Thursday, January 10, 2008

Search Does not work with Basic Authentication, only WSS 3.0

WSS 3.0 Only with Basic Authentication to Search the Sites

Only WSS 3.0 is installed and Basic Authentication is configured so that while logging to the site domain\username and password is not required, only username and password should work.

But by design Search in WSS 3.0 with Basic Authentication will not work. So there is a work around for the same which can be followed by using the following article.

But this above article is misleading many times as every network has various scenarios.

Step by Step to configure this setup

1. Open Central Administration Site ->Application Management -> Create or Extend Web Application -> Extend an Existing Web Application.

a. Select the main Web application
b. In IIS Web Site select ‘Create a new IIS Website’
c. Give port no. 81 or any random port you want.
d. Enter a hostheader if desired.
e. Select NTLM as Authentication Provider.
f. In Load Balanced URL select ‘Intranet’ Zone. Click on OK.

2. In Central Administration -> Application Management -> Authentication Providers.

a. You will see the Default Zone and the Intranet Zone where we extended the new site.
b. Click on Default zone; make sure that only Basic Authentiation is selected. Click on OK.
c. Click on Intranet zone; make sure that Windows Integrated is selected. Click on OK.

3. Open IIS console -> Web Sites.

a. Go to the properties of the Main site -> Directory Security
b. Click Edit in Authentication and access control.
c. You should see only ‘Basic Authentication’ selected over there.
d. In Default Domain type \ (backslash)
e. Click on OK. Click on OK.

4. Open Central Administration -> Operations -> Alternate Access Mappings -> Select the Main Web Application.

a. You will see 2 zones having URL’s specified. In default zone your primary URL. In Intranet zone the URL and port no. which you extended the main site with.
b. We have to now swap these 2 zone URL’s Put the Default URL in the Intranet zone and the Intranet zone URL in the Default zone.

5. Perform an IISRESET.

6. Check the Eventviewer App Log and verify that we should NOT get the event id 2436 gatherer which is a warning. This warning will come after every 5 mins if Search will not work, otherwise it will not come.

We have to swap the URL’s in AAM purely because Search always renders the page which is mentioned in the Default Zone and then crawls it. After the Swap of the URL’s in AAM, as the default zone URL will be of Windows Integrated, Search will be able to render it, crawl and we will be able to see the search results after 5 mins. In App log you will stop seeing event id 2436 warning and event ID 10044 information event which means that search should work fine.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Installation Windows Sharepoint Services [WSS] 3.0

Installing Only WSS 3.0

Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 Installation is farely easy but very complicated to resolve if it errors out. There are 2 types of Installations which are described in detail below. WSS 3.0 is freely downloadable from Microsoft site. [ ]

Pre-requisites before Installing Windows Sharepoint Services.

  1. Windows 2003 OS with + IIS 6.0. SMTP is required if you are deciding to use Email Enabled Document Libraries, not otherwise.
  2. Service Pack 1 or higher.
  3. 3.0 framework.
  4. Service account created in Active Directory, recommended to be a member of Domain Admins groups. This service account should not change the password according to group policies, otherwise everytime the password is required to change, Sharepoint sites will go down once the password is changed. If you dont want the Service account to be a member of Domain Admins group, it has to be the member of the local administrators group on the server you will be installing Sharepoint.

Types of Installation of WSS 3.0

  1. Basic
  2. Advanced

Basic Installation Detail Description

  1. You run the sharepoint.exe file which you can download from the above link. You will get the License agreement page. Accept it and Click on Next.
  2. On next Page It will give you 2 buttons 'Basic' and 'Advanced'. We are going to select 'Basic'
  3. After selecting Basic it will continue with the installation process and at the end it will stop at 'Run the Sharepoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard now'. This is inshort referred as 'PSConfig' wizard.
  4. Make sure that the checkbox is selected and click on the Close button. PSConfig Wizard will start.
  5. Click on Next, it will give a warning of restartint the IIS Services -> click on Yes. It will run 1 to 10 steps in PSConfig wizard.
  6. Once all the steps are completed Click on the Finish button and default page http://servername/ site will open automatically.

Description of above steps

  1. Step 1:- Log on to the server using the Service account created. If the pre-requisites of IIS and 3.0 framework is not met, it will error out and you will not get the EULA page. Before coming to the EULA page, pre-requisites are checked.
  2. Step 2:- Basic Installation will not prompt for any configuration settings. Using Basic installation SQL Express Edition is installed and Sharepoint Databases are created in SQL Express Edition. By Default there is not GUI mode to manage those databases, you will have to separately install SQL Management Studio Express [ ] and once installed connect to the database using "\\.\pipe\MSSQL$MICROSOFT##SSEE\sql\query" (without quotes).
    In this step only the binaries and some registry keys are installed and configured.

    Binary files are located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Bin

    SQL Express Databases .mdf and .ldf files are located at C:\Windows\SYSMSI\SSEE\MSSQL.2005\MSSQL\Data

    Registry Key location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\WSS. Important Registry keys are 'Server Role' and 'Setup Type'. If Basic Installation is done, "Server Role" will be mentioned as "SINGLESERVER" and "Setup Type" will be mentioned as "CLEAN_INSTALL"
  3. Step 3:- PSConfig wizard is when Sharepoint is Basically configured. Untill you run this wizard, Sharepoint Administration site or any functionality related to Sharepoint will not be possible. Description of the PSConfig Steps, I will Post it Separately.

Once the Installation and PSConfig Config wizard is completed successfully, Open up IIS console and you will find that the 'Default Web Site' will be stopped and the default Sharepoint Site created is also at port 80 [ Sharepoint - 80 ]. So if you have Exchang running on the same server, OWA will stop working as OWA is extended on the 'Default Web Site' in IIS. Exchange and WSS 3.0 only is supported by Microsoft but Exchange and MOSS 2007 on the same server is not Supported.

You will also find the Sharepoint Central Administration V3 site, which is the Sharepoint Central Administration Site IIS Virtual site. This Site will be created at a random port no. which will be taken during PSConfig wizard. From the above registy path, you can also get the 'CentralAdministrationURL' which specifies the Central Admin site URL with the Port no.

There will be 3 Default groups created 'WSS_WPG', 'WSS_RESTRICTED_WPG', 'WSS_ADMIN_WPG'. The user account using which you installed Sharepoint will be the member of these groups by default. It is recommended you log-on to the server as the service account first and then proceed with the Installation.

By Default at the database location you will find 4 Sharepoint Databases created in Basic Installation.

1. Sharepoint_Config_bigGUID [ Sharepoint Farm's Configuration database].
2. Sharepoint_AdminContent_bigGUID [ Sharepoint Central Administration database].
3. WSS_CONTENT [ Sharepoint - 80 sites database].
4. WSS_Search [ Windows Sharepoint Search Service Database, By default Search Service will be started in Basic Installation.]

Sharepoint Search not working. Event ID 2424

Search not working, Application Log filled with Event ID 2424

Event Type: Error Event Source: Windows SharePoint Services 3 Search
Event Category: Gatherer
Event ID: 2424
User: N/A
Computer: ComputerName
Description: The update cannot be started because the content sources cannot be accessed. Fix the errors and try the update again. Context: Application 'Search', Catalog 'index file on the search server Search'

Central Administration -> Operations -> Services on server -> Click on the Windows Sharepoint Services Search service and make sure that the 'Service Account' and 'Content Access Account' service account specified are the same. They should not be working with two separate accounts. If it still does not work, Stop the service and while starting it again specify a common service account and create a new Search Database.

Sharepoint Backup

Types of Backup in Sharepoint V3.

As Every product or any business Disaster Recovery is very importand and in similar way, Sharepoint has some very good options for the same. Below are the methods that can be used in WSS 3.0 only or also for MOSS 2007.

1. GUI mode from Sharepoint Central Administration.

This Method is very common and most of the Administrators use this Method.

Go to Sharepoint Central Administration page -> Operations Tab -> Backup Operations.

This method will need a UNC path to store the back. It automatically creates a folder starting which will have various files in it and the most important file is the .xml file which get created, which has all the information about the backup.

The .xml file will contain data about the backup ID, The type of Backup, the Components selected during the backup.

GUI Backup is the same like the stsadm -o backup [catostrophic]. Both work the same way and the backrgound process is the same. Only difference here is the GUI interface.

By Default this backup will take the entire Sharepoint Farm backup

2. STSADM -o backup

This method is a command line backup which needs to be run from the BIN folder of Sharepoint.

This method can backup any top level sites or site collections of a Web application.
You will need to specify the URL address of the site to be backed up.

By default in this method the security or permissions are also backed up.

stsadm -o backup -filename c:\back.bak -url http://siteurl/

This is the standard command. It is not necessary to give the backup file extension as .bak, it can be anything or you may not even give any extension. Using this command you can backup only 1 top site at a time within the Web Application. If you want you can create a batch file which will include the commands having different URL's and schedule te batch file to run accordingly. It also includes other parameters for which you can use

stsadm -help backup

3. STSADM -o backup [catostrophic]

This method is similar to GUI Central Adminstration backup, its only Command line interface. You will need to manually specify the parameters and components to be backed up using this command. By default if the component is not specified, Enter Farm level backup is taken. Using this command as well a UNC path is to be given, where again and .xml file will be created.

stsadm -o backup -directory
\\server\backup -backupmethod full [This will take the default Farm level backup]
You can use stsadm -o backup -showtree to see the list of the items in the Farm and then use stsadm -o backup -directory \\server\backup -backupmethod full -item
4. STSADM -o export

This method will help you to take backups of subsites separately which is not possible in any of the above backups. Using this method, subsites and top level sites backup can be taken but by default User permissions are not exported, you have to manually specific to export User permissions.

stsadm -o export -filename c:\exp.back -url http://siteURL -includeusersecurity

If you do not use -includeusersecurity, User permissions will not be exported by default.

5. SQL Database backup.

This method is the usuall maintenance method from SQL Management Studio. It is recommended to have the Sharepoint Content Databases backup from SQL as well, just in case Sharepoint Backup's don't work.

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