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Course Summary of TrainSignal's Course "SharePoint Server 2013 Administration" - Part 3

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Categories:OpEd; Training; Event Review; SPF 2013; General Knowledge

 

Editor's note: Contributor Stephan Onisick is a Senior Software Developer for HP specializing in SharePoint Portal Applications. Follow him @StephanOnisick

Lesson 7: Creating Site Collections

Most of this Lesson is stuff that you’ve already seen in other versions for Site Collections.

However, there are two areas that I really learned some functionality: Managed Paths and Self-Service Site Creation, as it applied to the My Sites Collection:

  • Managed Paths are managed locations where content will be created
  • Explicit paths allow for only a single site collection to be created
  • Wildcard paths are designed to allow child URLs for a large number of site collections to be created.

This author, being a lowly developer mostly, had never done Managed Paths the way of “Wild Bill”: explicitly the way he changed the Wildcard Inclusion for My Sites to “personal” and added another Explicit Path, “main” for his Main Site.

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-01.png
Define Managed Path

(Bill gave me a solid understanding of “Explicit” and “Wildcard inclusion”.)

This next slide caused this author some consternation until I came to grips with it.

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-02.png
URL Structure of Applications, Site Collections, and Sites

(In my sheltered environments, the Web Application URL, the Site Collection URL and Root Site Collection URL had always been the same. Thus my main site would have been http://intranet.globomantics.com”.—the same as the Site Collection and Web Application—whereas, Bill sets up his Main Site under “main”.)

Bill point out the following helpful error “Sorry, something went wrong” if you try to create a Self-Service application for your My Sites Application before creating the My Sites Site Collection. (SharePoint is rarely helpful with error messages.)

Lesson 8: The Managed MetaData Service Application

Bill Starts by explaining what Managed Metadata is: basically, it is a hierarchical collection of centrally managed terms that you can define, and then use as attributes for items in SharePoint Server 2013.

Really data describing data arranged.

Next he goes through “Terms” and “Term Set”. Basically a “Term” is a word or phrase that can be associated with an item and a “Term Set” is a collection of related items. Next Bill discusses “Enterprise Keywords”: these are words or phrases added to SharePoint items by users, part of a single non-hierarchical set.

Finally, Bill goes into Central Admin under the Manage Service Applications and discusses the features that apply to Managed Metadata. One of the first significant screens he examines is the Administration—where new Managed Metadata Service Administrators are setup. He explains it’s either “Full Control” or “No Control”. Also he stress that the Administrator of the service is responsible for setting Term Store Administrators and that unless he designates himself, he is not a Term Store Administrator.

He also examines the “Create New Managed Metadata Service” for the current service (the create screens should begin to look very similar even to the novice administrator by now.) Later on in the lesson, he creates a second Managed Metadata Service.

Next he goes on to add Term Store Administrators, after noting that he has no permissions at this point – other than to appoint Term Store Administrators.

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-03.png
Adding First Term Store Administrator in TermSet Tool

(Key Point: Save it or Lose It—It won’t remember if you exit without hitting the save button.)

Next Bill logs in as the user, Bill Kulterman, not as the Admin—the “Celebrity”/User, and proceeds to setup a new Group called “Benefits” to then set up a new TermSet of “Insurance” to hold Insurance Terms:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-04.png
A New TermSet of "Insurance" About to be Setup

Finally Bill creates the “Insurance” TermSet and discusses “Submission Policy” which determines if SharePoint Users will be able to add new terms or if it will be controlled by TermStore Administrators.

Next he goes through adding Terms for different Policies and the associated screens and features such as Tagging and Synonyms.

Bill also discusses the use for TermSets: whether available for tagging (or just a group level); whether they are used for Site Navigation or used as Contextual Refiners in Faceted Navigation (Deals with Search).

Bill also briefly discusses the “CUSTOM SORT” and “CUSTOM PROPERTIES” Tabs shown above.

He proceeds to go into the TermStore Screens and defines the specific entries such as HashTags, Keywords (Enterprise Keywords), and Orphan Terms.

Next Bill does an Import of the Sample TermSet: essentially an Excel or CSV file with Fields and Levels for import:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-05.png
Sample File for Import—Good Hands On Demo

The final thing that Bill does is to create and delete an additional Managed Metadata Service through the “Manage application services” menu Item of Central Admin. The actual mechanics are routine for creating and deleting Service Apps—which is done many times in this course. However, one interesting point here is that he doesn’t attach the service to the farm’s default list.

(I left the lesson not quite knowing why I’d need an additional Managed Metadata Service—but I definitely knew how to create one – which is probably what most Administrators need anyway.)

Lesson 9: Search Service Application

(To this author, these next two lessons are where Kulterman soars. When you take a difficult application like “Search” and the “User Profile Application” and show admins how to get it working, it is awesome!)

(If you’re stuck, the TrainSignal monthly fee would be worth it only for these two lessons alone.)

Bill also goes through a number of what look like “side excursions” but turn out to be “main-street admin-ing” and time-savers.

Bill starts by explaining how “SharePoint Search” and “Fast Search” were separated in SharePoint 2010. Essentially “Fast Search” was an Enterprise only feature. However, now “SharePoint Search” and “Fast Search” are united. (Yeah!!)

The Out of the Box Search still comprises the “Enterprise Search”, “People Search”, “Site Search” and “Media Search”. Added are the new search features: “Topic Pages” and “Content by Search”.

Also “My Tasks” are a fabulous addition to “My Sites” to allow users to search for their tasks and pull them together in their “My Sites” Site. This allows them to be easily reviewed in one place—no matter which sites they were created in.

As usual for our services, everything starts under Central Admin’s “Manage service applications”. Bill, then, spots the two Search Services: the “Search Administration Web Service for Search Application” and the “Search Service Application”. In that crazy wild abandonment style of Bill’s, he deletes the “Search Service Application”. This will also delete the other.

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-06.png
Delete and Rebuild

(His philosophy in this course is to build the needed services just to get over the initial configuration with the “White Wizard”. He then tears them down individually and rebuilds them to see what they are made of. Works for me!)

Now Bill begins to build the Search Application from scratch by first creating the Service which also creates the Search Service Admin.

The following shows the Search Administration Screen after creating “GM Search”:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-07.png
Search Administration Screen

Further Checking on this Screen show checkmarks for the Admin, Crawler, Content Processing, Analytics Processing, Query Processing for. GM Search

(Anchors Away!)

Next Bill attempts to find the word “Customers” on the site where he has prepopulated documents:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-08.png
Search for the Word "Customers"

It returns “Nada”. What happened? It looks like we have to start the Crawl since nothing so far has been crawled. Thus we have no index information about our site collection.

What we need to do is to start a crawl on our Content Sources in Central Admin under “Manage service applications” Search Administration:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-09.png
Start Crawl from Content Source

“Bad News Bears”—even after the crawl runs, the search screen show zip.

Smarty Bill knew this wasn’t going to work and why—don’t ya just hate him? He proceeds to look at the Crawl Logs under Farm Search Administration in Central Admin.

The Crawl Log displays three errors.

Next, by drilling into the Top Level Errors (the Top Level are more descriptive than the Errors), Bill displays the errors:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-10.png
Search Error

We are having Access denied errors. (Not totally surprised with SharePoint: sometimes it doesn’t like to share.) Thankfully Bill knows what causes these. He is only worried about the errors for the main site (http://intranet.globomantics.com) and the My Sites, (http://My Sites.globomantics.com).

The error (not shown above) concerns “sps3://intranet.globomantics.com” which is a protocol issue dealing with SSL which has not been setup yet. (Had Bill not known—how many Google Hours does this translate to—with Coffee Breaks?)

At this point, Bill lets us in on the problem: it’s LoopBack Security Check. This is really a prevalent problem on SharePoint Systems from at least Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. Basically, SharePoint prevents access to a Web Application using a Fully Qualified Domain Names are not allowed. Thus if you try to access the Application from the same machine that hosts the Application, SharePoint will stop you.

Bill goes through two scenarios to fix this problem. The first would be to permanently disable the loopback check in the registry; the second is to set up a multi-string registry entry for valid Domain Names to be crawled.

The first is not really a viable production option. The second is the route Bill chooses. It is outlined in a reference he gives http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861 :

(Basically, this is a registry edit with “Regedit” to create a Multi-String Value under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlLsaMSV1_0. In that key the Fully Qualified Domains are entered one per line. After a registry tweak with “Regedit”, Bill reruns the Crawl and only receives one error, which was discussed above.

Then all is well with his search. “Houston, we have Search!”:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-11.png
Search and SharePoint 2013 - Together at Last!

(What I especially liked about this lesson is that the knowledge is both useable and practical. On my machine, I got search working initially with a PowerShell Script—but I really didn’t have a clue to the internal workings. Bill deals with the inner workings and the weeds.)

Lesson 10: User Profile Service Application

As I stated earlier, this was the first lesson from Bill that I inhaled. I had literally been stuck on a virtual machine I was preparing for my development environment. I could not get the User Profile Service running. I could not get an import of Active Directory to happen.

Bill explains that User Profiles are information about people in an organization together with social tags, documents and other items related to that user. The User Profile Service is integrally linked to My Sites, Social Computing and Active Directory. He, then, proceeds to explain the databases involved and the synchronization process.

Once again Bill does the macho remove of the Service and it’s application data and creates an New User Profile Service Application called “GM User Profile Service”:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-12.png
Creation of User Profile Service Application
.
(Note: in the configuration process the “My Sites” host Url is required as well as the “personal” Managed Path.)

Next he goes to the “Manage Services on Server” under Central Admin and tries to start the “User Profile Synchronization Services”. After coming back in five minutes, the service doesn’t start.

Next Bill goes back to “Manage Service Applications” under the User Profile Service Manage Tab and attempts to create a new connection. Again it’s no luck! He gets the following error: “Cannot navigate to the requested page because User Profile Synchronization service is not running. Please start the User Profile Synchronization service before creating a connection”
(“Chicken and Egg anyone? Didn’t we just try to do that. This is Real!”)

Unabashed, Bill reveals his “SuperAdmin” skills and switches to the Domain Controller in Active Directory. Here he gives the SPFarm account “Delegation Privileges with Directory Replication Ability” (obvious—huh?):

Bill navigates the Delegate Control Wizard and creates a “Custom Task” to delegate:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-13.png
Replicating Directory Changes

Bill still needs to give the SPFarm account the ability to log on locally through the Local Security Policy:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-14.png
Just "Don't want to keep them down on the Farm"

Finally Bill adds the SPFarm account temporarily to the Local Administrator’s Group through Active Directory and reboots his server before continuing.

Bill goes back and successfully starts the User Profile Synchronization Service. Next he again goes into “Manage” under the “GM User Profile Service”. He goes into the “Configure Synchronization Settings” option and explains how to set the simplest synchronization for the “Use SharePoint Active Directory Import”.

Finally, he goes into the “Add new synchronization connection” with no problems. He successfully adds the connection after connecting to the correct Active Directory Organization Unit.

Sweet Success Bill’s Masterpiece on GloboMantics.com:

2013-09-25-TrainSignalCourse-Part03-15.png
Awesome! Works on Other Machines!

(Can it get more Awesome?)

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