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A quick update on my “Overview of all SharePoint 2013 updates” article.

Last September I created a PDF file with an overview of all the issues fixed with the SharePoint CU updates.
I updated this file with the October 2013 CU and December 2013 CU updates for SharePoint 2013 Server and SharePoint 2013 Foundation. It has become quite a big listing with 20 pages of issues and bugs fixed by the SharePoint 2013 CU updates.

List with all fixed issues

You can download the file here:

http://www.amtopm.be/DL/OverviewSharePoint2013Updates.pdf

To download the actual updates or for more information about the updates: visit the blog of Stefan Goßner

General remarks

Note 1 that the “December 2013 CU for SharePoint 2013″ update exists out of two files that need to be placed in the same folder before starting the install.
Note 2 The Project Server 2013 fixes are not included in this update. If you have a project server 2013 you need to install the extra update 2837668

Have fun,
Wouter

“Ask me about” property.

If you want to search or disable the refinements of the “Ask Me About” property from the user profile, look for Managed property “Responsibilities“. Or the crawled property “SPS-Responsibilities”.

Displaying this property in the refinements turned out not to be that helpful. Disabling it is a breeze, if you know the correct (internal) name.

–Wouter

Introduction

Many posts inform you about limiting the amount of memory of the SharePoint 2013 Search component by setting the “memoryLimitMegabytes” attribute to a number higher than zero. Most of these posts were created after the SharePoint 2013 preview, contained a nasty memory-leak that consumed your server memory in no time.

The problem.

When you limit the amount of memory that the Search Service uses, you might introduce new errors. The exact errors might differ but here are 3 errors that I encountered:

The item was aborted because the pipeline did not respond within the appropriate time. This item will be retried in the next crawl

Unable to connect to system client with derived management URIs. Exception: Failed to connect to system manager. Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.Topology.ApplicationAdminLayer.Reconnect()

Unable to retrieve topology component health states. This may be because the admin component is not up and running

The memory-leak is fixed in the RTM version so there is no need anymore to limit the amount of memory.

You can use the ULS logs for debugging or the logs of your search application. On my machine this folder is configured as:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Data\Office Server\Applications\Search\Nodes\A07407

(the value ‘A07407′ will be different on your machine.)

My Advice

Never change the value of the “memoryLimitMegabytes” attribute in a production environment!

If you want to limit the memory of the Search component on your development machine. I would recommend to

  • disable all your crawl schedules
  • limit the content source
  • completely stop the Search Service and restart it when needed.

I compiled a list with all the updates and fixes of the (4) SharePoint 2013 CU updates . Useful if you are wondering if certain ‘strange’ behavior is a known fixed issue.

You can download the list here:
http://www.amtopm.be/DL/OverviewSharePoint2013Updates.pdf

 

To download the updates :
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/jj891062.aspx

 

 

 

When writing search queries in C# code you sometimes get the following error.

“Search has encountered a problem that prevents results from being returned. If the issue persists, please contact your administrator.”

In most cases it indicates that your search schema is not correctly setup. You request certain functionality in your code but your ‘Search Properties’ are not correctly configured.

For example the following code returned the above error:

query.SortList.Add("PublishingdateOWSDATE", SortDirection.Descending);
query.ResultTypes = ResultType.RelevantResults;
ResultTableCollection queryResults = query.Execute();

The reason of the error was simple.
The search property “PublishingdateOWSDATE” was not configured for sorting.

To fix this: go to central Admin -> Manage service Applications -> Search Service Application -> Search Schema.
Find the property “PublishingdateOWSDATE”, click on it and enable sorting by selecting “Latent” or “Active” from the dropdownlist:
sorting1

The result should like:
sorting2

Do a new crawl of your content (incremental worked for me) and test you code again.

So when getting a “Search has encountered a problem …” , always check if your search properties configuration (sorting, include in search, property name, …) is in line with the used functionality in your code.

SharePoint 2013 tools.

My SP Toolbox.
A quick overview of the tools I regularly use while creating solutions for SharePoint. Boost productivity and limit debug sessions.

SharePoint Manager

The SharePoint Manager 2013 is a SharePoint object model explorer. It enables you to browse every site on the local farm and view every property.
http://spm.codeplex.com/

CAMLDesigner

The CAML designer is a tool that helps you build your CAML queries to query SharePoint lists
http://sharepoint.biwug.be/Pages/Downloads.aspx

Property bag settings

SharePoint Property Bag offers developers to store configurations settings at different levels of the SharePoint hierarchy outside of the application itself.
http://pbs2013.codeplex.com/

ULS Viewer

ULSViewer allows users to open a ULS log file and display its contents in a user friendly format. Users can then perform advanced functions.
http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/ULSViewer/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=3308

smtp4Dev

Sniff all emails that are being send by SharePoint. Run this small stand-alone app on you machine and configure your SharePoint server to use it as mailserver.
http://smtp4dev.codeplex.com/

SharePoint feature admin

Quickly review what features are installed. Detect faulty solutions. Mass activate and deactivate features.
http://featureadmin.codeplex.com/

Search Query Tool

Build, debug and test your search queries. Also works on SharePoint Standard SKU.
http://sp2013searchtool.codeplex.com/

Search navigation synchronization job.

Automatically add ‘Search this site’ when you defined custom search navigation on your sites.
https://slsearchnavsync.codeplex.com/

Introduction

Update 2013-09-07: The SharePoint Server 2013 CU of August 2013 and KB 2817607 seem to (partly) address the issue described in this article. If you tried and tested the update it let me know! From the support site:

When you export a design package from a SharePoint Server 2013 site, some out-of-box (OOB) fields are missing from the content types.
/end update

The last few weeks on our project have been a pain. Site columns were disappearing, content types lost fields, publishing features would not activate and ULS errors:  ‘Failed to create the ‘Pages’ library’. The whole site collection felt unstable and threw the weirdest  errors towards us.  We were baffled until the we found the problem.

The man on trial? Design Manager!

The setup

The setup of our project is pretty standard. A few content types, inheriting from article page, deployed with a feature created in Visual Studio 2012. A master page, page layouts, CSS and JavaScript packaged in a design package using the SP2013 Design Manager. No big deal.

At first it worked perfectly but after a few weeks the publishing feature began to act weird. It was impossible to (re)activate the Publishing feature. The activation was throwing exceptions ( ‘Failed to create the ‘Pages’ library’) and we noticed we were missing site columns and fields in our content types and lists. The first to blame was, of course, a developers dirty code.

The accused.

After hours of troubleshooting we were able to pin down the problem to Design Manager. The problem occurs when you remove a design package that has page layouts configured with an associated (custom) content type. If you do this, all hell breaks lose. SharePoint starts to delete site columns, adjusts content types and your SharePoint setup is ready for the garbage bin.

You know you are in trouble when the Title field on the default Item content type is gone.

Error01

To reproduce

  1. Create a new site collection based upon the publishing template
  2. Deploy your custom content types first
  3. Go to Design Manager and upload your design package.
    My design package contains page layouts with an associated content type
    dmStep1
  4. Make an update and create a second version of your design package.
  5. Upload this second version to your environment as well
  6. You now have 2 design packages installed
    Go to Site Settings -> Web Designer Galleries -> Solutions
    dmStep2
  7. Here it comes.
    Deactivate the old design package and activate the new version
  8. Delete the old version

And that’s it.

The errors

Here an overview of the errors introduced by this SP2013 Design Manager error.

Error 1

If you go to your document or item content type. You notice that the Title field is gone.

Error01

Error 2

An other indication is Site Settings -> Look and Feel -> Page Layouts and site templates. In the ‘New Page Default Settings’ all the associated content types have value ‘Invalid Associated Content Type’.
dmStep3

Error 3

Reactivating the Publishing feature returned errors stating ‘Failed to created pages library’ while the pages library is already there.

dmStep4

Error 4

The ‘page layout content’ types are gone.

Error04

Error 5

The ULS logs contain the following error:

Event log message was: 'Failed to create the 'Pages' library.'. Exception was: 'Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: Content type '0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF39' not found in web 'http://wingtipserver/sites/test6'.
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.CommonUtilities.GetContentType(SPWeb web, SPContentTypeId contentTypeId)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.AreaProvisioner.CreatePagesDocumentLibrary(SPList approvalTaskList)'

At this point your SharePoint is missing critical components. As stated above this breaks default SharePoint functionality. I consider this error a major bug in SharePoint 2013. A designer can do major damage to your production setup by simply using default out-of-the-box functionality.

Conclusion

My advise is: do not use the Design Manager to package your files! I still like Design Manager but I copy the generated master pages and page layouts in a Visual Studio solution and deploy the solution.

I don’t dare to count the hours we lost on this error. Is it wise to deploy this corrupt content database on a production server? I do not think so. So I’m afraid our content editors have to redo all their work as well.

The only thing I can do is reach out to the community and warn everybody. Hopefully it helps at least some. If anybody has more information about this bug… contact me!

Some other references

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/73c5fb6b-c346-4b7e-bef2-74865d05d1c5/importing-a-design-package-corrupts-the-page-content-type

http://sharepointannoyances.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/careful-when-you-import-that-design-manager-package-part-2/comment-page-1/#comment-17

http://www.bondbyte.com/Blog/tabid/55/EntryId/24/SharePoint-2013-Design-Packages-broken.aspx

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