My Short and to the (Share)Point thoughts

Where has “Services on Server” gone?

On my last SharePoint deployment, I came across a very peculiar issue.

When I opened the SharePoint Central Admin (SCA) site, selected the Operations tab and the Services on Server link was missing. when I typed in the URL directly (http://SCA/_admin/Server.aspx) I was prompted with an access denied page. Strange as I had farm administrator permissions??? I also noticed other links were missing, like Outgoing e-mail settings.

Bit of background, the SharePoint environment as all built on Windows Server 2008 R2 with UAC enabled to the highest level, requiring username and password to run all UAC tasks.

So I worked out, I had just opened Internet Explorer and clicked a favourite to SCA rather than via the official Central Admin link (START > Programs > Microsoft Office Server > SharePoint 3.0 Central Admin).

image

This link runs PSCONFIGUI.exe to query the SharePoint Config database to see where the SCA is running and which is a UAC task. opening it via the official Central Admin link gave me all the SCA options again.


SharePoint and URLSCAN just don’t get along

For my Latest SharePoint Extranet deployment, I had a lot of issues with basic SharePoint functionality which I have never had issues with before.

  • I could only upload a file up to 28MB in size, despite having the file upload limit set to 100MB (following these instructions from Microsoft - KB925083 & KB94481).
  • Office Integration didn't work (checkout didn’t work and “Edit in Office” opened the document in Read-Only mode, which is pretty useless for a for a collaboration tool).

My SharePoint site was publishing via ISA Server 2006, so made use of persistent cookies to enable the Office integration to work.  I had tested this in my test environment and both the file upload limit and office integration worked as expected.

Whilst troubleshooting the issue in the live environment, one of my Colleagues realised a difference in my Test and Live environments.  The Live environment web servers had URLSCAN installed.  Another one of my Colleagues, tasked with performing server hardening of the live environment, had previously installed URLSCAN on my SharePoint web servers to secure IIS.  When I was asked about URLSCAN before it was installed, having not heard of it, I did a quick bit of research which led me to the conclusion it shouldn’t cause any issues. How badly I was wrong :(

To resolve the issue, we removed URLSCAN from the web servers and accepted the risk. The SharePoint file upload and office integration worked as expected.

Lessons Learnt

  • SharePoint and URLSCAN just don’t get along, without the correct configuration and thought.
  • Make sure your Test environment exactly matches the configuration of your Live environment.
  • Take more time to research things you don’t know.