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Archive for the ‘SharePoint’ Category

Configure Zone

Posted by Jean Paul on April 15, 2016

This is a part of the article-series:

Configure Zone

As part of Configuring App Domain, We need to create a Forward Lookup Zone.

Forward Lookup Zone

Forward Lookup Zone will use a Domain Name to find the IP Address.  In our case we need an App Domain Name.

Open DNS Manager.


Expand the Server > Forward Lookup Zone and choose New Zone.


Choose the Primary Zone which is default.


Leave the defaults in next pages too.


Enter the Zone name.  You can choose yours.  Mine is as following:

  • Machine name is sharepoint
  • Domain name is
  • App Domain name is

We need to enter the App Domain name as the Zone Name.


You can complete the wizard.


You will see the new zone name created in the left pane.  Right click on it to create the CNAME (Canonical Name is Aliasing an existing Domain name)


In the properties enter as following.  Here we are using as an alias pointing to which is the original computer fqdn name.


Note This step is very crucial.  Any wrong entry would cause the Apps to behave weird.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Test SHA

Posted by Jean Paul on April 7, 2016

This post is part of the article-series:

Test SHA

In this post we can test the SharePoint Hosted App.

Following are the pre-requisites:

  • Create an App User
  • Zone should be configured
  • Apps should be Configured
  • Internet Explorer is required


Right click on the solution & Deploy the App.



You can view the App by logging into the SharePoint site as the App User.

You will see the App is displayed in the Quick Launch.


Clicking on it will get you get the Login prompt.


Enter the credentials and you will get the app launched.



You may get repeated Login prompts if the Zones are configured in a wrong way.

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Create Certificate

Posted by Jean Paul on March 29, 2016

This is a part of the article-series:

Create Certificate

Creating a Certificate is required to establish Trust between Server-to-Server.

Open IIS Manager.


Click on Server Certificates


In the appearing window choose Create Self-Signed Certificate


In the appearing window enter the name of the Certificate.


You can see the new certificate created.


Posted in SharePoint | Leave a Comment »

Promote as Domain Controller

Posted by Jean Paul on March 17, 2016

This is a part of the article-series:

Promote as Domain Controller

In order to Configure Apps, your Server should  be a Domain Controller.  To promote your Server as Domain Controller, follow the steps below.

Open Server Manager and Choose Manage > Add Roles and Features.


In the appearing window check the following highlighted item.


Click Next to continue and complete the wizard.

Once the wizard is completed come back to Server Manager and click on the Exclamation mark.  In the appearing menu below choose the Promote this server to a domain controller item.


In the appearing dialog choose the Add a new forest option.

You can enter your domain name.  For example:

  • I am using my computer name as sharepoint
  • My domain name is


Enter the password in the upcoming page.


Click the Wizards to end to complete the Domain Creation process.

You will be automatically restarted & once you log back in you can see the Domain Controller is installed.

Open My Computer > System Properties to view the following domain name.


This concludes promoting your server as a domain controller.  You can now continue with the rest of the posts.

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Error: Apps are disabled on this site.

Posted by Jean Paul on March 11, 2016

The error says that you have not configured App Urls.

You can refer to this article for creating App Urls.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Leave a Comment »

PHA : Where to generate the Certificate?

Posted by Jean Paul on March 3, 2016

We need to generate the certificate from the SharePoint Server.  The Certificate authorizes the PHA server through the Issuer ID and Password.

Creating Certificate

Open SharePoint Server > Go to IIS > Root Site > Server Certificates


Choose Create Self Signed Certificate from the right hand side.


Enter a name.


You will get the certificate created.


For PHA Apps we need to Sign the Certificate.  You can refer to Signing here.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Leave a Comment »

Confusion with Site Definition & Site Pages

Posted by Jean Paul on February 17, 2016

One of my co-worker raised a concern over editing Site Pages in Advanced Mode. This is regarding my previous article Sleek Way Of Developing Fully Immersive SharePoint Pages.

The argument raised was “We should not edit Site Definition” due to the reasons mentioned in the article here. Please refer the section on it.


I would like to clarify this here as more people would be thinking the same.


Site Definition vs. Site Pages

The core point of clarification is Site Definition is different from Site Pages.

Site Definition consists of:

· Web Parts

· Workflows

· XML Files

· Lists & Libraries

So Site Definition is a Package of Solution.

For example, Let us take example of Publishing Site Definition.

Publishing Site Definition

As you know Publishing Site Definition provides the following advantages:

· An author can create content using a page template

· Content will be reviewed & approved by Approvers

· Content gets Published

To incorporate all these functionalities, the Publishing Site Definition has:

· Built-in Permission Groups

· Built-in Workflows

· Built-in Pages

· Built-in Code

So, if we are going & modifying the above Site Definition using SharePoint Designer Advanced Mode editing, we are risking the following:

· Future updates to above Site Definition will not be applied

· Future SharePoint upgrades can break functionalities


Normal Mode Editing is done through Browser & only the content in Web Part Zone is edited. Advanced Mode Editing is done through SharePoint Designer Advanced Mode. Here the page area which cannot be accessible in Normal Mode Editing too is editable. This causes detaching from Site Definition formats.

Our Case

Coming back to our case of Site Pages, we are clearly not breaking any functionality. Following are the reasons:

· We are just using a Site Page & not a Site Definition

· We do not use any Site Definition features like Workflows, Approval etc.

· We are inheriting a Standalone ASPX page with less minimal SharePoint tags

The following link too recommends Advanced Mode editing.


The conclusion is we can continue with Advanced Mode editing of our Standalone ASPX Pages.


You can also use notepad for creating the above Site Page. No special requirement for SharePoint Designer.



In this article we have clarified a Confusion scenario with Site Definition & Site Pages.

Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

BCS External Content Type Configuration

Posted by Jean Paul on February 7, 2016


In this article we can explore how to configure BCS External Content Type in SharePoint 2013.


BCS (Business Connectivity Services) allows Interfacing to Data that does not Live in SharePoint. For example, we can connect to External Databases, OData Sources etc.

When to use BCS?

The ideal scenarios to use BCS are:

· To leverage an existing SQL Server Table containing Data. BCS would free us from duplicating the Table in SharePoint. BCS also saves the cost involved in Synchronizing Data if there are users working on updating the source table.

· In Internal SharePoint application requiring data from External application. In this case we can create Custom .Net BCS Providers.

BCS Example

In our example we are creating a BCS List pointing to SQL Server Table. Please follow the steps below to create the BCS List in SharePoint. After the List creation, you will be able to Add/Edit/Delete items in the List & everything will reflect back in the SQL Server Table.

Step 1

Create a new SQL Server table named Customer.

Use the following structure:

1. Id Integer Identity

2. Name Nvarchar (max)

3. Address Nvarchar (max)

Fill the Table with some data as shown below.

Step 2

Open SharePoint Designer 2013 & Go to External Content Types pane as shown below.


Choose the External Content Type button from the left pane for creating a New External Content Type. (External Content Type is the keyword for referring BCS Content Types)

Enter the Name for the Content Type and click the highlighted area below to configure External Data Source.


You will get the following dialog. Choose Add Connection option.


In the appearing dialog choose SQL Server.


Enter the Credentials to SQL Server.

Choose our table. Right click and choose Create All Operations.

You will get the following wizard.


Click Next with default values.

Step 3

Now we need to create the List Instance. Go to Lists and Libraries in Designer and click the External List ribbon item.


Choose our Content Type from the appearing dialog box.


Click OK to continue. Enter the name as Customers for the list. Now you have successfully created the List Instance of our External Content Type.

Step 4

Now we can Test our new List. Open SharePoint & You should be able to see the Customers list in the Quick Launch. Click on it to see the items below.


Once you can see the data like above – You have successfully configured BCS External Content Type.


It is not surprising that you may get the following errors. You can refer the associated links to resolve them.

Access denied by business data connectivity.

Login failed for user

AuthenticationMode RevertToSelf



In this article we have explored how to configure BCS External Content Type in SharePoint 2013.

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Sleek SharePoint Pages!

Posted by Jean Paul on February 3, 2016

In real-world projects I have noticed the following SharePoint Branding mistakes.

1. Inheriting a Publishing Page for a Fully Immersive UI where we don’t actually use any Publishing functionalities like Page Layouts, Approval Workflow, Content Authoring etc.

2. Using Content Editor web part to dynamically invoke an HTML file there by delaying loading through unwanted SharePoint stuffs.

Incurred Costs

This will have immediate costs of:

· Increased Development Time

· Reduced Performance

· Increased Download Size

This will have future costs of:

  • Forcing client to purchase SharePoint Standard/Enterprise editions rather using the Free Foundation

Requirement Context

The requirement context here is to have a Fully Immersive Page without SharePoint Branding and allowing REST Operations.

Key Solution

I am providing a Key Solution which is:

1. Sleek in SharePoint Branding

2. Applicable for Fully Immersive Pages

3. Minimal SharePoint Contents loaded

4. SharePoint Foundation compatible


Open a SharePoint Designer and Choose Site Pages > Page ASPX option. 


Now, Open Designer and Go to Site Pages library.


You can see our page is listed there and the Content Type is of Wiki Page.  We don’t worry about that since we are not using any Wiki Page functionalities.  Plus, our page is SharePoint Foundation compatible.


You can also use HTML page instead of ASPX. In this case we need to change the Web Application property to allow HTML extensions to render instead of download & work with more challenges.

Now open the Page and choose Edit file option.


You will see the following page with read-only mode.


Click on the Advanced Mode to edit the contents.


You will get the page in edit-mode as shown below.



From the Immersive Page Perspective, We are expecting a Full Custom Page which does not require any SharePoint Branding or Ribbon elements. The above Page fits our requirement.

Following is the page content.

<%@ Page Language=”C#” %>

<%@ Register tagprefix=”SharePoint” namespace=”Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls” assembly=”Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c” %>

<html dir=”ltr” xmlns=””&gt;

<head runat=”server”>

<meta name=”WebPartPageExpansion” content=”full” />

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=10″ />

<SharePoint:CssRegistration Name=”default” runat=”server”/>



<form id=”form1″ runat=”server”>


Your HTML content goes here..



You can save the page and test in browser. You can see now the SharePoint Branding elements got removed.


You can View the source. The source looks simple.


Now you are ready to use the above Page Template for building the Fully Immersive Page with Responsive Or Non-Responsive web design.  Full Control! Sleek! Faster!



You can also use HTML page instead of ASPX. In this case we need to change the Web Application property to allow HTML extensions to render instead of download & work with more challenges.

The Challenge

Now we need to use JSOM or REST API on the ASPX page. Clearly, we cannot use API because it will throw lot of security errors. The solution is to include the Form Digest tag.

Form Digest tag marks the page with right Security Contexts. This will allow the page to do POST requests to modify the contents in SharePoint.

Following would be the modified code.

<SharePoint:CssRegistration Name=”default” runat=”server”/>






Add Form Digest value too.

<form id=”form1″ runat=”server”>

<SharePoint:FormDigest runat=”server”></SharePoint:FormDigest>

Your HTML content goes here..


The additional contents added ensure that the Page is protected to Post data through APIs.


Since we are hiding SharePoint Ribbon, it will hide the User Display Name & Gear Icon too.  If you require these, I would recommend creation of a Custom DIV and Add those Items manually.

Insert Test

Now let us really test an item insertion. You can use the following link for that.


SharePoint Pages

SharePoint Editions & Features

Form Digest


In this article we have explored a sleek way of developing Fully Immersive SharePoint Pages.

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Item Level Permissions and Code Access

Posted by Jean Paul on January 29, 2016

Item Level Permissions and Code Access

In this article we can explore how Item Level Permissions behave in Code Access scenario.

Item Level Permissions

We can enable Item-level Permission on a list so that only the Creator will be able to Read the item.  For other users the item won’t be displayed.

As an Administrator, you can go to the List > List Settings > Advanced Settings to enable Item-level Permissions.


Testing from Browser Access

Create a new item as Administrator User.


Now login as a different User who is just a Contributor.  You won’t’ be able to see the Admin item now.


Now create a new item.


Now login back as the Administrator or Site Owner & You can see both the items.


Site Collection Administrator or Site Owner can view all the Use Items.

Testing from Code Access

Now let us see the Item-level Permission applies to Code Access as well.  For this I am using CSOM Code with/without Network Credential class.

By default the code runs under Login User which is Administrator.

static void Main(string[] args)


ClientContext context = new ClientContext(“http://sharepoint“);

List list = context.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(“Restricted Contacts”);

ListItemCollection items = list.GetItems(CamlQuery.CreateAllItemsQuery());



foreach (var item in items)







Executing the Code you can see both the items are displayed.  Since we are Administrator user now.


Now apply the Contributor User Credential to test the User Context.

ClientContext context = new ClientContext(“http://sharepoint“);

context.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(“tim”, “Welcome123”);


This concludes that Item-level Permission applies to Code Access as well & Site Collection Administrators or Site Owner can view all items in both browser & code access scenario.


Item-level Permissions is a great feature.  Without this we would have required custom code to break the permission & assign permission to the created user.



In this article we have explored Item Level Permissions & CSOM Code with different User Contexts.


Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2013, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »