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Archives / 2011 / December
  • Summing up the year of 2011 and embracing 2012

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action

    It's that time of the year, when you're thinking about what you've done and accomplished the last twelve months. I've been writing a summary for the last five years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010) and I always think it's fun to look back at the year gone and do some predictions for the upcoming one.

    This year has been totally crazy - I've been enjoying my work and clients/projects at Connecta and I totally love that we have such a strong team and offering. I can really feel the momentum we have in our team and projects, and nothing is stopping us now...

    Writing

    As usual I've been jotting down a couple of blog posts, some better than others (IMO) and unfortunately there are several that I just haven't had time to publish. I have on average 1.000 subscribers to my feed and a whole lot of other users finding my writings through the search engines - thank you all readers! These are the top ones for the last 12 months.

    1. Calling a WCF service using jQuery in SharePoint - the correct way
    2. Working with URLs in SharePoint 2010 JavaScripts
    3. SharePoint 2010 Ribbon Controls - Part 4 - The TextBox control
    4. SharePoint 2010 Ribbon Controls - Part 5 - The Button control
    5. Improve performance of your SharePoint 2010 applications using Windows Server AppFabric caching

    Interesting to see jQuery and JavaScript posts topping the list - might give us a hint on what's been popular this year... The post that still is #1 is the Fix the SharePoint DCOM 10016 error on Windows Server 2008 R2 (remember where you read this first :-).

    SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in ActionI also finally got my book SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action published in April. It took over a year of writing, re-writing, testing, reviewing etc etc to get it done. And when the books finally arrived in printed form it was such a great feeling. It's a tough competition on SharePoint books nowadays, and I'm glad to see quite good sales figures and especially great reviews (if you haven't already - head on to Amazon and tell me what you think).

    MVP again...

    In April I was re-awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - SharePoint Server award. This is an award for your on- and offline community contributions. Being a part of the SharePoint MVP community is great and gives you a lot of amazing contacts with some great people.

    The Master!

    The MCM - Microsoft Certified Master - program was the highlight of the year! In April/May I attended the R8 rotation of the SharePoint 2010 MCM program which was three long and tiresome weeks with best-in-breed SharePoint training by the best of the best. I passed all three written exams and the qualification lab on first attempt and was allows to call my self a SharePoint 2010 MCM in the end of May. Since that rotation I've really felt that my SharePoint skills and confidence has improved - and I do think that also my customers feel the same. I did a post about my experiences of the MCM program a couple of months back - and if you're interested go ahead and read it.

    MCM

    Conferences and travels

    This year has also been filled with a lot of conferences and travelling. First of all in march all MVP's met up in Redmond, at the Microsoft campus, for the annual MVP Summit. This was my first visit to Redmond and the summit and I met a lot of the people I've only met through the online world previously. I had a blast with paintball, late nights and beers talking to some really great friends. A couple of months later I went back to Redmond for the MCM - the weather was the same as in March! October and November was quite hectic with another trip over the pond to the SPC 2011, a trip to the European SharePoint Conference in Berlin and finally the Southeast Asia SharePoint Conference in Singapore. I also managed to do a couple of conferences on home turf as well.

    The International SharePoint Conference 2012I've already planned a couple of trips for 2012 - at least two trips to US again, one is the SPC 2012 in Las Vegas where I hope to meet a lot of you. I have also planned a trip to London in late April for the International SharePoint Conference. This will be an extraordinary conference with two really cool tracks - one IT-pro and one dev, where we'll build one big solution during three days. I promise to get back to you with more information about it as soon as it's available.

    SharePoint

    Yea, as usual this year has been all about SharePoint for me. I've seen the product mature, I've learnt more about it (again) than I ever could expect and I see a huge and increasing demand for the platform. If you're new in IT - bet on SharePoint! We've also seen the birth of Office 365. I'm running both my work and personal e-mail in the hosted Exchange solution and I'm very satisfied. This fall I've spent a lot of time with SharePoint Online trying to do real work and deployments. To put in in nice words I should say that I'm more of an on-premise guy!

    Predictions

    In these recap posts I've done some predictions for the upcoming year. I had three last year and I was right about two of them: Windows 8 is communicated and with Hyper-V support.  I've been thinking quite hard on what predictions to have this year, trying not to reveal anything or stating anything obvious. So here are my predictions for 2012.

    • Silverlight will die! - yeah, Microsoft haven't put it in those words, but that's what's going to happen. We'll probably see Silverlight doing it lasts breaths on the Windows Phone 7 platform though. HTML5 and JavaScript will take over.
    • Second Browser World War - for a couple of years browsers have tried to strive for a common standard, and Internet Explorer has finally caught up. Since the HTML5 standard is far from standardized we will see Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE add its own proprietary "interpretations" of the standard which will diversify the browser world once again. It's already happening, unfortunately...
    • Windows Phone momentum - I do think that the movement of Windows Phone 7+ will finally accelerate 2012. Great hardware, Nokia, great apps, unlimited marketing money and people getting bored of icons in a row are a few of the reasons. And I never ever had my WP7 phone crash - but for the Android devices we have in the family it's a part of the daily routine...
    • Less cloudy - this is more of a wish than a prediction but I do hope that 2012 will be less cloudy. I'm so fed up with the term "cloud"! Of course hosted services will still be a major option but I do think that more and more customers are going to look at internal hosting and/or hybrid solutions.

    What do you think?

    Thank you and a happy new year

    So, I do not think I will be posting anything more this year! It's been a fantastic year but I'm sure 2012 will beat 2011 big time. Thank you all readers and followers and thank you to all new friends I've met throughout this year and thank you to everyone supporting me and has to put up with late night IM's or e-mails (you know who you are!).

    Now, enjoy your last days of 2011 and have really great New Years Eve - I know I will (even though enjoy incorporates some work!).

  • Suddenly getting Access Denied on your SharePoint 2010 User Profile Sync

    Tags: Security, SharePoint 2010

    The last week I stumbled upon a really interesting new and shiny User Profile Synchronization issue - one of these things that just make your day! We had to manually initialize a full synchronization, after doing some updates to one of the user profile properties, and the user profile synchronization would not just start...

    Timer Job - Access DeniedEverything looked fine (on the surface) and we tried the incremental sync, which also looked like it was starting but nothing happened. The sync service was up and running and the FIM services was started, the MIISClient showed no activity. We took a look at the timer jobs, which are responsible for kicking of the synchronizations and saw that they all failed with the error message Access Denied.

    No more than this simple error message. Since the timer jobs are executed using the Farm Account this sounded very peculiar. Oh, and you who still have your Farm Account in the local administrators group would probably never see this error, you'll be aware of this in a minute!

    Next resort was to dig in to the trace logs (ULS), using my favorite SharePoint tool: ULSViewer. And there we had a Critical and an Unexpected entry, related to this Access Denied error message. ULS Logs

    The accompanying stack trace showed me that it was some problems getting the instance of the Management Agents.

    Stack Trace

    Time to fire up my second best SharePoint tool: Reflector! Peeking into the failing method in the User Profile assembly revealed that the Access Denied was thrown while trying to retrieve the MA's using WMI. Now, this sounds really weird. As usual nothing has been changed in the farm (and this time I knew it for a fact) - but you should always check with the admins, which I did and no new policies or similar had been applied to any machines recently.

    On the machine that hosted the sync service/FIM Services I started a Management Console and added the WMI snap-in and took a look at the Security tab for the local machine. And this is what I found:

    Weird WMI permissons

    The security settings for the MicrosoftIdentityIntegrationServer looked not just right, it more or less looked liked the default WMI security settings. (And as you can see the Administrators group is there - so that's why you who still have the farm account in the administrators group, probably never see this error...). A quick comparison with the identical staging environment showed a whole lot more permissions.

    Correct WMI permissions

    To be exact the following permissions did not exist for the environment that showed the Access Denied:

    • WSS_ADMIN_WPG group - Execute Methods, Provider Write, Enable Account, Remote Enable
    • FIMSyncOperators group - Execute Methods, Provider Write, Enable Account, Remote Enable
    • FIMSyncBrowse group - Execute Methods, Provider Write, Enable Account, Remote Enable
    • FIMSyncPasswordSet group - Execute Methods, Provider Write, Enable Account, Remote Enable

    I fixed the permissions using the WMI management console, went back to Central Admin and started the synchronization manually and within a minute the synchronization was running beautifully!

    I do not know about any supportability on this one - and you should NOT be doing this unless you really have to. A safer way might be to unprovision and reprovision the User Profile Synchronization Service - this should correctly set this permissions.

    So, what caused this then? I've not yet found the actual source of the problem (which is frustrating to me at least), but I now how to fix it if it appears. Safe sources tell me that this might happen when you're doing a backup of the UPSS (and this is done in the correct way, which stops and starts the UPSS so no ongoing syncs are interfering with the backup). Question remains open...

    Happy Christmas everyone!

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for four consecutive years.

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