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Get More Out of Your Secure Store Service via PowerShell and C#

Download: SecureStoreServiceHelper.ps1

In my opinion, one of SharePoint 2010/2013’s unsung heroes is the Secure Store Service Application. I’m sure the vast majority of SharePoint users have never even heard of it. It’s one of those quiet, unassuming service applications that only a farm administrator can love. It is, however, potentially so much more than the place to hold your Excel and PowerPivot unattended account. In this blog, I hope to show you how you can use the Secure Store Service in a new and powerful way.

So What is This Secure Store Service?

The Secure Store Service Application (SSS) was added in SharePoint 2010 as a replacement for 2007’s Single Sign On feature. Its role in life is to map a SharePoint user (domain account) to a different account, such as a legacy system login. It stores the encrypted user information securely inside a farm database, and the service application provides a simple means to manage the accounts (called “credentials”). The administrator creates something called a Target Application. It defines the user configuration (including who has access to use it) and stores the remote user name and password.  

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Beware of Duplicates in SharePoint Online’s Content Search Web Part

Recently, I faced a really thorny issue regarding the Content Search Web Part in SharePoint Online. The customer is configured with a one-way, outbound hybrid topology with SharePoint Online/Office 365. We had Search Federation setup and working great on-premises. They setup a Content Search Web Part on their SharePoint Online home page to display all sites the user belongs to, and they wanted that same Content Search Web Part in their on-premises farm. What they found, however, was a puzzler: the exact same query configured the exact same way would return more results in SharePoint Online than it did on-premises.

We verified that the user had the proper permissions, the sites were being indexed, etc. A site that we found missing in the on-premises results could actually be returned if we narrowed the search just to its URL. We couldn’t explain the behavior, and understandably, it was quite a concern for the customer. However, I was finally able to crack the nut and figured others might be struggling with the same issue. The problem: duplicates and a probable bug in SharePoint Online.

Before moving into the details of the solution, let me give you some more background information.

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Sync a Managed Metadata Term Group with SharePoint Online or On-Premises

The Scripts

(Download .zip file Here)

The Problem

In a multi-farm environment, it is likely that data will be transferred between farms, either as one-off copies or migrations of entire sites. Microsoft’s implementation of the Managed Metadata Service (MMS) and its taxonomy/term store poses a significant challenge in a multi-farm situation. When a term is stored, it is given a unique, automatically generated identifier (a GUID) which identifies the term. This term ID is used throughout the farm in lieu of the actual term itself, enabling the localization and renaming of the term. It is not possible, however, to set this ID through the user interface. The term “Department” might have an ID of “123-45-678” (yes, I know this isn’t a true GUID) in the on-premises term set – but then have an ID of “ABC-DE-F12” in a SharePoint Online term set. When an item tagged with “Department” is moved between environments, the term IDs no longer match, the term is orphaned, and the data is effectively lost.

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How to Solve Multiple File Upload Issue for Users

DOES this SITUATION SOUND FAMILIAR?

Sally (User): Jim, what in the world did you do with this new upgrade, everything is broken!

Jim (Tech Support): Sally, calm down for a second.

Sally (User): Oh I’m calm, but this SharePoint site is not working and I have a meeting in 10 minutes.

Jim (Tech Support): What site are you on and what are you trying to do?

Sally (User): I’m on my team’s project site and I’m trying to get all these documents uploaded for the meeting in 9 minutes now.  They say they want us to use this stupid thing, and it’s supposed to help.  Well it’s not helping me right now.

Jim (Tech Support): Okay, give me a second to get there and see what’s going on.  You said you are trying to upload documents right?

Sally (User): Yes…I see the upload document button, but that’s just one at a time.  How in the world is this productive if all I can do is upload one at a time? I have 47 documents you know... 

interopfi Workflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescueWorkflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescueWorkflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescueWorkflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescueWorkflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescueWorkflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescuewi6jb

Workflow Interop for SharePoint 2013 to the rescue!

Recently, I wrote a blog about a new feature called the App Step, available for use in SharePoint Designer 2013 utilizing the SharePoint 2013 Workflow Platform. For those interested in learning more about the new advancements to workflow for SharePoint Server 2013, check out this link for an excellent Microsoft TechNet article. In addition to SharePoint Designer enhancements, it also discusses the new Workflow Manager Service, which is needed in order to create SharePoint Designer workflows on the SharePoint 2013 Workflow Platform. After Workflow Manager is installed and configured to communicate with your SharePoint Server 2013 farm, you will now have two workflow platforms available for use when creating workflows in SharePoint Designer 2013: SharePoint 2010 Workflow Platform and SharePoint 2013 Workflow Platform.

The intent of this blog is to describe a situation I ran into and how I used both platforms to resolve it. Confused?

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You Really Should Migrate to SharePoint 2013 if…

If you are using any of the following SharePoint versions: Windows SharePoint Server 3.0 or earlier, or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or earlier; the below statement may be of some interest to you. (FYI: If you have anything prior to WSS 3.0, and are still using it, I am willing to work with you to get you upgraded).

It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities.

That came directly from a Microsoft Security Bulletin released on May 13th about an update that was intended to help prevent an authenticated attacker from running remote code in your environment.  While the vulnerability may not truly be valid in some of the older versions, having a non-supported version of SharePoint is a big disaster recovery risk for any business data.  Still have questions?