Paul Liebrand’s Weblog

Welcome to my blog mainly about SharePoint

Publishing Links to Office 2007 without enabling My Sites in SharePoint

Some organizations want to leverage the publish links to Office 2007 client feature that SharePoint 2007 offers without enabling My Sites. The publish links to Office 2007 relies on the same update mechanism that the My SharePoint Sites feature uses.

If you have read any of my posts in the past on this topic you know that these features were designed around the fact that users would have My Sites. In fact, the very action of setting your default My Site is what triggers these features to become active.

Is is very possible to use these features without enabling My Sites but it will require you to update some registry settings on your client PC’s. Most organizations will deploy these types of settings using a GPO.

The registry setting you want to add can be found under:

HK_CurrentUser\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Portal

Add a string value called PersonalSiteURL and point it to any root SharePoint site in your farm that all your users have access too. Normally the users My Site URL would be listed here.

Once you have populated this registry setting, you should start seeing your published links appear once the user attempts to access My SharePoint Sites the first time via an Office 2007 application.

I also developed a utility that you can run, specify your SharePoint URL, and it will return all the URL’s it believes your client PC should get published. For example:

MySharePointSiteChecker

You can download this utility from here:

GetUserPublishedLinks (via Skydrive)

August 25, 2009 Posted by | SharePoint | , , , | 3 Comments

Disabling My SharePoint Sites propagation or adjusting the frequency

I have previously explained how “My SharePoint Sites” works and how it gets propagated to the client. What happens if you want to disable this feature or adjust the frequency of when it occurs.

From time to time I get asked this question so I figured I would write up a post about it.

By default, Office creates two registry values under “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Portal”, which are:

Registry Value Description
LinkPublishingTimestamp A binary timestamp of the last time the sites were propagated to the client
PersonalSiteURL The URL to the users My Site

There are two additional values you can create manually in the users registry or via a GPO.

Registry Value Value Description
LinkPublishingDisabled 0 = false, 1 = true (DWORD) Disables the My SharePoint Site (or Link Publishing) on the Client PC.
LinkPublishingFrequency DWORD value in minutes* Changes the frequency from the default 24 hour to whatever value you put in there.

* Microsoft claims this is in minutes, however, when I did testing with this it appeared to be in seconds.

Hopefully this will help you gain more control over the My SharePoint Sites / Link Publishing feature of SharePoint and Office.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | SharePoint | , | 6 Comments

SharePoint / Office 2007 and random authentication pop up’s with “My SharePoint Sites” (Memberships)

Update – 7/2/2009

The Office 2007 hotfix (KB970950) is now available to download:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970950

The specific bullet that resolves this problem states the following:

“When you view folders that are listed under My SharePoint Sites in the Open dialog box or the Save As dialog box in a 2007 Office application, you are prompted for authentication. This problem occurs when an expired site is removed from the list and you no longer have access to the site.”

Update – 6/11/2009

I have been using a private build of the hot fix to resolve this issue and it looks like it is finally resolved. I’ll report back as soon as I get word from Microsoft of the official release of this fix.

Update – 5/14/2009

I just got confirmation from Microsoft today that they are currently testing the hot fix and are still scheduling to have it available at the end of June.

Update – 4/21/2009

Microsoft is currently working on a hot fix for this. They are shooting for the Office 2007 June Cumulative Update. I’ll let you know if they make it.

Update – 2/6/2009

I have been working with Microsoft on this issue and it looks like we may be seeing a hot fix (of some sort) to resolve this issue in the future.

 

I have posted a number of articles on how the SharePoint membership and “My SharePoint Sites” feature works in MOSS 2007 and Office 2007 and some of the problems with it.

https://liebrand.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/moss-2007-and-user-memberships/

https://liebrand.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/office-2007-and-my-sharepoint-sites/

https://liebrand.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/my-sharepoint-sites-and-authentication-popup/

I am currently in the process of working with Microsoft to resolve the specific issues around the pop up box appearing randomly as users are working within Office 2007.

There is another scenario that can cause the random authentication pop ups to occur. Consider the following:

  • A new site is created and the three (3) default groups Visitors, Members and Owners are associated.
  • The members group (which drives the MOSS 2007 membership feature – see previous posts on this topic) is then removed from the Site Permissions.
    • The group still exists but just does not have access to this site.
  • The members group is still associated with this SharePoint site as the designated members group.
  • SharePoint still propagates this site to the Office 2007 client for all users who are part of that group

As this group is propagated to the Office 2007 client’s “My SharePoint Site” feature it will check the users permission to the site and throw up the authentication pop up box because they technically do not have access.

After you remove any group that has been associated as the members group for a site, make sure you go into the “Set up Groups” from the People and Groups screen and change the Members site association to a new group that does have permissions.

In my opinion, the SharePoint membership feature should be smart enough to determine if the associated members group has access to the site or not and act accordingly. Unfortunately it does not – it just assumes it does and continues to propagate.

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Office, SharePoint | , , , | 7 Comments

My SharePoint Sites and Authentication Popup

Recently we started experiencing a Windows authentication dialog box popping up on end-users computers asking for username and password when they launched an Office 2007 application for the first time of the day. After troubleshooting the issue we determined that the end-user was no longer a member of a site that was propagated to the My SharePoint Sites location within Office 2007.

It appears that sometimes the groups that end-users are a member of get out of sync.  So when the population of My SharePoint Sites occurs it will hit a site that a user no longer has access too it is prompting them for valid credentials.

In a previous blog post, MOSS 2007 and User Memberships, I explain how the My SharePoint Site gets populated.  The check only occurs once a day, unless you clear the registry key (see Office 2007 and My SharePoint Sites.)

You can generally get around this issue by deleting the My SharePoint Sites and clearing the registry key, Office 2007 will repopulate that My SharePoint Sites information.

However, if that does not work it is possible that the site synchronization tables are out of sync.  If that is the case, you can run the following command:

stsadm -o sync -deleteolddatabases 0

This will basically force SharePoint to re-sync all the content databases when the “Profile Synchronization” timer job runs on the next hour.

Once the timer job runs all the tables will be re-sync and the authentication dialog box should be resolved the next time Office 2007 attempts to populate the My SharePoint Sites information.

There is a table called SiteSynch in the Shared Services Provider (“SSP”) database which will list all the content database ID’s, the site ID’s and when the last time they synched was. During my research I noticed that a content database I had deleted about 2-3 weeks prior was still being listed in here which caused stuff to get out of sync.

After the running the stsadm command above and after the timer job processed the content database ID that was deleted no longer was listed and thus solved the out-of-sync issue I experienced.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | SharePoint | , , | 3 Comments

Office 2007 and My SharePoint Sites

In previous posts I have discussed the concepts around the MOSS 2007 Membership functionality (see the Office 2007 and User Memberships post). This post talks about the location of the My SharePoint Sites and how it gets populated. Once again, the My SharePoint Sites functionality is new to Office 2007 and requires you establish your My Site prior to it actually functioning.

Location of My SharePoint Sites

The My SharePoint Sites folder gets created by any of the Office 2007 applications. The folder can be found in the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\

What populates the My SharePoint Sites folder?

The Office 2007 application suite is responsible for populating this folder. It will populate it based on what member groups you belong to within your SharePoint environment. Office will update this location once a day the first time you launch an Office 2007 application.

You can force an update of this location by deleting the following registry key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Portal\LinkPublishingTimestamp

If you delete that above key and simply restart one of your Office applications, it will repopulate that folder based on what it thinks you are a member of.

Thanks,

Paul Liebrand

November 29, 2007 Posted by | SharePoint | , | 24 Comments

MOSS 2007 and User Memberships

A new and often misunderstood feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (“MOSS”) 2007 is the concept of user memberships. The user membership information is rendered through a few different surfaces within the SharePoint environment.

The following is a list of places the membership information is used and surfaced:

1. Users My Site

image

2. Top Navigation Bar via the My Links / My SharePoint Sites

image

3. Office 2007 Client applications via the Open / Save dialog box

image

The membership feature was added to MOSS to make it easier for users to find the sites they work on often. Once it is implemented and setup correctly, this feature works extremely well.

Membership Functionality Requirements

In order for the MOSS membership functionality to be active and working you need to insure you have the following things in place:

  1. An established Shared Service Provider (“SSP”) with all your web applications associated to it.
  2. My Sites need to be enabled and each individual needs to set it as their default by clicking the “Set as default My Site” in the top right corner of My Site screen.
  3. A full Office Search crawl schedule (this is the process that actually updates the membership information).
  4. The users need to added to the group that is associated with the Members of this Site group setting. The group that is assigned to this setting can be determined by navigating to the site, clicking Site Actions / Site Settings / People and Group / Actions / Setup Groups.

Please note that simply just adding someone to the site will not work with the membership functionality; they need to be explicitly added to the group associated with the Members of this Site group  setting.

During my adventures with trying to understand this membership feature I discovered a SQL query that you can run which will output all the site membership information for a specified user.

Simply connect to your SQL server and the database associated with your SSP and execute this query:

declare @RecordId int select @RecordId = RecordId
  from dbo.UserProfile_Full
where PreferredName = ‘<<insert preferred name here>>’

exec dbo.QuickLinksRetrieveAllItems @RecordId,@ViewerItemSecurity=31,@RequestedItemSecurity=16

I hope this helps.

November 29, 2007 Posted by | SharePoint | , | 21 Comments