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Archive for July, 2014

Step 5: Test App

Posted by Jean Paul on July 22, 2014

(This is a part of the article-series Configure App Catalog)

Here we are ready to test our app catalog site. Ensure the following before testing the app:

1. If you are using a Virtual Machine, Use the browser within the VM

2. Use Internet Explorer as your browser

Do not use System Account or Administrator account

Now open your SharePoint Site. Choose Add an App & Visit the SharePoint Store. You should be able to see the following Apps from Office App Store visible.


If you can see the above page then you are good.

Please note the following:

1. Choose free apps first

2. Greyed ones are for SharePoint Online and won’t work in our case of On-Premise

I tried with a Content Management App named Bright Banner, went ahead and Trusted it & after waiting for few minutes it appeared in my left pane.


On clicking it took me to the full-fledged app page.


This concludes our App Catalog configuration.


In production environment app hosting, you should get help from the Network Administrator in configuring DNS & Zones.



In this article-series we have explored App Catalog configuration.

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Step 4: Configure App URLs

Posted by Jean Paul on July 22, 2014

(This is a part of the article-series Configure App Catalog)

Now we have enough URLs to configure. Open Central Administration and choose Configure App URLs option.


In the appearing page enter your URL matching with the Forward Lookup zone


Choose the prefix as app. This prefix will be used for all the newly installed apps.

Save changes & You are ready for the next step.

You can also ensure SharePoint Store Apps are allowable through Central Administration > Apps > SharePoint Store setting.


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Step 3: Create Zone

Posted by Jean Paul on July 21, 2014

(This is a part of the article-series Configure App Catalog)

We need to create a forward lookup zone for App catalog. Apps are hosted in separate zones due to Trust factor.

Open the DNS application from your server.


Expand the Forward Lookup Zone and choose new zone.


Choose the defaults for wizard.

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In the zone name page, enter a unique name for the zone.


Click Next to continue towards the Finish page. Click Finish and the new zone is created.

Right click on the new zone and choose New Alias (CNAME) option.


Enter the following values:

1. * for Alias name

2. Leave second textbox as it is

3. Enter fully qualified domain name of your machine in the third text box.


Click Ok to save changes. Now you are ready with your zone

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Step 2: Create App Catalog

Posted by Jean Paul on July 21, 2014

(This is a part of the article-series Configure App Catalog)

We need to create a site collection for Apps. Open Central Administration and choose Manage App Catalog link from the Apps section.


In the appearing page choose the Create a new app catalog site option and click Ok button.


In the appearing page – Enter the title, administrator user & Click the OK button

Wait for a few seconds and you will get the app catalog site created.


Now we are ready to move to the next step.

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Step 1: Configure Service Applications

Posted by Jean Paul on July 19, 2014

(This is a part of the article-series Configure App Catalog)

We need to create the following 2 service applications:

1. App Management service application

2. Subscription Settings service application

Open Central Administration > Manage service applications.

If you cannot see App Management service application, you need to create one using the new button.


You can ensure the App Management service is created. This service is required to store App licenses and validity of the App requests.


Second service application would be Subscription Settings service application. This service application cannot be created from the toolbar as there is no menu item provided. You need to use the following PowerShell script to create it.

if ((Get-PSSnapin “Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell” -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null)


Add-PSSnapin “Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell”


New-SPSubscriptionSettingsServiceApplication -ApplicationPool “SharePoint Web Services Default” -Name “Subscription Settings Service Application” -DatabaseName “SubscriptionDatabase” | New-SPSubscriptionSettingsServiceApplicationProxy

After running the script you can see the service application created as shown below.


Ensure Services are Running

You can ensure the required services are running using the following link.


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Configure App Catalog

Posted by Jean Paul on July 17, 2014

One of the power advantages of SharePoint 2013 is Apps. Definitely app provides following advantages:

1. Extensibility of SharePoint Platform for the end user

2. Revenue Opportunity for the developer

App Catalog is the page from where users can choose new apps; there are paid & free apps available. But, App Catalog does not come pre-configured. We need to do a 10-30 minutes activities to configure it, depending on the farm complexity.

App Catalog

Choose Site Settings > Add an App page option. You can see the following pane.


Click on the SharePoint Store link.


You will get the above error message if App Catalog is not configured.

How to configure App Catalog?

Following are the activities involved:

1. Configure Service Applications

2. Create App Catalog

3. Create Zone

4. Configure App URLs

5. Test App

Please click on the links about to do a step-by-step app catalog configuration.

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Single or Multiple WSP?

Posted by Jean Paul on July 14, 2014

While working with SharePoint Solutions one may come across the following scenario.


You have a project containing:

1. Master Pages

2. Content Types

3. List Definitions

4. Web Parts

5. Workflows

6. Event Handlers

How many WSP files you have to make?

· Single WSP having all above components


· Multiple WSP like below:

a. Master Pages WSP

b. Content Types WSP

c. List Definitions WSP

d. Web Parts WSP

e. Workflows WSP

f. Event Handlers WSP

The advantage of Single WSP is that we just needed single WSP deployment.

The advantage of Multiple WSP is that a small change only requires single WSP deployment.


What is the optimized path?

To come to a conclusion one has to go through the following thoughts.

What are the reusable components?

We have to find out whether Reusability of a WSP across projects exists? If so we need to separate that component as a separate WSP. This makes deploying only the needed WSP to other projects without including the unnecessary files.

Are we selling components?

If we are on the market to sell the web parts, then we need to think of separating web parts from the rest. A separate WSP can be sold to the market.

Is the project very large in size?

If our project runs to multiple modules, it is good to have multiple WSPs.  Here each department can play with their own module features.


What is the Development overhead?

Clearly developer will get over-killed in going with multiple WSP route. He or She has to maintain a list of changes made so that only the needed WSPs can be send for deployment.

What is the Testing overhead?

If we maintain multiple WSPs without a reason & still the Testing effort remains same, there are no advantages of going with multiple WSPs.

For example: A small master page change only requires a smaller WSP to be deployed. But this small change also needs testing of other content types, web parts & so. Here the testing effort is not reduced.

What is the Administration overhead?

SharePoint Administrator has to go through multiple WSP deployment. In cases were a dependency WSP is not properly deployed there will be chaos. The overheads increase exponentially in case of multi-server topology & caching cases.

What is the User overhead?

Multiple WSPs results in multiple features. SharePoint User has to go through multiple feature activation & deactivation to get the total solution running. This can be awkward.

Alternative Thought

Let us think how we were deploying .Net Assemblies.

A .Net assembly have multiple classes.  A method in a class changed.  We deploy the whole Assembly!!

Similarly, we need to think WSP as a single unit of solution.


Following would be the conclusion factors:

· For single project single client scenario, go for single WSP

· For multiple project scenario, extract the reusable components as separate WSPs

· For multiple client scenario create WSP based on deployable components


Please collect inputs from all stake holders involved:

1. Developers

2. Administrators

3. Testers



In this article we have explored whether to go with Single or Multiple WSPs. I hope this will be helpful in real-worlds scenarios.

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Session Slide

Posted by Jean Paul on July 13, 2014

Thank You for the online webinar session. link

Please find the slide shared below:


Screen shots are shown below:






Also, You can find the Search Content Enrichment Web Service source code here:

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Enterprise Keywords

Posted by Jean Paul on July 8, 2014

In this article we can learn about the Enterprise Keywords feature of SharePoint 2013. This feature was available in SharePoint 2010 as well.

What is Enterprise Keyword?

An enterprise keyword is a special site column that allows user terms to be stored in a non-hierarchical list. Typically this gets stored along with the Managed Metadata under pre-defined term set called keywords.

image image

What are the advantages of Enterprise Keywords?

Following are the major advantages of using enterprise keywords:

1. It enables Folksonomy

2. Users can submit new keywords

3. It is reusable across Tags and Notes

How to start using an Enterprise Keyword column?

Please follow the steps below to create an enterprise keyword column:

Step 1: Create a list

Create a list of type contacts.


Step 2: Add column

Choose List Settings & then the option Add column from existing Site Columns. In the appearing page scroll down to select the item Enterprise Keywords.


Save changes to the list.

Step 3: Create keyword

Now we are ready to enter data. Back in the list, choose New Item & enter information.

For the Enterprise Keywords column enter a new keyword like ‘business’.


Save changes.

Step 4: View keyword

You can see that the new keyword is being saved to the Keywords term set of managed metadata.

Open Site Actions > Site Settings > Term store management tool for viewing this.


This makes sure that the new keyword gets stored in the non-hierarchical Keywords term set.

Brining Managed Metadata Terms to Auto-Complete

We can also bring managed metadata terms into the Enterprise Keywords column for auto-completion.

For testing this create a site collection level terms using the term store management tool.


Now try entering an item for our list. Type the beginning character of the term. You can see the auto-completion takes place as shown below.


This ensures that the managed metadata terms are available in the enterprise keywords column. This would enable high reuse of the terms.


If you cannot see auto-completion happening, try re-creating your managed metadata service pointing to the same database.



In this article we have explored Enterprise Keywords column of SharePoint 2013.

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Open and Closed Term Sets

Posted by Jean Paul on July 5, 2014

In this article we can explore Open and Closed Term Sets inside SharePoint.

Term Sets

Term Sets allow users to create collection of terms which they can reuse to associate with content.

Usually the Site Owner creates the Term Sets for all the other users.

Example of a Term Set is Programming Languages with values like:

1. C#

2. Java

3. Python

Term Store Management Tool

For site collections we can use the Term Store Management Tool. This is available from Site Actions > Site Settings > Term store management tool


Closed Term Sets

By default Term Sets are closed. Here the term manager has to create the terms & users will have to use it. There is no provision to add new terms on the fly.


Term association dialog is shown below.


Open Term Sets

Open Term Sets allows users to create more terms on the fly.

Once we mark the same Term Set as Open, we can add new terms in the association time.


Selecting a parent term & clicking Add New Item allows us to create new term under the parent.

Groups, Term Sets & Terms

Please note that there is subtle difference between Groups, Term Sets & Terms. You can notice the icons for the same.




In this article we have explored Open and Closed Term sets.

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