Creation of Project Server PWA instance fails, timer jobs, clearing the cache….

I recently attempted to create two new Project Server PWA instances through Central Admin on a MOSS 2007/Project Server farm. I went to the SSP and clicked on Project Web Access Sites under Project Server. I then clicked on “Create Project Web Access Site” and filled out all the required information, including unique database names for the new site. The creation of the site would start, then it would spin and spin and spin….after a few minutes it would fail with a message saying “Failed – check Event Logs.”  The event logs showed no errors. Nothing at all related to the PWA instance failing.

The ULS logs did show errors indicating two of the three servers in the farm were trying to update the SSP and were causing conflict. There was nothing else to indicate what was causing the error.

I searched the internet and found nothing that applied to our situation. As a matter of fact, there was very little on the error at all. There were a couple of posts about the binaries not being installed on the server that housed Project Server, but that was about it. MOSS 2007 was installed on the same server and I had successfully created PWA instances in the past.

After reviewing everything on the server to make sure there weren’t any problems, I got Microsoft involved. They told me that to prevent each server from having to make SQL calls to pull information from the configuration database, data is cached on the servers. Sometimes this data will become corrupt and have to be cleared out and rebuilt. The process for clearing the cache can be found here.

Although the article states it resolves issues with timer jobs failing and does not state this will resolve the issue of PWA instance creations failing, it did do the trick. After the steps were followed new PWA instances could be created without errors.

I did a little more research on timer jobs and found the PWASSPSubmitSiteCreationTimerJob is responsible for creating new PWA instances. Apparently this was the timer job the corrupted cache was interfering with.

Now there is an article that ties the failing of PWA instance creation to timer job failures and clearing the cache. Maybe it will save someone else some time. ;)

SPC09

What an exciting week! Seeing all the new features of SharePoint 2010 was good, but getting to meet so many new friends was the best part of the trip. I made a point to try and meet as many of my Twitter and Facebook friends as possible. It’s so nice to meet in person after becoming online friends. All of them are so willing to share their knowledge.

One of the highlights of the week was being invited to Jeff Jones (@spjeff) and his lovely bride Emily’s wedding. It was held at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and officiated by Elvis. Jeff and Emily are an adorable couple and I was thrilled to be part of their special day.

And talk about SharePoint 2010 information overload!!…I attended as many sessions as I could. They were so many great offerings but no way to go to them all. Thankfully Microsoft will be making all of the sessions available on line for conference attendees.

Many people sent Twitter updates during the sessions. This gave others a glimpse of what was going on in the sessions they couldn’t make. There were almost 20,000 tweets sent during the conference that tagged #SPC09. I’m sure post conference tweeting  will put the number over 20k. That is amazing! There were also live blog streams and video streams.

Right now I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my plane. I’ve had a great time, but ready to get home. Viva Las Vegas!

SharePoint 2010 unveiled

SharePoint 2010 has finally been unveiled! In his keynote address this morning, Steve Ballmer gave us an overview of all the wonderful things Sharepoint 2010 will do. There were too many to mention here, but some of the highlights include:

  • totally revamped UI
  • Users can see external data in Outlook 2010 through BCS
  • publishing custom web parts directly from Visual Studio 2010 with no custom code required 
  • developer dashboard
  • SharePoint in the cloud
  • sandbox solutions features
  • relative paths for images
  • layouts more easily deployment

More to come as the day goes one!

Vegas is being bombarded!

Las Vegas is being bombarded with over 7000 SharePoint geeks! They started arriving Friday and have continued throughout yesterday and last night. Scans of Twitter this morning show that hundreds more are now waiting at the airport, already on a plane, or heading out later today. Many have been tweeting about lounging by the pool, much to the dismay of us in areas that didn’t top 50 degrees yesterday! Why didn’t I go a day early???

Andrew Connell has organized what may be the largest SharePint gathering tonight at the Mandalay Bay. There are several other events going on during the week that you can check out here. I’m about packed and will be heading out later this afternoon. What does a SharePoint Geek Chick pack when she goes to a conference with 7000 geeks? Why her best geek clothes of course! See you in Vegas!!

@Twittername shoes

spgeekchick shirts

SharePoint Conference 2009

Over 7000 SharePoint geeks from all over the world are heading to Las Vegas. The SharePoint Conference 2009 is geared up to be the biggest SharePoint event ever. The highlight of the conference is the official unveiling of SharePoint 2010, Microsoft’s business collaboration platform for the Enterprise and the web. Up until now only a sneak peek has been available. Next week we get to see all the features!

Joel Oleson has posted 10 Steps to Prepare for the SharePoint Conference along with a list of some of the after hours events being organized. Mark Miller from EndUserSharepoint.com also has a list of events and is sponsoring live media streams throughout the conference. Michael Gannotti is planning on a live streaming videocast each morning.

For those of you who are not able to attend, EndUserSharePoint is providing digital swag so you won’t feel left out!

As for me….I’ve got my @spgeekchick t-shirt and shoes ready to go! See you in Vegas!

Search not returning results when using “This Site” option

 

I recently dealt with an issue involving MOSS 2007 Search that I could find very little information on when searching the web. The ones of us that have been working with SharePoint for a while and have fought our battles getting Search to work in complex environments would probably know the things to check, but the folks that haven’t had to deal with Search issues (yet) might not know how to troubleshoot. So I decided to do a little overview and explain how I solved this client’s problem.

This happened on a site with numerous subsites. It was in its own web application and site collection. When using the “All Sites” option from the search dropdown, results were being returned. When using “This Site” option from the dropdown, Search was not returning any results even though documents with the desired text were contained within the site. This indicated that this particular site collection was not being crawled and indexed.

search screen shot 

For this example, we will assume Search is working as expected on everything except this site collection and its sites/subsites using “This Site” option from the dropdown. If Search isn’t working at all, that’s a whole different topic that there are many good books about! If you don’t have one, I recommend getting one so that you will have a resource that explains everything about search. The problem encountered by this client was a simple one compared to some I’ve seen. Maybe that’s why I didn’t find anything about it when I searched the web…….hmmm…..

The things I checked were:

  1. Had a content source been set up in Central Admin? To check, open Central Admin, click on your SSP, then under Search select Search Administration > Content Sources. Check to see if a content source for the site collection has been set up and that it is scheduled to crawl. If not, click on New Content Source and fill in the required information. In the case I was working on, there was a content source and a crawl had been attempted but the crawl log showed errors saying the default access account did not have permission on the site. 
  2. Is there a crawl rule for the site?  If so, was it showing the proper authentication account? In my example there was a crawl rule and it was showing the correct account for access, so why did the logs say the account didn’t have access? 
  3. Back to the Site….go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Modify All Site Settings. Check all the settings related to Search. Search settings had “use custom scope” selected and named the scope in Central Admin. Search Scopes showed the scope name, but had zero items as being indexed. The problem was under Search Visibility. The first question on this setting is “Allow this web to appear in search results”. “No” was selected. That’s why the search account didn’t have access to crawl it! I changed the option to “Yes” and clicked ok.

After changing this option, I returned to Central Admin to the search scope and started a full crawl of the site collection. After a few minutes, the log was showing items being indexed. 20k items later (less than an hour) the crawl was complete. I verified search using “This Site” was working by going back to the site and selecting this option from the dropdown. A spot check of the subsites showed that results were being returned from within the designated site as desired.

Next time I think I’ll check to make sure the “No” isn’t selected under Search Visibility…might save myself some time. :)

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