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Posts Tagged ‘2007’

SharePoint site down “An application error occurred on the server” web.config error

Hi All,

 

Recently I got below error message which you might have seen. This is a very common and generic error message which can confuse you a lot. You may face this issue in all versions of SharePoint like SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013 or SharePoint 2016. First let us look at the error message
#################### Error Start #############
Runtime Error Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be view able on remote machines, please create a <customErrors> tag within a “web.config” configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its “mode” attribute set to “Off”.

<!– Web.Config Configuration File –>

<configuration>
<system.web>
<customErrors mode=”Off”/>
</system.web>
</configuration>
Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the “defaultRedirect” attribute of the application’s <customErrors> configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

<!– Web.Config Configuration File –>

<configuration>
<system.web>
<customErrors mode=”RemoteOnly” defaultRedirect=”mycustompage.htm”/>
</system.web>
</configuration>

#################### Error End #############

We can see that error message says something about web.config file. Here is what we need to do.
1. Open IIS management console
2. Start > RUN > Inetmgr > Expand server
3. Expand the site you are getting this error on > right click > explore

Here you should be able to see a web.config file. If this web.config was recently modified by someone, please check with your team if anyone has recently modified this file, tried to deployed a farm\web application solution or run psconfig wizard on any of the SharePoint server in farm.
Note: If you have multiple SharePoint server, try the same on all the servers

In most cases, it is a web.config change done by someone from within the team which cause this issue.
If no one has done any changes:
1. Make a copy of this web.config file and open the original file. Search for “callstack” and set the value to True, again search for customerrors set it to OFF.
2. Rename the recent web.config to web.config.old with today’s date and revert the most recent web.config(date and time) file to web.config
3. Install Examdiff tool on a computer and copy the most recent web.config file and new web.config to identify the changes.

These steps will help you identify the actual cause of this error.

 

What is a Site Collection in SharePoint?

There are lot of confusions between Site Collection, sites and web application so though I will try to put some light on same. A very high level overview of a Site Collection is that Site collection share common features like Content types, Templates, Site columns, permissions, Web Parts etc. In other words a site collection groups together websites, and (perhaps most importantly) the security data for these websites. A site Collection stores references to a bunch of information critical to any web site. This information includes, but is not limited to:

–Web Parts

–Users which have access to the website

–Themes

–Sandbox Solutions

–MasterPages

–List Templates

 

 

Site Collection facilitates better administration of our internet\intranet websites. Let me explain using an example. We have a company’s intranet site and that intranet site (http://intranet) has multiple departments based sub sites like Finance, Sales, Support, etc. If I need to check something related to Finance, I can simply go to http://intranet/finance and try to find my relevant information in through Shared Document library, Blogging and much more. I would have access to all commonly used information\documents through a single intranet URL.

 

To the Site Collection all the websites within it are in a flat hierarchy which developers can see using spsite.allwebs or using dbo.allwebs table in content database.

 

Normally each web application has at least 1 Site Collection but it can have many however every web application has only 1 Top Level Site collection. General setting like Recycle bin and Quotas are organized at site collection level. Most important is each site collection can only use a single content database though multiple site collections can us the same content database.

 

Sites and subsites in a web application are actual place where content is stored. A site can be a top-level site or a sub site of the top level site. Not to confuse you but even a Sub sites can have other sub sites and so on. It is a free like structure. A site can inherit its parent’s permissions or define its own.

 

 

Microsoft recommended limiting the number of site collections in a content database to 5,000. However, up to 10,000 site collections in a database are supported. Microsoft decided this parameter after analyzing speed of upgrade, SharePoint performance, etc. The larger the number of site collections in a database, the slower the upgrade with respect to both database upgrade and site collection upgrades.

 

 

Exceeding the 5,000 site collection limit puts you at risk of longer downtimes during upgrades. If you plan to exceed 5,000 site collections, Microsoft recommend that you have a clear upgrade strategy to address outage length and operations impact, and obtain additional hardware to speed up the software updates and upgrades that affect databases.

 

The maximum recommended number of site collections per SharePoint farm is 500,000 Personal Sites plus 250,000 for all other site templates.

 

You can create a very large total number of web sites by nesting subsites. For example, in a shallow hierarchy with 100 sites, each with 1,000 subsites, you would have a total of 100,000 web sites. Or a deep hierarchy with 100 sites, each with 10 subsite levels would also contain a total of 100,000 web sites.

 

Note: Deleting or creating a site or subsite can significantly affect a site’s availability. Access to the site and subsites will be limited while the site is being deleted. Attempting to create many subsites at the same time may also fail.

 

Microsoft recommends a limiting of 200 GB for each site collections. This 200 gb includes RBS blob files on SQL server.

 

How we create a site collection?

Open Central Admin > Application management > Create Site Collection > Select the URL  and fill in other details > Click OK.

You can also use below Powershell command:

New-SPSite -URL http://itfreesupport.com -OwnerAlias inder@itfreesupport.com  -template “STS#0”

 

How to create a subsite?

Browse your site collection > Select setting button on right top corner > select “site contents” > select new subsite > Provide the URL and fill in other details > click OK.

You can also use below Powershell command:

New-SPWeb http://itfreesupport/subweb1 -Template “STS#0”

Note: Site collection can only be create from Central admin or SharePoint server where as subsite can be created from any machine using site collection URL

Hope this was helpful

 

 

What are types of SharePoint installation? what is difference between Farm and standalone?

A very common answer to 1st question is, we have Standalone and Farm installation but when it comes to SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 I say we have Standalone and complete installation. Why I said “complete” is because when we install Complete edition of SharePoint 2010\2013 we get option to create farm where as in SharePoint 2007, you get option to select Farm or Standalone while we are installing SharePoint. So the trick here is people mention “complete” instead of “Farm” for better understanding.

 

At first glance, standalone installations seems best for development purposes. The benefits appear to be:
1. Standalone will automatically install SQL Express for you(No SQL server installation needed)
2. Standalone will install using local accounts(no domain controller needed)

 

In my view a SharePoint standalone setup should be sufficient for development unless you are developing against SharePoint Enterprise only features.(I assume SharePoint foundation or Standard). SharePoint developer save a TON of hassle by having Visual Studio and SharePoint installed on the same OS (e.g. F5 to compile, run and debug all in one go) rather than using separate servers (VM or otherwise) and performing the incantations required to get remote debugging working.

 

Lots of sites say you need to setup your Development environment with Windows server 2008  but that’s not necessary as Windows 7 (x64 with SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013) or even Windows Vista(with SharePoint 2010) can be used as Development environment.

 

But I would like to add that a stand-alone environment is sufficient for a development environment, however I would recommend to mimic a stand-alone by choosing a farm installation. You can install a higher version of SQL server(e.g. SQL server 2014 with advance features or SQL server developer edition) for better advantage. Not everyone know what SQL server. No everyone know but regardless of how many physical CPUs you have on your SQL server and how many cores per physical CPU, each SQL Express instance will be limited to a single CPU core. A similar cap is applied to amount of RAM which can be used by SQL server Express edition.

 

Standalone installation have their own disadvantage like limitations of 4 GB SQL database. connection to SQL from a remove machine, need to separately install Management studio, etc. Moreover if any of your project needs to test a multi-server setup, you cannot mimic the same on a Standalone installation.

 

On the other hand a farm\complete installation allows you to add other servers and SQL a different SQL server so as to keep you running out of resources. You can install SQL server on a different machine with good resources and allow all your team member to connect to single SQL server for development purpose. SQL server can also be a Active Directory server as it consumes very less resources.

 

Couple of more differences between SharePoint Farm and SharePoint standalone are:
1. Using separate account to connect to SQL server\SharePoint server
2. Using other accounts to manage a lot of services such as: Excel service, Performance Point, setup reverse proxy, setup load balancing.
3. Allow multiple SharePoint servers join into this farm to improve availability.
4. Multiple SharePoint servers can host Central Administration, Search Index, Search query, Web Application, etc for better performance.

 

Hope this was helpful

What is a Web Application in SharePoint?

Web Applications are one of the very important and bit what confusing topic in SharePoint. Let me try to simplify the same. If you have worked on IIS, we create IIS site which are the actual URL of IIS site. You specify hostheader and port number while creating a IIS site. We then use the same URL with port number to browse our IIS site(e.g. http://itfreesupport.com:8081 or http://computername:80). We create a Web Application from SharePoint central admin which creates sites in IIS so we can say that SharePoint Web Applications are IIS sites but managed and created from SharePoint Central Admin.

 

Each Web Application created in SharePoint central admin is associated with a IIS site. We cannot have multiple web Application for one IIS site but we can create upto 5 IIS sites for one Web application(using Extend Web Application feature). This means we can browse same content from different URL’s using different IIS sites\web.config files.

 

Microsoft support upto 20 Web Application in a SharePoint farm but we can create more then 20 Web applications.

 

Every Web Application will have minimum 1 content database but there is not hard core limit of databases a Web Application can have. Microsoft supports upto 500 content databases in a SharePoint farm so technically you can have upto 500 content databases for single web application.

 

On your SharePoint server under services on server, if you have “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation web Application” service running\started, it states this server a WFE(Web front end) server. End users will access your SharePoint sites and services through these WFE servers.

 

Another very important feature of Web Application is authentication method for SharePoint site. We set authentication method\type(Claims authentication, NTLM authentication, Anonymous authentication, etc) at Web Application level. As discussed already you can have 5 IIS site(extended web application) for a single web application which means you can have 5 different types of authentication for same web application.

 

We can create Web Application using Powershell, command prompt(cmd) or through SharePoint Central Admin.

To create a new Web Application through powershell using powershell command:
$ap = New-SPAuthenticationProvider
New-SPWebApplication -Name “Itfreesupport” -Port 80 -HostHeader “itfreesupport.com” -URL “http://itfreesupport.com” -ApplicationPool “AppPool” -ApplicationPoolAccount (Get-SPManagedAccount “domain\user”) -AuthenticationProvider $ap

 

To create a new Web Application through stsadm command follow below:
stsadm -o extendvs -url http://itfreesupport.com -ownerlogin domain\user -owneremail “user@itfreesupport.com”

 

To create a new Web Application through central admin follow below:
Open SharePoint Central Admin > Select “Application management” > Select “Manage Web Application” > Select “New” on top ribbon > Complete the details e.g. port number, host header url, etc and click OK

Hope this was helpful