So I am on a client site this week yet again and I am doing an Envisioning, ADS, and a SharePoint Intranet Base Install. Now that I am about to talk Taxonomy and Information Architecture, we touched on just having a few sites to begin with so they are not overwhelmed, but more importantly I only have a limited time on this project and there are quick wins that I can have by using that old Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) templates called “Intranet Publishing Portal Template” which was under the Publishing Tab for Creating Sites. Now in SharePoint Server 2010 that Template is not in the GUI under that Tab, however you can get to it and provision a site using that Template using PowerShell
I have seen a few conversations by folks in the community that I have great respect for taking the position of both using that Template for provisioning new sites in the SharePoint 2010 world v/s NOT using that Template and rather using the newer templates on Microsoft SharePoint 2010
Microsoft does have some guidance on it on the Technet Planning Sheet Sites
Pay attention to the last paragraph on the page which reads in part…
“Some Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 site templates, such as the site directory, news, and collaboration portal templates, are not available as an option in SharePoint Server 2010…These templates are also still available as options in the UI if the SharePoint Server 2010 farm is upgraded from Office SharePoint Server 2007. Otherwise use the social tagging features in SharePoint Server 2010 to get much of the functionality provided in these templates”
SO here we go…
If you are provisioning a Site Collection for an Intranet Site in SharePoint 2010 “I have seen” where folks use Templates out of the Tabs of either of the below two screenshots below. There are several food for thought as to using one over the other; one way is to start out with a Blank Site and just activate the features you need accordingly.
New SharePoint Site
New SharePoint Site
Powershell to the Rescue
So you can, with three (3) commands gain access to the Template that you had in MOSS, see below for the command and execution
Just to Verify; run the following command and look 9 from the bottom
To actually provision the site you need to run yet another PowerShell command as indicated below which identifies the template of choice with the other parameters needed.
And BoooYaaaH you have your Intranet Collaboration Site Created in SharePoint 2010 with all the starter sites at your disposal.
Remember I told you. Microsoft does not have this in the GUI for whatever reasons which means that I did above is probably unsupported or has issues buried somewhere, or maybe not. The truth of the matter is that I dont know.
Use at your own risk
I welcome any questions, comments, rants 🙂
So… as an avid user of Twitter I noticed a few tweets going back and forth between Spence @Harbars and Brian @BrianLala about this tool on CodePlex called AutoSPInstaller. I have heard about it in the past but most recently and after speaking to Spence about what he ‘coined’ the Idiot Button i.e. the Farm Configuration Wizard; I have been on the quest to find a way to automate creating Service Accounts after installing the SharePoint bits. Spence does have a few blogs on the topic which i have used to great success, but in the end PowerShell is there for a reason, i just needed to know how to use it. As a DEV, I wasnt looking forward to learning PowerShell, though i know I have to, but this #AutoSPInstaller utility allows me to cheat – at least for a time – and I get the best of both worlds.
I felt it necessary to blog my experience because there are at least two gotchas that I am aware of but overall my experience was satisfactory.
So after downloading the tool, the first thing i will encourage you to do is.. yes.. Read the “ReadMe” file that is included. It details what you need to do to fire off the script. The tool comes with a few XML files that you will have to modify; by that I mean, configure. However, these configuration steps is just a matter of providing nomenclatures for your Databases, your Account Names for Service Accounts, your Passwords for those accounts, and whether you want to install features by indicating 1 or 0 (zero).
There is a Launch.bat file which executes the PowerShell (*.ps1) file; which inturn interrogates a Setup(optionalfilename).XML file for configuration specifics. In my modifications to my Setup.XML i also renamed to file to include the NETBIOS name of the Server, this allows me to have a specific file for each server in the Farm.
The First Gotcha I encountered had to do with the Installation of the Bits; the script provides for executing the PreInstaller which does work; however I had an issue whereby one of the packages failed so that didnt allow the SharePoint Install to run after the PreInstaller completed. Basically, the script didnt have a graceful exception rule for instances where the PreInstaller fails. What I got was a generic error BUT, the script log file did tell me where the error was encountered and I did notice it was in the [Region] for the PreInstaller. So I just ran the AutoInstaller by itself and then re-ran the AutoSPInstaller Launch.bat file
The Second Gotcha I met was right after I executed the batch file. The error is below in the screen shot.
The Error isnt that descriptive but after going back to Twitter and on CodePlex I saw that I either had to do one of the following
- Do a “Run-As” and run the batch file as an Administrator or
- Turn off User Access Control (UAC)
What I found particularly interesting is that although I ran the file on the SharePoint box; which is where I got the error, it was actually referencing an issue on a separate Box, i.e. the SQL Box
So, I elected to make the changes to UAC because I also don’t like the interruptions when i am installing products.
After I completed those issues with my mitigation techniques; it was smooth sailing. I have included below some screenshots of the process and the resultant logs
Below is the Command Window iterative logs; which is also captured in a log file
Below are all my Sites that were created.
So in Conclusion.
You are going to have questions on this blog, the first one may be..Well Fabian “What do i do if I wan to build out a Farm that Includes more than one Server (in-fact I fielded a question on Twitter already on this one)..
the answer is to create another specific Setup[YourNameHere]Inputs.xml file and this time it will JOIN the already created farm rather than create a new Farm. There are several “If Exist” statement in the PowerShell script that does checks for that. Now though I did this in my Lab fortunately this week, I am on a project where I need to do a Base Install of SharePoint 2010 and I plan to use the tool for that. I will let you know how it goes…
As usual, I welcome any Comments, Questions,
Please Bookmark my New Blog Site:
SharePoint Fabian – http://www.sharepointfabian.com/blog
For a period of 30 days I will post my Blogs on BOTH sites, but eventually i will taper off to my SharePoint 2010 Site being sponsored by FPWeb.net Thank you FPWeb; please follow them on twitter @fpweb or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/fpweb?ref=ts
See my new SharePoint 2010 Blog
Thank you all for following me on twitter @fabianwilliams and my corporate persona @adotobllc I really appreciate all the comments, critique, and suggestions.
Keep em coming!