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Saturday, October 22, 2016

SharePoint Term Set Import doesn't import description and Using Term Set Other Labels

SharePoint Term Set Import Description Doesn't Load

So importing the other day, was reminded of a problem from a while ago - it is clearly a bug and a pain so added this so others might be wary.

When using Term Sets, it can be very handy to import them via CSV - easily laid out in Excel and in fact, they give you the file format to use.

What they don't tell you is that the import is shaky:
1) I've had instances where some terms are not imported and no error reported.
2) There's no way to add 'other labels' (see below), something I love to use.
3) As some of you probably know, it often reports an import error even though all of the terms are created.

At any rate - back to the bug. When defining a term, I always put a full description; turns out this works fine as long as you do not have more than one term! If you have a 2nd term, the description is NOT imported! So for example:

The description (the State name) will not be included. Your only alternative is to decide what you want to type in by hand. There is no way to do a 'partial' import or update.

What a pain!


Using Term Set Other Labels

Many of my clients are not familiar with using the term set 'other labels' (a lot of SharePoint Consultants too!). Other labels are a way to allow users enter multiple names as they might know a particular term, but store only the true Term.

For example, assume you have a department called Information Systems Management, it has a department number of 1201 and most everyone calls it simply IT. For search purposes, etc. you decide you want the term 'Information Systems Management' used but some like to use the number and some like to use IT - you'd simply add them as follows:

Now when uploading/entering the field, the user can use any of them - by name:

By number:

By acronym:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

SharePoint 2013 - SharePoint 2016 - Error Creating Web Application

So, you attempt to create a web application and for some reason, it doesn't get created - you get the innocuous error screen and it appears that while the web application was created, you cannot create a site and/or the IIS site was never created.

Suddenly you notice that you cannot access Central Administration any longer - a reboot fails to fix the problem.

First you look at IIS - CA site is there, but the 'offending' application is not.

You try to run the PSCONFIG to update and it runs through successfully, but you still cannot access Central Administration.

The problem it appears is that SharePoint gets confused and can't figure out how to enumerate the applications.

The fix is to manually delete the web application via PowerShell. BEFORE you do this, you have to make sure that the SharePoint Administration service is using an account that belongs to the farm (i.e. SP Farm Account) and NOT Local System:

If it is, change it before you attempt this (change the Log On credentials and restart the service).

Open the SharePoint Management Shell (using Run as Administrator of course) and enter the command:

Remove-SPWebApplication -Identity <URL, i.e. http://somesite;<port if needed>>

The full blown command can also be used:

Remove-SPWebApplication -Identity <URL, i.e. http://somesite;<port if needed>> -DeleteIISSite -RemoveContentDatabases

When prompted, enter Y to approve of the deletion.

For more info:

Be aware that this may take some time to run - several minutes as a matter of fact. If it NEVER completes, there is a good possibility that the Admin Service is still running as Local System (in that case, close the PowerShell, fix the service and retry.

Service Bus Stuck on Starting

Seems Microsoft is releasing stuff without considering what it does to existing installations. I had a SharePoint farm go south because of this (and have still not recovered). After doing updates, I found that the farm was unresponsive - 'part' of the reason appears to be due to the Service Bus which was stuck on starting.

Turns out the release of .NET 4.6 is causing havoc across the board - one such issue is the Service Bus stuck in 'starting' mode.

There is a hotfix:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Odd error with SP 2013 Central Administration

Just thought I would add this for those that might come across this error. You have some system updates and/or have to reboot your farm (you should be doing this once a month AT LEAST anyway). You go to open up Central Administration and uh-oh - you see this:

In case you can't read the image, the  error message is:
This operation can be performed only on a computer that is joined to a server farm by users who have permissions in SQL Server to read from the configuration database. To connect the server to the server farm, use the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard, located on the Start menu in Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.
(Note - it says 2010, that's not a typo)

The problem is typically that SQL Server failed to start - this unfortunately is a common problem in 2012 R2 and I have seen it in 2014 as well. If you login to the SQL Server system, open the Services console through Administrative tools (or use Start > Run  and enter services.msc). You'll likely find that the SQL Server engine and SQL Server Agent are stopped (even though they are set to start automatically!):

You do NOT have to reboot SQL Server; just start both services, wait a minute and refresh Central Administration.
David Sterling is the Principal Consultant for Sterling International Consulting Group, SharePoint experts with more than 100 implementations and over 13 years of experience.

We provide on site and remote consulting services for SharePoint (on premise, hybrid or purely cloud), SharePoint Online/Office 365, Azure and others. We provide multiple services including infrastructure development, information architecture, governance, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.

Contact us today at (888) 847-3679 or David direct at 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

SharePoint 2016 Timeout trying to create a service application

So you try to create a service application in SharePoint and oddly, you get a 'timeout' error. There's not much explanation provided so like most, you'll try to delete the service and recreate it but there's a good chance you'll get another timeout.

The problem is simple - the SharePoint Timer service is not running on one of the servers. Check every server and find the culprit. Once you do and start the service, return to Central Admin and delete the service that had the problem (be sure to delete any data associated as well).

If needed, you can do this via the SharePoint Management Shell (aka PowerShell) using:

$spapp = Get-SPServiceApplication -Name "<app name>" 
Then to remove the service and data:
Remove-SPServiceApplication $spapp -RemoveData
Then to remove just the service:
Remove-SPServiceApplication $spapp

Before attempting to recreate the service, double check SQL Server to make sure the database is actually gone.

SharePoint 2016 The Security Token Service is not available

This message may appear in a new SharePoint installation through the Health Analyzer. Bascially it means the STS service isn't running somewhere which is a problem for the entire farm - this can cause a lot of problems, so it's best to address it right away.

First, you'll have to check every server to ensure the service is actually available - this is done through the IIS Manager, that is, Administrative Tools > Internet Information Server (IIS) Manager.

In the IIS manager, expand the server, expand the sites then expand the SharePoint Web Services site to find the SecurityTokenServiceApplication:

Click on the SecurityTokenServiceApplication to select it, make sure you are in Content View (you won't be by default), right click on the securitytoken.svc and select Browse:

If all is good, it should display the service page:

If there is a problem, you will get the generic ASP.NET error page. 

To fix this, first, verify that all of your managed accounts have been added and the service accounts assigned accordingly (i.e. Central Administration > Security then under General Security, Configure managed accounts (to add) and Configure service accounts (to assign)).

Next (a good idea anyway), make sure your database permissions are correct - app pool accounts assigned as WSS_Content_Application_Pools, Farm account has at least SPDataAccess (or DBO if you're not that concerned about it - such as an intranet), etc.

Return to the Health Analyzer and click Reanalyze Now. If the problem doesn’t go away, it may be that one or more of the servers is not available or the SharePoint Timer Service is stopped on one of them.

If that doesn’t work either, open up the SharePoint Management Shell (always using Run as administrator) and run the psconfig command:

psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b

Do this on every server in the farm – ONE AT A TIME!

Return to the Health Analyzer and click Reanalyze Now and the problem should go away.

SharePoint 2016 The Net.Pipe Listener Adapter isn't availabile

On a new SP2016 installation, you will likely see this error in the Health Analyzer:

The Net.Pipe Listener Adapter isn't availabile.

Note, the misspelling of "Available" is how it appears in the message; guess no one checked it.

This seems to be a recurring problem with 16 in that services don't start up even though they are set to 'automatic' (the Timer Service seems this way as well).

First, verify that all of your managed accounts have been added and the service accounts assigned accordingly (i.e. Central Administration > Security then under General SecurityConfigure managed accounts (to add) and Configure service accounts (to assign)).

Next (a good idea anyway), make sure your database permissions are correct - app pool accounts assigned as WSS_Content_Application_Pools, Farm account has at least SPDataAccess (or DBO if you're not that concerned about it - such as an intranet), etc.

Next, in the Health Analyzer, try to use 'Repair automatically' and see if that fixes it (it probably won't).

If still an issue, you'll need to check the service on every server in the farm (not SQL obviously). Using Administrative Tools > Services (or Run > services.msc) and check the service:

As you can see by the above, it is set to Automatic but isn't running. Simply start it (on all servers).

NOTE: If you do NOT see the service, you have to install it (on any server where it is not found) - this can be done from here: 

However, I've found that is not enough in most cases - as you can see there are two other services (Net.Tcp) that are also set to Automatic but not running:

Start the Net.Tcp Listerner Adapter service which will also start the Net.Tcp Port Sharing Service.

Return to the Health Analyzer and click Reanalyze Now and the problem should go away.