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Saturday, March 17, 2012
Need help with software licensing? Read on…

 

Figuring out which software licensing options best suit your needs while being cost-effective can be confusing. Some businesses end up making their purchases through retail stores which means they miss out on volume licensing opportunities and others may unknowingly be using unlicensed software which means their business may be at risk. So let me help you make the best decision for your situation.

You may want to review this blog post that lays out licensing basics for any organization that needs to license software for more than 5 or less than 250 devices or users. It details the different ways you can buy a license and what choices are available for volume licensing, which can give you pricing advantages and provide flexible options for your business.

As technology evolves and more organizations move to online services such as Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Azure Platform, Windows Intune and others, it’s important to understand how to purchase, activate and use online service subscriptions to get the most out of your investment. Once purchased through a volume licensing agreement or the Microsoft Online Subscription Program, these services can be managed through web portals:

· Online Services Customer Portal (Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Intune)

· Dynamics CRM Online Customer Portal (Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online)

· Windows Azure Customer Portal (Windows Azure Platform)

· Volume Licensing Service Center (other services)

Learn more >>

Licensing Resources:

Additional Resources You May Find Useful:

· TechNet Evaluation Center
Try some of our latest Microsoft products For free, Like System Center 2012 Pre-Release Products, and evaluate them before you buy.

· Springboard Series
Your destination for technical resources, free tools and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of your Windows-based client infrastructure.  

· AlignIT Manager Tech Talk Series
A monthly streamed video series with a range of topics for both infrastructure and development managers.  Ask questions and participate real-time or watch the on-demand recording.

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2012 11:38 AM | Comments (0)
Getting Started with Cloud Computing

 

You’ve likely heard about how Office 365 and Windows Intune are great applications to get you started with Cloud Computing. Many of you emailed me asking for more info on what Cloud Computing is, including the distinction between "Public Cloud" and "Private Cloud". I want to address these questions and help you get started. Let's begin with a brief set of definitions and some places to find more info; however, an excellent place where you can always learn more about Cloud Computing is the Microsoft Virtual Academy.


Public Cloud computing means that the infrastructure to run and manage the applications users are taking advantage of is run by someone else and not you. In other words, you do not buy the hardware or software to run your email or other services being used in your organization – that is done by someone else. Users simply connect to these services from their computers and you pay a monthly subscription fee for each user that is taking advantage of the service. Examples of Public Cloud services include Office 365, Windows Intune, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Hotmail, and others.
Private Cloud computing generally means that the hardware and software to run services used by your organization is run on your premises, with the ability for business groups to self-provision the services they need based on rules established by the IT department. Generally, Private Cloud implementations today are found in larger organizations but they are also viable for small and medium-sized businesses since they generally allow an automation of services and reduction in IT workloads when properly implemented. Having the right management tools, like System Center 2012, to implement and operate Private Cloud is important in order to be successful.


So – how do you get started? The first step is to determine what makes the most sense to your organization. The nice thing is that you do not need to pick Public or Private Cloud – you can use elements of both where it makes sense for your business – the choice is yours. When you are ready to try and purchase Public Cloud technologies, the Microsoft Volume Licensing web site is a good place to find links to each of the online services. In particular, if you are interested in a trial for each service, you can visit the following pages: Office 365, CRM Online, Windows Intune, and Windows Azure.
For Private Cloud technologies, start with some of the courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy and then download and install the Microsoft Private Cloud technologies including Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and System Center 2012 in your own environment and take it for a spin. Also, keep up to date with the Canadian IT Pro blog to learn about events Microsoft is delivering such as the IT Virtualization Boot Camps and more to get you started with these technologies hands on.


Finally, I want to ask for your help to allow the team at Microsoft to continue to provide you what you need. Twice a year through something we call "The Global Relationship Study" – they reach out and contact you to see how they're doing and what Microsoft could do better. If you get an email from "Microsoft Feedback" with the subject line "Help Microsoft Focus on Customers and Partners" between March 5th and April 13th, please take a little time to tell them what you think.

Cloud Computing Resources:

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Additional Resources You May Find Useful:

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Springboard Series
Your destination for technical resources, free tools and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of your Windows-based client infrastructure.

TechNet Evaluation Center
Try some of our latest Microsoft products for free, Like System Center 2012 Pre-Release Products, and evaluate them before you buy.

AlignIT Manager Tech Talk Series
A monthly streamed video series with a range of topics for both infrastructure and development managers. Ask questions and participate real-time or watch the on-demand recording.

Tech·Days Online
Discover what's next in technology and innovation with Tech·Days session recordings, hands-on labs and Tech·Days TV.

 
 
Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2012 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
It’s About You: Tell Microsoft How They’re Doing!

   

Every fall and spring, a survey goes out to a few hundred thousand IT folk in Canada asking what they think of Microsoft as a company. The information they get from this survey helps them understand what problems and issues you’re facing and how they can do better. The team at Microsoft Canada takes the input they get from this survey very seriously.

Now I don’t know who of you will get the survey and who won’t but if you do find an email in your inbox from "Microsoft Feedback” with an email address of “ feedback@e-mail.microsoft.com ” and a subject line “Help Microsoft Focus on Customers and Partners” from now until April 13th — it’s not a hoax or phishing email. Please open it and take a few minutes to tell them what you think.

This is your chance to get your voice heard: If they’re doing well, feel free to pile on the kudos (they love positive feedback!) and if you see areas they can improve, please point them out so they can make adjustments (they also love constructive criticism!).

The Microsoft team would like to thank you for all your feedback in the past — to those of you who have filled out the survey and sent them emails. Thank you to all who engage with them in so many different ways through events, the blogs, online and in person. You are why they do what they do and they feel lucky to work with such a great community!

One last thing - even if you don’t get the survey you can always give the team feedback by emailing us directly through the Microsoft Canada IT Pro Feedback email address .

They want to make sure they are serving you in the best possible way. Tell them what you want more of. What should they do less of or stop altogether? How can they help? Do you want more cowbell ? Let them know through the survey or the email alias. They love hearing from you!

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2012 11:29 AM | Comments (0)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Nivo Slider In SharePoint 2010!?!

 

A little while ago I was part of architecting and leading a project and one of my very talented ex-coworker was in charge of doing most of the branding. He incorporated the Nivo Slider as part of the rotating banner on the home page. It seems like Rotating banners are the thing to do for internet sites these days. I have to admit, done right, they can be quite tasteful.

 

Since my co-worker was in charge of doing most of the branding I did not get a great chance to see how he implemented the Nivo Slider. I decided to take this on and see how it is done. Not being a JQuery guru I felt it might be a bit stretching and a great way to dive into it. This blog post is not about the implementation specifics but to show you how I implemented it. If there is interest in how I did it, please ask and I will write a more detailed blog post about it.

What I ended up with is something like this:

SPNivo

What you will notice is a rotating banner, with left and right arrows, and a transparent caption section with header and description text.

Setup

What you need to do first is download the NIVO Slider code from http://nivo.dev7studios.com/

NivoSlider

The JQuery Plug in is free! What you will get as part of the download is the JQuery Nivo Slider code, 3 Custom themes and an html demo page.

Implementation

Now you will have to upload the files to SharePoint 2010. What you are really interested in doing is uploading all the CSS, JQuery and Images to the Style Library.

StyleLibrary         Stylesheets       ThemesFolder                 

                        Style Library/NivoSlider                                              Style sheets                                                    Themes Folders                                                 

ThemeFiles           Scripts

                 Theme Files                                                                  Scripts

Configuration

After you have uploaded the files you need to write a web part that will reference the above files and write the HTML that is provided in the HTML Demo Page. There are some specific things that I have done to make this web part configurable.

Image Library

I created an image library called “Banner Images”. I implemented a custom content type and custom columns, to keep track of a URL, Display Order, Short Description and a Featured flag. The idea is to have the the web part display only images that are “Featured”.  This image library is where end users are going to add new images for the rotating banner.

BannerImages

Web Part Properties

There are two main configurations I decided to expose as configurations. As part of the download there are 3 themes, Default, Orman and Pascal. Even if you don’t use them, you can at least have a way to implement new themes in the future. The other is the Transition effect. How annoying would it be if you had to edit the code every time you wanted to change the transition effect.

WebPartProperties

Theme

I implemented the dropdown with enums, unfortunately I couldn’t have an enum named “Default” as it is a C# key word, so I called it Standard.

ThemeWPP

Effect

There are numerous transition effects. I decided to make it configurable.

EffectWPP

 

Conclusion

What you end up with is a configurable, extendible Rotating banner. What I have done is describe what I implemented and not so much how I implemented. The only code I wrote was the web part that writes out the html that is really already written in the html demo page that you get as you download Nivo Slider. I also wrote custom code to get all my entries from the image library so I can add it to the HTML. The last screen shot is of the banner with the Pascal Theme.

PascalBannerRotator

If anyone is interested in a blog post about how to actually implemented, then speak up and I will write a more detailed blog about the implementation with code samples!

Posted On Wednesday, February 22, 2012 1:23 AM | Comments (7)
Monday, February 20, 2012
CKS tools to Package Columns\Content Types\Lists Templates and List Instances

 

I have some basic rules when it comes to checked in code to TFS. The one at the top of the list of rules is that, any developer should get the latest code from TFS, deploy and have a working web part, workflow or any other customization in SharePoint. This means that all dependencies should be deployed with the customization. If the web part uses a custom list as a data source, then a developer should not have to manually create site columns with the ‘correct’ internal and display name, list instances with ‘correct’ list name and location, and list entries (documents, images, or list items).  Nothing annoys me more than when I have to work with someone else’s code only to dig through code to see what column names and the type of data that I should create in SharePoint and then manually create the dependencies.

Provisioning Dependencies

There are two main ways to create the dependencies for your customizations. You can provision them in code by adding a Feature Receiver or you can create the XML definitions and deploy them. You can create them programmatically but I find it quite easy to create the XML definitions and find it advantages to manage them with Feature Versioning.  But it is quite cumbersome to create the XML definitions…so…

CKS to the rescue!

If you don’t know about the CKS tools for SharePoint development (http://cksdev.codeplex.com/) , it is an absolute must for SharePoint Developers! I first started working with them to check out the ability to create the LINQ to SharePoint classes. A fellow SharePoint MVP asked me to proof read and give him some feed back on this article (http://www.sharepointpromag.com/article/sharepoint-server-2010/LINQ-SharePoint-139955) while he was still drafting it out. And I remembered that I had tried CKS tools to build the LINQ to SharePoint classes. In fact in the article Hilton Giesenow references that you can use the CKS tools to generate the LINQ classes. I highly recommend the article as it is quite detailed and he did a fantastic job break it down.

I digress! What we are really interested in is generating columns, content types and list templates. As a developer I am usually working inside a Virtual Machine, I manually create the columns; content types, lists and other dependencies then create my customizations within Visual Studio 2010. CKS tools gives you an ability to ‘import’ the definitions into your visual studio project and then you can deploy them with your customization! How great is that! You don’t have to fumble through XML to make sure you get the right syntax for the definition, although there is ‘intelisense’ for the XML definition. It is still nice to have this auto generated for you.


Connect to your SharePoint Site

You will need to download and install the CKS extensions but you should now be able to bring up “Server Explorer” window in VS 2010 and connect to your server.

VSConnection

Create the site columns and content types in your SharePoint environment first:

SPItemProvisioning

 

SPColumns

Notice the two Site Columns are added to the content type:

SPContentType


Create Site Columns

Columns are the basic essentials of content types. I usually create custom Columns with internal names preceded with an underscore and CamelCase . For example:

Internal name: “_ShortDescription”
Display Name: “Short Description”

Using Visual Studio and the Server Explorer, find the site columns and “Import Field”

 

VSSiteColumns

TIP


Every time you add a new column it will create a new file. Rename the first generated file to “Columns”, and then cut paste the newly generated xml for new columns into this first file. I prefer organizing all my columns and content types in the same way. This way my solution is not disorganized and over populated with smaller files.

Create Content Types

Content types will reference use your custom lists and automatically set an ID that inherits from a parent Content Type. Don’t worry! The CKS extensions does it all for you!

In Visual Studio using Server Explorer find the Content types and “Import Content Type”

VSContentTypes

TIP


You can organize the content types the same way as your Site columns. Creating list templates in the next step will still recognize content types even if they are in the same file.

Create List templates + List instances

Unfortunately, you cannot create list templates and instances with the CKS extensions directly, but you can now create an artifact through visual studio!

Right click on your Visual Studio Project and “Add a new Item” and select “List Definition from Content Type”

 

ListBasedOnContentType

The next screen will ask you for a list definition name, and the content type you want to base it off of. It will pick up on Content Types included in your VS project. Select the one you want to use. The important check box at the end is to create a list instance. I like doing this but it is not mandatory. This means that the list will automatically be created based on the template created. If you ‘deactivate’ and ‘activate’ the feature, the list instance will ‘clear’, meaning that the items you add to the list will be erased. So be careful about how you want to use List instances.

VSCreateListInstance

TIP


Creating list instances are optional but really handy. If you don’t create the list instances then you simply create the list manually based on the template.

TIP


Populate list with list items by using the list instance definition.
<ListInstance ….>
    <Data>
      <Rows>
        <Row><Field Name="Title">Some Title</Field></Row>
        <Row><Field Name="Title">Second Title</Field></Row>
      </Rows>    
    </Data>
</ListInstance>

TIP


Populate Picture or Document Libraries using Modules.

Conclusion

There are two main methods to creating the dependencies in a SharePoint 2010 project, I prefer the process describe in this article. Once you have your site columns and site content types, etc. you can leverage the new SharePoint 2010 Feature Versioning to upgrade and manage features. Feature Versioning in SharePoint 2010 is worth looking at and using within your development practice.

You will now have column definitions, content type definitions, list definitions and list instances with possibly populated lists within your visual studio project. Now you can deploy a web part, or workflow that depends on these items and have it deployed at once. Imagine customizations just working on deployment!!! imagine that!

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2012 10:00 PM | Comments (0)
Sunday, February 19, 2012
'To Sign or not to Sign' that is the question!

A while back I was helping a client upgrade SharePoint 2007 code to SharePoint 2010 and I came across this interesting problem. I was working web parts that were created in Visual Studio 2008 using WSPBuilder extensions. The first order of business was to convert them to Visual Studio 2010 templates instead of using WSPBuilder 2010 extensions.

 

Why Use Visual Studio 2010 templates?

 

There are two main reasons I highly recommend using Visual Studio 2010 templates instead of using WSPBuilder 2010 templates.

 

1. WSPBuilder 2010 is still in beta! Although it was really convenient to use WSPBuilder 2007 for SharePoint Customizations instead of using the alternative extensions for Visual Studio, VS2010 templates are superior and integrated quite nicely into all the development tools you would use in VS2010. I don’t necessarily like using Beta software or tools for clients or Production environments.

2. VS 2010 Extensions integrate nicely for Team Builds and WSP generation and deployment. One nice enhancement in VS 2010 is that you are able to use TFS for Team Builds. Instructions for Setting up TFS with the appropriate dependent DLL’s is pretty common now but not quite as clear as it was when I first was building the TFS environment. We actually tried to use WSPBuilder 2010 and setup TFS to build and deploy WSP environments but it proved quite difficult (This topic is maybe better suited for another post).

 

Interesting Problem

 

Once switching over to VS2010 Templates we ran into interesting issue. In SharePoint 2007 you could deploy a web part to a targeted Web Application and set CAS (Code Access Security). Some of you might be saying, “so what?  It’s the same in SharePoint 2010!”  Well, yes and no, you can still deploy to a targeted web application and set CAS but the key difference is that VS 2010 needs the Assembly to be signed. This became a huge problem for the client I was working with, because they referenced unsigned assemblies. A signed assembly simply means that it is trusted and since it is referencing ‘untrusted’ assemblies Visual Studio could not package the WSP.

 

There are two ways you usually use references. You deploy them with the packaged WSP or you reference them and don’t copy them in. In this case we had multiple customizations deployed at the Web Application level so all the referenced assemblies resided in the Web Application Bin folder and even though they were not packaged with the WSP, they were still being referenced and unsigned. No matter what we did VS2010 would not package the web parts.

What can I do?

 

There is really no way around this issue. Interesting enough, this is not a SharePoint 2010 limitation. If you take the SP 2007 WSP’s with unsigned assemblies they will still deploy and work in a SharePoint 2010 environment. The problem is, you don’t want to be working with SP 2007 solutions in visual studio. You will need to eventually work (develop, upgrade and manage) within a SP 2010 environment and they will need to be upgraded.

 

<!  1. Sign the referenced assemblies – If you simply sign the referenced assemblies and then the web part assembly you will be able to package and deploy the WSP. This might be a bit of an undertaking, and it was for us. Hundreds of DLL’s, and multiple projects. I can also think of situations where you don’t have control over a 3rd party dll.

<!   2. Use WSPBuilder 2010 – you can still deploy unsigned assemblies to the Web Application level. Like I said this is not a SharePoint 2010 restriction. WSPBuilder will package your solution but to do take not that it will still warn you that it is packaging an unsigned assembly. Even though it doesn’t like it, it will still do it.

 

Conclusion

 

So what can we take away from all of this? Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with signing an assembly. In fact every TFS expert tells me that every assembly should be signed, period! The advantages of leveraging TFS for team builds and more importantly deployment to your environments is a clearly a better trade off than using unsigned assemblies.

 

To Sign! That is the Answer!

Posted On Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:25 PM | Comments (0)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Pre-Upgrade check and Database Schema issues

I have been trying to put a staging environment together to upgrade from SharePoint 2007 SP1 to SharePoint 2007 SP2. Then we will run the preupgradecheck command to varify that the database wil upgrade properly. We ran into the infamous error:

Issue : Content database with modified database schemas       
User modifications to the SharePoint content database, including but not limited to table schemas, index, stored procedures, are not supported and will cause upgrade to future versions of SharePoint to fail. The databases in the following list seem to have been modified from the original schema:

There are a lot of thints that can cause this. I'm just posting what I found and what I did to fix it. hopefully the content here will help you figure out your issue.

 First, investigate the logs in the "12/Logs" directory. You will be able to pinpoint what schema changes are problematic. For me it was this was an issue with ContentTypeID tables and keys.

 Now that you know what the schem issues are about, you could clean things up manaually (which is not a good idea) or you can let SharePoint do it for you!

  Check this out for a manual example : http://selfinflictedsharepoint.blogspot.com/2010/06/sharepoint-pre-upgrade-checker-fails.html

  Check this out for a SharePoint fix: http://sharepointnomad.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/fix-content-database-with-modified-database-schemas-issue-when-upgrading-to-sharepoint-server-2010/

  I used the second, as it was not something that was added accidently, it appears that some orphaned content type or wsp might have caused this. At least that's what I suspect.

   Hopefully it points you in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

Posted On Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:23 PM | Comments (0)
Thursday, August 4, 2011
SharePoint 2010: Assign a Unique MasterPage to a Page Layout in a Publishing Portal

This post is a quick one to post some SharePoint code. This post refers to the post posted by Eric Overfield. Refer to the post to get the full background, but he explains how the OnPreInit event method overrides any MasterPage assignment you might put on your Page Layout. He eludes to the fact that you can use reflector to see that the URL to a master page is overridden. I thought I would post the code. So you understand what is happening in the method and how you can set the master page url. It is a bit unclear in the his post which property needs to be set. It is not the CustomMasterUrl that you have to override. It is the MasterPageFile. In the SharePoint code, the MasterPageFile is overridden by CustomMasterUrl see bellow.

 

protected override void OnPreInit(EventArgs e)
{
    base.OnPreInit(e);
    SPContext current = SPContext.Current;
    if (current == null)
    {
        SPException exception = new SPException(Resources.GetString("ErrorInvalidSPContextCurrent"));
        ULS.SendTraceTag(0x376f6233, ULSCat.msoulscat_CMS_Publishing, ULSTraceLevel.Unexpected,        "PublishingLayoutPage.OnPreInit(): Exception: SPContext.Current is null");
        throw exception;
    }
    SPWeb web = current.Web;
    this.MasterPageFile = web.CustomMasterUrl;
}


 

 This code was extracted from the Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.PublishingLayoutPage Class using Reflector.

 

 

 

Posted On Thursday, August 4, 2011 9:56 AM | Comments (1)
Friday, July 29, 2011
3 Helpful PowerShell Tips

I have been working with power shell quite a bit lately, I thought I’d write about 3 tips that have helped me. Notice how it is titled, "Helpful"? not "Ground breaking". It includes helpful commands that I have been using and a nice little Script editor that has one feature enough to win me over. Other's have writen about the commands (most of the time I write so I remember what I've done and how I have resolved issues) but I have not seen others write about other script editors. 

If you have been working with Powershell and you are a Pro at it, this might not be as helpful to you. But as a SharePoint Developer, working with powershell is a newer concept to the average SharePoint Developer or administrator. Very Few SharePoint Administrators and developers used PowerShell for MOSS 2007. It was used it just wasn’t common. What you are used to is StsAdm.exe, and even then you probably used a GUI interface for StsAdm.exe. Well, get used to PowerShell, it can be quite powerful!

Tip #1:

I found myself asking, what is the command for this? And what are the parameters and switches for this command. So here are 2 “Go To” commands I always use.

Get-Command –noun SPSite

This command will get you all the PowerShell commands that have “SPSite” in it.

You will get something like this:

CommandType     Name

Cmdlet          Backup-SPSite

Cmdlet          Get-SPSite  

Cmdlet          Move-SPSite  

Cmdlet          New-SPSite

Cmdlet          Remove-SPSite

Cmdlet          Restore-SPSite

Cmdlet          Set-SPSite

 

Sometimes you want to get examples of all the parameters and switches. Use this command:

Get-Help SPSite

Also use this to get actual examples:

>  Get-Help SPSite –examples

The first command gives you information about the command, the second one actually gives you examples so you can see what the syntax looks like.

 

Tip #2:

Another tip is you can run all STSADM commands off the SharePoint 2010 PowerShell Console. So you can run both type of commands on the same console window. A co-worker of mine was surprised when I was mixing commands, I thought it was common knowledge you could do that.

Tip #3:

The last and more important tip is using A Script Editor. This is pretty common now to write scripts instead of just running the odd command. I always wondered why you would want to write scripts or where it would be applicable. I have a blog post coming, that outlines a very simple example where I did this.

The Windows PowerShell ISE is a Windows Server 2008 Feature. So in order to use it you will need the feature turned on. What you get is a script editor, an input and an output window. I highly recommend you using the a Script editor even for writing plain commands. You will most likely be finding yourself re-using commands or tweaking commands that it’s nice to have a script editor.

I don’t have a screen shot of this because my tip is not on using Windows PowerShell ISE but on explorer other script editor. The one I am using now is PowerGUI. In all reality, it’s just a script editor and it’s not specific to SharePoint and it doesn’t need to be. Experiment with a script editor you like and go with it!

All Script editors are about the same, but this one won me over for one very simple reason. Ever found yourself writing a PowerShell script and trying to press “TAB” to auto finish your command for you? Remember how handy that is? If you are a Developer and send quite a bit of time on Visual Studio you like the “Space” option and auto finish capabilities. The problem is that PowerShell cycles through the commands as you hit “Tab”  and if the command that auto finishes is not the one you like,  you keep pressing “Tab” till you find it. Well, this gets incredibly annoying after a while. It would be nice to have Intellisense, just like in Visual Studio right?

So PowerGUI has it!! You will still have to load the SharePoint Script to load the SharePoint Cmdlets but after that you will have full intellisense and also a description of the command with all the switches. This alone won me over.

Happy PowerShelling! :) 

 

Posted On Friday, July 29, 2011 3:54 PM | Comments (1)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
SharePoint 2010 Diagnostic Studio Remote Diag

I have had some time this week to try out some tools that I have been meaning to try out. This week I am trying out the SP 2010 Diagnostic Studio. I installed it successfully and tried it on my development evironment. I was able to build a report and a snapshot of the environment. I decided to turn my attention to my Employer's intranet environment. This would allow me to analyze it and measure it against benchmarks. I didn't want to install the Diagnostic studio on the Production Envorinment, lucky for me, the Diagnostic studio can be run remotely, well...kind of.

Issue

My development environment is a stand alone, full installation of SharePoint 2010 Server. It has Office 2010, SQL 2008 Enterprise, a DC...well you get the point, it's jammed packed! But more importantly it's a stand alone, self contained VM environment. Well Microsoft has instructions as to how to connect remotely with Diagnostic Studio here.

The deciving part of this is that the SP2010DS prompts you for credentails. So I thought I was getting the right account to run the reports.

I tried all the Power Shell commands in the link above but I still ended up getting the following errors:

06/28/2011 12:50:18    Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message : The WinRM client cannot process the request...If the SPN exists, but CredSSP cannot use Kerberos to validate the identity of the target computer and you still want to allow the delegation of the user credentials to the target computer, use gpedit.msc and look at the following policy: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Credentials Delegation -> Allow Fresh Credentials with NTLM-only Server Authentication.  Verify that it is enabled and configured with an SPN appropriate for the target computer. For example, for a target computer name "myserver.domain.com", the SPN can be one of the following: WSMAN/myserver.domain.com or WSMAN/*.domain.com. Try the request again after these changes. For more information, see the about_Remote_Troubleshooting Help topic.


06/28/2011 12:54:47    Access to the path '\\<targetserver>\C$\Users\<account logging in>\AppData\Local\Temp' is denied.


You might also get an error message like this:

The WinRM client cannot process the request. A computer policy does not allow the delegation of the user credentials to the target computer.

Explanation

After looking at the event logs on the target environment, I noticed that there were a several Security Exceptions. After looking at the specifics around who was denied access, I was able to see the account that was being denied access, it was the client machine administrator account. Well of course that was never going to work!!!

After some quick Googling, the last error message above will lead you to edit the Local Group Policy on the client server. And although there are instructions from microsoft around doing this, it really will not work in this scenario. Notice the Description and how it only applices to authentication mentioned?

Resolution

I can tell you what I did, but I wish there was a better way but I simply don't know if it's duable any other way. Because my development environment had it's own DC, I didn't really want to mess with Kerberos authentication. I would also not be smart to connect that server to the domain, considering it has it's own DC.

I ended up installing SharePoint 2010 Diagnostic Studio on another Windows 7 Dev environment I have, and connected the machien to the domain. I ran all the necesary remote credentials commands mentioned here. Those commands add the group policy for you! Once I did this I was able to authenticate properly and I was able to get the reports.


Conclusion

  You can run SharePoint 2010 Diagnostic Studio Remotely but it will require some specific scenarions. A couple of things I should mention is that as far as I understand, SP2010 DS, will install agents on your target environment to run tests and retrieve the data. I was a Farm Administrator, and also a Server Admin on SharePoint Server. I am not 100% sure if you need all those permissions but I that's just what I have to my internal intranet.

  I deally I would like to have a machine that I can have SharePoint 2010 DIagnostic Studio installed and I can run that against client environments. It appears that I will not be able to do that, unless I enable Kerberos on my Windows 7 Machine now. If you have it installed in the same way I would like to have it, please let me know, I'll keep trying to get what I'm after. Hope this helps someone out there doing the same.

 

 

Posted On Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:35 PM | Comments (0)
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