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Archive for December, 2015

BCS Error – Login Failed for User

Posted by Jean Paul on December 27, 2015

You will get the following error while first time configuring BCS.


Message from External System: ‘Login failed for user ‘NT AUTHORITYANONYMOUS LOGON’.’.



Following would be the solution.

Open SharePoint Designer. Go to External Content Types > Open BCS item > Click Connection Properties button.
Choose the Authentication Mode as BDC Identity as shown below.


Save changes & Retry opening your BCS List.


In this post we have explored a common error while configuring BCS & steps to resolve it.

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Install Visual Studio 2015

Posted by Jean Paul on December 19, 2015

For starting with App Development, I am using Visual Studio 2015.

You can download a copy from here:


I am using Enterprise  edition.  Click on the Download button to continue & Install a Trial version.

Ensure you have the following templates ready.


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Configure PowerPivot Site Collection in SharePoint 2013

Posted by Jean Paul on December 7, 2015

In this article we can explore.

Install SQL Server BI Edition

There are different editions of SQL Server. We need to choose the Business Intelligence one.


You can install this on the same machine where SharePoint & SQL Server already exists.

Following is the Download link if you have MSDN Subscription. It is around 3GB.


Choose the Installation > New SQL Server option


Pass through the upcoming wizard.



PowerPivot Configuration Tool

Now you can run the PowerPivot for SharePoint 2013 Configuration. This tool will configure the required service applications, services & site templates for PowerPivot.

You should be logged in as Farm Administrator to the machine.


You will get the tool loaded like below.


In the appearing page enter the core details:

1. Farm Account

2. Power Pivot Instance Name


Click Validate & then run button to complete the operations.

Central Administration

Go to Central Administration & Create a new site collection. You should be able to choose the PowerPivot template as shown below.


Enter the User Name & Click Ok to create the site collection.

Once the site collection is created you can open it in Browser.


In the new site collection you can open the library named PowerPivot Gallery. This is the core library used for BI.


You can configure following advanced content types for the library.



If you already have Analysis Server & Cube created you can create a new Report Data Source object to create a Report within the browser.


You can enter the details shown below.


You can choose the Farm Account & Use as Windows credential option.

Once the connection is successful you will see the new item as shown below.


You can try clicking on the item & use Report Builder within the browser itself.


This confirms our PowerPivot installation for SharePoint 2013.



In this article we have explored how to configure PowerPivot Site Collection in SharePoint 2013.

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Named Items in Excel Web Access Web Part

Posted by Jean Paul on December 2, 2015

In this article we can explore how to use Named Items in Excel Web Access web part.

Named Items

Named Items is a feature of Excel which allows Naming few cell area. This makes us easier to integrate the Excel workbook with SharePoint pages. We can show different areas of the same sheet Or different sheet in multiple Excel Web Access web parts.

Create Excel Workbooks

Create an Excel workbook with 2 charts as shown below.


Now select the cells for Chart1 and Right click to get the following menu.


You will get the Name dialog box as shown below. Enter a name Chart1 without spaces.


Now repeat the same for Chart2 area.



Upload the above workbook to SharePoint document library. Create a new page using the Add Page menu item.


Insert two Excel Web Access web parts into the page.


For the first web part:

1. Choose excel document

2. Set Named Item to Chart1 by typing


Now go to the second web part & repeat for Chart2 named item.

Save the page & you can see as shown below.


You can see that different parts of the sheet are displayed here.

Named Items can be used to display information from multiple sheets too.



In this article we have explored how to use Named Items in Excel Web Access web part.

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Cost of SharePoint Branding

Posted by Jean Paul on December 2, 2015

Cost of SharePoint Branding

Mere ASP.NET & HTML skills are not enough to work with SharePoint Branding. The Cost of improper branding will be sluggish page performance, unwanted content loading, unhappy user etc.


SharePoint Branding Recommendations

Following are the recommended approaches for SharePoint Branding.

Item Description
HTML Page HTML Page (.html) is preferred if you are using a Full Page customization. In this way you are loading only necessary contents.
ASPX Page ASPX pages will contain lot of SharePoint Master Page contents along with the Images, CSS & JS files.  The recommended approach is to open the page in SharePoint Designer and remove the unwanted elements.
Master Page Custom Master Pages are recommended for Custom Layout scenarios.  Adding a custom master page for every scenario does not add value.
Design Manager Design Manager can be used to convert HTML pages to Master Pages.
Composed Looks Use Composed Looks instead of Custom Master Page if you wanted to just change the Color, Theme & Background images.
Web Part Zone Web Part Zone is only needed if you wanted your user to add custom web parts.  If there is no explicit requirement, remove the Web Part Zone from the page.  This will save from hassles in the future.
Content Editor Web Part Content Editor Web Part allows adding HTML contents from the User level. But for a Developer Content Editor Web Part is not recommended. Use direct HTML inclusion in the page.
SharePoint Ribbon SharePoint Ribbon is a Powerful thing. But you have to Hide it if you do not Need it. Else, you are attracting lot of problems like the User can delete the branded page etc.
Removal vs. Hiding Removal of page elements is advised over Hiding them dynamically at the client-side.  This will remove the Flickering effect & Improves page performance due to reduced contents.
HTML5 Application Cache Use cache manifest to specify offline availability of static files.  This will save lot of client & server cycles in multiple refresh scenarios.  Static Files involve CSS & JS files.
HTML5 Video Tag Try to use HTML5 Video tags instead of SharePoint Video infrastructure.  This will be lighter in footprint & server usage.  SharePoint Video infrastructure involves content types, metadata & streaming.
CSR Client Side Rendering with JS Link is recommended for modification of List View.
Responsive UI Responsive Web Design is recommended over Device Channel as it gives the same HTML code for all devices, Search engine friendly & lesser scripts.
Device Channels Device Channels have the overheads of custom master page creation although it reduces the size of the page.  Hence it is recommended only for low-bandwidth devices.
Search Display Templates Custom Search Display Templates can be used rather than creating a Custom search results page.
CDN Content Delivery Networks are recommended for quick retrieval of JS libraries when your customers are located around the world.
SOM Server Object Model code is least recommended as it involves Server-side execution and Reducing Compatibility with SharePoint Online.
Browser Support Internet Explorer still wins the Majority over Chrome when comes to SharePoint Intranet deployments. So never forget to Ensure Responsiveness & Clean the extra Errors & Warnings generated by IE.


I would recommend a 2-day SharePoint Branding Training before starting with the Actual Project.  This investment in the initial phase will return multifold in future.

For certification involving branding MCTS 70-448 is recommended.


In this post we have explored few SharePoint Branding aspects.


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