Nick Grattan's Blog

About Microsoft SharePoint, .NET, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Disappointing – SharePoint 2013 single server install failures

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SharePoint 2013 is now at RTM and available for preview. It’s disappointing that a default, single server install has issues that occur often and predictably, even on a clean Windows 2012 Server install. Of course, we expect errors and problems, especially with early release software. However, the default install should just work at this stage of the product lifecycle.

There are several blog posts that describe how to correct these issues. This is one of the better ones: http://squidpip.com/blog/sharepoint-2013-preview-configuration/.

Also, there’s a deployment guide from Microsoft which can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30384 . Be prepared though, it’s 675 pages long!

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Written by Nick Grattan

November 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Posted in SharePoint 2013

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Assembly deployment to “bin” virtual folder deprecated in SharePoint 2013

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For some time now deploying assemblies in the “bin” folder in virtual folders under inetpub has been frowned on in SharePoint. Well, it’s now deprecated in SharePoint 2013 and an attempt to do this will cause Install-SPSolution to fail.

If you really, really, have to you can use the -FullTrustBinDeployment parameter to allow this behavior. However, you should really look to deploy assemblies to the GAC.

Written by Nick Grattan

November 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Posted in SharePoint 2013

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SharePoint 2013 – Links get Promoted!

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SharePoint 2013 now has links that animate when the user moves the mouse over them:

These are implemented by creating a “Promoted Links” list. You can create your own promoted links list:

  • Select Settings + Add an app
  • Click the Promoted Links  app (which is actually a list template):

  • Enter a name for the new list and click Create :

Once the list is created, items can be added to define each of the promoted links:

You can see that the item has a title, a URL for the image, a description showed when the icon is moused over and the target URL. The Prompted List has a “Tiles” view that will display the items in the list using the animated images:

And when moused over the image animates:

Of course, the Tiles view can be displayed in a Web Part that can be included on any ASPX page. So, easy to get a Metro type feel in your applications.

Written by Nick Grattan

July 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Ontology – An aside

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Of course, ontology is not a new study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology). The opening paragraphs in Aristotle’s “The History of Animals” (written 350 BCE) clearly shows this:

Of the parts of animals some are simple: to wit, all such as divide
into parts uniform with themselves, as flesh into flesh; others are
composite, such as divide into parts not uniform with themselves,
as, for instance, the hand does not divide into hands nor the face
into faces. 

And of such as these, some are called not parts merely, but limbs
or members. Such are those parts that, while entire in themselves,
have within themselves other diverse parts: as for instance, the head,
foot, hand, the arm as a whole, the chest; for these are all in themselves
entire parts, and there are other diverse parts belonging to them.

Translated by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/history_anim.mb.txt)

Written by Nick Grattan

July 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

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Taxonomies and Ontologies

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The terms “Taxonomy” and “Ontology” are often used inter-changeably and are often confused. However, the terms to express different concepts.

  • Taxonomy is about classification, and so represents “Is-A” relationships. For example, in the zoological world, a domestic cat (“Felis catus”) is a member of the family “Felidae” which itself is a member of the order “Carnivora”. Such taxonomies are typically, but not always, hierarchical. An object can exist simultaneously in many different taxonomies. So, a cat also belongs to the group “predators”, which would also include the insect “praying mantis”.
  • Ontology is about the concepts and relationships that can exist for an object or a group of objects[1]. For example, the “Part-Of” (“Part Holonym” [2]) relationship is used to describe the parts of a car (a wheel is part of a car). Therefore, a taxonomy is a type of ontology by this definition.

SharePoint 2007 introduced the managed metadata service to allow the definition of taxonomies to be used for classifying items and documents through metadata columns. Companies are encouraged to define their own or use industry standard taxonomies for classifying documents across the organization to ensure standardization and improve searchability.

Less work has been done in integrating ontologies within SharePoint, although progress by a number of third-party software vendors is being made. “WordNet” [3] provides a rich source of generic ontological information using the English language, and codifies many types of relationships between nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs using “cognitive synonyms” (synsets). Vertical market ontologies are now being built, such as for financial governance by the “GRC3 – Governance, Risk and Compliance Competence Centre” at the University of Cork, Ireland (http://www.ucc.ie). Integration of such ontologies in SharePoint will be the next step in improving search, leading to the possibility of useful question-answering systems.

[1] What is an Ontology? http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/kst/what-is-an-ontology.html

[2] Speech and Language Processing, Jurafsky & Martin, 2nd Pearson International Edition p.653

[3] Princeton University “About WordNet.” WordNet. Princeton University. 2010.  http://wordnet.princeton.edu 

Written by Nick Grattan

July 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Sign in as Different User and SharePoint 2013

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It’s been noted that the “Sign in as a Different User” menu command is missing in SharePoint 2013 (e.g., see http://dirkvandenberghe.com/2012/07/18/sharepoint-2013-login-as-a-different-user.html).

One suggestion for a fix can be found here: http://www.little.org/blog/2012/07/17/launch-your-web-browser-as-another-user/.

This “Sign in as Different User” menu item is very useful when testing applications, but it can lead to problems especially when opening documents, say in Microsoft Word. So, it may be for these reasons that the option has been removed in SharePoint 2013.

You can add the menu item back in, but I would suggest only doing this on test or development SharePoint servers. To do this, repeat this edit on all servers in your SharePoint farm:

  • Locate the file \15\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\Welcome.ascx and open in a text editor.
  • Add the following element before the existing element with the id of “ID_RequestAccess”:

<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" ID="ID_LoginAsDifferentUser"
 Text="<%$Resources:wss,personalactions_loginasdifferentuser%>"
 Description="<%$Resources:wss,personalactions_loginasdifferentuserdescription%>"
 MenuGroupId="100"
 Sequence="100"
 UseShortId="true"
 />

  • Save the file.

Now, the menu item shall be displayed:

 

Update 16-Jul-2013:  As noted by a number authors (and correctly so), modifying files in the hive is not generally good practice. It’s presented here as a quick (and dirty!) solution. Look through the comments against this post for some other solutions that you might want to try too.

Written by Nick Grattan

July 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

While loops in SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows

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Two types of workflows are available in SharePoint 2013:

The good news is when running SharePoint 2013 Workflows you can create while loops in SharePoint Designer 2013 workflows. Here’s how they look.

Once you’ve opened a site and a list in SharePoint Designer 2013 you can create a new List Workflow:

 

The “Create List Workflow” dialog allows you to select the platform for the workflow – you must select SharePoint 2013 Workflow to enable the loop option:

Now the ribbon will display a new button “Loop” with two available loop:

And so loops can now be added to the workflow:

Joy of joys!  Of course, enabling while loops in SharePoint Designer 2010 is much more difficult – you can find one solution here:  https://nickgrattan.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/while-loops-in-sharepoint-designer-workflows/

 

 

Written by Nick Grattan

July 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm