SharePoint 2016: How To Implement Alternate Access Mapping

In this article we will discuss implementing “Alternate Access Mapping” or commonly known as “AAM” in SharePoint 2016.

Alternate Access Mapping Architecture

If you are not aware of AAM or you have some misconceptions about it, I would highly recommend you to read through an excellent blog Alternate Access Mappings (AAMs) *Explained by “Brain Pendergrass” from Microsoft and would like to thank him for such an awesome blog to make me understand this concept in depth.

This article will focus on guided steps to configure AAM in SharePoint 2016 and we won’t discuss AAM as a concept.

Create New Web Application

Step 1: To start the demo let go to SharePoint Central Admin Site and click on “Manage Web Applications” as shown below-

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I am creating a new Web Application for demo purpose. In real environments we can use any existing Web Application to perform these steps.

Step 2: Click “New” menu to launch “Create New Web Application” wizard

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Step 3: Enter Web Application Name and other necessary information

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Once done click OK to start the process

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When the creation process has been completed then we can see a new Web Application listed in the list of Web Applications

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Also we may see the Modal Dialog that offers quick link to create new Site Collection for this Web Application

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Create New Site Collection

Step 4: Click on “Create Site Collection” link to create new Site Collection for the Web Application.

Select Web Application

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Enter Title, URLs, Template, Primary Site Collection Administrator

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Click “OK” to start the process

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Once process has been completed we can see new Site Collection created for the Web Application

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We can navigate to the site collection by clicking the URL

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Add DNS Entries

Step 5:  Now we have configure add host entries to DNS.

Search for DNS

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Add new Host Entry to the “Forward Lookup Zone” as shown below-

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In New Host screen, enter Host Name, Select FQDN, enter IP Address. Once done click “Add Host”

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If operation completed successfully we can see popup window show success message

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We can see this new Host added to the existing list

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Add/Update IIS Bindings

Step 6: Add “IIS” Bindings

Now we have to add IIS bindings for the new Host. Search for “IIS” and select “Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager”

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Select the Web Application that we have created in above steps from the “Connections” Panel on the left under “Sites” node

Click on “Bindings…” on the right to Add/Edit Web Application Bindings

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In the “Site Bindings” screen select the default binding and click “Edit”

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In the “Edit Site Binding” screen enter Host Name value and this should match the entry that we have created earlier in DNS

Click OK

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Once saved the existing binding will look like as shown below-

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Configure Alternate Access Mappings Using Central Admin

Step 7: Configure Alternate Access Mappings (From Central Admin)

Go To Central Admin -> “Application Management”

Under Web Applications Click “Configure alternate access mappings”

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Click “Edit Public URLs”

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In the “Edit Public Zone URLs” Screen and enter “Default Zone” URL with “Host Name” configured earlier as shown below.

Click “Save” once you entered the default Zone URL to save the data.

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Now try accessing SharePoint Web Application using Public Zone URL and if the configuration goes well, the access will be granted to you

Test Alternate Access Mappings

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Configure Another Mapping

Step 8: Repeat Step 5 to add another DNS entry to add a new Host Name

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Step 9: Repeat Step 6 to Add Web Application Bindings

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Configure Alternate Access Mappings Using PowerShell

Step 10: Configure Alternate Access Mappings (Using PowerShell)

Now we will add this new Host Name to the default zone for the web application

Launch SharePoint 2016 Management Shell

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“New-SPAlternateURL” cmdlet gives us option to add new Alternate URLs to the required zone for web application

This cmdlet take following parameters

  • New Alternate URL – URL that you need to register as alternate URL
  • Web Application Path – URL that represent Web Application
  • Zone – Represents a zone that you need this alternate URL to add to

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Once this command executes successfully we can a new Alternate Access Mapping added to the list

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Test Alternate Access Mapping

Now if try to access this web application using this new mapping it still be translated to the same Public URL for the Web Application.

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By following above steps we can enable a web application that receives the request from an internal URL in one of the five authenticated zones to return pages that contain links to the public URL for the zone

Hope you find it helpful.

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SharePoint 2016: How to configure Usage & Health Service Application using PowerShell

Usage & Health Service Application is one of the most important Service Applications that provides vital information on the Health & State of SharePoint Farm.

In SharePoint 2016, Usage Service is collecting information on Timer Service Monitoring, Event Logs, Performance Counters, Search Usage, Sandbox Usage, and Site Collection Usage and much more.

This Service application is responsible to keep monitoring the resource, health & state associated with the SharePoint Farm and logs this information to Log Files on SharePoint Hive or any designated path along with SharePoint Logging Database “WSS_Logging” in SQL Server Database.

Many other components in SharePoint like Developer Dashboard, Search Analytics, Web Analytics Reports are using this data to provide logical User Interface for the end users.

You will get empty reports in Web Analytics reports section, if usage and health data collection service application is not configured properly.

It is not possible to Provision Usage & Health Service using Central Admin, as there is no User Interface available.

Let us first get into Central Admin Site to see if there is options available on the User Interface to provision Usage Service

Go to “Central Admin” – > “Manage Service Applications”

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Click on “New” Menu on the Ribbon and in the existing list of available Service Application Templates we can see there is no template available for provisioning “Usage & Health Service Application”

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This concludes that we have to provision Usage Service using PowerShell as shown in the following steps-

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Launch “SharePoint 2016 Management Shell”

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Step 1: Provision Service Application Instance

In this step, we will provision the Usage Service using “New- SPUsageApplication” cmdlet as shown below

New-SPUsageApplication -Name "Usage and Health Data Collection"

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Step 2: Provision Service Application Proxy

In this step, we will provision Service Application Proxy for Usage Service by using the following commands

$serviceProxy = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxy | where {$_.TypeName -eq "Usage and Health Data Collection Proxy"}

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$serviceProxy.Provision()

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Step 3: Verify Service Application

In this step we will verify the provisioning of service application by looking at “Service Application” Page in “Central Administration” as shown below-

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Step 4: Verify Service Application Database

In this step we will verify the provisioning of service application database by logging into “SQL Server Management Studio” as shown below-

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This concludes the Service Application Provisioning Process using PowerShell.

Hope you find it helpful.

SharePoint 2016: How to configure State Service Application using PowerShell

There are many SharePoint Components like InfoPath Form Services, Visio, Search Service, Workflows and many more, relies on SharePoint State Service Application to application sessions across related HTTP(S) requests in a SQL Server Database.

In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in configuring SharePoint State Service Application using PowerShell

First, let us go to Central Administration Site to make sure that State Service Application is not available to be provisioned from the UI.

Go to “Central Administration” -> “Application Management” and click on “Manage Service Application”

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On Service Application Page, Click “New” Menu in Ribbon Bar to see list of Service Applications that we provision from this UI and we can see State Service Application is missing from this list

That means we can provision this Service Application only using PowerShell and that what we are going to do in this article.

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In order to provision the service application using PowerShell, launch “SharePoint 2016 Management Shell” and perform the following steps-

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Step 1: Provision Service Application Instance

In this step we will provision the State Service using “New-SPStateServiceApplication” cmdlet as shown below

New-SPStateServiceApplication -Name "State Service Application"

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Step 2: Provision Service Application Proxy

In this step we will provision Service Application Proxy for State Service by using the following command

Get-SPStateServiceApplication| New-SPStateServiceApplicationProxy –defaultproxygroup

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Step 3: Provision Database for State Service Application

In this Step, we will provision database for State Service Application using the following command. We choose “State_Service_Database” as database name

Get-SPStateServiceApplication| New-SPStateServiceDatabase -Name "State_Service_Database"

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Step 4: Install the State Database Schema

In this step we will install the database schema into State Service Database by using following command

Get-SPDatabase | where-object {$_.type -eq "Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.StateDatabase"} | Initialize-SPStateServiceDatabase

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Step 5: Verify Service Application

In this step we will verify the provisioning of service application by looking at “Service Application” Page in “Central Administration” as shown below-

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Step 6: Verify Service Application Database

In this step we will verify the provisioning of service application database by logging into “SQL Server Management Studio” as shown below-

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This concludes the Service Application Provisioning Process using PowerShell.

Hope you find it helpful.

SharePoint 2016: How to configure Search Service Application using PowerShell

In this article we will discuss how to provision Search Service Application for SharePoint 2016 using PowerShell

During this whole article I will guide you steps involved in provisioning Search Application along with the corresponding PowerShell Script

Here the steps that we will explore in the upcoming section-

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Though we can provision Search Application from Central Admin as well but the purpose here is to demonstrate the use of PowerShell commands required to provision Search Application so that’s what we will do.

First let’s go to Central Admin to ensure that there is no existing instance of Search Service Application has been provisioned earlier

Under Application Management -> Click on “Manage Service Applications”

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Here we can see what all Service Application Instances provisioned earlier and we can see there are none

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Now launch SharePoint Management Shell to run the required PowerShell commands

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We will run the PowerShell commands in the following order to make sure each Sub component provisioned as desired.

Step 1: Provision Service Application Instance

In this Step we will first provision Search Service Application using the following cmdlet-

$sa = New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication -Name "Search Service Application" -DatabaseName "SearchDB" –ApplicationPool  "SecurityTokenServiceApplicationPool"

Make sure Application Pool should exists before you run this command else it will fail since this cmdlet wont’ add the Application Pool automatically

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Step 2: Provision Application Proxy

Then we need to provision Application Proxy by using following cmdlet referring the Service Application Instance provisioned in the previous step

New-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplicationProxy -Name "Search Service Application Proxy" -SearchApplication $sa

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Step 3: Validate Service Instance

Next step is to validate that the Service Instance is online and to do so we can use the following cmdlet

Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance -local

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Step 4: Clone Topology

Next step is to clone the topology which is required in order to make any changes to the search topology in a search installation that has items in the search index

As per Microsoft recommendation around this you need to modify this new topology object, which is a clone of the active topology, by adding or removing search components. After you have made the changes to the clone topology object, you have to activate this clone to have this topology in action.

$clone = $sa.ActiveTopology.Clone()

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Step 5: Get Search Service Instance Server Name

This Server name is required in the upcoming steps to it is wise to make use of the following cmdlet to retrieve the server name

Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance| Select Server

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Step 6: Get Search Service Instance

Then we get handle over the search service instance running on the respective server using the following cmdlet

$si = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance | ?{$_.Server -match "SP-2016-Dev"}

This reference object will be used in the upcoming steps

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Step 7: Provision Admin Component

Next step is to provision a new Admin Component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet. This cmdlet is using reference to search service instance we get in the earlier steps

New-SPEnterpriseSearchAdminComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si

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Step 8: Provision Processing Component

Next step is to provision new content processing component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet

New-SPEnterpriseSearchContentProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si

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Step 9: Provision Analytics Component

Then we have to provision new analytics processing component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet

New-SPEnterpriseSearchAnalyticsProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si

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Step 10: Provision Crawl Component

Then we have to provision new crawl component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet

New-SPEnterpriseSearchCrawlComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si

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Step 11: Provision Index Component

Then we have to provision new index component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet

New-SPEnterpriseSearchIndexComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si -IndexPartition 0 -RootDirectory C:\SearchIndex\

RootDirectory: Specifies the root directory that will hold the index location for the new search index component. If you plan to isolate the index on dedicated discs in order to avoid I/O contention that may leads to performance degradation as it might be a risk that index filling up the OS disk and ruin the overall server performance.

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Step 12: Provision Query Component

And finally we have to provision new query processing component for the given topology and search service instance using the following cmdlet

New-SPEnterpriseSearchQueryProcessingComponent -SearchTopology $clone -SearchServiceInstance $si

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Step 13: Activate New Topology

Once all the components has been added to the new topology, activate it by using following cmdlet

$clone.Activate()

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Step 14: Clean Inactive Topologies

Finally we have to clean all the inactive topologies associated with a search service application. We can perform this clean by using the following the code using “Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology” cmdlet

foreach($tp in (Get-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -SearchApplication $sa | ?{$_.State -eq "Inactive"}))
{    
   Remove-SPEnterpriseSearchTopology -Identity $tp -Confirm:$false
}

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Step 15: Change Default Content Access Account

And we can change the default content access account by using the following code

$sa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication

$content = New-Object Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Administration.Content($sa)

$content.SetDefaultGatheringAccount("<Enter User Name>", (ConvertTo-SecureString "<Enter Password>" -AsPlainText -Force))

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Now it is time to validate if search service application has been provisioned correctly.

Go to Central Admin -> Manage Service Applications

We can see a new Search Application has been provisioned successfully by clicking the Search Service Application Link

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And we can see all the component are provisioned and running as expected.

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Also we can validate the SQL Databases that has been provisioned during creating new search service applications as shown in the following screenshots

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Hope you find it helpful.

SharePoint 2013/2016: How to Find Duplicate Records in SharePoint List

During one of my assignments I have come across a situation where we need to fix data issues in SharePoint Lists.

One of the issues that we found was presence of duplicate data. In order to fix that problem in hand I had developed a Powershell Script to find out duplicate data based on a specific or a group of columns.

For the sake of demo, I have added a SharePoint List with some duplicate records in it as shown below:

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Now let’s look into the code to understand implementation details-

In Step 1 we are getting references of the Site and Web where the SharePoint List resides

In Step 2 we are splitting the list of columns based on which we want to find out the duplicate data

We can see there are two input variables “ColumnToValidate” and “ColumnToDisplay”. “ColumnToValidate” provides columns based on which duplicity needs to be checked while “ColumnToDisplay” contains the list of columns that needs to be the part of data export.

In Step 3 we are creating the export folder that will hold the CSV files exported with duplicate records

In Step 4 we are creating the list object that will give the handle on the list which needs to be validated

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In Step 5 we are getting list of Items from SharePoint List and grouping them based on the validation columns

In Step 6 we are creating the directory for export files

In Step 7 we are exporting all the groups which is having item count greater than 1 (this logic identifies the duplicate items)

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That is all for the code.

Now we will see the variation in outputs depending on the columns specified for duplicacy check

In Step 8 we specify the validation and display columns, for the first execution we will check duplicate values in “Title” column

In Step 9 we are calling the “Get-DuplicateListItems” function to find the duplicate values

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After the function executed successfully we can see the following output.

In Step 10 we can see the output of this excution and can see 6 items found which duplicate in Title Column

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In Step 11 we can see the CSV file that is exported by the execution considering “Title” Column to be validated.

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In Step 12 we can see the output file and can notice duplicate values in “Title” Column

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In Step 13 we have changed the list of columns to be validated. In this second execution I have added another column “Role”.

Now the list will be validated for duplicity based on the combination of “Title & Role” Columns

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In Step 14 we can see the output of this excution and can see 4 items found which duplicate in “Title & Role” Columns

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In Step 15 we can see the CSV file that is exported by the execution considering “Title & Role” Column to be validated

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In Step 16 we can see the output file and can notice duplicate values in “Title & Role” Column

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In Step 17 we have changed the list of columns to be validated. In this second execution I have added another column “Location”.

Now the list will be validated for duplicity based on the combination of “Title & Role & Location” Columns

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In Step 18 we can see the output of this excution and can see 2 items found which duplicate in “Title & Role & Location” Columns

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In Step 19 we can see the CSV file that is exported by the execution considering “Title & Role & Location” Column to be validated

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In Step 20 we can see the output file and can notice duplicate values in “Title & Role & Location” Column

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This is a very simple technique that can be used to fix one of the issues with SharePoint List data.

Hope you find it helpful.

SharePoint 2016/2013 : Event Log Monitoring by PowerShell Automation

This article is based on the requirement I recently encounter where I was required to monitor a specific exception type and if it occurs the Admins should be notified at the same time.

In this demo I am considering a scenario that if ever we have encountered an Event ID “1101” that would mean the SharePoint Site or any related service is down and in that case the Administrators will get Email Notifications automatically.

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In order to accomplish this let start with writing a PowerShell function “Monitor-Event-Logs” as shown in Step 1

In Step 2 we are making use of “Get-EventLog” commandlet by instructing it to get the top 1 latest Application Log where the Event ID = “1101”

We can check for Event Object for null and if it returns the data  we prepare the Email Content comprising of relevant data in as shown in Step 3

In Step 4 we are sending Email Notification to the Administrators by using another generic function “Send-Email”

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There is an external function “Execute-Process” that will call the “Monitor-Event-Logs” function by passing required Event ID as shown in Step 5

In Step 6 we are initializing the required variables pointing to the email ids of the respective contact persons

Finally in Step 7 we will call the “Execute-Process” function that will drive the whole mechanics.

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Once the function gets executed we can see the email arrived notifying the error to the administrators as shown below:

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To make this process more intuitive I got this script scheduled using Windows Task Scheduler to run on a specific time intervals and scan the logs for specific Event IDs.

In my actual implementation I design the “Monitor-Event-Logs” function to accept an array of Event IDs to be monitored so you can try it that way depending on your requirements.

Hope you find it helpful.

 

 

 

SharePoint 2016/2013/Online: Sites Health Monitoring by PowerShell Automation

It is not uncommon that we need to perform health monitoring on SharePoint Sites to ensure that we have stable and healthy SharePoint Farms and to ensure maximum possible availability of all the sites.

In this article we will discuss a simple yet powerful automation technique using PowerShell that will try ping the Site and if gets failed it will send the email notifications to the designated SharePoint Admins for the Site.

With this background let’s start with the demo…

In this demo we have two SharePoint Sites in Question as follows-

The On-Premise site is up and running while SharePoint Online Site is down and unavailable due to some technical reasons

In order to automate this monitoring process I have written a simple function in PowerShell as explained below-

Step 1: Create an Object of System.Net.WebClient Class. This object will provide us the methods to deal with Site Pages

Step 2: Make use of DownloadString Method of this class to download the html of the respective Site Page

Step 3: Check for Possible Error Messages that SharePoint Page would generally contains in case of Site is not accessible by making use of Wild Card Search using Contains Method

Step 4 & 5: We are sending emails to the SharePoint Admins Informing that a specific site is down, so that they can take appropriate actions accordingly.

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Step 6: This is the initiation function that is having an array of SharePoint Site URLs that requires monitoring.

Step 7: This function will call for Step 1 to Step 5 for each SharePoint Site URL in a periodic manner and keep on circulating the notifications in case of health issues with SharePoint Sites.

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Once this automation script executes we can see the following email notification for SharePoint Online Site which is currenly down:

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And there will be no emails for SharePoint On-Premise Site since it is healthy and active as shown below:

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That is all for this demo.

Hope you find it helpful.