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Posts Tagged ‘2016’

SharePoint 2016 Farm configuration issue on Windows Azure Virtual Machine

Hi All,
I hope you all know that now we can create a SharePoint 2016 VM on Windows Azure. In case you have not tried it yet, you can follow below:

Select New on Windows Azure > Compute > Virtual Machine > From Gallery > Select SharePoint from left hand navigation > Select SharePoint Server 2016 IT preview
While I was working with this VM, I came across an issue where I was unable to configure a SharePoint 2016 farm using the SharePoint 2016 VM created in Windows Azure using one of their template. I found that root of issue was Active Directory. SharePoint cannot work without active directory and not everyone using Azure creates a VM with AD in Windows Azure itself. If you plan to create an AD forest in Azure and then add SharePoint 2016 VM to that domain, please follow my article:

Creating a Lab on Windows Azure


If you are planning to use this VM only for learning purpose then you may want to create a SharePoint farm without Active Directory. Unlike previous versions of SharePoint, you cannot use Single Server install model to create a SharePoint farm without Active Directory or without installing SQL server.




To overcome this issue you need 1st install SQL Server and then use below PowerShell command to configure your SharePoint farm. You can download SQL server from below link



Once SQL server is installed and your local admin account has access to SQL server, you can use SharePoint PowerShell to create tour SharePoint 2016 Farm.
1. Open SharePoint PowerShell as Admin
2. You may want to type below command and provide actual values. When you execute the command, you will be requested for credentials of your local admin account you used while creating this Virtual Machine.
New-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName “SP2016_config” -DatabaseServer “Name of SQL Server” -Passphrase (ConvertTo-SecureString “Sharepoint@2016” -AsPlainText -force) -LocalServerRole SingleServerFarm -FarmCredentials (Get-Credential)


Note: I have observed that when people try to copy paste such commands, hyphen(-) sign does not work, so remove and add these sign again in whole command.

Once above command is executed successfully without any issue, you can execute SharePoint PSconfig wizard and complete SharePoint farm configuration.

Hope this will help you.


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 –>

<customErrors mode=”Off”/>
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 –>

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

#################### 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.


Hybrid Delve and Search are coming to SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2013

Hi All,

As you all know that Hybrid Delve and Search are coming to SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2013. Hope below additional details can be of help.


What is Cloud search service application?

If you plan to use Hybrid Delve and Search feature then you will have to create a Cloud Search Service Application. As far as I know key source behind Delve (Office Graph) for Delve won’t be available On Premises SharePoint.


How does it work?

I see a lot of concern where people ask if the crawled content would remain on Cloud server or On-premises SharePoint server. The content itself remains On-Premises and the indexed metadata is unified in a Cloud Index in Office 365. This mean crawled content resides in your environment but their index resides on Office 365 servers.

Now another concern is what happens to sensitive data which will be crawled. Its indexes would move to cloud which may not be accepted to everyone.

For sensitive content it would be recommended to not index this content using the Cloud SSA. The Combining Hybrid search approaches can use the current Query federation approach for the hybrid scenario should this need to be queried from SharePoint Online.


What would be an Ideal scenario if you plan to SharePoint 2016 Cloud Search Service Application?

Bill Baer says “I wouldn’t approach the new hybrid search experience as sending the entirety of your content to the unified index in SPO, just the “indexed” content, I.e. the first 100K – as related to selectively sending content to the unified index, yes, that can be achieved with the new hybrid cloud Search SA – the number of servers on-premises as related to scale-related considerations is dependent on your own throughput needs, but can be as few as a single server running either SharePoint 2013 and/or SharePoint 2016 which can serve as a proxy to legacy content sources such as SharePoint 2010. Since the index is unified in SPO and the results returned by Office 365 you can also potentially reduce the scale of your existing search architecture and let the service do the heavy lifting of storing and returning results.”

To summarize, if you have lot of content which does not contain sensitive information and your company is ready for Hybrid approach you can crawl Hugh amount of data but your search architecture would be very small because half of the load(Index and Query) would be taken by Office 365 servers. Here you will get a very good search performance even if you have single SharePoint environment.


What is required for Cloud search service application?

You need On-Premises SharePoint environment and Office 365 subscription to use Cloud search service application.


Hope this will help you with your SharePoint 2016 planning.


No SharePoint Foundation 2016

Hi All,


We all know SharePoint Designer 2013 is the last version of SharePoint Designer available to us. Now another big hit is SharePoint Foundation 2013 is also the last free version of SharePoint product available with us.


I just got confirmation that Microsoft would not release SharePoint Foundation 2016 along with SharePoint Server 2016. This is a big hit to companies who use SharePoint foundation in their current organization and planned to upgrade to SharePoint Foundation 2016. I very well know that a very big SharePoint market uses SharePoint Foundation because it is free and it has great features.


If you use SharePoint Foundation and you want Microsoft to continue SharePoint Foundation product, you can tweet @williambaer or email him at wbaer@microsoft.com. That’s your only chance where you need to show Microsoft how you use SharePoint foundation, how does it benefit you and why Microsoft should continue this product line


Hope this will help you with your SharePoint 2016 planning.

What’s new in SharePoint server 2016 deployment

Hi All,


Let’s talk about SharePoint 2016 newly release deployment details.


We will start with Hardware requirements, we can see that SharePoint 2016 would require something between 8 to 16 GB of RAM but for 1st time ever Microsoft has suggested a secondary drive on all SharePoint and SQL servers. Suggested minimum number of processor is 4 cores which mean we will have minimum I5 on all servers.


List of Unsupported Deployment Scenarios make a big difference for SharePoint 2016. Workgroup, Client OS (Windows 7, Vista, etc), Dynamic Memory and Windows Web Server would be unsupported. So you would need a Domain environment with windows server and Static RAM on all servers. This will increase license cost and hardware cost because an additional AD server and memory would be required.


So far Windows server 2012 R2 and Technical preview are supported OS.


Although .net framework 4.6 is released, you would need minimum .net framework 4.5.2 to install SharePoint server 2016.


There is no much change for Prerequisites of SharePoint server 2016:
Application Server Role
Web Server (IIS) Role
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client
Microsoft ODBC Driver 11 for SQL Server
Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
Windows Server AppFabric 1.1
Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB2671763)
Microsoft Identity Extensions
Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client
Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.6
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2
Update for Microsoft .NET Framework to disable RC4 in Transport Layer Security (KB2898850)
Visual C++ Redistributable Package for Visual Studio 2013


You would need SQL server 2014 to install SharePoint 2016 in your environment.


I don’t know why we still use AppFabric when we know it will be discounted soon in 2016. As you can see “Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client” is the only new Prerequisite and it will be used for compliance on SharePoint server. We can see the same on Central Admin screen.


Now comes the most interesting part of SharePoint 2016 which is MinRole. During MVP summit 2014 we were told about Minrole and its database. Had a big conversation on same because it may have complexity with upgrade but here I see that Minrole is implemented in SharePoint 2016.


Now the services will be divided in 3 sections viz User services, Robot services and caching services. Now when you install SharePoint 2016, you would get option to select role you wish to enable on the SharePoint server. Previously we had Single Server or Application and WFE role but now we have 6 different roles available with us viz SpecialLoad, WebFrontEnd, SingleServerFarm, Search, Application, DistributedCache.


Here is the secret of these roles, predefined server role is configured and optimized for its intended purpose provisioning the expected services designed to support its function within a server farm environment. So you don’t have to worry about which server should run which services.


You can configure SharePoint 2016 using psconfig GUI or powershell. As far as I know stsadm command are now deprecated and cannot be used in SharePoint 2016 for management or configuration purpose.


To configure a SharePoint farm we need to use below powershell command:

psconfig.exe -cmd configdb -create –server “SQLserver” –database “wss_config” –user “itfreesupport\inder” –password “123456” –passphrase “pass_phase1” –admincontentdatabase “admin_contentdb” -localserverrole “Application”

Here is a GUI interface of a SharePoint 2016 psconfig wizard.


Another advantage of these MinRole is related to Server Health rules. If you have selected SharePoint search role and health rule detects any other service running on the server, it will give you an alert for same. Now this is what I say a new feature in SharePoint 2016.


Now comes the biggest pain with SharePoint 2016. You cannot perform a SharePoint 2016 inplace upgrade. This means you will have to create\reconfigure your Service application and use attach detach method to complete your upgrade. Another problem is we need upgrade to SharePoint 2013 and then we can upgrade to SharePoint 2016. A direct upgrade from older version of SharePoint is not available in SharePoint server 2016.


Reference : What’s new in SharePoint Server 2016 Installation and Deployment

Update on SharePoint server 2016 release date

Today big news coming from Microsoft is release date of SharePoint 2016


Finally, Microsoft announced the most awaited release dates of on-premises SharePoint 2016.
Microsoft Blog site “SharePoint Server 2016 update” says that the next version of SharePoint Server 2016 has advanced content management, team collaboration, user experiences across devices, and how the cloud can be blended into existing on-premises scenarios in new and compelling ways.


Major focused areas for development of SharePoint Server 2016 were to deliver enhancements and new capabilities in three major areas:
1. New user experiences
2. Cloud-inspired infrastructure with Hybrid at the core
3. People-centric compliance


I find the most interesting comment to be “People-Centric File Storage and Collaboration”. I take this to suggest a move to storing the majority of files in OD4B rather than team sites and promote people to use it. Now that Microsoft owns Yammer, I assume Yammer will be tightly integrated with SharePoint and soon may disappear just like Fast search.


Now most awaited SharePoint Server 2016 RTM will be available to customers in Q2 CY 2016 but a Public Beta would be available in Q4 CY 2015.


Another good news is that if your company is interested in providing feedback on early versions of SharePoint 2016, Microsoft can invite you to nominate them for the Technology Adoption Program (TAP). Joining the on-premises TAP Program provides companies with a number of advantages, such as providing input and feedback for future releases of SharePoint, Project Server, and/or Exchange Server; developing a close relationship with the Product Teams; and receiving pre-release information about SharePoint, Project Server and Exchange.

To apply for TAP you need to visit

Office 2016 Public Pre-Release Program

On March 16, 2015, Satya Nadella announced the opening of the Office 16 Public Pre-Release Program. Recently Office team announced the public pre-release program on the Office blog site.

Office team wants to open Pre-Release program to the general public, specifically IT Pros and Developer focused. In support of this there is an ask of you all to share what you have learned regarding Office 16 by providing support in the soon to be opened Commercial forums.

To register for Office 2016 check here or go to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=528801

For more information visit:

Release date of SharePoint Beta 2016

Hi All,

Just a head-up on SharePoint 2016 release details. This dates are not yet confirmed but good for initial guidance.

SharePoint Beta 5th June 2015

Some Highlights for the SharePoint 2016:
The next version of SharePoint is not the last version of SharePoint server that Microsoft will SHIP. So thats a very good news for the SharePoint On-premises community.
You can still use Infopath Forms 2013 with SharePoint 2016. Forms for SharePoint library seems dropped from the list.
More integration features with Office 2016.
Delve and yammer still does not have much of clarity on integration with SharePoint 2016.
Lot more site and list templates to use from.
Hybrid mode of SharePoint is also given some extra consideration.
Improved Business Intelligence features.

Hope this head-up is helpful for you.

Infopath will be supported in SharePoint server 2016 but FOSL(Forms for SharePoint Library) seems dead

Microsoft recently updated their blog post with below update:
“As part of the update shared around the Evolution of SharePoint and the next SharePoint Server on-premises release, we are also updating the timelines for removal of InfoPath Forms Services components of SharePoint and SharePoint Online. Specifically, InfoPath Forms Services will be included in the next on-premises release of SharePoint Server 2016, as well as being fully supported in Office 365 until further notice. Customers will be able to confidently migrate to SharePoint Server 2016 knowing that their InfoPath forms will continue to work in their on-premises environments, as well as in Office 365.

The InfoPath 2013 application remains the last version to be released and will work with SharePoint Server 2016.”

For me the shocking news is not that Microsoft did extended support for Infopath 2013 but still no update on FOSL(Forms for SharePoint Library) in SharePoint 2016 and Office 365. When check the Office 365 Roadmap(http://roadmap.office.com/en-us), FOSL(Forms for SharePoint Library) is a cancelled features which means feature will not be released.


Reference. ” http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/31/update-on-infopath-and-sharepoint-forms/