Brijesh's Blog

August 20, 2008

Unable to open SharePoint e-mail alerts in MS Outlook 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 4:37 pm
As shown below, SharePoint alert will not open in MS Outlook 2007 if you have MS Exchange Server 2003 in your organization and it is not upgraded to service pack 2 with the hot fix for this issue.

Note: You will not be able to open or view SharePoint alert directly but you can click “Reply button and see the alert message in reply window.

SharePoint alerts will not open in MS Outlook 2007 however you will be able to open them in Outlook Web Access – OWA,

Following screen captures show work around for this issue however it is not recommended by Exchange experts. Please contact Exchange Server administrator in your organization before you apply this work around for your MS Outlook 2007.

1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Mail

2. On the Mail Setup – Outlook window, click “Data Files”

3. On the Account Settings window, select “Data Files” tab, highlight your email account if you see more than one email accounts and then click “Settings”

4. On the Microsoft Exchange window, select “Advanced” tab and uncheck "Use Cached Exchange Mode" checkbox.

5. Click “Apply” and “OK”.

6. If it prompts for "You must restart Outlook for these changes to take effect“, click “OK” and restart MS Outlook 2007.

You should be able to open and view SharePoint email alerts in MS Outlook 2007 after following above steps,


After you turn off "Cached Exchange Mode", you will notice a slow down as you will be accessing your mail directly on the Exchange server rather than a locally cached copy.

In many companies there are upwards of several hundred mega bytes of e-mail on Exchange Server. You’ll waste hours and tons of bandwidth for re-syncing your mailbox. If you are a laptop or remote user DO NOT USE THIS WORK AROUND; if you are using hosted Exchange service DO NOT DO THIS.


Install MS Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 and then apply hot fix for this issue (KB 930807) or Click “Reply” and you will see the message in the contents of the reply window. That’s a lot easier and less disruptive than turning off "Cached Exchange Mode" for MS Outlook 2007.

Microsoft KB article and hot fix information:

Thanks to Kathy Hughes for posting this information in her blog.


August 19, 2008

What happens when you enable “Publishing” feature of your top level team site?

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 7:08 pm
You may want to enable “Publishing” feature for customizing SharePoint sites, creating and publishing your own custom master pages, having “All Sites” search scope available at site collection level etc.

Let’s take a look how Site Actions > Site Settings menu looks like without enabling “Office SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” for your top level team site. Here is the screen capture,

Note that you will see “Top link bar” for managing navigation links for your site,

I have created another two sub sites under this top level site – Test Site Collection (sites/TestSC) and you can see three tabs on the top. “Home” tab for top level site, “Site1” tab for sub site – sites/TestSC/Site1 and “Site2” tab for another sub site – sites/TestSC/Site2 as shown below. It will add these tabs on top automatically as you create them.

Now, let’s enable “Publishing” feature – “Office SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure” for Test Site Collection,

You will also need to enable it from Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Features – “Office SharePoint Server Publishing”.

After enabling “Publishing” feature for Test Site Collection, here is how Site Actions > Site Settings menu looks like,

Note that “Top link bar” link is no more available and it has been replaced with “Navigation” link. Also note that “Home” tab has been replaced with the actual name of the top level site – “Test Site Collection”,

Next few screen captures are very important to avoid issues when you turn on and turn off publishing feature for your team site.

If you go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Navigation and delete tabs for sub sites and then you turn off publishing feature for your team site from “Site features” and “Site collection features” then it will create tabs for all the sub sites on the top but it will NOT restore “Home” tab. Let’s try to produce this error. So I am going to delete tabs for all the sub sites under the top level site – “Test Site Collection”,

So I have only one tab on the top, which is “Test Site Collection” – for top level site itself and I would expect to have this tab as “Home” when I turn of publishing feature for this site,

Here is what happens, when I turn off publishing feature for Test Site Collection. “Home” tab is missing and a tab will be created for each sub site under this top level site,

You can definitely add “Home” tab by going to “Top link bar” but it will NOT be highlighted even though you are on top level site – “Test Site Collection”,

As shown below, “Site1” tab is highlighted even though I am browsing top level site – “Test Site Collection”, which is pretty misleading.

Following step is to connect top level site to the portal. This is to show a link to a portal site on the top. Note that the “SharePoint Global Portal > Test Site Collection” link is added on the top. (Note: This has nothing to do with the issues occur when you turn on and turn off publishing features).

If you turn on the publishing feature for your team site again then it will be alright with showing “Test Site Collection”, “Site1” and “Site2” tabs on the top but for some reasons, when you turn off publishing feature it will not result in “Home”, “Site1” and “Site2” tabs on the top, the way it was before, when we created the top level site for the first time (you can take a look from previous screen captures).

Conclusion: If you want to enable publishing feature for your top level team site and you also want to remove tabs for sub sites from the top, remove them before activating publishing feature. If you will remove tabs for sub sites after activating publishing feature and then turn off publishing feature, it will not restore “Home” tab for the top level site.

August 15, 2008

“The page cannot be found” error, when you click “Reply” in Subject view of Discussion Board in SharePoint 2007.

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 6:47 pm
Here is the scenario:

Subject view of Discussion Board in SharePoint 2007 does not have “Reply” column available in default view settings. Here is the example of a new Discussion Board created for one of the SharePoint sites,

Let’s add “Reply” column by going to Discussion Board settings.

This will make “Reply” column visible with “Reply” button for each topic in Discussion Board.

Now, when you click on “Reply” button to reply to any of the topics, you will receive an "HTTP 400" error message – “The page cannot be found” error.

The only way to reply to a topic is by clicking on a topic under the “Subject” column and then hit the “Reply” button.

Yes, somebody can reply to a topic this way.

Here is the KB Article from Microsoft to show you the work around on how to reply a topic in Discussion Board,

KB Title: Error message when you click Reply in a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 discussion board in Subject view: "The page cannot be found"

Looks like, this issue has been addressed in WSS 3.0 Service Pack 1. Here is the Microsoft KB Article,

Note: Unfortunately we haven’t installed Service Pack 1 in our SharePoint (MOSS 2007) environment yet to confirm this.

KB Title: Issues that are fixed in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 by Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1

When you reply to a discussion in the Subject view of a discussion board, you receive an "HTTP 400" error message

Consider the following scenario. The Subject view of a discussion board contains the Reply column. You click Reply in the Subject view. In this scenario, you receive an "HTTP 400" error message – “The page cannot be found”.

August 7, 2008

How to create dedicated content database for a site collection:

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 12:31 pm
Steps to create a new site collection in a new content database:

Let’s assume that I want to create a new dedicated content database for a new site collection. This site collection will have huge contents and it may require database of size 60-80 GB. Also we do not want any of the content databases to grow more than 100 GB (Microsoft recommended content database size). So we decided to create a new dedicated content database for this site collection. Any new site collection after this must be created in a content database with a least number of sites in it, provided it is not crossing the limit of maximum allowed sites in that content database. 

As usual, I have taken few screen captures for better understanding of this scenario.

We have total 8 content databases for our MOSS 2007 deployment. I have created a new content database with the name “New_Content_DB”.

I want to create a new site collection in this new content database – “New_Content_DB” and then lock it. So that any new site collection after this will be created in a content database (any one from SPS01 to SPS08) with least number of sites in it. Let’s create a new site collection,

New site collection – “sites/newsc” was created in “New_Content_DB” as expected. Now, I would like to lock it so this content database will be used only for this site collection – “sites/newsc”.

I ran following query to confirm that the site collection – “sites/newsc” was created in “New_Content_DB” database.

Now, let’s lock it. I have set “Site Level Warning” to 0 and “Maximum Number of Sites” to 1 for this. Here is the screen capture,

Any new site collection after this must be created in content database with least number of sites in it. In our case it is SPS07. So let’s create a second site collection and it must be created in SPS07 instead of New_Content_DB. Here is the screen capture,

As shown below, the second site collection – “sites/newsc2” was created in SPS07 database.

One more time, SQL query to confirm that second site collection – “sites/newsc2” was created in SPS07 database.

Any new site collection after this point will be created in SPS07 and then SPS08 and so on…Here is the screen capture after creating couple of other site collections – “sites/newsc3”, “sites/newsc4” etc.

As per Microsoft recommendation SharePoint content database should not grow more than 100 GB in size. So you may want to move site collections with maximum contents or fastest growth from one content database to another (the smallest content database in your SharePoint farm or a new content database). Here are the few support links which can help you achieving this.

For SharePoint 2007:

First Release of the Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit:

Mergecontentdbs: Stsadm operation:

One of the best posts for moving site collections to another content database:

For SharePoint 2003:

MS IT Database Split for WSS2.0 and SPS2003:

August 1, 2008

Audience Targeting Vs. Security

Filed under: Uncategorized — brij28 @ 5:51 pm

Audience Targeting:

MOSS 2007 has a feature that allows you to enable audience targeting (although this is not available in WSS 3.0). Turning on this feature means any items in a list or library can be set to appear only for a particular audience. An audience can be defined as a SharePoint group, distribution list, security group, or a global audience. The advantage of this feature lies in showing a group of users only relevant information, as opposed to overwhelming them with less relevant information. For example, a company may have a list of all new employees, perhaps including some trivia and background information. Audience targeting permits administrators to show a list of only those employees that joined a particular business unit, and only the primary identification information. The disadvantage of audience targeting is that users are not prevented from seeing the entire list, by selecting a different view or URL hacking, unless item-level security is applied.

Item-Level Security:

This feature enables users to set specific security on each item in a list or library. This means that, as items are added to the library, the user can indicate who can view the item. When setting the security for a single item, SharePoint allows the user to give access to an individual or group within AD and/or SharePoint. Item-level security is useful when uploading specific documents that only certain users should be able to see and completely prevent others from accessing them. For example, an internal portal for a company could display employee benefits only to that specific employee. Item-level security could allow only those users to see those documents without making the same documents available to the entire company.

The disadvantage of item-level security is the headache it poses for administrators in cases where it is unclear who the intended viewer is. For users of the older SharePoint Portal Server 2003, item-level security is not ideal given that users could see all items in a list, and only discover upon clicking whether they were authorized to view the item. SharePoint 2007 has now updated this feature with security trimming: Users see only the items listed that they are authorized to view, and all other items are filtered, or "trimmed" out.


Blog at