SharePoint 2016 for IT Pro’s

This is a wrap-up of an Ignite session (hosted by Bill Baer) which provided a very useful insight into what we can expect with the release of SharePoint 2016…..


Cloud investment benefiting on-premises


  • Traditionally, the release of an on-premises version of SharePoint has provided the definition and foundation of the cloud offerings for SharePoint Online and Office 365. But now, the roles have been reversed and MS are taking what they’ve learn from the cloud, and on a hyper-scale, into SharePoint 2016. SharePoint 2016 is a ‘point-in-time’ snapshot of SharePoint Online.


  • SharePoint 2016 is the most durable, robust and tested version ever released due to its presence in the cloud. It’s a comprehensive solution for integrated and connected information.


New management investments:


Hardware (pretty much on par with SP2013 requirements)



Perquisites (Hardware & Software)


  • App Fabric (varying caching capabilities) still a ‘supported’ component of SharePoint despite going out of Windows support next year
  • SQL 2014 minimum database requirement
  • No support for SQL Express and standalone SharePoint installations



Upgrade & Migration

  • New version (16.0.4021.1201)
  • Only upgrade from SP2013 to SP2016 supported – no direct upgrade from 2010. The number of architectural changes in SP2013 won’t allow this version to be bypassed (best upgrade experience)
  • Any SP2013 14.5 Site Collections (effectively running in SP2010 mode, will need to be brought forward to SP2013 before they can be migrated to SP2016. Alternatively, SP2013 sites can be migrated directly to SP2016 or you can use database attach methodology.
  • No significant Service Application architecture changes. Performance Point available in SP2016
  • SharePoint Designer will not be updated for SP2016 –SP2013 version still supported




Identity changes

  • With SP2013 Windows claims, Forms-Based, WSFED, SAML Claims to name but a few, were all made available to provide backwards capability. With SP2016 SAML authentication now treated as a ‘first class citizen’ and OAuth and this will open identity options which weren’t available in SP2013 when it certain scenarios (Business Intelligence)
  • Apps will trust Azure Active Directory
  • Older identity models will be supported (Windows SAML) but just like SP2013 when ‘Classic’ became deprecated, this is the first move away from domain identity and towards cloud identity.





  • With SP2010 & SP2013 all traffic using Port 25 (Alerts, Reminders) was unencrypted. Now, non-standard ports can be leveraged and encrypted using STARTTLS – encryption between SharePoint servers and messaging systems
  • If encryption fails on non-standard port, it will not fail-back to an non-encrypted port – process will fail. All configurable via Central Admin and Powershell



Performance and Reliability



  • ‘Min’ Role

    SP20103 roles were quite agnostic and there were four types of different roles (Distributed Cache, Request Management, Web Servers, Batch Processing). Roles were ultimately defined by guidance in Technet documentation. In SP2016, ‘roles’ have been defined by code – there are effectively three:

  1. User Services. This is a
    Web server receiving any form of request from a user. In SP2013, this request may have to ‘traverse’ a number of layers (Web/App Servers) to meet the request and then ‘traverse’ back up the stack to the Web Server before providing the result to the client – so, potential degree of latency to each request.
  2. Robot Services – any request that NOT initiated by end user (Timer Jobs, Batch processing jobs)
  3. Caching Services – distributed cache

    Any SharePoint request, whether internal or by end user, should be managed by a single role server. Improve performance and efficiency and crucially, avoid the traversing of requests through multiple layers.

  • ‘Specialised load’ role > third-party solution which provides a role within SP Farm > could be a non-standard Service Application. Now we can scale a server on a unit role basis whereas previously, server may had had no identity
  • Single server Farm’ – still need a SQL instance, no SQL Express availability
  • New ‘health rules’ introduced to maintain new ‘min role based rules – detects any deviation away from role to ensure topology compliance is maintained
  • Powershell can be used to provision server roles for scripted build requirements




  • In the past, number of .MSI per update, multiplied when language packs required. SP2016 patching, reduced number of .MSI and .MSP to reduce footprint – so patch is smaller and optimised performance. Execution time faster and with ZERO downtime.

    All of the upgrades now run ‘online’ as opposed to ‘offline’ which subsequently led to the stopping/starting of services. Now, you can effectively patch SharePoint during the middle of the day! This ability to patch online comes from SharePoint Online with agreessive SLA’s which need to be adhered.


Distributed Cache

  • Improved reliability and performance
  • New feature which switches off the NTLM authentication between SharePoint and the Distributed Cache cluster which previously caused failures and delays – authentication overheard as the constant chatter with Active Directory. New transport layer mitigates against these delays.


Boundaries & Limits

  • New scalability by virtue of SharePoint Online thresholds
  • Increased content DB size (likely to be into the TB’ as opposed to GB)
  • 100,0000 site collections per content database
  • List threshold increased to 5,000 items
  • 10GB upload max file size
  • Search increased x 2 > 500 million items in Search scale




Fast Site Creation

  • End users don’t generally have self-service Site creation which from a SP perspective is a heavy-lifting operation (provisioning and enabling of features/services) .Now using SPSite.Copy at Content Database Level you can rapidly enable site creation.

    In the background, we’re replicating SQL rows from a ‘master’ template from point A to point B – and thus bypassing code and feature activation



User Profile Service

  • No longer ‘baked’ into SP
  • AD synchronisation rejuvenated (old 2007 SP way!) or use external replication via FIM installed on a separate server outside of SharePoint. No more FIM!



Project Server

  • Project Server now part of the conventional SP Content Databases – more of a consolidated approach

db’s into Content Database

  • Project Server still needs to be licensed independently even though it is embedded into SharePoint




Durable Links


  • In early versions of SharePoint, if you sent out a link/URL to an item, and then renamed or moved the item to another location, the link become broken and unusable. This is resolved in SP2016 with resource-ID based URL’s, which work on endpoints.

    New files when uploaded are provided with a ‘resource link/site ID’ and an affinity – so, regardless of whether the file is moved to, either a new Site Collection, the affinity is maintained.

    Or, if the file is renamed, the underlying link doesn’t change because the file is marked with a resource ID and an affinity – it doesn’t matter where the new URL is.




  • Unified compliance portal across online and on-premises
  • Document fingerprinting, item-level encryption (available via hybrid connectivity – also compliant with Exchange and Skype for Business)
  • Azure RMS for SP on-premises and Online (with single item encryption)
  • EDiscovery hybrid offering across both online and on-premises



Cloud Search Service Application

  • New Service Application which will be shipped later this year as part of SP2013 (and fully embedded within SP2016). This will unify cloud and on-premises search indexes – single entity for Search. This will allow you can search from Cloud or on-premises into single results pane.

    Brings the power of Office Graph/Delve to on-premises (*Delve is not deployed on-premises’ – you leverage the capabilities via the new Cloud Search Service*)




Extranet Site Publishing

  • Publish internal sites to Internet (Extranet hybrid scenario – for people struggling with Federation options like ADFS)




Team Site Improvements


  • Hybrid team sites > allow you to follow a site whether it’s on-premises or online. One unique panel across both environments  



Scenario Picker

  • Hybrid deployments were complex to implement (with Search, BCS). Scenario picker is an automation wizard for implementing hybrid experience – far cry from 15 pages of Powershell









SharePoint Evolution – Ignite 2015

It’s official; SharePoint is not dead, not by a long way!

Bill Bear, senior SharePoint product manager announced at Ignite that SharePoint 2016 will be the ‘most robust, most secure and most tested‘ version of SharePoint to date. The cloud, and SharePoint Online, has been designed and architected to such a scale that this has pretty much laid the foundation for the next on-premises release.

This is a far cry from the Microsoft stance even a year ago when the SharePoint community were warned that on-premises would remain behind the curve with its flagship, Office 365, taking the lead in terms of new features of functionality. Now, it would see that all of the ‘cool stuff’ (like Delve) is being released to on-premises too. (Delve is not deployed on-premises – you leverage the capabilities via the new Cloud Search Service*)

Personally, I’m fully expecting SharePoint’s identity to change in time and the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach, which was once its strength will soon become history – and this is positive in my opinion. SharePoint quite simply, does ‘too much’ and lacks a genuine identity. All of the individual components are evidently being de-coupled and branded/marketed individually – and this will evolve further.

Even the traditional stance of ‘installing all of the bits’ has gone with the installation of SP2016 as admins now have the option of determining which roles to install and thus, reduce the server footprint.

Here are the key announcements points from the ‘Evolution of SharePoint’ session (with some personal opinion along the way)

  • SharePoint 2016 is being developed around three principles:
    • The overall user experience
    • Extensibility
    • SharePoint Management

  • Office 365 remains the fastest growing commercial product in Microsoft’s history – the annual turnover is around $6.3m. 80% of the Fortune 500 companies have purchased 0365 in the last 12 months
  • Microsoft have admitted that many of the hybrid options with SharePoint 2013 were not appealing, especially when it came to a full migration to the cloud, but the new designs with SP2016 have been largely designed to mitigate the migration pain-points (two examples were given; BCS and Search).

    First and foremast, SharePoint 2016 is a Cloud Inspired Infrastructure with an emphasis on encouraging hybrid. There’s also be tighter integration options with Exchange and Lync.

  • Delve (Office Graph) is coming to SharePoint 2013 on-premises, potentially later this year (pretty major announcement) So, all of the clever machine-learning capabilities behind Delve and Search are not just for 0365 customers. Included in Delve is a new People ‘About Me’ profile section and also new apps for both Android and IPhone (with Windows phone planned for 2015 too)

    However, having spoken to a couple of well-placed individuals, there appears to be some reservations whether Delve is a feasible on-premises solution. Not only does Delve/Graph require significant compute power, the complexity of the interconnections which bridge the ‘relationships’ and the need for machine learning capabilities, leaves you pondering how all of this could be packaged into a data centre deployment? Whatever happens, Delve’s reputation and appeal is growing and the service has already evolved from what I first witnessed as SharePoint Conference in Vegas last year. For me, Delve’s main asset is the way it can potentially display all of the relevant content you require (and more) which is currently held in varying types of company silos.

  • Baer admitted that One Drive for Business isn’t ‘where we want it to be’ – and this is a core focus for MS over the forthcoming months, including more viable options on the mobile front. In addition, there appears to be improved personal file sharing solution on the horizon.
  • Evolution of SharePoint Portals. Microsoft have identified the need to provide reusable portals for ‘ready to go’ experiences. These common portals are the thinking behind the headline ‘next generation portals; two of which are the Office 365 ‘Video portal’ and the new ‘Knowledge Portal’ (codename ‘Infopedia’)

    The Video portal is very much of hybrid thinking with the embedded page ‘videos’ held within Azure Video services. The Knowledge portals will pull together the concept of ‘boards’ and microsites into a single experience with ‘table of contents’ style navigation.  

In conclusion, it appears that MS have finally got the message that a fully-fledged Cloud migration is not an option for many a company and now they’re seemingly happy to ‘nudge you’ along the way – that really is a turnaround in stance over the past 12 months in my opinion. They’ve also taken their foot of the gas in terms of promoting Yammer at every conceivable moment and it was hardly mentioned during Ignite 

Expect the unexpected with SharePoint and when it arrives in preview this summer and then in Beta during Q4, but the early indications are that this is a serious step-up in class from SharePoint 2013 and while there’s remains a big appetite for SharePoint, MS will continue to invest and deliver.

WCF endpoint: System.TimeoutException error

I came across a SharePoint issue this week which really did have me on the verge of putting my fist through my laptop screen!

I was witnessing intermittent http time-outs when trying to access various SharePoint pages, including Central Administration. The SQL Server they were connecting too had just been converted to virtual from physical infrastructure and therefore, I was convinced this was the bottleneck – that couldn’t have been further from the truth!

When a page was timing-out, I noticed the following exception in the ULS logs:

 Exception occurred while connecting to WCF endpoint: System.TimeoutException: The request channel timed out while waiting for a reply after 00:00:20. Increase the timeout value passed to the call to Request or increase the SendTimeout value on the Binding. The time allotted to this operation may have been a portion of a longer timeout. —> System.TimeoutException: The HTTP request to ‘http://sharepoint01.mydomain:32843/10e591de95e54c84aed18dfc3477ddb0/ProfilePropertyService.svc’ has exceeded the allotted timeout of 00:00:20. The time allotted to this operation may have been a portion of a longer timeout. —> System.Net.WebException: The operation has timed out      System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse() 


UserProfileApplicationProxy.InitializePropertyCache: Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileException: System.TimeoutException     at Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.MossClientBase`1.ExecuteOnChannel(String operationName, CodeBlock


The problem, believe it or not, was down to us having too many service accounts within the Administrators group of the UPS service (brilliant). Every item in this access-control list increases the time taken for security look-up resolution and subsequently, results in a WCF endpoint timeout if the ACL resolution takes more than 10-15 seconds.


So, headache over thanks a million to the following MS Blog:


PowerView – unable to ‘Pin’ Filter

I’ve been working with a client who has been generating some impressive PowerView reports using SharePoint 2010 and a SQL 2012 Analysis Services cube (Multidimensional instance). Everything was working fine until I was posed the question ‘any idea why I don’t have the ability to pin filters’ in PowerView?

After raising this with some colleagues, it transpired that this missing element was addressed in SQL 2012 SP1 Cumulative Update 4. But don’t be fooled into thinking this means that the CU has to be applied to the SQL 2012 Analysis Services instance, this update is applicable to the SSRS Add-in, which should be installed across all of your SharePoint Web Servers. PowerView is part of the SQL Server Reporting Services family and therefore, this ‘pin’ facility, is part of the Add-in.

Download to SQL 2012 SP1 CU4 :

Once updated, your Add-in should display the following version number: 11.1.3368.0

My Top Ten Takeaways from SPC14

My Top 10 Takeaways from SharePoint Conference 2014

It’s now over a fortnight since the conclusion of SPC14 but I’m still buzzing; what a fantastic week! Microsoft really did put on a display by organising a conference on such a scale and the Venetian, Las Vegas was a fitting venue.

Over 10,000 fellow SharePoint(ers) descended on Sin City for five days and the general consensus amongst the delegates was that it was an overwhelming success. The keynotes, break-out session and conference parties were great and the burden of jet leg (for us Brits) was a small price to pay to be in attendance.

So, while it’s still fresh in the mind and before the memories fade, below are my top-ten takeaways from SPC14 (the ‘Daddy’ of SharePoint conferences)


1 OSLO (Graph)

The headline act of the SPC14 Keynote was a certain President Bill Clinton, although I’m disappointed to report that he didn’t mention ‘SharePoint’, made a slight faux pas by referring to Microsoft as a ‘country’, while I also got the impression he believed the room was full of 10,000 Microsoft employees – never mind.

Anyway, the main announcement made by Jeff Teper was ‘Oslo’; which essentially is Microsoft’s codename for their new Graph application. Like Facebook Graph, Oslo is a visualisation of people relationships, groups, content, and files (amongst others), through ‘machine learning, which displays relevancy to the end user. Oslo’s intention is to be totally intuitive and display the type of information you require………..before you go looking for it.

Do I think it will be a success? Yes, in time, absolutely, although it won’t be available to O365 customers until later this year with no road-map for on-premise (yet)

2. One Drive for Business

Before I dive into the devil in the detail, let’s begin with the basics, and a quick lesson on the terminology. SkyDrive as a brand is defunct and now operates under the name of ‘One Drive’, while SkyDrivePro is now referred to as ‘One Drive for Business’ – so, a clear distinction between the two different offerings! J

One Drive for Business comes with a mouth-watering option of 25GB of space (with the option to purchase additional storage), per-user, for just $2.50-a-month.In my opinion this is Microsoft’s way of officially entering the document repository synch market, so it’s likely to be squeaky bum time for the likes of Google Drive and Drop Box. On-premises SharePoint customers just require SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 to get up and running with One Drive for Business.

The App for One Drive is available on all devices (Windows Phone, IOS, Android), and is supposedly being extended to Mac in the not too distant future supposedly.

3. Asynchronous AlwaysOn for SharePoint 2013

SQL Server AlwaysOn high availability now supports asynchronous replication with SharePoint 2013. This is a pretty significant announcement and I would have expected more of a fanfare (which seemed to be saved for Oslo and anything Yammer).

In terms of high availability, SQL Server Always On, which is a SQL 2012 product, provides, if configured correctly, the shortest possible means of maintaining your SLA’s in terms of RTO/RPO – it’s essentially the quickest form of failover.

Synchronous SQL mirroring still remains the most popular form of high availability when you’re working with local Data Centres and low latency.

Traditionally, when high latency and geographical location considerations form part of your disaster recovery methodology and a recovery/stand-by farm, is your chosen solution, SQL Log Shipping was generally the answer – and still is for many people. However, the announcement that asynchronous replication is now supported for SharePoint 2013, and crucially for a number of Service Application databases, means it’s time to rethink your SharePoint 2013 HA/DR policy.

There are still some service application databases which come with caveats in terms of asynchronous replication, but generally, this is a significant breakthrough as you can pretty much achieve everything you did before with SQL Log Shipping (and improve your RPO/RTO response times in the process)

There is still no official line on whether asynchronous replication is supported with SharePoint 2010.

I’d like to add that this session was excellently presented by Neil Hodgkinson from Microsoft.

4 PowerBI

Now this is something which really excites me, especially as the restriction on O365 customers has been lifted. Previously, the new wave of PowerBI modules, which include, Power Query, Power Map and Power Q&A, were only available if you owned an O365 tenancy or were configured in a hybrid environment,

However, the introduction of the Power Management Gateway means all of your Business Intelligence data (SQL databases, Analysis Services Cubes) can remain on premises and surfaced via the Power BI Mobile App (which simply translates to ‘BI anywhere’). This adaptation is surely a winner for many a company still concerned about data sovereignty and jurisdictional limitations regarding the cloud.

The majority of these new Power BI tools are built on top of Excel and Microsoft hope this familiarity will ensure their 1 billion Office user base can easily innovate without the need additional training.

My personal opinion is that Power BI ‘Q&A’ will have the biggest impact as its allow you to query corporate data using pre-defined and customisable natural languages and create instant results with rich, interactive visualisations. And the 250MB supported PowerPivot workbooks on mobile devices is pretty darn impressive.

5. Long live InfoPath

‘The King is dead long live The King!’ We’ve known for a while now that InfoPath 2013 would be Microsoft’s last release of the product but it does have a stay of execution, and ultimately, a slow death with support extending for the next ten years until 2023.

InfoPath does have its limitations but it’s very much a simplistic and can deliver quick and easy no-code solutions across the Enterprise. But what is the future of forms beyond 2023, and is there a golden ticket we should be striving for? Well, SPC14 did provide some clues, with both ‘Forms on SharePoint Lists’ (FoSL), pronounced ‘Fossil’ and Access ‘App Forms’ mentioned.

One of the highlights of SPC14 was as the, hilarious, brilliantly organised, funeral procession through the main exhibition hall mourning the death of InfoPath – I even heard a ‘bring out your dead chant’.

6 Yammer is fully SharePoint-integrated

Remember all the fuss about SharePoint Social when SP2013 was released? You know, how everyone will embrace Social and rolling-out MySites across the Enterprise would quickly become the norm? Well, you can forget all of that, as the out-of-the-box social element is being retired, with Yammer, the new ‘go-to’ solution for anyone interested in investing in this area.

Unless your head was in Cloud Cuckoo land or your primary focus while in Vegas was ‘red or black’, it was nigh on impossible to escape the constant drill of ‘Yammer’ (slammer) during SPC14. Even the SPC14 delegate site was fully integrated with Yammer newsfeeds/groups and hot-topic areas.

Yammer is now fully integrated with SharePoint 2013 following the release of Service Pack 1 (and boy don’t we know it!), and it would seem that the introduction of ‘Yammer Groups’ could potentially change the way we traditionally share and collaborate.

One of its new features is the ability to create a SharePoint site with all of the standard document library elements, and then link this directly to a Yammer group conversation. I can really see the benefits in this monolithic approach and once combined with the power of Oslo and Search (which has the power of FAST driving it) you are looking at a fully integrated single view.

Make no mistake; you’ll be hearing a lot more about Yammer over the next couple of years (there’s even a new IT Pro network:

7. Shredded Storage (Fort Knox)

The ‘Deep dive into Shredded Storage’ was a session I was really looking forward too, particularly since one of the presenters was Bill Baer, who, it’s fair to say ‘knows his onions’ when it comes to everything SharePoint and SQL. And, I wasn’t disappointed as this really was a genuine Level 400 session.

Everyone seems to have their own opinions on the value of shredded storage, while the four highlighted benefits in this session were as follows:

  • Reduce Storage
  • Optimize Bandwidth
  • Optimize File I/O
  • Security

The topic of shredded storage ‘security’ included a new concept, soon to be available on O365, codenamed ‘Fort Knox’.

As things currently stand, a certain level of security is already applied to shredded storage with the way the SQL blobs/shreds are shredded and distributed in sequence. To gain access to the underlying files, you would not only need to understand the sequencing algorithm, but also understand how to recompile – which is no easy task. And now, to enhance this security, the product team have announced that the shredded chunks will be also be encrypted at REST, using AES256 encryption storage (which is a government standard).

In addition, the encryption keys will be stored in a secure store and changed frequently, while the shreds will be located across different Microsoft storage arrays – no single storage area will contain all of the shredded files.

Currently only a handful of O365 employees have access to this area, but the frequency of the changes, the algorithms used to encrypt the chunks mean that no-one will soon be able to access your data – not even those with keys to the crown jewels! Welcome to Fort Knox! As I mentioned, this is Level 400 material (and that’s without going anywhere near the topic of configuring the size of your shreds)

Shredded Storage is on by default with SP2013 and cannot be turned off, although it is customisable. But configured incorrectly, and you could be looking at a possible performance impact, and therefore should be handled with care – it is not a subject to contemplate after a boozy Friday lunch.

Also, a common misconception is that you need to be running SQL 2012 to leverage shredded storage – this is a client product (SharePoint), and not a database solution, and will work with any version of SQL which is supported by SP2013.

8. The benefits of Office 365 and hybrid migration made easy (well, kind of)

Regardless of how much you fight it there’s no getting away from the fact that most of the new cool SharePoint stuff is/will be available with O365. Although, I like to put a different spin on it and hope that once all of the 0365 ‘guinea pigs’ have done their testing, all of the new features will become available to on-premises customers!

The release of SP1 for SharePoint 2013 ensures a more comfortable migration path to an O365 hybrid environment, although don’t underestimate the level of knowledge and expertise required to migrate to a full cloud, or hybrid model. This shortfall of knowledge in the community is somewhere Microsoft is aware of, and trying to address.

Certainly, Search has evolved from a hybrid perspective, with both one-way inbound/outbound, and crucially, two-way bidirectional available. Two-way bidirectional provides the means for a fully federated search query and subsequent results panel across both your on-premises and O365 tenancy.

There’s also the small matter of O365 now supporting 1TB site collections and 1PB tenants. Yes, that is not a typo! That really is a mind-blowing number and genuine elastic scale.


9. SharePoint is alive and kicking…..and here to stay (for the time being anyway)

We all have our opinions of SharePoint, the brand, the longevity of the product and whether one day we’ll one day simply refer to it as O365, or heaven forbid ‘Yammer’. One thing which is abundantly clear is that Microsoft are committed to making the next version (SharePoint 2015) available on-premises. (Confirmed by Bill Baer during the IT Pro Keynote)

Beyond that time, who knows although it wouldn’t surprise me if the next version is the last offering for those who can’t entertain cloud or hybrid model.Microsoft are probably hoping that this on-premises ‘last chance saloon’ will pave the way for everyone to make their plans for the Office 365 or Azure. One thing is for certain; O365 is growing at a monumental rate and is Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product.

SharePoint’s identity is also changing at a rapid rate of knots and we’ve already witnessed a fair degree of decoupling with the likes of Office Web Apps and Workflow – they can safely be labelled as separate products. This segregation does mean additional configuration and administration overhead, but the slimmed down architecture does in theory, provide better reliability and performance.

Whatever way the wind blows, it’s just a shame that not everyone loves SharePoint (taken from a ‘popular’ Search engine…….give it a try)


10. And finally, some quick-fire announcements

  • Yammer has also been integrated into Dynamics CRM
  • Release of new Office Web Apps Widgets, which include People Picker and List View
  • MS opening API for O365 self-service site collection (be brave!)
  • Despite weekly updates being applied, 99.98% up-time assured with O365
  • New O365 Video portal available, powered by Azure media services (I can see this receiving a lot of positive exposure)
  • Lync and Skype are coming to Yammer (no official timeline)
  • App Model is developing and the Product Team is hoping to get AutoHosted Apps out of ‘Preview’ by the end of the year
  • PowerBI connectivity to SAP business objects via Power Query
  • Azure AD is set to replace Azure Connectivity Services (ACS). Azure AD OAuth for developers now available in preview
  • Compliance and eDiscovery features from SP on-premises are to be introduced into O365




Viva Las Vegas!






Merging SharePoint ULS Log Files from multiple servers

Troubleshooting a SharePoint issue and tracking a correlation ID becomes all of the more cumbersome when the underlying SharePoint topology is spread across multiple web and application servers.

Running the Powershell command ‘Merge-SPLogFile will indeed merge and wrap the latest ULS logs into a single file, although this can become very large depending on your Farm activity and ultimately, may difficult to open and work with.

Ideally, you should restart the SharePoint Tracing Service, which in turn generates a new log file, and then replicate the issue once more to regenerate a correlation ID. Once merged, these new, smaller log files will then easy to analyse.

The simple Powershell script below should be run from a SharePoint server with your Farm and can be used to restart the Tracing service and consolidate the logs. There is a 2 minute ‘sleep’ cycle following the restart of the Tracing service, and this is when you should replicate the problem. If replicating is convoluted and may exceed 2 minutes, edit the script accordingly.


Write-Host “Restarting SharePoint Tracing Service across all Servers”

$targetcomputers = (“SPserver01″, ” SPserver02″, ” SPserver03″, ” SPserver04″)

$targetcomputers | % { Restart-Service -InputObject $(Get-Service -Computer $_ -Name SPTraceV4) }

Write-Host “Replicate issue to generate correlation ID”

Start-Sleep -s 120

Write-Host “Merge Log Files and generate output”

Merge-SPLogFile -Path “e:\merged.log” -overwrite

Remove Web App IIS Application Pool

The Powershell command ‘Get-SPServiceApplication’ will only list IIS Applications related to SharePoint Service Applications across your Farm:

However, there may be a time when you want list the Web Application IIS Pools, and more importantly, delete one (once you’ve transferred any associated services).

There is no way to do this with Central Administration, so apply the following in Powershell:


  • $contentapppools = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService.ApplicationPools
  • $contentapppools


Now, find the GUID of the Application Pool and ‘remove’

  • $contentapppools.Remove(“GUID”)