Archive for the ‘SharePoint 2013’ Category

SharePoint 2013 Apps

August 22nd, 2012 Comments off

SharePoint 2013 Apps

We all know that SharePoint 2013 came up with new methodologies and features. One great option is SharePoint Apps.  It’s a new way to develop and provide custom functionality around SharePoint. It is also a step forward towards cloud computing. I recently added a slide deck from my recent presentation on SharePoint 2013 Apps. I thought now it is time to share my experience in details. Alright so what is an App in new SharePoint? We have seen apps in our phone and a lot of talking now about Windows 8 apps. It is pretty much similar concept.


SharePoint App is a new way of develop and deliver custom functionality. Like any other apps on phone or tablets you can add, update and remove apps using public or private app stores. Each app is an isolated application. It has no dependency on any other app. When you add a new app to SharePoint it will be stored in a new sub site. This actually to keep it isolated from other apps. App model doesn’t allow server side code in app. Also it is convenient to install, just discover from an app store and add it. You don’t need any on prem deployment or help from site collection admins. This also implies that it is a suitable option for cloud. Yes finally something that can work for cloud. So if you choose an app development methodology, you don’t need to worry what will happen if your company decided to move on to cloud.

Apps vs Other Solutions

It is interesting to know how the apps are different from other solution options. Farm and Sandboxed are the other solution option to develop custom functionality for SharePoint sites.  One thing to consider here is that Farm and Sandboxed solutions are not deprecated. They are still there and you can use these options in SP 2013 as well.

Both Farm and Sandboxed solutions required server side code. Farm solution can only deployed in on prem deployment option. This is not suitable for cloud at all. Yes you can sue Sandboxed solutions for cloud but it has a lot of limitations which put users off from it. For example you cannot call external web services from Sandboxed solutions or you can only access the limited set of SharePoint API etc. You can find more details about sandboxed solutions here << Link to the previous blogs about Sandboxed solutions >>.

Compare to the Farm and Sandboxed options Apps are suitable for cloud. It doesn’t use server side code so no confusion about limited access to API. It works on top of the SharePoint framework. Only use client side code developed in JavaScript, JQuery or other client side web standards. Because it doesn’t interfere with the object model it is not harmful for the server. It also keeps the environment light. No on prem deployments required, site owner can easily find the app in App store and can add in their sites. One very interesting thing is that apps makes migration very convenient. Think when you have to perform a migration which sites are difficult to migrate, simply when you have heavy customisations. As the apps are not parts of the customisations in that way. So you can easily perform migration of your apps and sites between servers.

What we can do in Apps

It is important to understand what user can achieve from apps and what cannot be achieved. As per my knowledge so far user can deliver below items using apps.

Custom Web parts (using custom remote pages containing the web parts. Another option is to expose a remote page in an app part, this page may look like a web part)

  • User can have remote event receivers
  • User can deploy new fields based on existing field types
  • User can consume custom web services
  • App can have custom pages which can work as application pages for all the sites use the app
  • App can provisioned lists, content types, and other SharePoint artefacts within app web site

What we can’t do in Apps

There are few things we can’t do in apps. For these user needs to use Farm or Sandboxed solution.

  • Custom site definitions
  • Delegate controls
  • Custom themes
  • Custom action groups and custom hidings
  • User controls (.ascx files)
  • Timer jobs

Apps Deep Dive

So if we look at the apps architecture in detail, we find few important things to consider. Each app requires a separate web site. Also app is web scoped only. But you can design it in a way to make it available for a bigger set of audience. This depends on your architecture. Each app has a unique URL. You can apply a template to change the URL. Benefit of using a unique URL is that it provides isolated domain name for each web app. It adds extra layer of isolation and security to the other apps and user data in SharePoint sites. It prevents the unauthorised access to user data and cross site queries.

An app can have three possible experiences. Or simply you can have three ways to present the app to the users. App can have all the possible three options or just the one. First option is called Immerse Experience; this is when app takes the whole page. This could be the default app page or may be just the about page. Second option is App Part; this is when you present app in an existing page. It could be like a web part display. Third option is Custom Action App; this is when you app work as a custom action in ribbon control.

Apps Stores

We read earlier that apps can be downloaded from the app stores. For the app stores there could be different options. User can download the apps from either Microsoft App Store hosted in Windows Azure, Third Party App Stores or the private Corporate App Stores. Big enterprises can hold their own corporate app stores, to allow users to add apps as per their need. Microsoft will also have its own app store hosted in cloud. User will be able to purchase and download apps from the Microsoft app store. When a user downloads an app from the Microsoft store it will automatically create the SharePoint web site for the app. It will also manage the URL and licensing of apps as well. Developers can develop and sell their apps through Microsoft app store. There is a possibility that in future third parties will also launch their app stores. This will add extra spice to the app market and help boosting the healthy competition.

Hosting Options

Once you start development of apps, you will have a thought that how to host the app. There are three hosting options available for SP 2013 apps.

SharePoint-Hosted: In this option everything will reside in SharePoint. It means when you install an app it will create a new site within SharePoint and it will keep all the app content (e.g. site columns, lists, content types, pages) within SharePoint.  Also in this scenario all the processing will happen in client browser using client side scripting (JavaScript, JQuery etc.). External-Hosted: It is also named as Developer or Self hosted scenario. In this scenario all or part of business logic resides in external to SharePoint. It could be in any technologies e.g. .Net, Java, PHP etc. In this approach SharePoint part of the app will could be just a launching pad for the external app. Auto-Hosted: it is also named as Azure or SharePoint Online hosted scenario. In this scenario user’s app will reside in cloud. When a user purchase and install the app to the SharePoint site. It will automatically create the site for SharePoint and will also manage the URL for the app site. Initially this will only be available through Azure and SharePoint online.

Plan for the Apps

So what is required to plan for the apps development? There are few considerations before starting the development of apps.

  • Subscription service and App Management Service Application must be running for apps usage
  • You need to create the DNS domain to create the unique URLs for apps. That’s all and you are good to start developing your new SharePoint 2013 app.


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Managed Metadata Service – Enable Feature

August 16th, 2012 Comments off

You have setup every bit you can think about the Managed Metadata Service and when you try to create a new Managed Metadata column. You see this message.

“The required feature is not enabled for this column type”

In order to solve this problem, you need to activate a hidden feature. Please use below PowerShell command to activate the feature on your site collection.

Enable-SPFeature –identity “73EF14B1-13A9-416b-A9B5-ECECA2B0604C” -URL http://yoursite

It all should be good afterward.


SharePoint 2013 Apps

August 6th, 2012 Comments off

This is one of my presentation from 2011. I thought it might be helpful to others.


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SharePoint 2013 – New Site Templates

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off

Microsoft has introduced some new site templates in SharePoint 2013. This post only list the new templates under each category.


  • Developer Site
  • Project Site
  • Community Site


  • Discovery Center
  • Community Portal
  • Fast Search Centre (Removed)


  • Product Catalog

Have fun!

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SharePoint 2010 Experience in New Site of SharePoint 2013

July 22nd, 2012 Comments off

One interesting thing I have noticed in SharePoint 2013 preview is that when you create a new site there is an option to select the site experience. You can choose from 2013 and 2010. Obviously 2013 is the default option. You can see the below snapshot for quick reference.

You can also see from the image that there is a new site template (Product Catalog) available in SharePoint 2013 for publishing sites. When you select 2010 template, your page will refresh and will only show the two site templates Publishing Portal and Enterprise Wiki.

Your 2013 site using Publishing Portal will look like this.

If you select the 2010 experience for new site. Your site using the same Publishing Portal site template will look like this.


Run the Configuration Wizard for SharePoint 2013

July 21st, 2012 Comments off

One you have completed the Installation as mentioned in the previous blog. Now it is time to run the SharePoint 2013 configuration wizard. If you have done it with SharePoint 2007 and 2010 then it won’t be different really.

Just click Next on screen 1.

It will prompt to start a few services. Click Yes and continue.

It will start the process. On step 2 or 3 you can see a Configuration Failed error. If you see this error then solution is provided in my earlier blog.

As you know it is just a preview so you may also see an error on Step 8. When it creates Sample Data. You can simply ignore this issue. Because it is just creation of sample data.

Once your configuration is completed you can start the central admin site. Yeah, your SharePoint 15 is all set up now.


Steps to Install SharePoint 2013 – (Preview)

July 21st, 2012 3 comments

Finally the day is here when I’m doing my first install of SharePoint 2013. I think every SharePoint person was waiting for this time eagerly. So come to point and see the steps here.

I created a VM using VMWare. I allocated 6GB memory for the SP2013. I hope it will work. Also it is mentioned to have at least 6GB memory for development machine. So hopeful!

First install the Windows Server 2008 R2. I prefer to avoid Windows Server 2012 release candidate. Then it would be too much risk to use all the pre final software. Then installed the SQL server 2012. It was very straight forward. You can also install SQL Server 2008 R2.

Now the main thing, yes SharePoint 2013. Start the installation. First screen is the same looking as SharePoint 2010. Click on the Install software prerequisites.

It will show the list of all the prerequisites. Just click the Next.

Accept the terms and click Next.

When It finish the process. It will show the Finish screen. One thing it will take some minutes to finish so be patient.

At this point it will ask you to restart the computer. After the restart it will start the process again and install few more configuration items.

When it finishes all the pre requisites installation it will show a final screen.

You need to restart your machine manually here. It will complete the pre requisites installation.

Now double click the SharePoint setup again. It will open the main screen again. Click on Install SharePoint Server. It will start the SharePoint installation.

Enter the product key provided by Microsoft.

Accept the terms and conditions on next screen.

If you are installing everything on one machine then choose Stand-alone. If you are doing a multiple server farm then you will select Complete. In Complete mode you will also need to provide the domain user account. Your local account will not be acceptable for connecting to databases.

It will start the process.

When it finishes the process it will ask to start configuration wizard. Now here it is up to you if you can’t to start configuration now or some other time. But the installation is done.

Have fun!

SharePoint 2012 – Configuration Failed to Create / Connect Configuration Database

July 21st, 2012 Comments off

Great you run the SharePoint 2013 configuration wizard and it gives you error on Step 2 or 3. Configuration Failed as the message is

“Failed to create the configuration database”.

Interestingly this error is reported with Stand Alone installations.  In fact when your machine is not connected to AD and service is running under Network Service account then it cannot create configuration database.

Solution is simple as well. Open command prompt and point to the bin directory in 15 hive. Yes now it is 15 hive. Run this command…..

psconfig.exe -cmd Configdb create SkipRegisterAsDistributedCacheHost

It will create the database. Now you can run the configuration wizard again.


SharePoint 2013 Important Links

July 19th, 2012 Comments off

SharePoint 2013 is really hot now a days. Here you can find some important links to grab some information and download links for SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint Server 2013 Preview Download:

SharePoint Foundation 2013 Preview Download:

SharePoint 2013 & Office 2013 Training For Developers:

SharePoint 2013 Training For IT Pros:

Start: Set up the development environment for SharePoint 2013:


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