Archive for October 2007


WSS Search

 WSS Search is a little peculiar in its most basic form.  For example, you may try a search and get an error that says:

Your search cannot be completed because this site is not assigned to an indexer. Contact your administrator for more information.

To start it, you have to visit your content database in Central Admin Application Management.  In the SharePoint Web Application Management section, click on Content Databases.  This should expose your content database for the farm.

Click on the database, and in there, you get to select a search server and then click OK.


Alternate Access Mappings

So this characteristically less than straight forward.

I get this error, for example:

You must specify the default zone URL for all Web applications. To delete the Alternate URL Collection, remove the public URLs in all other zones, and then remove the default zone URL.

In Central Admin, I'm going to Alternate Access Mapping in the Operations | Global Configuration section.

There, I see my two web apps, in a column headed Internal URL.  Then, for both, in the Zone column, I get default.  Lastly, I get a Public URL for Zone column heading and my web sites' URLs are repeated.  These URLs, as I mentioned last time, are in the format http://MySharePointHost:xxxxx where xxxxx is the port number, 55555 for the SharePoint team site and 44444 for Central Cdmin.

What I'm trying to do is expose my server to the internet via my domain name.  As we mentioned, I'd like for internet users to see my site at  The problem is that when they visit that site, the links on the page all point to http://MySharePointHost:55555/SomePage.aspx and I need it to point to

So the Alternate Access Mapping page is is a typical SharePoint list with the actions:

  1. Edit Public URLs
  2. Add Internal URLs
  3. Map to External Resources

So, I'm thinking I need to edit the public URLs so I click the link and I get to where I can select an Alternate Access Mapping Collection.  I select my team site and enter the following URLs:

  1. Default – this one defaulted to http://MySharePointServer:55555
  2. Intranet – I left this one blank.
  3. Internet – I set this one to
  4. Custom – I left this one blank.
  5. Extranet – I left this one blank.

And I clicked Save.

And I end up with the two URLs in my list, one in Zone = Default and one in Zone = Internet.

Now if you play with the other zones, you start to see some pretty odd behavior.  But, I definitely can now access the Team Site from the internet using the format.

Two Web Servers, One IP Address

So the question is, can we run two web serves through one external IP address?

I'd like for the old web server to respond when someone visits

and I'd like for my SharePoint server to respond when someone visits

Of course, I'll also need Central Admin to be available via http://MySharePointServer.MyDomain.Com:xxxxx

We have a router connected to the internet and the two servers are connected to the router.

We have a domain inside the router and DNS running on an Active Directory server.

As it's set up now, all the traffic is going to the old web server.  Can anyone explain how to get all the traffic to route as defined in DNS?


Authentication Providers

So, now the customer wants to be able to port his Oracle data into his SharePoint sites and that will require an authentication provider for Oracle user names and passwords.

The good news is that the boss said, to support this effort, we can spin-up a new MOSS development server and an Oracle database server so this should be fun.

Now, the little I know about authentication is the NTLM and Kerberos are different.  Oh, and I know that SQLServer can use Windows authentication or its own.  That's why the sa user has his own password and I don't even though I'm a sysadmin.

So, I'm looking for help and this is what I've found:

Here, our new best friend, Andrew, explains the web.config and database activities to support the alternate authentication providers we'll need to duplicate for Oracle.  This allows SharePoint access via each of three processes: NTLM, Forms or Anonymous.

I'm thinking that the Oracle authentication is simply an extension of the FBA authentication supported on the back end by Oracle instead of the SQLServer database Andrew describes.

Forms based authentication is covered in detail here.

Adam (ARB) gives us a look at the MSOracle mix here.

And, here, we have a pretty good explanation on authentication and alternative access mappings.



WSS on Both Side of Router

OK, so the problem is that during the install, I told SharePoint my url was my host name, "MyServer" which is no problem when I'm on the server because the server knows its own name.

On a seperate LAN computer, it's not really a problem either if I go to http://MyServer:55555 because my Windows network knows where MyServer is.  I'm guessing that's "WINS resolution."

But is I approach from the public side of the router, I'm going to http://MyDomain.Com:55555 and my router knows to send incoming hits on port 55555 to, and what happens is this.  It hits IIS and IIS says "oh, this web site has been extended to SharePoint.  I'll send it to MyServer/Default.aspx" and, of course, from the other side of the router, MyServer has no meaning, thus, Page Not Found.

So, when I try,, IIS is not as stupid; it knows to look up default.aspx no problem.  The problem is that the links on dafault.aspx are all coded with http://MyServer:55555/somelink.aspx which, of course, breaks because the internet is not smart enough to figure out where http://MyServer:55555 is.

So I add a host record in my HOSTS file that says  MyServer (asumming my IP address is and all is well.  From an external comuter, I can go to and get http://MyServer:55555/default.aspx and all the links to http://MyServer:55555 on the pages work just fine.

So the only objectives remaining are how do I get two servers inside a router to share an IP address ( and a port (55555)?


The WSS Install

OK, I've got a decent host with SQL Server and .Net Fx 2 and 3 but it's not part of a domain.  I create a local user named WSSService and make him an admin on the box and sysadmin in the SQL Server.

The server name is MyServer01 and it's IP address is

I also have a second, "live" web server that's running on another server on port 80 so, on my router, I  configure port forwarding to forward incoming hits on port 55555 to 192,168.1.100, my new WSS Server. 

I install WSS, the free download from Microsoft.  This is the file named sharepoint.exe.  The WSS install goes off without a hitch and I run through the Central Admin settings no sweat and Central Admin comes up perfectly.

I create the web application and select "Create a New Web Site" telling it to use port 55555.  The URL is http://MyServer:55555.

I select the site template and, drumroll, there it is, my new team site.

Here's the problems.

First, when I move off the server to another local network computer, and I browse to http://MyServer:55555, I get Page Not Found.  If, on the other hand, I browse to http://MyServer:55555/Default.aspx, I get prompted for a user name and password.  I use the MyServerAdministrator account and enter the password and I get the team site.

Second, when I'm still working on this second network workstation, I try to add a web part and I get an error: Unable to add selected web part(s). Content Editor Web Part: An error has ocurred.

The only web parts I can add on the page are the one created for site lists and libraries.

There two other weird things.

I try to create a new list like Site Actions | Create | Links.  I enter the name and click Create and the name disappears but the page does not go away.  If I enter the name again, I get the "SPecified Name is already in use." error and, in fact, the list had already been created.  If I play around with it enough, I get an "invalid template" error.

 And the last thing is in the Web Part Gallery, if I try to preview the web part, I get a "page not found" error.  Of course the web part preview is trying to load:


If I change the URL to:

The web part will preview just fine.

So somewhere my name resolution is failing to properly associate the IP address with the Server name.

Is there a solution on a LAN without a domain controller?



Key Performance Indicators and a Freebie

So, we've worked a little magic with SharePoint KPI tools.  I was trying to articulate a business case for some KPI development overhead and sought out some support.  The problem was that the data lived in a database owned by a DBA with, shall we say, less that elegant table manners?

So first, I found this from TDWI which make a pretty good case for KPI's.  You have to scroll way down to get to the article.

Then, I saw that they had a nice freebie poster they call the "Three Threes of Perfomance Dashboards."

Then, they do a nice piece on the PrerformancePoint Server that Microsoft rolled out last month.

So we love freebies, of course, but I'm a little curious about the name TDWI.  Wouldn't you think it was silly if the football they play on Sunday was called TNFL?

So, now that it's October, we've got these new topics to discuss.