Archive for the 'SharePoint administration' Category

SharePoint Powershell Move-SPSite error: Invalid object name

Attempting to move a SharePoint site using Powershell cmdlet Move-SPSite and getting the following error:

Invalid object name ‘WSS_Content.dbo.AllSites’.

This error occurs because the database schema between the source database and the target database is different.  In my case, the source database was hosted on SQL Server 2008 R2, and the destination database was on SQL Server 2012 SP3.  I solved the problem as follows:

  1. Create a new content database on the source SQL Server.
  2. Use Move-SPSite cmdlet to move your SharePoint site into the new DB.
  3. Using SQL Server Management Studio, back up the new content DB to a file and copy it to the destination SQL Server.
  4. Restore the database on the destination SQL Server.Move-SPSite

Fixing SharePoint 2010 Configuration Wizard error: WEBCONFIG.ACCSRV.XML, does not have element “configuration/configSections/sectionGroup[@name=’SharePoint’]” or it is invalid

While installing SharePoint 2010 Server Service Pack 2 update (and December 2013 CU), I ran into the following error while executing SharePoint Configuration Wizard:

Exception: System.IO.InvalidDataException: The web configuration file, C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\config\WEBCONFIG.ACCSRV.XML, does not have element “configuration/configSections/sectionGroup[@name=’SharePoint’]” or it is invalid.

My troubleshooting steps:

1. Some online posts suggested removing all comments from the affected web applications. I tried it, but it did not work.

2. Ran psconfig from the command line: psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait -force

3. Three new errors showed up in the logs:

Error # 1: An exception of type Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPUpdatedConcurrencyException was thrown. Additional exception information: An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action.

Error # 2: Exception: Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPUpgradeException: Action of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPIisWebSiteWssSequence failed. —> System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Error # 3: Exception: Action of Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPIisWebSiteWssSequence


4. Error # 1 above was resolved by following the steps from this post: Executed this command: stsadm –o setproperty –propertyname command-line-upgrade-running –propertyvalue no

5. Re-ran psconfig command from step 2 above. This time, a new error showed up:

Application Resource Web Config for this IIS site (524709402) could not be found at (path)\wwwroot\wpresources\web.config.

6. It looks like the web.config file for this site is corrupt and needs to be re-created.

7. First, back up the IIS directory in question (including the web.config file).

8. Next, remove the IIS site using Central Admin: Central Admin > Web Application Management > Click on the web application > In the ribbon, click on the “Delete” button drop-down and select “Remove SharePoint from IIS website”. Select the appropriate site in the next dialog and make sure to select “Delete IIS websites”.

9. Re-extend the web application and re-create the IIS site. In CA Web Application management, click on the web application, then click on “Extend” button in the ribbon and fill out the appropriate fields. Click OK.

10. Make sure that the IIS site is accessible and working as expected.

11. Re-run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard (using GUI or command line psconfig).

SharePoint ecosystem

One of my daughters is in 3rd grade in school and they are studying living organisms (plants, animals, etc.). She brought home the drawing that appears below. It struck me that the elements that go into making an ecosystem for plants and animals are largely the same elements that are needed to create a successful SharePoint implementation. If we follow the same blueprints that have worked so well in nature for thousands of years, we just might be able to create a SharePoint ecosystem that allows every organism to survive and thrive.


Solved: SharePoint 2013 custom workflow generates duplicate email notifications

Imagine this scenario:

You have a custom SharePoint Designer workflow attached to a list or a library in SharePoint 2013. The workflow runs when an item in the list/library is created or modified, and one of the steps in the workflow is to send an email notification to a user or a group of users. The workflow runs as expected, but your users are telling you that they’re receiving duplicate email notifications. How do I get rid of the duplicate emails?


If you check the workflow history, you will probably see that every time an item is added or modified, the workflow runs twice. That’s why you’re receiving two email notifications. But why is the workflow running twice for each item?

The reason for this is timing. If your workflow is very short and the SharePoint server is very slow, the first instance of the workflow may finish well before the item is fully saved and committed to SharePoint. As the item is being processed, the workflow event receiver can fire again, and start another instance of the workflow.

The solution for this problem is to add a step at the end of your workflow which will pause the workflow for a few minutes – I usually set it to 5 minutes and that seems to solve the problem.

PerformancePoint Services error in SharePoint 2010 – code blocks are not allowed in this file

Resolve PPS error below, received when launching Dashboard Designer on a SharePoint 2010 site:

An error occurred during the processing of /sites/sitecollection/BI/Pages/ppssample.aspx. Code blocks are not allowed in this file.

One common solution is to add an exception for the site in question to the web.config:

<PageParserPath VirtualPath="/ /Pages/ppssample.aspx” CompilationMode=”Always” AllowServerSideScript=”true” />


However, I was not very comfortable with modifying the web.config for a single site collection, plus it doesn’t seem to scale very well – what if I have 100 PPS sites with this problem?

So I did a little more searching online and found the following alternative solution: .

The solution is to open the ppssample.aspx in SP Designer and modify a function within the code. I had to adjust the syntax a bit – the blog post syntax was not working for my case. See underlined section below.

My site collection URL is …/sites/sitecollection

The PPS site that’s having the problem is …/sites/sitecollection/BI

So my function looks like this:

function OpenDD()
var designerRedirect = “_layouts/ppswebparts/designerredirect.aspx”;

    var siteCollection = “/sites/sitecollection/”;

    var siteLocation = “/sites/sitecollection/BI/”;

var siteCollectionUrl = location.protocol + “//” + + siteCollection;
var siteLocationUrl = siteLocation.replace(siteCollection,””);
designerRedirect = siteLocation + designerRedirect + “?SiteCollection=” + siteCollectionUrl + “&SiteLocation=” + siteLocationUrl;
location.href = designerRedirect;

It appears to have worked just as well as the first (more common) solution.

SharePoint 2010 Incoming Email problem – email messages will go through, but attachments will not

This problem took awhile to figure out, so I figured it might be helpful to post it.

Setting up incoming email for SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, as instructed by TechNet: Configured SMTP service, set up the Exchange connector, and configured incoming email settings in SharePoint 2010 Central Administration. Created a test document library, configured it with an email alias, and tried sending a test email. Test email went through, so we’re looking good.

Next, sending an email message with an attachment (the library is configured to save both the email message and the attachment). The email message arrives without any issues, and the attachment shows up as well.

Next, another user is going to send a test message with an attachment to the same library. His email message goes through, but no attachment! What’s going on?

In Notepad I opened the message that I sent with an attachment (which worked) and compared it to the message that did not work.

In the attachment section, we’re finding the following:

My email attachment – Works in SharePoint

Content-Type: text/plain; name=”test file.txt”
Content-Description: test file.txt
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”test file.txt”; size=9;
creation-date=”Sat, 03 Nov 2012 04:19:07 GMT”;
modification-date=”Sat, 03 Nov 2012 04:19:07 GMT”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

The other user’s email attachment – does NOT work with SharePoint incoming email.

Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”winmail.dat”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Type: application/ms-tnef; name=”winmail.dat”

Notice the difference in the Content-Type fields – mine is text/plain, while his is application/ms-tnef.

We both specified Plain Text message format in Outlook before sending the messages. So what’s causing the difference in attachment format?

After some research on the topic, we’ve stumbled upon this Technet forum thread:

The answer in this thread resolved our problem – changing the properties on the remote SMTP domain in Exchange to never use Rich Text format for messages allowed the attachments to work for all users.

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