!"

Yegods, Where are the IIS Logs?

Recently, when looking for IIS logs on the WFE servers of one of our environments, was literally dumbfounded by the absence of ANY IIS logs!

Checked IIS and logging was enabled.

Security for the folders looked good.

Confirmed that a scheduled task to delete IIS log files older than 30 days was configured correctly.

What could have caused this?

Did some research and discovered that W3C Logging service was not running. That service is the lynchpin for IIS logging.
Wow. How could I not know this?

One other thing: if you created the folder for IIS logs before setting up logging with IIS, this could be a problem. It appears to be a permissions-related problem.

Better to create the folder through the IIS Manager UI. This will assign the correct permissions that allow IIS to write files to that folder and subfolders.

Suprise! An unplanned Cumulative Update is Deployed on Your Server!

If you are a seasoned on-prem SharePoint Administrator, you know it’s a good practice to wait a few months after release before installing a cumulative update on your system(s). Microsoft has released several half-baked CUs in the past, creating an atmosphere of “let Mikey try it” (from an old Life Cereal commercial) as a good rule of thumb. Let some other SharePoint Admins struggle with a flawed system while Microsoft figures out what went wrong and releases a fix-it replacement CU.

Should be easy to do – don’t download the CU until you’re ready to deploy, right?  Well, not so fast.

If your organization uses Microsoft’s automated software updates on its servers, you could be applying SharePoint cumulative updates during the monthly Windows OS updates! You would not be aware of it until you run an audit of SharePoint builds on your farms.

This is especially important when building a new farm  or adding a new server to an existing farm! In the Advanced options for software updates, make sure the Update Options for other Microsoft products is set to “Off.”

Don’t throw away your “old” SharePoint Books

In your SharePoint career, you cannot predict what you may encounter.

Today, you may be working exclusively on Office 365.

Tomorrow, you might find yourself on a project where SharePoint 2003, MOSS, and a smattering of SharePoint 2010 is still being used.  That K2 you haven’t touched in six years? Guess what: your next employer loves K2 and YOU are going to be their K2 go-to person!

As time rolls on, not only do print resources for older software versions dry up, online blogs and authoritative (translated: vendor) technical articles are disappearing. Why should individuals and companies pay dearly to store data for something “no one” uses anymore?

old books

Don’t throw away old technology books!

You know, it’s interesting: functionality evolves between major software versions; it flows. Most of the major changes are additions to functionality or platforms. Curious about documentation – if Microsoft drops clues or outright states it won’t support something in the future, good luck finding detailed descriptions about that functionality or architectural underpinnings in the newer books! Gee, have you found that most of the code that worked in SP 2010 runs great in SP 2013? Guess what? That same code will probably run in SP 2016.

Here’s one for you – in SharePoint 2016, we can choose between FIM (which is rechristened ‘MIM’ and externalized) and the “old-fashioned” Active Directory Import (ADI) technology used in SharePoint 2007 and brought back as on option in SP 2013. Honestly, every environment does not need the sophistication of MIM; ADI will work quite nicely. Time to scramble to your old MOSS books and search online for which LDAP queries are supported!

Have you checked used bookstores for recently upgraded but still-relevant technology? We have not yet made the leap where all-electronic media replaces print. In addition to used books, you can find big markdowns on new-but-dated technology books, too. Many of those came with CD-ROMs where, if your PC has a media drive, you can turn the book into a soft version! (What will they think of next?!)

Should you keep every SharePoint book you’ve ever bought? No – people have written some stinkers; you may have grown way past the need to look up how to create a list. Shelf space in your home or office library is limited. Storage space costs money. Be thoughtful about what you hang on to.

Be honest – wouldn’t you love to still have that old prized book on DOS commands or Delphi you tossed to lighten your load for a move? It is incredible what you will run into out there. Make yourself more valuable to you and your employer/client and hang on to some of those old books a while. Just one line or brief section in older texts have been real time savers when troubleshooting a thorny problem or updating a feature that has become indispensable to the boss.

What amazing, surprising application installations have you found, where some detailed reference material would have saved hours in research, reverse engineering, and guesswork?

SharePoint 2013 Search Performance Challenges

One of SharePoint 2013’s advancements was the integration of FAST for SharePoint 2010 into the main architecture.

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Those of you who built SP 2010 + FAST recognize the bolt-on arrangement that had a major weakness – moving data between the FAST and SharePoint engines was constrained by essentially one connection. When that locked up, you had little chance to recover without a reboot somewhere.

constricted pipe

This was improved considerably in SharePoint 2013, but not eliminated. The crawl servers are still vulnerable when they have a lot of work to do.

Here’s a great post from the Reality Tech folks titled, “Running SharePoint 2013 search within a limited RAM footprint.” It describes how to make the most of a memory-modest SP 2013 server in a Search role. Enjoy!

Cloud Looming on the Horizon? Good Overview on Azure for IT Pros

If your current work situation is confined to on-premise SharePoint, don’t let circumstance turn you into a dinosaur! Pop up out of your gopher hole (or cube wall) and stay up to date or become familiar with how to work in Azure.

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Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Architect, Joachim Hafner, has prepared a concise 100-page guide on consuming and managing Azure-based services: Azure Onboarding Guide for IT Organizations.
Even if you don’t read it now, download a copy to read later. Your continuing SharePoint career depends on your familiarity with Microsoft’s Cloud.

Don’t get left behind or your new nickname will be “Rex” (short for “T-Rex”).

Don't become a technology dinosaur.

SharePoint Champ sez don’t become a technology dinosaur.

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