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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SharePoint Online Library Template Error The SPListItem being updated was not retrieved with all taxonomy fields

So you have multiple site collections in SharePoint Online and decide you want to use a List or Library template that happens to have a Taxonomy (metadata) Column that you want to add to all of your site collections.

You dutifully upload it to the List Template Gallery in a site collection and create a new one. All seems well - views, etc. all look good. But then you go to add an item and you get this:

The SPListItem being updated was not retrieved with all taxonomy fields

Ah....must be a delay or something right? Wrong. When you save a template it embeds the Site Collection ID into the template. This 'breaks' the connection with the taxonomy field because it belongs to the original site. Even though the field is defined in the content hub, the field definition is broken.

Your only choice - recreate the list/library template in each site collection. A pure pain!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

HrcClientLauncher failure - Microsoft Office 365 Support Assistant 3.5

If working with Office 365/SharePoint Online and attempting to troubleshoot something, for example Active Directory Sync you might get an issue when trying to run the "HrcClientLauncher.exe", aka the Microsoft Office 365 Support Assistant.

The symptom is that clicking it does nothing - you get a quick flash and nothing else. If you try to click on the exe and run (even and Administrator), you get the same thing.

Problem is simple - you MUST use Internet Explorer to run this - the HrcClientLauncher program is simply trying to start a download of the Support Assistant and it will not work in other browsers.

Hope that helps someone!

Friday, October 28, 2016

SharePoint 2013/2016/Online (Office 365) Importing Term Set Errors

I've come across a few common issues with importing term sets so I figured I'd share some of them here for others.

The most common error is:

Not all terms were imported successfully. Please see the server log for more information


1) You have a comma (or the delimiter you used) somewhere in your terms
2) You have blank lines in your import file
3) You have a special character in a term, for example an accented word

BTW - the "server log" is the SharePoint server log (c:\program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\15\logs). However, you might not find much of the information useful.

The best way to figure out what the problem is is to export the term set via PowerShell and compare it to the original import. I'd recommend Stuart Roberts script which seems to work nicely and doesn't export ALL of them, just a group:

The one from Microsoft:

BTW - for the Microsoft version, you need to do it from the SharePoint Management Shell or add the following snippet to the top of the file (under the Site Url/Output folder variables):

function Add-Snapin {
if ((Get-PSSnapin -Name Microsoft.Sharepoint.Powershell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null) {
$global:SPSnapinAdded = $true
Write-Host "Adding Sharepoint module to PowerShell" -NoNewline
Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Sharepoint.Powershell -ErrorAction Stop
Write-Host " - Done."

Write-Host "Adding Microsoft.Sharepoint assembly" -NoNewline
# Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
# Disable the above line and enable the line below for SharePoint 2013
Add-Type -AssemblyName "Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"
Write-Host " - Done."

Snip courtesy of Stuart Roberts.

Another issue is when you try to import a large term set (> 2000 items) and after a period of time, SharePoint displays an error (Sorry, something went wrong):

For some reason, you cannot import more than 2000 items even though you can have up to 30,000 in one term set. The problem here is doing the import via the UI (Central Administration). It appears that either the page or the session times out when it hits that limit.

The only way to do a large term set is using PowerShell. This script is found here:

WARNING: The example shown in the script is NOT correct - the script shows:

##For example : Use the following command to import Languages CSV to Default Site collection group of the site
##ImportTermSet "" "Languages" ".\ImportTermSets\Languages.csv" "" $false

What's missing is the Term Set Group, so it should look something like this:

##ImportTermSet "" "Languages" ".\ImportTermSets\Languages.csv" "MyGroup" $false

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