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September, 2015:

Fail patching your SharePoint 2010 farm for apparent no reason

  • Act 1: You notice that health analyzer is warning you that some updates needed to applied on the server X and server Y.
  • Act 2: You download the KB2956080 and properly install on both good old SharePoint 2010 servers
  • Act 3: Run the psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait command and “Missing installs error is displayed

How the play was called?

Fail patching your SharePoint 2010 farm for apparent no reason

At some point SharePoint loses track of the CU version information between the registry, windows installer and SharePoint but with just one magic PowerShell command you can force and fix the mismatch, the command is Get-SPProduct -Local , just run on the servers that display the Missing error then run the Configuration Wizard or PSConfig.

Cast

 

 

 

Discover SharePoint Web Services methods and parameters and feel nostalgic about it

This is not the first time that a customer has an issue with SharePoint Web Services “. asmx” and InfoPath Forms that I need to quickly spot and fix. Of course SharePoint Web Services work as a charm, but sometimes the problem comes more to InfoPath forms how they consume the services SOAP response and request headers. Yes, I’ve said InfoPath. A lot of customers still work and use InfoPath forms, they created and automated HR or IT process using these wonderful technologies and we, support engineers need to support. A lot of customers still have a dependency on InfoPath.

Today I want to share a resource that is not the first time that help me identify the problem and that is .NET Web Service Studio, this application is a .NET client application that you can use to discover the Methods of a web service and review the SOAP request and response parameter.

Very handy to start understanding a web service. So because this is like the third time I’ve used these tools to start supporting an InfoPath Form here you have it:

Just go to WebServiceStudio a codeplex, hit Download and enjoy the ride. There is some nostalgic feeling working and using the tool.

Just look the icons, don't you feel little nostalgia?

Just look the icons, don’t you feel little nostalgia?

Deploy InfoPath Forms with UDCX files in multiple SharePoint farms

Probably you follow the best practices when building InfoPath Forms solutions. You know, there is a recommendation to use UDCX files a.k.a universal data connection files to describe the connection details of a data source. That is all good stuff, the point that I want to share today, is how to deal with InfoPath Forms that have data connection files that need to be deployed to a different farm like from DEV, QA, UAT and PROD farms.

Of course each farm as a different DNS, for example:

  • Development Box: http://myspdevbox1
  • Test Farm: http://preportal.mycompany.com
  • Production Farm: http://portal.mycompany.com

So, my InfoPath form in development will have a reference to the UDCX file pointing to DNS: http://myspdevbox1 and to site collection like /sites/IT, the Site Collection part is relative, that mean that as long every farm has the same path everything should work, but, of course every farm will not have the same DNS.

How we can change the Form Template to point to a different DNS and ensure it points to the right data connection files?

Here the steps:

  1. Open the form and select File – Publish, from the Export section, click Export Source Files, then save the form files in a folder
Export the form as Source Files

Export the form as Source Files

  1. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder, look for manifest. xsn file and open with Notepad
Open manifest.xsn in Notepad

Open manifest.xsn in Notepad

  1. Find your existing DNS like http://preportal.mycompany.com and replace with the new farm DNS like http://portal.mycompany.com
Find and Replace in Notepad

Find and Replace in Notepad

  1. Replace all your DNS entries and save the file
  2. Open the manifest.xsn with InfoPath Designer and save the template with a proper name different from manifest.xsn
Open the manifest.xsn in design mode

Open the manifest.xsn in design mode

  1. Publish your new InfoPath form template to your new farm, you will notice that in the Publishing Wizard dialog box already will have the new DNS
  2. Now you can test.

Remember, you also need to edit your data connection files to point to the proper DNS and they need to be stored in the same relative path.