Monday, 17 February 2014

Quick Guide for setting up SharePoint environment for Apps

Following several guides and going through many articles at last I am able to install SharePoint Apps on my environment, you will find several incomplete and confusing articles on internet.

I followed Vlad Catrinescu article which is to the point and actually works, it took me just 5 minutes to configure my test environment for installing apps from SharePoint online Store.

Here's link to Vlad's article,

Since the above article gets into much details along with screenshots, I will just mention important points you need to go through to get it working,

- Create a forward look-up zone with zone name e.g. ""

- Create a New Alias (CNAME) with name as "*" and FQDN for target host as full name of your     SharePoint Server, e.g. or whatever's your server's name is

- Now on your try to ping and get the response, if it doesn't work then either you entered FQDN of target host wrong or your DNS server isn't locating your SharePoint web server. Put a comment if you get stuck here and I will try to help.

- Create, configure and start SharePoint App management and Subscription server on your SharePoint server

-  Now Configure App URLs in Central Admin, App domain going to be in this case and App prefix will be "Apps"

- You will need to configure internet facing endpoints for apps, so I just enabled web application scoped feature named as "Apps that require accessible internet facing endpoints" on my port 80 web application.

- Create a new web application on port 80, but keep the Host Header option empty and rest options as usual, now note, if you used SharePoint configuration wizard then you don't need to create a new web application because SharePoint configuration wizard by default creates a web application without host headers, so all you need to do is to create a root site collection.

- Last but important step, delete Default Website in IIS Server, otherwise you will receive 404 errors for sharepoint apps.

Note: I followed these steps on a development server, so try them on production on your own risk :-).

MSDN article if you want to follow for setting up App domain.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Error occurred in deployment step 'Uninstall app for SharePoint': The local SharePoint server is not available.

Hmmm, was excited enough to deploy my first SharePoint hosted app but this error ruined the joys,

Error occurred in deployment step 'Uninstall app for SharePoint': The local SharePoint server is not available. Check that the server is running and connected to the SharePoint farm.

Now what ? error doesn't help much at all, so lets look at logs, the way I debug any issue regarding SharePoint is,

 - Check event logs in Event Viewer.

 - If don't find anything in Event Viewer then ULS Viewer, check this post if you don't know how to debug       using ULS Viewer.

Other than that you can also use SVC_Trace exe or fiddler for debugging web services or client side code, anyway coming back to topic, in this case I find the real error in event viewer,

SQL database login for 'TestServer01_Config' on instance 'SQLTEST01' failed. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.
Login failed for user 'DEV\mr'.

So when we deploy a solution to SharePoint site using Visual Studio, it uses the account we are running Visual Studio as to deploy the solution, which in return makes changes to SharePoint config database, so if account doesn't have access to SP config, it will fail to deploy solution. As you would had figured out the solution, just give development account permission to SharePoint config database.


I have given my development account SP_DATA_ACCESS permissions on all relevant databases as shown in picture below,


Unfortunately above steps didn't solved the problem and lead to another error,
SQL Database 'WSS_Content_Dev' on SQL Server instance 'TESTSERVER01' not found. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.
Cannot open database "WSS_Content_Dev" requested by the login. The login failed.
Login failed for user 'DEV\mr'.

Giving development user "dev\mr" in this case "SP_Data_Access" permissions on WSS_Content_Dev solved the problem :-).

This solved the problem of deploying my first app to SharePoint server.

I am giving development account permissions to SharePoint configuration database because it's a test environment, however if on production environment, your SharePoint administrator account should be deploying the solution and should have right permissions already.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Debugging WCF service using SvcTraceView on application server

Debugging web services can be pain, specially when they are hosted on a application server within a SharePoint farm. There are several ways one can debug web services though, e.g. using a visual studio remote debugger but what if it doesn't hit your web services breakpoints or your network administrator do?

Easiest way to figure out what's wrong with web services is to use SvcTraceViewer.exe e.g. why my code not able to find the hosted service or if the problem is with service account authentication.

Not so difficult to set it up, all you need to do is to add a some tag in your hosted WCF services and then open the SvcTraceViewer to view the created file.

Find hosted WCF service's web.config and add following tag to it within configuration tag. It will recycle the application pool of hosted service itself when you will save changes to web.config file.

    <trace autoflush="true" />
            <source name="System.ServiceModel" 
                    switchValue="Information, ActivityTracing"
               <add name="sdt" 
                   initializeData= "WcfConfigExample.e2e" />

Find SvcTraceViewer.exe within installed Visual studio files, location might change depending on version of VS, however since I am using VS 2010 ultimate so I find EXE file at,

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin\NETFX 4.0 Tools

In some cases you will need to open the EXE file as administrator.

Do something to trigger WCF services and check folder where web.config file exists as that's where it will create "SdrConfigExample.e2e" log file, once you find it. just open the SvcTraceViewer.exe file.

Press Ctrl + O keys; Navigate to SdrConfigExample.e2e file to load log trace file in viewer.

Search for specific terms using Ctrl + F or just go through logs. You can also add custom logs to your WCF service and find them in here to figure out where exactly your code is getting exception at, You can find more about Trace Viewer at,