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Delve Blogs getting deprecated – what do?

Last week, Microsoft sent a surprise email to a number of customers. Delve blogs – the hated & loved self-serve internal blogging platform on Office 365 is getting axed. It doesn’t really come as a surprise at this point – the service was first announced in 2014, launched to some hype and appreciation (especially due to the new CMS – authoring canvas – which was a lot of fun compared to Classic SharePoint!) but has pretty much faded away after that. Microsoft describes the feature…Continue reading Delve Blogs getting deprecated – what do?

SharePoint Hub sites - like how Microsoft themselves put it! (From: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/planning-hub-sites)

SharePoint Home, Hub, Sites, Start… What?

This article explains the current terminology Microsoft uses around your different pages in SharePoint. Or at least tries to – and do that in a way that’s faithful to the current, flat & Modern world. Microsoft has been known for their less-than stellar track record of figuring out easy and descriptive names for their products. Let me introduce 2 cases in point: Microsoft® WinFX™ Software Development Kit for Microsoft® Pre-Release Windows Operating System Code-Named “Longhorn”, Beta 1 Web Setup” – that’s a mouthful! Or for…Continue reading SharePoint Home, Hub, Sites, Start… What?

PowerShell not loading them DLLs

How to resolve issues when loading DLLs in PowerShell?

This post describes a few different things that can (and will) go wrong when you’re trying to load DLLs in PowerShell, and a couple of ways you can try to fix them. Typically, you’d run into an error message like “Exception calling LoadFrom with 1 argument(s): Could not load file or assembly…. “ These issues most typically arise when you’re running a PowerShell script that depends on certain DLLs to be loaded (to then execute some of the methods from them). This could happen kind…Continue reading How to resolve issues when loading DLLs in PowerShell?

PowerShell commandlet "new-unifiedgroup" - The alias is being used by another group in your organization. Please try a different alias.

How to resolve the error “The alias is being used by another group in your organization”

Okay – another simple one. When you’re creating a new Office Group (or “Unified Group”, like they’re called as well), you might get an error for the alias already being used. Pretty simple, but still – let’s see how to fix it. Problem So, this error pops up, while you’re trying to create a new Office Group: The alias is being used by another group in your organization. Please try a different alias. An example script & output is shown below: # Historically, Groups have…Continue reading How to resolve the error “The alias is being used by another group in your organization”

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)

“Connecting to site failed: ‘.’, hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character.”, when trying to connect to SharePoint Online

This was a peculiar case! A cloud-based “service account” (in quotes, since it’s really just a non-personal user account) on a tenant with ADFS enabled started suddenly getting this error, while running console programs configured as scheduled tasks. Connecting to site failed: ‘.’, hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character. Posts Related to “”Connecting to site failed: ‘.’, hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character.”, when trying to connect to SharePoint Online”:The Scary Anatomy of a Microsoft License Fraud5 ways to enable Custom Scripts for…Continue reading “Connecting to site failed: ‘.’, hexadecimal value 0x00, is an invalid character.”, when trying to connect to SharePoint Online

SharePoint PnP logo

Another fix to “Connect-PnPOnline : The sign-in name or password does not match one in the Microsoft account system.”

This post describes a simple way to get around the following error while running Connect-PnPOnline: “The sign-in name or password does not match one in the Microsoft account system.” Truthfully, this one is kind of simple and stupid – but as I’ve seen before, it’s surely worth documenting anyway! Below is an example of such error. PS C:\> Connect-PnPOnline https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/CommunicationSite/ Connect-PnPOnline : The sign-in name or password does not match one in the Microsoft account system. At line:1 char:1 + Connect-PnPOnline https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/CommunicationS … + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~…Continue reading Another fix to “Connect-PnPOnline : The sign-in name or password does not match one in the Microsoft account system.”

How to revert Modern view back to Classic for SharePoint libraries using PowerShell

If your customers are anything like ours, some of them love the new modern library view, some will adjust and some just hate it and want to get as far away from it as possible. While embracing the new stuff is usually smart, there’s some value to sticking to what works as well. The Modern view is going to be the superior choice of the two (if it isn’t already!), but there are a multitude of reasons why one might want to revert to the…Continue reading How to revert Modern view back to Classic for SharePoint libraries using PowerShell

"Chrome SP Editor" -about page

SharePoint Search Console – Now available inside Chrome SP Editor!

This post is about two of my favorite tools: Chrome SP Editor, and SharePoint Search Query tool. Or maybe better yet, an amalgamation of the two! Description I’ve mentioned the Chrome SP Editor before, and for a good reason. It’s a great tool for any IT Pro or Dev working with SharePoint on a daily basis. It’s maintained by a very talented developer, one of the people behind Valo Intranet, Tomi Tavela. If you’re using the tool, let him know on Twitter! But I’m not…Continue reading SharePoint Search Console – Now available inside Chrome SP Editor!

Microsoft SQL Server logo

Easily querying all the database and log file sizes on SQL Server

Quite often you get the need to simply quickly query all the database sizes on MS SQL Server – most typically, for us, this need arises when a development machine gets low on disk space, and we need to check if some database’s log size has been growing, or if something else is wrong. In my daily work, I rarely encounter this requirement anymore. Azure has almost entirely obliterated the need for such diagnostics, since it’s so easy to spin up or scale up new…Continue reading Easily querying all the database and log file sizes on SQL Server

Microsoft Privacy

What is “fp.js” – and why is it snooping on your SharePoint usage?

Microsoft is gathering all kinds of telemetric data out of the usage of SharePoint. I ran into an interesting JavaScript file, fp.js, on SharePoint Online doing just that. Gathering data. It loads on pretty much every single page request, so it’s something you’ll bump into anytime you open your developer tools! Your customer’s IT might even inquire about it – perhaps wanting to disable it for perfomance or information security gains? But what is fp.js and what does it do? Posts Related to “What is…Continue reading What is “fp.js” – and why is it snooping on your SharePoint usage?

If you could just fix SharePoint... That would be great.

Solving yet another “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ServerException: Unknown Error”

There’s maybe a thousand things that can throw an “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ServerException”, but a bit smaller amount of things, that are ambiguous enough to be called “Unknown error”. This post describes one, fairly usual fix for this issue! But let’s get back to the beginning for a second – you get what and when now? When running any code, that provisions new sites (much like https://www.koskila.net/new-pnpsite-fails-with-sitestatus3/), you get an error like this almost immediately: Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ServerException: Unknown Error at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientRequest.ProcessResponseStream(Stream responseStream) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientRequest.ProcessResponse() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientRequest.ExecuteQueryToServer(ChunkStringBuilder sb) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext.ExecuteQuery()…Continue reading Solving yet another “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ServerException: Unknown Error”

Get-Command -Module AzureRM.Profile. You're seeing it correctly - it doesn't have a Logout-AzureRmAccount, Disconnect-AzureRmAccount, Remove-AzureRmAccount or even Remove-AzureRmContext commandlets! That's a lot of fun :)

Oh no! PowerShell cached my Azure credentials and I messed up wrong customer’s environment!

Whoops. Could happen to anyone, since the Azure PowerShell since (approximately) version 6.3.0 will cache your credentials between sessions without warning you. It’s really easy to run your commands with cached accounts, and end up executing your scripts against the wrong environment. In less serious cases, this means that you’ll end up running commandlets twice against the test environment, while you think you’re running them first against test, and then production. In more serious cases, you’ll deploy your ARM templates or run your cleanup scripts against wrong…Continue reading Oh no! PowerShell cached my Azure credentials and I messed up wrong customer’s environment!

If you could just fix SharePoint... That would be great.

Fixing “-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException” when accessing SharePoint SOAP Web Services

This post is about delving into some legacy stuff – Microsoft has still kept SOAP-based SharePoint Web Services included in the product, since a lot of functionality has been built on top of them. We encountered an issue where you suddenly started getting exceptions for Unauthorized Access (-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException), no matter if you had access to the list or not. Error description We started getting this error, when requesting list items using SharePoint SOAP Web Services (namely, Lists.asmx): <m:code>-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException</m:code> <m:message xml:lang="en-US"> Access denied. You…Continue reading Fixing “-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException” when accessing SharePoint SOAP Web Services

SharePoint PnP logo

How to fix Add-PnPApp failing with an Access Denied error

This was a peculiar case! An issue I hadn’t run into before, and luckily a disturbingly simple fix. But first, let’s set up the scene: We were running a long-ish PowerShell script using a Global Administrator account. One part of the script was supposed to add and deploy a couple of SharePoint apps. But while running Add-PnPApp, we ran into errors: Add-PnPApp -Path $path -Scope $app.Scope -ErrorAc… , Error: {"error":{"code":"-2147024891, System.UnauthorizedAccessException","message":{"lang":"en-US","value":"Access denied. You do not have permission to perform this action or access this resource."}}}…Continue reading How to fix Add-PnPApp failing with an Access Denied error

SharePoint cat fixing them errors

Subsite creation in SharePoint fails with error 0x80070005 for any user (even global/farm admins!)

This issue seems to pop up bafflingly often, so I thought it’s finally time to document it for future generations. Granted, it mainly considers Classic SharePoint (which is very tightly built around Publishing features) – but Classic is going to be part of our lives for quite a while still, especially for those of us still primarily on SharePoint Server! While trying to provision subsites to your SharePoint Publishing intranet you encounter either a generic “Access Denied” -error, or any error with 0x80070005 as the underlying error…Continue reading Subsite creation in SharePoint fails with error 0x80070005 for any user (even global/farm admins!)

SharePoint PnP logo

New-PnPSite fails with “SiteStatus” : 3

While running “New-PnPSite” or actually any other site creation, method in PowerShell or programmatically, the site creation fails and you get an error like the one below back: New-PnPSite : {"d":{"Create":{"__metadata":{"type":"SP.Publishing.CommunicationSiteCreationResponse"}, "SiteStatus":3, "SiteUrl":""}}} Ouch! Where does this come from? In the code of New-PnPSite, the actual function call is shown below: var results = ClientContext.CreateSiteAsync(creationInformation); var returnedContext = results.GetAwaiter().GetResult(); (Source) So, the error is not thrown by PnP cmdlet, but rather comes from SharePoint CSOM. This is pretty normal and not surprising, but means we…Continue reading New-PnPSite fails with “SiteStatus” : 3

In other news in Simpsons: SharePoint Search stopped indexing some properties again.

Issues with User Profile Property visibility in Search-powered functionalities

This article applies to a lot of different issues you might be having with your SharePoint-powered site, or even custom functionality like mobile apps using SharePoint’s search index. I’ll list a few of the situations, which could be caused by these issues, below: You’re using Search to show a list of User Profiles with their properties, but it’s showing outdated or missing information Your intranet has the classic “Upcoming Birthdays” -webpart (only weather and lunch lists are more classic than that!) This webpart is not…Continue reading Issues with User Profile Property visibility in Search-powered functionalities

"Get-UnifiedGroup" cmdlet produces a list of your Office 365 Groups with some default properties shown

How to fix an Office Group with no Owners

This post explains how to add new Owners to your Office Groups using PowerShell. If your group has ended up without any owners, PowerShell might even be the only option, since the graphical user interfaces for Office Groups management are not that good.  Background The hype around Office Groups kind of died down a little bit a while back, since their role wasn’t that clear – they didn’t really do much, and were confusing for end users. Back then, I posted about them replacing Site…Continue reading How to fix an Office Group with no Owners

SharePoint is not broken - it just does't work

Help! My “Content and Structure” page in SharePoint Online is gone!

First of all: you’re right and your eyes are serving you well. It has indeed disappeared. Starting in October, it’ll be hidden from end users. Microsoft is retiring the “Site Content and Structure” tool in SharePoint Online. Which kind of makes sense, since it’s quite an old feature – albeit, a very useful one. How to access “Content and Structure”? Even though Microsoft is retiring the tool, and has already hidden it from the UI, it’s still accessible. That’s supposing you had access to it in…Continue reading Help! My “Content and Structure” page in SharePoint Online is gone!

Broken SharePoint - it's basically an art form

Problematic behavior of web.AddSupportedUILanguage(int lcid) in SharePoint 2013 and 2016

Every now and then, an API or a method call comes along, that you need to be very careful with. “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Web.AddSupportedUILanguage()” seems to be one of them. In this post, I’ll try and document my findings and workarounds for said method!  Issues and solutions Posts Related to “Problematic behavior of web.AddSupportedUILanguage(int lcid) in SharePoint 2013 and 2016”:5 ways to enable Custom Scripts for a SharePoint site collectionThe Scary Anatomy of a Microsoft License FraudSharePoint Localization – a (somewhat) comprehensive how-to!