API Sandbox from Microsoft to play with Office 365 APIs

SharePoint 2013

This is totally awesome.

An environment for testing or developing code that leverage Office 365 APIs –  http://apisandbox.msdn.microsoft.com/

Play around with the sample codes that the site has or change and add code on the fly to test yours.

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AppFabric 1.1 error while installing SharePoint Server 2013 prerequisites

SharePoint 2013

While installing the SharePoint Server 2013 prerequisites, you see the following error in the event log and the setup log:

Product: AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server — Error 1722. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program run as part of the setup did not finish as expected. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.  Action Env_PSModulePath_powershell_i, location: c:\Program Files\AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server\Microsoft.ApplicationServer.InstallHelper.exe, command: powershell.exe “-command \”$str = [System.Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable( \\\”PSModulePath\\\ “, [System.EnvironmentVariableTarget]::Machine); $str = $str+\\\”;c:\Program Files\AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server\PowershellModules\\\”; c:\Windows\system32\setx.exe /M PSModulePath \\\”$str\\\”\ “” “C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Temp\AppServerSetup1_1_CustomActions(2014-5-15 11-08-45).log”

CAUSE
The PSModulePath environment variable is corrupted. There is a quotation mark at the end.

C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Tools\PowerShell\Modules;c:\Program Files\AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server\PowershellModules”

FIX
Delete the ending quotation mark and re-run the setup.

Original Official post here.

No more bimonthly CUs – July 2014 CU for SharePoint 2013 is out

SharePoint 2013

Microsoft has changed the plans for bi-monthly CUs. The CUs will be released on a monthly basis from now on. This means for all products that is being supported. Cool, eh!!

That means faster patches and updates to your products.

And so, the July 2014 CU for SharePoint 2013 has been released.

Visit the official blog for details.

Release Candidate for Visual Studio 2013 Update 3

The Release Candidate for Visual Studio 2013 Update 3, is now available for download

Some cool new features:

  • Multi-Device Hybrid Apps with Apache Cordova™. We announced support for multi-device development with Apache Cordova at TechEd earlier this year. Update 3 continues our investments in tooling for iOS, Android and Windows through HTML/JavaScript/CSS and Cordova including improvements to installation and management and diagnostics.
  • Application InsightsApplication Insights, Microsoft’s service for monitoring production web sites and Windows Store and Phone apps, is now included in this update. Key enhancements in this release include polish to the account setup experience to create accounts directly in Azure without requiring a Visual Studio Online account as well as other enhancements from the Preview we published to the Visual Studio Gallery.
  • Visual Studio Graphics Analyzer. Diagnosing DirectX rendering and performance issues is tricky and the Visual Studio Graphics Diagnostics features help. In Update 3, we have enhanced the Graphics Analyzer to analyze graphics frames and to view the impact of shader code changes without re-running the app. You can easily configure capture options in Tools Options under Graphics Diagnostics.
  • Managed memory dump analysis. When analyzing managed memory dump files, you can now Go to Definition and Find All References of the selected type. To learn more, check out the blog post on .NET Memory Analysis.
  • CPU and Memory Usage tool. The CPU Usage tool in the Performance and Diagnostics hub now enables you to navigate from a function name in the Call Tree to the definition of that function in the editor so that you can easily see the code that is using CPU in your application. We have also made improvements to the Memory Usage tool such as support for Win32 and WPF applications (.NET 4.0 and up on Windows 8.1) and the ability to force garbage collections in managed apps.
  • Multi-Monitor configuration with Windows Store App. When debugging a Windows Store app with a multi-monitor configuration, Visual Studio now remembers which monitor your app was last run on. Here are some images to describe this experience.
  • CodeLens. CodeLens, an editor productivity feature available in Visual Studio Ultimate, is now available to show authors and changes to files in Git repositories. If you use Git for source control and TFS for work item tracking, CodeLens work item indicators now provide information about work items associated with a method, or class.
  • ALL CAPS. The change in our menus to use all capital letters was one of the areas about which we received a lot of feedback, so a while ago we added a registry key that disabled the ALL CAPS menus in Visual Studio 2012. To make the setting more discoverable and to enable it to remain set as you upgrade across Visual Studio versions, we have now added a Tools Options setting under the general Environment settings that lets you set your preferred menu bar styling. We also roam this setting so it’s available on all your devices.

Find the entire msdn blog with more details here.

“No item exists at…” SharePoint Survey Anonymous access error

SP2010

“No item exists at…  It may have been deleted or renamed by another user”. – This might be an irritating error when you enable Anonymous access to a SharePoint Survey.

This normally happens when you have multiple pages with a page separator in a Survey and when you try to respond using “Anonymous” access.

The Problem

SharePoint Survey initially uses the NewForm.aspx to create the survey. It gets the incremented ID value and goes to EditForm.aspx with the same ID in querystring. Everything goes as planned until now. Once the user goes into the next set of questions in the second page of the survey, the same ID is passed as a query string again and it throws this wierd error. Now, this happens only when you are not logged in.

Solution

What could be the reason?

If you check the advanced settings in the same Survey, you can find a setting similar to the image below.

Survey Advanced Settings Item

Reading between the lines, you can see that it is set to “Create responses and edit responses that were created only by the current user” which kind of creates a confusion for anonymous users. Change this option to “Create and edit all responses” and the issue will be resolved. This in effect allows Anonymous users to edit the response it just created. Everything should be fine from now.

Deploy solutions in SharePoint 2013: App vs Sandbox vs Feature

SharePoint 2013

A recent question in SharePoint.Stackexchange.com asked how to provision branding elements like master page or page layouts into SharePoint 2013? Is deployment by a feature or an App better?

I answered my suggestions and I thought about having a blog about it too.

The Paradigm now: App or Sandbox or Farm solution?

I would suggest that the solution should completely depend on what SharePoint farm you are using currently, online or on-premise. Also, if you are using on-premise, is there a possibility that you will be shifting to the cloud soon?

Apps might be just right for the cloud

Developing an App for deploying branding elements can get kind of complex, considering the scenarios for creating Remote site provisioning events that trigger branding whenever a child site is created.

It’s all possible if you are willing to take this route and explore the challenges. If so, do check out this solution pack that was recently published by Microsoft for SharePoint online branding. It’s a great eye opener and gives lot of insight.

Also note that the App world is not completely matured yet. Recently Microsoft decided to stop SharePoint Auto hosted Apps from Office 365. So, there will be still enhancements and adjustments in the App world leading to a complete mature App development model.

Sandbox solution

A sandbox solution might just satisfy the need for many. But you need to keep in mind that Sandbox solutions with custom code are soon getting deprecated, but you are safe with solutions that just use the declarative markups. Read this blog explaining the whole situation.

There are known drawbacks for Sandbox solution as well, since you need to deploy everything as a solution in a site collection and don’t have much flexibility. But this could be always the first step in pushing yourself to cloud.

Farm solution

This is the traditional way for developers, considering the ease in development and deployment. But again, if your organization wish to move to the cloud in the future, you will have the pain of re-engineering all these solutions.

My Opinion

The App solution might be good if you are already in the cloud or you are anticipating to move to the cloud soon. You might just need to do some tweaks in the future with the future changes in App infrastructure.

For those who do not foresee moving to the cloud can feel safe to use the Sandbox solution to a minimum or a mix of App parts and farm deployments, whichever suits the environment.

As you all know Microsoft is constantly pushing more and more towards the cloud which makes sense as they have their own valid reasons. Also may be after probably the 2016 version of SharePoint, there might not even be an on-premise version. So, plan accordingly folks.