Fabian Williams SharePoint Blog

Solving problems with SharePoint day and night

SharePoint Template Question Revealed – Where is the Intranet Collaboration Template in 2010

Synopsis

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

Disclaimer

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

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262410.aspx

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”

How To

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.

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New SharePoint Site

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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

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Just to Verify; run the following command and look 9 from the bottom

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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.

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And BoooYaaaH you have your Intranet Collaboration Site Created in SharePoint 2010 with all the starter sites at your disposal.

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In Closing

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 🙂

 

Cheers!

September 21, 2010 Posted by | PowerShell, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Administration, SharePoint How-To, SharePoint Migration | Leave a comment

I use Metalogix Migration Manager for Blogs and Wikis and here is why

Synopsis

If you have ever had to do any of the following…

  • Move an entire Blog site from one location to the next
    • Blog site Source may be from a different provider than the destination i.e. Blogger to SharePoint
  • Synchronize delta between blogs
    • You may have done an initial migration/move but for whatever reason, and now you have additional content on the source site in need of a move to the destination
  • Need to manage the Security and User Context when moving a blog site from source to destination

Then, as I did, you can use Metalogix Migration Manager for Blogs and Wikis.

In my situation, I hosted my blog on a public and free Blog Site when I started out.  The blog served me well over the years and allowed me to share my knowledge and experience in SharePoint and other related technologies. I was very fortunate to get my blog sponsored/hosted on FPWeb.net servers and on the SharePoint 2010 platform, however the challenge i faced was, how do I move all that work while preserving:

  1. Blog Categories
  2. Published Date – to maintain my Archive
  3. Blog Tags
  4. User Centric Data
    1. Who is the Blog Author
    2. What is that Authors’ role

I also wanted to be able to transition off one blog to another without abruptly turning off the proverbial faucet of information without adequate notice to my readers and subscribers. In order to do this, I performed an initial migration of ALL the content and then delta migration of just singular posts from time to time.

Metalogix Migration Manager for Blogs and Wikis allows for all the above and more.  Below you will find out how I used the tool, I hope that this helps you in your decision making for the same or related tasks.

Approach

So where do you get the tool… right here

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http://www.metalogix.net/products/Migration-Manager-for-Blogs-and-Wikis/

The installation of the tool is pretty straight forward and moving the entire blog/wiki or delta pages/posts as the come along.  Below is a screen shot where I am moving content between my source blog and my new SharePoint 2010 blog located at http://www.sharepointfabian.com

ScreenShotofTool

As previously mentioned, the tool has the ability to move content from a variety of Blog Content Sources into SharePoint. In my experience it will use the Object Model when you are local to the SharePoint Server and use Web Services when you are conducting the Migration Remote, for example, you have the tool installed on your workstation and both the source Blog and destination Blog are remote to  your location. Below is a screenshot of the various sources.

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A few options are there for customizing the migration experience. One particular on I would like to call out that was useful to me was the ability to “Configure global Mappings…” this allows me to create a mapping between source accounts and destination accounts. This assures me that the Author of my original blogs is maintained when the transfer is effectuated.

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Once you have connected to your Source Site, the migration is very easy. All you need to do Right-Click on the Source Blog and select “Copy Site” which copies all of the content for preparation to the Destination Blog. This option will move ALL content from one place to the other.

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Alternatively, you may only want to move specific Blogs, in that instance you Right-Click on the Source Blog and chose “Copy Pages” which applies ONLY the selected item for preparation to the Destination Blog. This option will move only that specific content from one place to the other.

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To copy the selected items to the destination it is as simple as just a regular Click for “Paste Blog Posts” and the process is kicked off

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In addition to that you may create new Sites as a part of the Paste process which will spin up a site as well as copy/migrate the Selected Posts.

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The tool also has a great reporting/logging feature which runs and can be viewed while the blog migration process is under way.  On completed migration you may also elect to re-run that job which keeps the same parameters and criteria that was selected thus cutting down the time it takes to execute a job.

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Below is an example of what a Log File looks like when it is opened.

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In Conclusion

There are certainly quite a few tools out there that provide this service but in my professional life and in my personal life I use Metalogix Migration Manager for migrating content. The tool is excellent, the support is fantastic and the team of people on staff is friendly and very supportive.  If you have never used to tool, I encourage you to give it a shot.  On twitter you can follow @metalogix for the team and @cawood for the dude I always hit up when I need stuff 🙂

In fact, I will have to use the tool again to Migrate this Delta change to my SharePoint 2010 Blog Ha ha!

 

As usual, I welcome all questions or comments, Cheers!

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Metalogix, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Migration | | Leave a comment

My Experience with @BrianLala SharePoint AutoInstaller – I like it

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.  

AutoSPInstallerError

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

  1. Do a “Run-As” and run the batch file as an Administrator or
  2. 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

AutoSPInstallerRocks

Below is the Command Window iterative logs; which is also captured in a log file

 AutoSPInstallerOutPutWindow1

AutoSPInstallerOutPutWindow2

Below are all my Sites that were created. 

 AutoSPInstallerPortalSite

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)..

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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,

Cheers!

September 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fabian Williams WordPress Blog has been MOVED to http://www.sharepointfabian.com/blog

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

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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!

September 9, 2010 Posted by | SharePoint 2010, Where is Fabian | 4 Comments