Sunday, February 24, 2008

Microsoft Search Server 2008

Search Server is one of the other major Enterprise servers of Microsoft which is growing Fast with Sharepoint 2007. With the new release of Search Server 2008 in March, it is expected to take Search functionality and Search Experience to the next level for Microsoft's Customer's.

There are better features than Google's Onebox Search Server Appliance, though I would say both have their own pro's and con's.

Search Server 2008
It's RTM version's are getting released in Express and Full Edition. Express Edition will be downloadable for free whereas Full version is a licensed product. There will be support provided for both these versions from Microsoft.

Express Edition's limitation is that it can be installed only on a SingleServer WSS 3.0 environment, whereas, Full Edition can be installed in a Farm WSS 3.0 enviroment.

Search Server 2008 MOSS patch is expected to be released later this year. When you install Search Server 2008, WSS 3.0 will be installed along with it, with some more cool features of Search which is not available with only WSS 3.0 Another new and cool feature of Search Server is the Federated Search which allows you to render the index of the Search engines on the internet, except for Google Search, Google blocks any search engine to crawl its content.

Search Server needs to get the results returned in XML formart to display those results in the Search query, for any Search engine that cannot return the results in XML format to Search Server, we have Federated Search custom connectors that can be created to re-format the results in XML format and store it locally. Those custom connectors is something that Shareopoint Developers will have to do. There are many 3rd party custom search connectors already available and can be used with Search Server 2008.

Google's Enterprise Search products have limitations of crawling data, depending on the product you buy, the limitations differ. In Microsoft Search Server 2008 there is no limitation to the no of files that be crawled. Also, Google's product expire in 2 years and so will their email support, they do not have any on call support. If you want to renew the support you will have to buy a new license for that to get support. (Email)

More information on the Installation and new features of Search Server 2008 will be posted soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Email Enabled Document Library [Error in Application]

'Error in Application' is the error we get when configuring Email Enabled Document library.

There is one most common scenario when you will get this error.

WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007 installed as a Basic Installation [SINGLESERVER]

By Design when you install sharepoint using Basic intallation, the Central Admin site and any other new Web Apps that you create will use 'Network Service' as the service account for the Application Pools in IIS. For a contact to be created for a Document Library, the Application Pools of both Central Admin and the Web App should be using a domain user account and not Network Service.

Steps to Perform to resolve this error.

1. Create a Service Account in Active Directory who is also a member of the Domain Admins group. Delegate all rights to this service account to the Organizational Unit created for Sharepoint, where contacts will be created.

2. On the Sharepoint server, Open Computer Management -> Local Groups and Users -> Groups. you will find 3 WSS_WPG groups, make the service account a member of all these 3 groups and also the member of the IIS_WPG group.

3. On the Sharepoint server, open IIS console and make sure that the Application pools running for Central Admin site and the Web Application are running using the service account created in step 1. Perform an IISRESET and then make sure the Central Admin and the website are up and running after changing the Application Pools.

4. Now configure the Incoming Email settings for the Document Library. You should not get the 'Error in Application' error.

5. Now create a new Web Application and a Site Collection using the service account and not 'Network Service'. Take a backup of the old Site Collection using stsadm -o backup command and restore that backup on the new one just created using stsadm -o restore

Note: We have to do the 5th step because once changing the service accounts in many cases the site will not open from Client machines, it will open only on the Server or after configuring the Incoming email settings for the Doc Library, the emails will not be visible in the document library.

These above steps will resolve the issue and also the sites up and running. In many cases where the installation is not Basic, you will find the same error message, that purely due to the service account not being a member of the 'Domain Admins' group.