Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why do we need managed accounts in SharePoint 2010 ?

Hi All,

SharePoint 2010 shipped with a new feature called "Managed Accounts". Managed accounts is a feature that allow sharepoint farm admins and system engineers to manage service accounts/Services created for the sharepoint 2010.

For Example: you might need a service account for your application pool or different accounts for the Sandbox solutions in SharePoint. So, You have to keep those service accounts with their password in a secured file in your system. If the password for one of those accounts has been changed, the result of this your service account will stop functioning.

The solution for this comes with SharePoint 2010 that you can register your service accounts as a Managed Accounts, and you don't need then to remember the password once you register them in your farm. and also the sharepoint 2010 will take care of the password expiry policy that you have in your organization by creating a new strong password and notify you as well. At the same time you can change the managed accounts that manage the service applications/services from the central administration.

How can i register a service account in my far ? here are the steps:
1) Open Central administration.
2) Select security.
3) Select Managed accounts.
4) Type your domain username and password you would like to register.

5) Optional, configure SharePoint to notify you if you have password expiry policy by creating new password.

Tip: This is a good practice to enable SharePoint to generate the password for you and send a notification to you. Even if you are working in an organziation with high password requirement's policy in there, you can let SharePoint change it for you automatically to keep your environment secure and you can change it after that as well.

Once you register your managed accounts in your farm, you can then change those managed accounts to different service applications in SharePoint.

How can i change the service accounts for SharePoint services?
1) Open Central Administration.
2) Select Security.
3) Select Manage Service Accounts.
4) Select the service application and the required managed account.

Tip: Once you select the service application, you will be able to assign to any managed account in your farm.

Summary: It's recomended to create your managed accounts and use it across your farm without the need to remember the password for your accounts.

Hope this helps.

Mostafa Arafa

Monday, September 27, 2010

Create Reports by Business users and deploy it to SharePoint 2010

Hi All,

Usually the business users are trying to create reports for their backend DBs. You can build your own Report and deploy it to SharePoint 2010.

Without using VS.NET you can develop and create your reports using FREE Reporting tool called "Report Builder". In this tool, You can connect to your DB and build your report.

To Download SQL 2008 R2 Report Builder tool, Here is the link:

Once you have "SQL 2008 R2 Report Builder 3.0" tool, You can connect to your DB and you will be able to create Charts and Reports.

Once you are done, You can deploy the report by saving it locally "*.rdl" then from sharepoint Document library with Report Builder content type, You just need to upload the rdl file to the document libarary and once you click on the report you will be able to see it.

TO create the document libaray with Report builder content type, check this blog post:

Once you create the document, Just upload the rdl to your Document library.

If your farm is not configured to allow SSRS reports in SharePoint 2010, read this blog:


Regards,Mostafa Arafa

Monday, September 20, 2010

TFS 2010 and Project Server 2010 Get Started

Hi All,

One of my colleagues asked me for useful links of TFS 2010 : Get started and training materials and Project Server 2010. Kindly find below links:

1) TFS 2010:
Homepage for all required materials for TFS 2010: Features, Training Kits, Installation and requirements management..etc:

Administration and installation guide for TFS 2010:

Supplemental guide for TFS 2010 - CodePlex:

2) Project Server 2010:
Get Started with Project Server 2010: Articles and Video series

Instructor-Led training and Course Training

Microsoft Project server: Features, Project Life cycle management + blogs

Hope this helps.

Regards,Mostafa Arafa

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SharePoint Governance Tip: Manage Self Site Creation Service and un used sites in your farm

Hi All,

I was implementing Site Creation governance practices, and i came out with the idea of this post, and I'd like to share 2 governance tips:

1) Self Site Creation Service: It is a SharePoint 2010 service that allow users to create sub sites within their site collections.

To configure Self Site Creation (SSC)Service:
Note: By Default is service is off on your web application.
1. Open SharePoint Central administration.
2. Click on Application Management Tab.
3. Under Site Collection, Click on Configure Self-Site Creation service.
4. Select your web application and select "On" from the choice option.
5. Check "Require secondary contact" to force the user to add another user to be a site administrator other than himself.

Note: When any admin clicks on OK button, A new item will be added to the announcement list of the top level site.

As a user, try to go to the top level site and click on lists and select Announcements. and you will find a new entry has been added, Try to open it, The item will have this url for users:

This is the page that any site user can create a new site within the site collection.

** You can manage the SSC service using the stsadm tool:
Enable SSC serivce:
stsadm.exe -o enablessc -url -requiresecondarycontact
Disable SSC service:
stsadm -o disablessc -url

2) As a SharePoint Farm Admin if you enable this service, the next question will be:
How can i remove or take an action for un used sites? This answer is: by configure "Confirm site use and deletion":
1) Open Central Administration.
2) Select your Web Application.
3) Check the box to send email notifications after specific # of Days let's say : 60 Days
4) Specify the duration that you need backend timer serivce to check for the existing created sites: Preferred to be Daily and you can select any time as per your policy.
5) You can check to delete all site content if the site use wasn't confirmed by the site admin after specific # of notifications. (Option)

After you configure Site use confirmation and deletion you will be able to manage and monitor your site collection activities and # of sites and keep your farm operates with good performance by managing # of sites hosted on your farm.

If you are looking for a template document for site creation and maintanance sheet, check this link:

Hope this helps...

- stsadm to manage ssc service:

Mostafa Arafa

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bing Maps troubleshooting WCF services: Geocode Service

Hi All,

I was developing a WCF service that consume Bing Maps Geocode Serivce, and when i was trying to create an object from the geocodeservice, i was getting this error :

{"An endpoint configuration section for contract 'GeocodeService.IGeocodeService' could not be loaded because more than one endpoint configuration for that contract was found. Please indicate the preferred endpoint configuration section by name."}

C# Code for creating a Geocode service object:

GeocodeServiceClient geocodeService = new GeocodeServiceClient();

This is beacause i have more than endpooint for my service, please check your Web.Config or the service configuration file if your WCF is not hosted within web application. You will find at least 2 endpoints are defined for your service, To fix the problem :

1) Either to remove one of the endpoints definition.
2) Keep all endpoints and select which endpoint you want to use in your code - This is the preferred solution.

C# Code for the fix : 2nd option

GeocodeServiceClient geocodeService = new GeocodeServiceClient("BasicHttpBinding_IGeocodeService");

I selected the basic HTTP binding for my service. and you can select any of your choice and you have to specify this in your code.

Hope this helps.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

System Services/ Service Applications in SharePoint 2010

Hi All,

In this post, I’d like to share some thoughts about SharePoint 2010 terms in regard of planning your SharePoint Farm. I will show in details the differences between some terms such as: System Services, Application Services, Cross-farm services, Single-farm services, Services associated or not to a service applications and How to configure each of them in your SharePoint Farm.
If you are familiar with SharePoint 2007, Service applications are the equivalent to Shared Services in SharePoint 2007.
1) System Services: In SP 2007, some common services were combined under Shared Services service (search, user profile…etc.), in SP 2010, each service is a standalone application, called Service Application. In SP 2010 you can configure each service application alone. Some of these system services are associated or not with a service application.
To configure System Services in SP 2010, follow these steps:
1) Open SP 2010 Central Admin
2) Select System settings
3) Click on Manage services on server
You will be able to select the servers within the farm and Start/Stop them
2) Web Application and system services: Once you create a web application in your farm, all system services are associated to your web application, You can configure which service application would you like to associate with your web application, to do so:
1) Open SP 2010 Central administration
2) Select Application Management
3) Click on Manage configure service application association
4) Click on your web application and select the required system services required
5) Select custom from the drop down list to start configure the system services associated with your web application

3) Cross-farm services vs. Single-farm services:
Cross-farm services: are the services that can be shared across different farms within the organization such as: User Profile, Managed Metadata, BCS, Search, SSS and Web Analytics.
Single-farm services: are the services that can be configured only within only one farm such as: State service, Master data services, Performance Point, Excel Services, Access Services, Word Services, Word Viewing, Power Point and Visio Service.

Mostafa Arafa

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

How can you deploy Windows LIVE Project Template on Azure

Hi All,

If you are developing windows live application using Window Live SDK June CTP, You won't be able to deploy your windows live application on windows azure if you didn't update your web.config by adding the following section: diagnostics.

PROBLEM: You won't be able to view any page in your web role project, and you will get a blank page.

CAUSE: Missing web.config section needs to be set on the Windows Live Project Template in VS 2010

To add this section do the following:
1) Create a new web role project in your solution.
2) Open web.config file.
3) Copy the section system.diagnostics and add it in your windows live application.
You will notice that you don't have this section on your windows live application.


5) Note: Try to update your host file by commenting the entry you have added, so when you deploy it you will be able to use the deployed url and not the host file entry that points to the localhost

Try to run the cloud service now and you will be able to view the default page of your web role.

This blog post is a result summary from my MSDN thread below:

To download Windows Live SDK - June CTP for VS 2010:

Hope this helps.

Mostafa Arafa