Top Posts of 2015

Another year of SharePoint! This year we have the big release of SharePoint 2016 Beta, which is a very large step forward for SharePoint on-premises. Check out the Top Posts of 2015!

On a personal level, I’ve jumped a few jobs this year, including working at Microsoft IT to manage their SharePoint on-premises environments, which involved upgrading multiple farms from SharePoint 2010 to 2013. From there, I moved onto the SharePoint Product Group, supporting SharePoint Online Dedicated, Microsoft’s internal SharePoint Online ring, and other internal SharePoint 2016 farms. And now I’ve moved to a Senior Consultant role at another company! Lots of moving around, but always working on something exciting!

Here are the top posts by views for 2015:

  1. August 2015 CU Error – “File names can’t contain the following characters” A big impact to the community, one of the issues that was fixed relatively quickly in terms of CU breaking issues.
  2. SharePoint and the Web Application Proxy Role The Web Application Proxy role for ADFS is becoming more and more popular. This is a basic configuration guide on how to implement WAP specifically for SharePoint using constrained delegation and without converting SharePoint to SAML!
  3. March 2015 CU/MS15-022 Task List Filter Issue There has to be more than one major community-impacting bug per year, and it is always unfortunate to see it in SharePoint security patches. Again, another manual workaround provided, but at least it was fixed within 2 months!
  4. PowerPivot Mid-Tier Process Account Does Not have Full Read PowerPivot is another one of my hobbies, and what would PowerPivot be without it’s fair share of cryptic and incorrect Health Analyzer Rules?
  5. April Updates Unable to Install on Service Pack 1 Another patch-related issue, this time with Service Pack 1 detection. Fortunately an easy, but annoying workaround was available, and then subsequently ‘fixed’ in future CUs.
  6. Quickly Migrate SharePoint Path-based to Host-named Site Collections A short one, but none the less it is always great when Microsoft provides us with new functionality. This one is extremely useful when you decide it is time to move to HNSC from Path-based Site Collections. No more backup/restores!
  7. SharePoint 2016 Durable Links One of the new features of SharePoint 2016, this post goes into Durable Links, how to enable them, and how they work.
  8. Chrome Support of the SharePoint 2013 Media Webpart Google made a great decision to drop NSAPI support this year in Chrome, forcing developers to move to HTML5 for video functionality
  9. SharePoint Support for Disabling SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 One for the security folks, this article goes into the supportability of disabling deprecated security transport protocols, and what SharePoint requires. We’ll see how this plays out in PCI DDS environments!
  10. Creating Search Alerts in SharePoint 2013 Last, but not least, the FAST team at Microsoft wanted to do away with Search Alerts, and certain APIs available with SharePoint 2010 were no longer supported in SharePoint 2013. With no further documentation out there, here’s the workaround!

On to my favorite articles of the year. This will clearly be centered around SharePoint 2016, as I’ve been immersed into it for the past 6+ months. While a few of these features won’t get SharePoint 2016 RTM support, there is always hope that in the future the Product Group brings these features to SharePoint on-premises.

  1. Azure Blob Storage for SharePoint Documents One of the big selling points for SharePoint Online is Fort Knox. With the Preview version of SharePoint 2016, it was possible to enable Fort Knox! This feature will not be available in SharePoint 2016 RTM, but it is always worth requesting from the Product Group on SharePoint UserVoice.
  2. SharePoint 2016 Site Masters Site Masters is a new feature in SharePoint 2016, and one I’m personally excited about. There are a significant number of SQL queries required in order to create a Site Collection. Site Masters bypasses many of them and speeds the process up.
  3. Announcing the SharePoint Patch Service This is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, and one of my first non-SharePoint development projects in some time (MVC, Razor, Entity Framework, hosted on Azure SQL PaaS and Web Sites). This site keeps you up to date with all of the available SharePoint 2010, 2013, and in the future, 2016 patches. Not only that, but it also comes with a set of cmdlets to help you manage patches for your on-premises environment, including downloading and installing! If you haven’t tried it out already, give it a shot and let me know what you think!
  4. SharePoint 2016 Compliance Policy Internals It’s always good to know how things work, especially when they break. Understanding a critical feature like Compliance Policies is important for a SharePoint administrator, especially given the scenarios this feature is used for.
  5. Azure SQL PaaS for SharePoint Content Databases Another great, but ultimately unsupported feature for SharePoint. Storing your Content Databases in Azure PaaS sounds like a nice cost-savings feature, but due to latency, it simply isn’t possible. As always, if the feature interests you, use UserVoice!
  6. Using a CDN for Static Resources on SharePoint 2016 Many corporations use SharePoint with users spanning across the globe. SharePoint has many system files, which are static and never change. Well, why not use a global CDN to serve those files?
  7. SharePoint 2016 Large List Auto Indexing A very common scenario that frustrates end users of SharePoint is dealing with large SharePoint Lists and how to cope with the List View Threshold. SharePoint 2016 adds a new feature to automatically create List Indexes to help end users better support themselves when dealing with these large Lists.
  8. Unable to Follow Content Programmatically Thanks to the newest Hybrid functionality in SharePoint 2013 CUs, following content programmatically became slightly more complicated. This post details what the issue is, and how to work around it.
  9. SharePoint EventCache Cmdlet Have you ever used the EventCache? Or even knew it existed? It’s a store of valuable information, including CYA when that user tells you something deleted their document. Well, now you can prove they deleted their own document! This cmdlet help you review the EventCache in a Content Database, and get some context without having to figure out a bunch of bit masks.
  10. Creating Search Alerts in SharePoint 2013 Last but not least, I really enjoyed the research in making this available to anyone who is encountering difficulties in creating Search Alerts. Lots of reflection and testing went into getting this functionality working in a supported way.

Well, that’s it for 2015! I hope you found some good information here and look to post some exciting things in the future, including a new site to help you with all of those internal hex values in SharePoint Content Databases :-) Watch this space! Have a great 2016, and Happy New Years to everyone!

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.