Recently I had some MSDTC issues on one of the servers in my farm.

I had installed and configured K2 Blackpearl with K2 Smartforms seemingly without any problems. Until I began to build some workflow solutions.
On the very first workflow solution I built, I hit a snag in the deployment of my workflow.

Not sure what the problem could be, I checked all my K2 configurations to make sure I hadn’t overlooked anything, but all came back fine.
I also ran the K2 Setup Manager, and the configuration checker came back without any errors. After struggling for too long, I raised a ticket with K2, who suggested it could be a MSDTC issue.

I ran a few tests using DTCPing, but the tests came back sucessful.

I was hitting my head against the desk until the guys at K2 suggest I test with an alternate DTC tester.

So, heading off to my server I tested the MSDTC again with the MSDTCTester tool.DTCTesterError

The result of the test proved there was indeed a MSDTC configuration problem.
I made some changes, and to be sure that these changes applied correctly I restarted the servers (I was lucky in this case as the servers weren’t live as yet).
When the K2 server started up again, I came across an error in the Eventlog that finally gave me a clue as to the problem.MSDTCError

The error above indicates that servers were cloned and that the CID registry key are the same on the K2 server and on the SQL Server.
I’ve seen a few post that suggest you are able to rename the folder in the registry, which I tried, but it did not work.

For me, the solution was right there in the error message:
1.  MSDTC -uninstall
2. MSDTC -install

I then did a reboot for good measure. When the server came back up again, I tested the deployment of my workflow, voila, alls well with my MSDTC. DTCTesterFixed

Hope this post helps someone else who might be struggling with MSDTC issues.


Aside  —  Posted: October 17, 2013 in K2 Blackpearl
Tags: , , , , ,

Recently I had done some work with K2 smartforms and SharePoint 2013 – built a pretty cool Onboarding system for a client.

I setup the clients servers with SharePoint 2013, K2 blackpearl 4.6.5, and K2 smartforms 1.0.2.
The environment consisted of a SharePoint Web Front End/App server & a K2 Server.
The client had and existing instance on SQL 2008 for us to use.

I used AutoSPInstaller to install SharePoint 2013, and it all worked great.

We ran a few tests and deployed our solution. At this point the site was working and were able to submit data into lists and libraries, and our solution was working 100%.

Then, we were ready for the K2 deployment, so we installed blackpearl and still everything was fine.
I then installed smarforms on the K2 server, and then the client components on the SharePoint Server.

This is where it broke.








I spent an ardious amount of time trying to fix this error and followed every fix posted on the internet. Finally I logged a call with K2 and this had them stumped too, as they had not come across this problem yet. So eventually the lab team got involved, and sent through a few tests. One of them was to change the HTTP Handler mappings in IIS.
This turned out to be the fix. So if you come across this error, you might want to check out your HTTP Handler mappings:








Hope this helps someone out there…

Image  —  Posted: July 19, 2013 in Configuring, SharePoint 2013

Its been a while since I have posted updates. Things have been hectic, with a move to a new company, country and house all at the same time. Well, I hope to make more regular updates from here on as I am getting settled and finding more time.

Here is the first of the posts which I hope will assist you in some way or another:

Have you run into this error message in your SharePoint 2010 event logs.

SharePoint Web Services Round Robin Service Load Balancer Event: EndpointFailure
Process Name: w3wp
Process ID: 4692
AppDomain Name: /LM/W3SVC/1298049692/ROOT-1-129995799432439788
AppDomain ID: 2
Service Application Uri: urn:schemas-microsoft-com:sharepoint:service:0cbdaef473aa41ccbefff880e6f844ba#authority=urn:uuid:66678e5d6d324193b456e233c76a4d31&authority=
Active Endpoints: 1
Failed Endpoints:1
Affected Endpoint: http://myserver:32843/0cbdaef473aa41ccbefff880e6f844ba/SearchService.svc

I’d done alot of research, and found many blogs that suggested restarting the service, and while this was a great short term fix, it was not a permanent solution.

I needed to find the root cause of the problem. I did some digging and found that the problem was due to Search Query and Site Settings configured incorrectly.
In essence, the error message means that you have a server in your farm which has a Search Query and Site Setting role enabled. When your search service runs/executes any queries, this service will attempt to execute queries on its host server. Now, if you have not configured your Search Service on thie host server, you will recieve this error in your logs.

This is how I fixed this issue:

1. Go to System Settings->Manage services on server: Check the status of the Search Query and Site Settings Service:

2. Or you can check this with PoSh. Run the following on each of your web front ends:

3.Stop the service on the server which is not configured for the Search query role:

4. Or you could use PoSh:

Now you should not have that error again.

Cheers for now.

So, the much awaited release of SharePoint 2013 has come and gone, and many of us have been itching to get our fingers dirty and mess about with it.

In this post, I’ll go through some things which I’ve noticed while I’ve bee scratching my itch :)

This post will not cover installing SharePoint 2013, as a few guys have already done so, and if you really need a guide, you can check out Bradley Geldenhuys’ great blog post on the subject:

Alrighty, so back to the SP2013 Preview. A few things which I’d like to mention. 1.) Hardware & Software requirements on Technet state you need 24Gb of memory to run SharePoint 13 as a standalone farm. Well, it seems this is not entirely true. I have my virtualized instance running on 6Gb RAM, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2011 preview. The box pers like a kitten.

2.)The initial installation steps are pretty much the same as the SharePoint 2010. There are however a few new items in the prerequisites which need to be installed/downloaded.

Once you have gone through the install, you are able to view your SharePoint 2013 Central Admin site. The site looks very simirlar to the one of SP2010, with few noticable differences: 1.) The styling has been updated to the new Metro style which seems be the new “black”.

SharePoint 2013 - Central Admin

SharePoint 2013 – Central Admin

2.)There is an updated menu to the top right of the CA(Central Admin) home page.

3.) There appears to be a new configuration area named Apps.

I will be going into these options as I work through the configuration of my SharePoint 2013 Farm.

Application Management On creating a new Web Application, the Create New Web Application Screen appears to be similar.

Another area here that appears to be new – Configure service application Associations.


There are a few new site templates too:

Site Templates

One of the cool new features or SP2013 is that when creating a site collection you can opt to set the user experience to SP2010 or SP2013.

Templates which I haven’t seen before or are new:
Group Work Site
Developer Site
Multipage Meeting Workspace
Discovery Center
Community Portal
Product Catalog
Visio Process Repository

There also appear to be a few new Service Applications that one can choose from:

Service Applications

There is now also a page specifically for controlling the associations between web apps and service apps.

Service Application Associations

In the next post, I will look into the System Settings.

Happy SharePointing…

While looking for an ‘As Is’ environment assesment template, I came across the SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit.

I really think this tool can be a great asset to any consultant or SharePoint team looking at measuring performance or expanding the diagnostics of their SharePoint farms.

The SharePoint Administration Toolkit version 2.0, includes the following features:

  • The Load Testing Kit, which generates a Visual Studio Team System 2008 (VSTS) load test based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 IIS logs
  • The Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) manifest, which add roles for SharePoint 2010 Products to Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 or to Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • The User Profile Replication Engine, which provides a shared services administrator the ability to replicate user profiles and social data between shared services providers (SSP) in Office SharePoint Server 2007 and User Profile service applications in SharePoint Server 2010.
  • The Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) connector for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, which enables SharePoint users to interact with content stored in any repository that has implemented the CMIS standard, as well as making SharePoint 2010 content available to any application that has implemented the CMIS standard.
  • New in SharePoint Administration Toolkit 2.0, the SharePoint Diagnostic Studio 2010 (SPDiag 3.0) provides SharePoint administrators with a unified interface that can be used to gather relevant information from a farm, display the results in a meaningful way, identify performance issues, and share or export the collected data and reports for analysis by Microsoft support personnel.

As a consultant myself, I know that I could have definitely made use of these toolkits in past projects.
So I hope that you find them as useful as I feel they are.

All info was taken from the SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit page:

Recently I favourited a link posted on Twitter by Chris Hopkins, about Visio as a Business Intelligence Solution.
Whilst checking out the link, I found that it was 5 completely free labs, which include:
Publishing Data Connected Diagrams
Building a simple dashboard using Web Part Connections
Building mash ups using with Visio Services
Building Data Graphics
Using Visio with SharePoint Workflow

These labs will give a good base to start with on your BI solutions.
Feel free to check them out here –

Also, check out the writers other blog posts –