Allow MS Access *.mdb Files for Upload and Download

This will take a surprising number of steps to accomplish. With SharePoint on top of IIS 7, Access files (MDB) get blocked at all three layers of the service stack: IIS, ASP.NET, and SharePoint.  So simply removing them from the blocked file list in the SharePoint Central Administrator isn’t enough — both IIS and ASP.NET still have mechanisms that get in the way.

Step 1) Sharepoint MDB Blocking

There is a list of blocked filetypes in Sharepoint Central Administration –> Operations –> Security Configuration –> Blocked file types. Find *.mdb and delete from list. When you do this an entry will be automatically created in the Sharepoint site’s web.config file,

<system.webServer>
   ….
   <security>
     <requestFiltering>
       …
       <verbs>
         …
       </verbs>
       <fileExtensions>
             <remove fileExtension=".mdb" />
       </fileExtensions>
     </requestFiltering>
   </security>
  ……
</system.webServer>

{Step 2 & 3 after jump}

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Sharepoint and Office Integration: Lets Remove It!

Sharepoint’s ability to work seamlessly with Office 2007 and newer can be a great feature – when it works. Click to download and open a Word document, edit then save directly back to the Sharepoint site or using the Explorer View to bulk move files are both examples of integration features that can boost productivity.

The problem is that it requires that the site and all users connecting are within the same domain, the Sharepoint site is added to Internet Properties –> Intranet Sites (Security group),  and all users access the site with Internet Explorer…oh and as noted above Office is 2007 or newer. Otherwise client integration just doesn’t work well or fails completely greatly reducing productivity and frustrating users (as well as those supporting them).

Our Sharepoint site needed to work similarly for a range of browsers (Firefox,Chrome,Safari) and the majority of our user are outside the local Intranet in a trusted domain(s).

Here are the steps I used to remove the integration features to get a more consistent experience for our users. Collaboration on documents requires a few more steps (add saving locally and then uploading) but it works…

Change #1:

Sharepoint Central Management –> Application Management –> Authentication Providers –> Enable Client Integration (No) edit client integration

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OWSTIMER.exe message overflow Sharepoint log files

A somewhat known issue of getting Sharepoint log messages like,

03/19/2010 16:25:05.95  OWSTIMER.EXE (0x0794)                    0x0A54 Windows SharePoint Services    Timer                          5uuf Monitorable The previous instance of the timer job ‘Config Refresh’, id ‘{98B057E8-AD9C-46DC-A5EC-F69ED2550AF1}’ for service ‘{A1E122AE-D22D-46F7-A5F1-EF4DA0D549C4}’ is still running, so the current instance will be skipped.  Consider increasing the interval between jobs.

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Why can’t I add a WFE to Sharepoint farm

After a lot of tbshooting it came to me to check versions/service pack levels. Sure enough the live/main site/server was running WSS3.0 SP1, while the servers I as attempting to join were running WSS3.0 SP2. After I upgraded the live WFE site to SP2, I could then add the other servers.

*Huge* got-ya hit me though in this process. I added a server that had the RS_Sharepoint add-in installed. A few minutes after adding it the main site when offline with nasty .NET errors. Event Logs on the server quickly showed that the web.config file was trying to load the Report Services addin modules!. I can only guess that the new server did some sync/? that caused the farm to think these were part of it.

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Migrate Sharepoint Databases

Problem after renaming database server – duplicates and adding a new server gives error – still pointing to old db server. I’m unsure how good the “stsadm renameserver” command is since the database still appeared to have the old name that didn’t seem to keep the existing site/WFE from working but I couldn’t add any new servers/WFE – such as to add the RS Integration.

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Sharepoint Cross Forest-Trust Users How to add

There are documented steps needed to allow the Sharepoint site to add,pick users from a one-way trusted forest. This is what we have setup for our TrustedForest–> LocalDomain (also set as a selected trust).

Though I’d swear I didn’t have to do this on the first Sharepoint installation on Server1 but nothing I research or tried worked on second/third installations efforts. So I must have done such (a year ago) and after following the steps outlined below I’m able to add users from the trusted forest.

Sites quoted/researched for this solution,

  1. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262051.aspx
  2. http://blogs.msdn.com/joelo/archive/2007/03/08/cross-forest-multi-forest-configuration-additional-info.aspx
  3. http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2006/03/15/552331.aspx
  4. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263460.aspx

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Sharepoint Report Server Integration (multi-server)

Follow all the steps at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb677365.aspx

The best troubleshooting document is Chris Alton’s White Paper,  Reporting Services SharePoint Integration Troubleshooting

Perhaps one of the most typical of the difficult problems is the one I faced where after getting everything up and running with Sharepoint on one server and Report Services on another it through this error:

“An unexpected error occurred while connecting to the report server. Verify that the report server is available and configured for SharePoint integrated mode”

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Sharepoint and Report Services Integrated Mode

Notes on multiple Report Services (RS) instances on single server and one is setup for Sharepoint integrated mode (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb326356.aspx):

  • Ensure that all instances of Reporting Services are the same version. SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS) introduces an updated version of the Reporting Services Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) provider. You cannot have SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS) and pre-SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS) versions on the same computer.
  • If you run SQL Server 2008 Setup for each report server instance at different times, restart the WMI service after you install the second instance of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (SSRS).

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SharePoint (v3.0) Link Lists core modification for Open in New Window

Background: Often requested option by users is for a link to external page in a Link List webpart/list to open to a new browser window. SharePoint doesn’t support this action/option without some modifications.

In the simplest form this means adding code to each link html tag like “target=_blank”. This code tell the browser to open a new window when the link is clicked.

SharePoint builds the Link List url/html tag programmatically during the site’s page display so adding the noted code also requires some programmatical way*.

*Note: <shift>+click by the user also will open any link in a new window.

A Google search for “SharePoint Links open in new window” will reveal numerous postings asking about this feature, why its not available (by default), and/or every type of fix or workaround imaginable. Most offer modifications that force ALL links to open in a new window – javascript code or core hacks (not flexible). Some suggested taking the entire list webpart and converting to xml part and modifying each link via code changes (yuck!). Only one by Andrew Connell seemed to offer hope of adding it as an option for each link within the context of the link list. But I had some issues with his suggestion in that you had to create an addition calculated field to merge the URL + target=_blank along with numerous core code modifications which applied to v2.0 (older version) of SharePoint.

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