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)

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

SharePoint 2007 Flaw with Profile Imports and My Sites

Wow! What an interesting morning. I arrived at work today to discover that all our “My Site” profile information (and related information) has been deleted from our environment.

I figured out what happened and thought I would share my findings with the community (I’ll most likely be opening a support case with Microsoft to try get this resolved).

Situation

Our environment performed an incremental profile import at 11pm last night. However, at the time the import process began the domain controller we have specified in our profile import connections setting was unavailable.

At this point, SharePoint flagged all the profile accounts in the database to be deleted. I verified this by looking at the bDeleted column in the dbo.UserProfile view in the Shared Services Provider database – all the values were set to “1”.

Then at 12:00 am (midnight) the My Site Cleanup Job timer job ran. According to Microsoft TechNet’s SharePoint Timer job reference (Office SharePoint Server) page, it states the purpose of My Site Cleanup Job is:

“When a user is deleted, starts a workflow on that user’s My Site. The default behavior is to send an e-mail message to the manager with a link to the deleted user’s site. The e-mail message contains a request to the manager to move any documents or data that the manager wants to preserve, because the site might be deleted in the future.”

Please note that this job runs Hourly.

What this page fails to mention is it also wipes out all profile specific data. Not only does it wipe out all profile data (stuff not imported from AD); it also deletes any user Quick Links, Colleague Tracker, Profile Picture, etc.

At least the users documents, etc are safe – but what a pain!

In the ULS, I was seeing the following error message:

“Domain {0} cannot be found.”

Followed by:

“MySiteCleanup: Unable to change owner of MySite for user profile because the new owner was not specified.”

Conclusion

It seems to be a major flaw with this process if SharePoint flags everyone to be deleted simply because the domain controller used for the profile imports is unavailable (for whatever the reason is).

Now domain controllers are rarely unavailable but you should at least be aware of this flaw and plan accordingly.

I am just thankful I did not have the “Site use confirmation and deletion” options enable to automatically delete dead webs. Would have completely ruined my day.

By the way, this environment is running version 12.0.0.6504 (which is the Approval 2009 Cumulative Update).

July 1, 2009 Posted by | SharePoint | , , , | 3 Comments