Using the Content Query web part in SharePoint without activating the Publishing feature

You can use the Content Query web part within a SharePoint site without activating publishing feature (which you may want to do as activating the feature introduces and changes a lot of options):

  1. Go to the Web Part Gallery within an existing publishing site
  2. Export the ContentQuery.webpart file and upload it to the Web Part Gallery of the destination site
  3. Copy the three .XSL documents (Header, ItemStyle, ContentQueryMain) from the XSL Style Sheets folder within the Style Library and transfer them to the destination site

SharePoint 2013 & PerformancePoint

Note to self: Instead of banging your head for two days trying to resolve the issue of PerformancePoint reports not displaying. When you see a “Failed to Sql Query data XEvent collector on sqldbserver…” message within the log files, first ensure that the SharePoint farm account has been granted the serveradmin role upon the SQL server.

See: Failed to Sql Query data XEvent collector on sqldbserver. The error is Object reference not set to an instance of an object. And other SQL related errors in SharePoint 2013


SharePoint’s People Picker Error

Since the roll out of Internet Explorer 10, our users were having trouble whenever they attempted to give someone access to their SharePoint 2010 area via the Grant Permissions dialog. Whenever they clicked the Browse icon, they’d receive a “An unexpected error has occurred” message.

One solution that seemed to solve this issue was to add the domain of the SharePoint site into the browser’s Compatibility View Settings – but that would effect all sites using the domain (including non-SharePoint sites).

While researching the issue I found a suggestion that it could be corrected by appending a META tag to one of the MasterPages.

Normally I wouldn’t dare edit one of the SharePoint core files, but as this was effecting so many users and we’ll be migrating to SharePoint 2013 in the near future, the benefits outweighed the risks.

  1. Browse to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS and locate the pickerdialog.master file.
  2. Immediately after the opening HEAD tag, insert the following line: <meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=EmulateIE8″ />

The changes appear to have resolved the issue completely.


The URL is not available, does not reference a SharePoint site, or you do not have permission to connect

This is a handy thing to remember for an issue I just ran into. When you try to connect to a SharePoint URL from Dashboard Designer, you may see the following prompt:

“The URL is not available, does not reference a SharePoint site, or you do not have permission to connect”

To resolve the issue I had to ensure that the Service Account which was running PerformancePoint Services had been given owner-level access to the Content database.


SharePoint Content Type IDs

This is a handy PowerShell snippet for returning a list of all Content Types and their IDs within a SharePoint site.

$site = Get-SPSite
$web = $site.RootWeb
ForEach( $contentType in $web.ContentTypes ) { Write-Host $contentType.Name": "$contentType.ID }

SharePoint 2013: Focus on Content

SharePoint 2013 has introduced a small Focus on Content icon to the ribbon bar which, for the MasterPages that support it, will show and hide portions of the page when clicked. This can be useful for hiding non-essential page elements.

When the icon is clicked, JavaScript will do two things:

  1. It creates a cookie, so the selection is remembered the next time the page is visited.
  2. It adds a new ms-fullscreenmode class to the page’s BODY tag.

So, via CSS, we can decide which elements of the page should be hidden via the Focus on Content functionality.

.ms-fullscreenmode #nonessentialcontent { display: none; }

Log into SharePoint 2013 as a different user

The “Sign in as Different User” option that was present in SharePoint 2010 has now been removed for SharePoint 2013 (I assume because it caused a lot of confusion between Internet Explorer and Office if you were logged onto the PC under one account and into SharePoint as another).

You can get around this by visiting http://siteurl/_layouts/closeConnection.aspx?loginasanotheruser=true

Source: “Sign in as Different User” menu option is missing in SharePoint Server 2013


User Profile Synchronization Service Will Not Start

Note to self: If a newly created User Profile Synchronization Service within SharePoint will not start…

  1. Confirm that the service account is a member of the Local Administrators group on the server.
  2. Restart the SharePoint Timer Service.

If in doubt, iisreset /noforce.


Adding Hours to a SharePoint Date Column

When working with calculated fields within SharePoint, there isn’t an inbuilt function that will allow you to add a specific number of hours to a date. You have to stop of a second and think about it – and the solution is quite simple.

While adding whole days is as simple as =[DateColumn]+5, to add hours you have to break things down. So to add eight hours…


See this helpful blog post for more information.


Tuning SQL Server 2012 for SharePoint 2013 Jump Start

SQL Server stores most of the data for SharePoint. This Jump Start training focuses on how these two products are integrated. Join two of the industry’s most popular SharePoint experts, Bill Baer and Brian Alderman on an exploration of SQL Server settings, SQL Server system database settings and configuration options that will improve SharePoint 2013 performance, availability and security. Enjoy this demo filled Jump Start to help you optimize SQL Server 2012 deployment to protect your SharePoint environment.