I was recently asked to take a look a SharePoint 2010 UAT server that was showing some very odd search behaviour. The rest of SharePoint was working fine but search results were only bringing back web pages, no other content was appearing in the search results.
We tried the normal trouble shooting steps such as clearing the config cache and resetting the search indexes but nothing seemed to help, we checked the crawl, event and ULS logs but nothing seemed to point to an problem.
We finally resorted to creating a new search application and adding to the default group. After running a full crawl we had a full set of results back as expected, the only step left was to move the existing crawl rules from the old search application to the new one.
After moving the crawl rules across from the original search application to the the new one the same result issues appeared, so it was obvious that one of the 10+ crawl rules in operation was causing the issue, we removed the rules one at time and reran a full crawl each time to check the results, we finally found the offending rule (below) with a URL exclusion of ‘http://*/forms’ , this seemed to have the effect of stopping the crawler component going into the hidden forms folder and crawling content via that route.
So one of the members of support came over to discuss one of our managed service clients and their SharePoint 2007 implementation yesterday.
Now this client uses document management in a big way with a full crawl index taking approximately 40 hours to run. So understandably it is scheduled to run once a week over the weekend with incremental crawls scheduled every 20 minutes or so to bring new files into the search results.
Although the incremental crawl was scheduling and completing as expected. The full crawl was missing the schedule time.
However, upon testing a manual full crawl the weekend before, this completed without issue.
It would appear that the OWS Timer Service cache had corrupted in some way and had to be cleared out using the following method:
- Stop the OWSTIMER service on the problem SharePoint WFE server in the farm.
- On the problem server, navigate to:
Server 2003 location: Drive:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\GUID and delete all the XML files from the directory.
Server 2008 location: Drive:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\GUID and delete all the XML files from the directory.
- Delete all the XML file in the directory. NOTE: ONLY THE XML FILES, NOT THE .INI FILE.
- Open the cache.ini with Notepad and reset the number to 1. Save and close the file.
- Start the OWSTIMER service on the server and wait for XML files to begin to reappear in the directory.
- IIS Reset (just for good measure)
- Thanks to this blog post for some much need guidance:
If you remember way back to October last year, we solved a different issue with the same method in SharePoint 2010 when a web front-end was not responding properly after a content database restore:
And that’s it. Another problem solved…
*** UPDATE – If you would like to see more information about #ISCLondon, take a look at Matthew Hughes’ blog Engage in SharePoint.
The #ISCLondon is a 3 days intense knowledge sharing, specially on the third day it feels like the end of a marathon, may be something to do with the late party last night too!
Today on that last day a few delegate I spoke to had the same feelings: it felt like we are running out of topics for the ones like us who have attended the conference in the previous year or just used SP2010 since the beta version. The topics being discussed seems to be more about SharePoint overview or something we have already seen at other conference.
I did mention in my previous posts some disappointment regarding “mySite demo” that didn’t show anything new already.
I am sure next year will be much more exciting and 3 days will not even be enough.
Now here is a summary of the sessions I have attended today.
Search Center with Matthew McDermott http://www.abbleblue.com/blog
Form this session I will try to use search web parts more in other pages than search Center, they are quite powerful and work farm wise which may potentially replace querycontent web parts.
Few things i jotted down:
– Only picture library returns thumbnails in search Center.
– Queries you should know:
ContentClass:STS_Site –> will show a list of all sites that current user has access too.
Isdocument:1 –> will return only document
ContentClass:STS_ListItem_Issue –> show list of only issues
– Those terms are OOB but can be made user friendly, by mapping them in Central Admin (creating managed metadata)
– How to re-order the tabs on a result page
Open the tabs list settings, Change the URL “edit list” to “reorder”
– Refinement panel: avoid editing the XML in the dialog box, copy-paste it in an editor like notepad++, before copy-paste back to SharePoint, use the “unwrap effect” in notepad++ so that code goes back into a 1 line format.
Matthew showed a nice custom search result page for his customers scope showing custom refinement, a Bing map next to each person and links to the presence (Lync) information, change the phone number column to a hyperlink if you have Skype or IP phone. All his code will be available on his blog after the conference.
– use Best Bets for important content. (central admin, search keywords)
– create a search keyword with some “bad” words so that you can redirect the result to a special article / text explains the company code of conduct.
Matthew showed us a search Center entirely customised that he called “Bingo” in reference to Bing and his dog 😉 and really looks like Bing with pretty search field and dynamic backgrounds. Proving that you can do a very advanced search interface that doesn’t even feel like SharePoint.
– Matt says the question he likes to ask clients most is “why?.. like a 4 years old”. Because too often customers want something but did not really evaluate the reason behind. For instance a department may want a list of contact alphabetically but why would they? “Well that’s how we always did”. Challenging the why sometimes helps them realise better of way of delivering information, may be through search.
– By inserting a people search core results web part to a home page, adding “responsibilities:”SharePoint” ” on the “fixed query” field of that web part setting will show the list of people having responsibility in SharePoint in the company. This way Matt showed how to display a list of item on a page by using search without being in search Center.
– create a list of the last documents uploaded by a user:
Drop the Search Core Results web part to a page. Use the fixed keyword query field and type exactly what to be retrieved, for instance the contenttype:SalesDocuments, sort the search web part by modified date and show only the last 5 documents.
The great advantage comes if sales people do not upload documents at the right location, it will still show on that page.
Bing and REST services :
Once you have a bing maps developer account. You can send an address and additional parameters such as size of maps and options to dev.virtualearth.net/rest…
Bing will return the image of the map at that location..
In Matt’s example he has a page with a search results of the latest pictures uploaded to a farm, an iFilter extracted the longitude and latitude, then jquery extracts the data from the search results and input them in the bing map on that same page.
Tip: use iFilter view tool from iFilterShop free download. This allows you to see the content of a file as the iFilter will see it, ie. all properties.
– How to add a new property to search results (for instanc coming from a new iFilter):
In central admin the new metadata crawled by the iFilter needs to be mapped to a managed property in “enterprise search service application”, re-crawl the search index, and add the extra columns to the search results web part XML.
Final point from Matt to information worker who wants to improve search : “make friend with IT”, you NEED someone in IT (it pros) who is going to help you to do all that pre-work of adding iFilter, indexing etc..
Basic search Center editing : http://bit.ly/pCHMaW
Get the iFilterview: iFilterShop.com/downloads/ifilterView.zip
SharePoint query content web part By Lori Gowin.
Although I have used this web part for years, I am always amazed that Microsoft expects the power user to do this customisation, I believe they run away as soon as they see XSL code, so I am here to see if Lori can show power user a better way that I may have missed.
– Query content WP can query a whole site collection or narrow down to site or list under.
The only way to filter them is inside the web part settings, they cannot use connected web parts.
Filter keywords can be used : [me] and [today].
Main issue of a content query web part is that there is no paging option, so if only 5 items showing the additional are not accessible.
Lori edits the default CQWP to show all tasks items in her site collection and changes the format to group by site, and add Status instead of the Comments value in the Description field. this shows a little bit more data in your page, but the style is still not great, as we all have seen it.
Now let’s talk XSL.
Don’t modify the OOB style sheet tags, make a copy of an existing one and edit them
-ItemStyle.xsl is to design the item
-Header.xsl is to design the grouping
Now in 2010 the list of columns is updated in the web part settings automatically (as opposed to how it was in 2007, and I remember that well !)
ItemStyle.xml is the file where to edit the content of the query content,
Dont forget to publish it as major version to reflect changes to the page where the web part is.
This webpart does have a cache so it may take a few minutes for a item to show up.
Creating reports without a degree by Virgil Carroll @vcmonkey
Virgil is talking abut BI and why they are important, showing graphs in both google charts and SharePoint and then SSRS.
-Why visual BI are so important:
- Raw data are often confusing
Users have different level of understanding
Reports provide too much info
-How to decide tables vs. graphs?
“Depends on what to accomplish”
-What’s tool to use?
Free charting tools
SharePoint chart web part
SQL reporting services
– visual data is only as good as your data is.
GOOGLE CHART WEBPART
Easy way to look at data from the current site as well as other sites.
The webpart Virgil uses is actually the one you can download on AMREIN which I have used last month too and is really easy.
I didn’t know that the webpart can even be connected to a choice filter webpart as is.
Tip: typing in the chart title “/trace” will show the error details in the webpart.
SHAREPOINT CHART WEBPART
Only available in the enterprise licence of SharePoint 2010.
Webpart can connect to another webpart easily.
Customisation of the chart allows to add anything field as a link, tooltip text etc.quite a lot of chart types, templates of colours are provided.
Arriving to the end of the day, I resisted joining my colleague at the business track since they were finishing the day by drinking champagne, instead I am sitting at the Visio Services by Jennifer Mason.
I have seen Visio services examples before and implemented a short one myself but am always keen to know more business cases of using this more as I actually haven’t seen a client using it fully yet.
Visio is part of the insights components of SharePoint.
Insights includes: excel, Visio services, chart webpart, status , performance point.
Example 1 of using Visio services in SharePoint: use Visio sces webpart and use interactivity of links to change Visio pages when clicked.
User creating the file needs to have visio premium, as the file needs to be saved as a Visio web format.
2nd example of using it: have 2 connected webpart ps on a pag including a Visio services WP and change the selected shape on the Visio when an item is selected in the SharePoint view.
WP has connection option such as “get shapes to highlight from..”
3rd example is the reverse effect: when user clicks a diagram in Visio we can filter list webparts on the page. For instance showing documents that are related to the selected phase.
Each click will refresh the whole page. To avoid refresh the page , seek third part solution or custom code.
“the value of Visio services in 2010 is the webparts connections”
4th example: have a few shapes connected to SharePoint list ad display it on the page.
5th example : connect webpart and preview the Visio file in the SharePoint list, when clicked it shows in the Visio webpart (using send URL of Visio)
That’s it for my 3 days report in the International Sharepoint Conference.
Previous post are easily found searching for #isclondon on twitter, this blog and Matt Hughes’ blog.
Am finishing my day with Q&A with the IT-Pros experts panel, which a question came that made a long debate: ” how can business and IT pros break the bridge between them so that IT don’t decide changes without business approval”, a large subject.