Archive for September 2010


KPIs are Now Status Lists in SharePoint 2010

So, if you’re looking for them, you won’t find them, but we all know how the boss love little red-amber-green traffic lights on his web page. We looked at them in detail in SharePoint 2007; they were called KPI lists.

In SharePoint 2010, they’re called status lists.

So if you follow the directions, be sure to note the prerequistite that you must have the SharePoint Server Enterprise features activated. Since I always start with a blank site, that feature is not activated by default. Go into your site settings and click Manage Site Features.

Of course, the Enterprise features have to be activated at the site collection level in Central Admin. I think you find that in Cetral Admin at /_admin/SkuUpgrade.aspx



Complete SharePoint 2010 Farm on Local Machine

When I try to install a complete farm on a local machine with local SQL Server and no domain, I get some ugliness about needing a domain account to install a complete farm.

The good news is that there’s work arounds. There’s a couple of hacks described here described by our new best friend, Michael.

So, since we’re experts at PowerShell, I warm up to that option. But I’m not very comfortable with the details Michael provides so I go looking and find this from our new best friend, Marc. This is really a pretty good step by step of the end to end SPS 2010 install, the kind of thing that an SPFromScracth robot can really appreciate.

So we run:


And then, after we troubleshoot a couple of errors, we also find this from our new best friend, TiPi.

TiPi’s gone to the trouble to address lot of questions alot of us have and he’s actually followed up to get some intelligent answers. Apparenly, the PowerShell command requires a little finesse including:

  • Run the SharePoint PowerShell console as Administrator (requires a right-click.)
  • Use the <Machine Name>\<User Name> format when prompted for your service account credentials.
  • If it errors, go into SQL Server Management Studio and, if it created them, delete the configuration database and the administration content database.
  • Restart the SharePoint PowerShell console if you get an error.

The guy, Paul, that answers TiPi’s questions is right, it might take a few tries and about an hour. But, it really is pretty cool when you go back to the configuration wizard and it finds your new configuraiton db all nice and pretty.

Thanks again you guys!


More on Microsoft's Virtual CDROM Player

You people are great.

First, when I needed to make an .ISO file act like a ROM disk drive, I found this that lets me assign it a drive letter.

  1. Download
  2. Unzip
  3. Run the .exe
  4. Select the driver
  5. Start the driver
  6. Pick a  drive letter
  7. Load the ISO


Then, I’m running it on Windows 2008R2 x64 and I get this ugliness:

The driver has been blocked from loading

Now my inner tech writer notices the passive voice that weakens the statement by replacing the real subject (what did the blocking) with the direct object (the driver) but then, I notice the author neglected to use proper punctuation; if we don’t know the rules of punctuation, we’ll never get the benefits of active voice.

All the same, I search google for the error message and find this page from our new best friend, Lou. In his blog, A Thump to the Brain, he explains that the tool works in WinXP Compatibility mode, whatever that is.

Right click on the .exe and select the compatability tab. Check the Run this Program option, select WinXP SP2 and click OK.

Then run the .exe, intstall the driver, start the driver, create the drive letter and mount the .iso.

Very cool and all for free. You guys are great!


Access Databases in SharePoint

So when you’ve installed the SharePoint Server 2010 (SPS) you get a load of new templates including web daytabase templates:

  • Assets Web Database
  • Charitable Contributions Web Database
  • Contacts Web Database
  • Issues Web Database
  • Project Web Database

We’ll need to figure out how these guys work.

When I create a new site using one of these templates, I expect that I’ll get that silly “Creating Site” pinwheel but, instead, I get a page that says:

Preparing Site:
Someone has recently made changes to this site and
the site is being updated. If the site remains offline
for an extended period of time, contact a site owner.

And since, this page never goes away, even after an hour and a hundred refreshes, no Bevis, it’s always going to be the same. And, as usual, Since I’m the site owner, again, I’m stuck totally dependent on my SharePoint community friends. At lease it doesn’t invite me to “Troubleshoot Problems with SharePoint Server.”

Lucky for us, our new best friend Marc gives us a clue here.  He says we need:

  • An Access Service Application
  • An Access Database Server
  • To enable session state.

I’m a little confused on the first two. For the last one, Marc is kind enough to provide the PowerShell command:

–DataBaseName <SomeNewDatabaseName>

So I go into Central Admin and find Application Management and click on Manage Service Applications. Here we can configure all our service applications and the Access service allows us to throttle all kinds of Access activity.

If we try Application Managment | Manage Services on Server we can see that our Access service is stopped and we can start it there.

So now I can get my web database site built using the projects web database template where I get a cool little grid view thing. I can create projects, users, customers and, on projects, I can create tasks.

But on the Report Center, I can select a report and get a pinwheel but then I get this curious error page:

Report Center Error

Report Center: File Not Found Error

 We can take that coorelation ID to our ULS Error Tool we talked about here. But we better be careful because it’s from an unknown publisher. Once it opens, we simply filter for the coorelation id.

Well that didn’t work. Seems like the doggone thing is moving so quick, Ihave to go File | Abort Load. Then I can find my correlation ID in the correlation column and then filter for that value and I find five rows, including one that says:

Name=Request (GET:http://MyServer:80/MySite/Projects/

I can try that page but I get a similar error without all the surrounding folderall.

Then the next error says:

System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly
'Microsoft.ReportingServices.SharePoint.UI.WebParts, Version=,
Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91' or one of its
dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Somehow, I ended up here and worked these mods and then everything’s blown up; I get a white screen with:

An unexpected error has occurred.

I revert the chages and no luck. Dog…

I open my Hyper-V manager and roll back to this afternoon.

Sweet, back in business. We’ll have to look at this more in detail later.


SharePoint Community Report

Here’s a couple of  items that you could find interesting:

First, there’s Understanding SharePoint Jounal and their SP 2010 Workflow package. It’s only $14.95 and I’m sure you could tell your boss that the decimal point is a typo and put it down as $1495 on your expense report. Take the week off and hang out at the house and then show up next week as the workflow expert.

The second item is Axceler’s SP 2010 Admin Webinar.  They’ve got a “Top Nine” list that you can use to drive any number of disucussions about your (customer’s) SharePoint operation. In the past, I’ve gotten a big kick out of TopFive.Com’s daily Top Five List and I’ve worked with AIIM.Org on their Top Eight topics so this is a first for me and Top Nines. All the same, If you stick around, I’m sure you’ll find me plagerizing Axceler’s bulletpoints soon.

Next, there’s your Visio stencils for SharePoint diagrams, you know the cool ones with the sites and subsites and all the little lists and library icons. Those you can get here from the

Then there’s this explanation from our new best friend Chakka  on how this cool tool from MSDN works. Of course none of us have ever been frustrated by the difficulties associated with SharePoint Logs so none of us will be interested in this.

Then, our new best friend, Todd, has outlined the SPS 2010 site templates here. This is a great outline of the 2010 resources we’ll need to know going forward.

Finally, there’s our new favorite They Might Be Giants song, My Experimental Film (thanks to Rock 88 WKNC.Org) It’s not really SharePoint but I’ve had some expiremental SharePoint installs in the past that might have developed along similar lines.

Check those out and let us know what you think.