SharePoint Site Error:HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable.

Last evening I left office with a happy face and today get back to the office; start my SharePoint Dev site and got this crazy error HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable. I could feel this is just start of a hectic day :-(.

I knew this can happen if SharePoint Application Pool for Central Admin stopped working but I had more thing behind the scene.

Well, If this type of error occurs most of the time it can be resolved by Checking the Application Pools for SharePoint Central Administration v3 and make sure it’s running, If it stopped-just restart it.

In my case though, after restarting App pool didn’t solve my issue. I checked the log and other areas but as usual not much solid information. Suddenly it clicked in my mind about the password to the Identity account. One of the network administration guy created the service account and didn’t set Password Expiration Policy and my Poor Password get Expired. If this happen to you do the following way-it should resolve the issue.

1.  Open up IIS Manager and click on Application Pools.

2.  Locate your App Pool account and right-click on it and select ‘Advanced Settings’.

3.  Click on the right of the Identity box to change it (A window will pop up).

4.  Click on Set and simply retype your App Pool Identity in there with the new password.

Posted in Technical Issue SP2007 | Tagged | Leave a comment

PDF Icon not showing in SharePoint Doc Library and Search Result

I recently face this issue while configuring SharePoint Search. I have done almost everything right but having issue with PDF icon; was not showing in Doc Library and also in Search Result. Below What I have done and How I fix the issue-

My Environment– Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit,SharePoint 2007 Enterprise


Findings and Fix-

Main issue starts at steps 5 and 6 on the above link where it says to verify the PDF image present at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\IMAGES.

well, PDF image didn’t saved automatically for me on the above location so I download a PDF image from internet and used it but didn’t work. Later I find out the GIF image should be right height and width. So if you need to download from internet Make sure the PDF GIF image is 17×17.

next step is adding an reference to DOCICON.XML at this location (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML)

please make sure you backup a copy of DOCICON.XML .That XML often get corrupted while adding reference.

Add reference within the ByExtension tag at DOCICON.XML with the following properties.

<Mapping Key=”pdf” Value=”pdficon.gif” />

Run iisreset

It should work now and you can see PDF icon at both Doc Library and SharePoint search.

Posted in Technical Issue SP2007 | Tagged | Leave a comment

How to restrict certain sites to use only certain site and Page templates in SharePoint 2007

Scenario: My client have some custom site template and they want to enforce users to use those custom site template while hiding all the Out-Of-the Box SharePoint Template from the end users.

Important Note: The site have to be Publishing site. If it is you can follow the following way to achieve it.


Note:- you can also enforce the user to use specific Page Template. All you have to do is to go to the same location and chose the Page template you want them to use.

Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Limitation of office 2003 with SharePoint 2007 & Office 2003 and 2007 comparison with Sharepoint 2007

Scenario– I am working on SharePoint Implementation right at the moment and  working on SharePoint Document Management. This Organization have lots of documents.While planning I’ve noticed most of the users are using Microsoft Office 2003. They are not yet ready to roll on to Office 2007.

I know Office 2003 is not 100% Compatible with Moss 07. While writing a Documentation for them I have searched wide range of documents on internet and have found some solid Information which I though good to put in a single place.

Detailed Description:

Server Platform: Office SharePoint Server 2007

( Found this on Toni Frankola Blog)

Application / Feature Office 2003 Office 2007
Saving and editing Office 2003 files from SharePoint sites yes yes
Viewing Office 2007 files from SharePoint sites yes
You must install Compatibility Pack.
Editing Office 2007 files from SharePoint sites No yes
Check-out/in, version history Yes yes
Start a workflow No yes
Updating properties yes
(Improved in Word 2007).
Inserting document properties for (DOC/DOCX) NO
(DOC file format)
(DOCX file format)
Automatically updating server properties that were inserted to document body (DOC/DOCX) NO Yes
Write a blog post NO yes
Compare versions of a SharePoint document No/
(Very limited)
Synchronize tasks/discussion boards to Outlook NO Yes
Synchronizing calendars to Outlook NO/
(One-way sync only; from SharePoint to Outlook)
Synchronizing contacts to Outlook NO/
(One-way sync only; from SharePoint to Outlook)
Synchronize document libraries to Outlook NO Yes
Publishing Excel files as web pages No Yes
Working with Slide Library No Yes

I have Found this White Paper on Microsoft Site which have got more Detailed Description. I will mention few here-

Office 2000 vs. Office XP vs. Office 2003 Editions
with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007

Feature Office 2000 Office XP Office 2003 Editions
Save and open files from SharePoint sites Yes (Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Word) Yes (Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Visio, Word) Enhanced (Excel, FrontPage, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Publisher, Visio, Word)
Create new documents in Web browser No Yes (Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Word) Yes (Excel, FrontPage, InfoPath, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Publisher, Word)
Collect metadata automatically No No Enhanced (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
Promote and demote file properties and metadata automatically Data stored, but not displayed (Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Word) Yes (Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Word) Enhanced (Excel, FrontPage, InfoPath, PowerPoint, Visio, Word)
Track document versions No. Use Web browser to view and manage document versions. No. Use Web browser to view and manage document versions. Enhanced (Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Word)
Check-out and check-in documents No. Use Web browser to manually check-out and check-in documents. No. Use Web browser to manually check-out and check-in documents. Enhanced (Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Word). Use Web browser to manually check-out and check-in other types of documents.
Manage Microsoft Project documents, risks, and issues No No Yes
Upload multiple documents No No Yes
Inline discussions Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Office Components for SharePoint No No Yes
Person Names Smart Tag No No Yes
Integration with Microsoft Business Solutions No No Yes

Office 2003 Editions vs. 2007 Office Suites
with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007

L= Limited or no access to features

P= Partial access to features

F= Full access to features

Office and SharePoint Integration Feature 2003 Clients 2007 Clients
Enterprise Content Management Publish documents to server to enable content management tasks in the client (e.g., start and/or participate in approval or review workflows from within  the Office client), access content management features from within client (e.g., auto-generated document properties) P F
Information Rights ManagementProtect documents from unauthorized access or distribution from within the Office client applications. For more information, go to P F
PowerPoint Slide Libraries Publish slides to server where they can be easily shared, access slides on Slide Library from within PowerPoint, receive notification if slide on server changes. L F
Excel Services Publish Excel spreadsheets to server for centralized management, browser-based spreadsheet viewing and access control. P F
Electronic Forms Publish forms to server to enable browser-based access for data collection, initiate workflows and additional forms management tasks from InfoPath client. P F
Outlook and SharePoint Integration Keep synchronized copy of SharePoint Calendars, Tasks, and Contacts and offline access to SharePoint Document Libraries in Outlook. p F
Access and SharePoint Integration Move Access data to a SharePoint site where it can be centrally managed and accessible by the client or a browser. L F
Groove and SharePoint Integration Take a synchronized copy of SharePoint Document Libraries offline in a Groove Workspace. L F
Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged | 1 Comment

SharePoint 2010 Beta Prerequisite Download Link (Win Server 2008 ,2008 R2 & SQL Server 2008)

1. SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (

2.KB976761 – Cumulative Update package 2 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (

3.Install Microsoft Geneva Framework v1.0 (

4. Install ADO.NET Data Service v1.5 CTP 2 Runtime only (

5. Install PowerShell v2.0 CTP3 (Windows6.0-KB968930x64) [Note: Not needed for Server 2008 R2 as it ships with PowerShell V2.0] (

6.Install WCF FIX : A hotfix that provides a method to support the token authentication without transport security or message encryption in WCF is available for the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. If you don’t have this fix installed, you will get “Unrecognized attribute ‘allowInsecureTransport'” error in ULS log. And most of the service applications will not run properly. (Win Server 2008 R2) (Win server 2008) [NOTE: You need to Install Server FEATURE .net Framework 3.5.1 to apply this update]

7. Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 (

8.Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services ADOMD.NET (

Posted in SharePoint 2010 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Simple Image Rotator WebPart.

” Image Rotator” WebPart  and Linking “banners” to a particular Page can give SharePoint site a great look and feel as well as great usability. There are many ways to build it using server side scripting or client side scripting. I personally like client side scripting as its very light and doesn’t make any issue when thinking of sites performance.

I have come across this great Blog Site ( where anyone can build an image rotator or linking banner with a blink of an eye (This guy is Ultra genius). He also have a Query builder tool so it make task so easy. All you need a picture library Link and your code is there, Paste the code in Out-of-The box “Content Editor WebPart”.

This thing have few Limitation though. Creator of this tool Mentioned them but on top of that I have found few more Issues but if it can be fixed easily. I will add both Creator’s and my findings below.

Known Issue Mentioned by Author-

When using the Image Rotator, be aware of the following limitations:

1/ It only works in authenticated environments. This is a limitation of the SharePoint URL protocol used in the script. For anonymous users, you’ll need to rely on another retrieval method, RSS feeds for example.

2/ It only works if the picture library is on the same domain as your Web page. This is a JavaScript limitation, for security reasons. So if the picture library is on, you can use the Image rotator on any page that belongs to, but not on for example.

3/ The default view of your picture library needs to be a flat view.
If you are using folders in your picture library, you’ll need to select the “view without folders” option in the default view settings.

My findings:


  • If you intend to use both Image Rotator and Linking Banner image to a link on the same page MAKE SURE you change the variables or else it won’t work.
  • If you want to Use it to Hyperlink banner Image you need to change the text column name to anything but not what it shows in default “link”. it works perfectly after that. (see the screen shot below)

This is very Simple and easy Implementation and you can generate the code from this link- and click the tab “Build your own”

Posted in SharePoint 2007, Technical Issue SP2007 | 2 Comments

Bits and Pieces about SharePoint Workflows

As SharePoint consultants we often face a common question from clients -“What is SharePoint  Workflow?”  “What it can do out of the box?” “What are the Limitations?”

I have tried to document bits and pieces about SharePoint Workflow, SPD Workflow limitations and Possible workaround. All these information are based upon MOSS 2007 and I am sure many of these will be fixed in next version of SharePoint (2010).

What is SharePoint workflow:-

The most powerful feature of SharePoint, at least the one most likely to cause a high return on investment (ROI), is the tight integration and high utilization of workflow.

A workflow is a formalized business process mapped to various executable activities on a computer. Think of a workflow as a highly adaptable and configurable program that performs a series of tasks. The program is adaptable in that it can be changed depending on business needs.

Out-of-the-box SharePoint Workflows:-

  • Approval Routes a document for approval. Approvers can approve or reject the document, reassign the approval task, or request changes to the document.
  • Collect Feedback Routes a document for review. Reviewers can provide feedback, which is compiled and sent to the document owner when the workflow has completed.
  • Collect Signatures Gathers signatures needed to complete an Office document. This workflow can be started only from within an Office client.
  • Disposition Approval Manages document expiration and retention by allowing participants to decide whether to retain or delete expired documents.
  • Group Approval Similar to the Approval workflow, but uses a designated document library and offers a personalized view of the approval processes in which a user is participating. This workflow provides a hierarchical organization chart from which to select the approvers and allows the approvers to use a stamp control instead of a signature.
  • Translation Management Manages document translation by creating copies of the document to be translated and assigning translation tasks to translators.
  • Issue Tracking Manages the issue tracking process by creating tasks for Active issues assigned to users who own to a given issue. When the task related to an issue is complete hence resolving the issue, the creator of the issue is assigned a review task so that the issue can be closed.


SharePoint Designer Workflows:-

SharePoint Designer (SPD) offers a basic workflow authoring experience. With SharePoint Designer 2007, end users can create workflows without needing to learn complicated tools or adopt programming as a career.

Despite the perceived simplicity of SharePoint Designer workflows, however, you can accomplish fairly complex tasks using the built-in activities in SharePoint Designer. In addition, you can get or create additional activities to further customize your workflow and in essence create your own Lego pieces.


SharePoint Designer Workflow Limitations and Possible workaround:-

  • You cannot access the previous value of a field.  This means that you cannot check to see if a field changed.  There is an action that waits for a field to change, but you must provide the value that it changes to.  Alternatively you can compare it to another field, but not the previous value of that field.  If the field didn’t change at all but met the condition implied by the action, this wait action likely wouldn’t wait at all and move on the next step in the workflow.

Workaround: Use a SharePoint list event to track “ItemUpdating” and pass in the “After” value for a field (the current value will be the old value in a synchronous updating event).  If you decide to also start this workflow from any asynchronous event (e.g., “ItemAdded” and/or “ItemUpdated”), you will need to pass in the event trigger (e.g., “Add”, “Updating”, “Updated”) so the workflow can differentiate between them (the current item in the workflow will be the old item for synchronous events, but it will be the new value for asynchronous events).

  • You cannot loop.  If you want to perform. an action on say all items in a list or all child items for a parent, you simply cannot do it unless you know how to lookup each item in the list at design time and have an action for each of those items.

Workaround: Use Events or a Visual Studio  workflow.

  • You cannot lookup an item using two keys.  If one key does not uniquely identify an item, you are stuck.  You can try to just use one field, but the workflow will act on the first item it finds.  You cannot use two fields to identify it.

Workaround: Use Events or a Visual Studio workflow.

  • You cannot copy the contents of one email action to use it within the same or another email action.  This is true if there are any lookups within the email contents.

Workaround: Copy by hand (re-write the contents) or after saving the .xoml file, open it with an XML editor (right click the .xoml file and choose Open With -> SharePoint Designer (Open as XML)), then copy/paste the appropriate data.

  • You cannot put lookup information in the subject of an email.

Workaround: The easiest workaround is to put the lookup information in the email body.  More complex solutions involve creating a custom SharePoint Designer workflow action, use a Visual Studio  workflow, or sending the email from an event.

  • You cannot group logical conditions within a step by using parenthesis.

Workaround: Modify your expression such that the order takes precedence.  For example, instead of “x=1 and (y=2 or z=3)” use “y=2 or z=3 and x=1”.  See also SharePoint Designer Workflows – Logical Expressions.

  • You cannot easily log a value with context information to the workflow history list.

Workaround: Use the Build Dynamic String action to store your log into a workflow variable then use the Log to History List action to log the workflow variable to the history list.

  • You can run actions in parallel, but you cannot run steps in parallel.

Workaround: Use a Visual Studio  workflow.

Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged | 1 Comment

Some of SharePoint 2007 limitations

SharePoint 2007 do have some limit. Some of them can be overcome using custom code and tuning but its good to keep in mind these limitation while planning for SharePoint Integration.

My ex colleague Brad Saide have mention some of those limitation in his Blog. Most of the information is from Tech net but not enough explanation. If anyone face some of those issues and can explain further I will be really happy to know.

SharePoint 2007 Maximum Limitations

Max permissible size
Site Name
128 characters
Site URL
255 characters
Display name
128 characters
Connection string
384 characters
Email address
128 characters
Version numbers
064 characters
Virtual Server Friendly Name
064 characters
SQL Database Name
123 characters
SQL Database Column
128 characters
SQL Database Table Name 128 characters
SQL Role Name 128 characters
Server Name 128 characters
Windows User Name 300 characters
Windows Password 300 characters
Dependencies per object 032 objects
Zone enumeration value 004 zones
Default SQL command timeout 300 seconds
Number of simultaneous
workflows that can be run

There are also the following limitations where performance degrades after reaching these numbers (From Technet)…

Site object Guidelines for acceptable performance Notes Scope of impact when performance degrades
Site collection 50,000 per Web application Total farm throughput degrades as the number of site collections increases. Farm
Web site 250,000 per site collection You can create a very large total number of Web sites by nesting the subsites. For example, 100 sites, each with 1000 subsites, is 100,000 Web sites. The maximum recommended number of sites and subsites is 125 sites with 2,000 subsites each, for a total of 250,000 sites. Site collection
Subsite 2,000 per Web site The interface for enumerating subsites of a given Web site does not perform well as the number of subsites surpasses 2,000. Site view
Document 5 million per library You can create very large document libraries by nesting folders, using standard views and site hierarchy. This value may vary depending on how documents and folders are organized, and by the type and size of documents stored. Library
Item 2,000 per view Testing indicates a reduction in performance beyond two thousand items. Using indexing on a flat folder view can improve performance. List view
Document file size 50MB (2GB max*) File save performance is proportional to the size of the file. The default maximum is 50 MB. This maximum is enforced by the system, but you can change it to any value up to 2 GB. Library, file save performance
List 2,000 per Web site Testing indicates a reduction in list view performance beyond two thousand entries. List view
Field type 256 per list This is not a hard limit, but you might experience list view performance degradation as the number of field types in a list increases. List view
Column 2,000 per document library4,096 per list This is not a hard limit, but you might experience library and list view performance degradation as the number of columns in a document library or list increases. Library and list view
Web Part 50 per page This figure is an estimate based on simple Web Parts. The complexity of the Web Parts dictates how many Web Parts can be used on a page before performance is affected. Page

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for people objects.

People object Guidelines for acceptable performance Notes
Users in groups 2 million per Web site You can add millions of people to your Web site by using Microsoft Windows security groups to manage security instead of using individual users.
User profile 5 million per farm This number represents the number of profiles which can be imported from a directory service, such as Active Directory, into the people profile store.
Security principal 2,000 per Web site The size of the access control list is limited to a few thousand security principals (users and groups in the Web site).

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for search objects.

Search object Guidelines for acceptable performance Notes
Search indexes One per SSPMaximum of 20 per farm Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports one content index per SSP. Given that we recommend a maximum of 20 SSPs per farm, a maximum of 20 content indexes is supported.Note that an SSP can be associated with only one index server and one content index. However, an index server can be associated with multiple SSPs and have a content index for each SSP.
Indexed documents 50,000,000 per content index Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports 50 million documents per index server. This could be divided up into multiple content indexes based on the number of SSPs associated with an index server.
Content sources 500 per SSP* This is a hard limit enforced by the system.
Start Addresses 500 per content source* This is a hard limit enforced by the system.
Alerts 1,000,000 per SSP This is the tested limit.
Scopes 200 per site This is a recommended limit per site. We recommend a maximum of 100 scope rules per scope.
Display groups 25 per site These are used for a grouped display of scopes through the user interface.
Crawl rules 10,000 per SSP We recommend a maximum 10,000 crawl rules irrespective of type.
Keywords 15,000 per site We recommend a maximum of 10 Best Bets and five synonyms per keyword.
Crawled properties 500,000 per SSP These are properties that are discovered during a crawl.
Managed properties 100,000 per SSP These are properties used by the search system in queries. Crawled properties are mapped to managed properties. We recommend a maximum of 100 mappings per managed property.
Authoritative pages 200 per relevance level This is the maximum number of sites in each of the four relevance levels.
Results removal 100 This is the maximum recommended number of URLs that should be removed from the system in one operation.
Crawl logs 50,000,000 Number of individual log entries in the crawl log.

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for logical architecture objects.

Logical architecture object Guidelines for acceptable performance Notes
Shared Services Provider (SSP) 3 per farm (20 per farm maximum)  
Zone 5* per farm The number of zones defined for a farm is hard coded to 5.
Web application 99 per SSP This limit includes the number of Web applications on child farms consuming resources on this SSP.
Internet Information Services (IIS) application pool 8 per Web server Maximum number is determined by hardware capabilities.
Site collection 50,000 per Web application  
Content database 100 per Web application  
Site collection 50,000 per database  

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for physical objects.

Physical object Guidelines for acceptable performance Notes
Index servers 1 per SSP*  
Application servers running Excel Calculation Services No limit  
Query servers No limit Because 100 content databases are supported for each query server, the number of query servers required per farm is based on the number of content databases in the farm. For example, if there are 500 content databases in your farm, you will need at least 5 query servers.
Web server/database server ratio 8 Web servers per database server The scale out factor is dependent upon the mix of operations.
Web server/domain controller ratio 3 Web servers per domain controller Depending on how much authentication traffic is generated, your environment may support a greater number of Web servers per domain controller.
Posted in SharePoint 2007 | Tagged | 6 Comments

Excluding folders from search results in MOSS 2007

I recently got a question regarding the ability to filter out folders from search results (but to still search inside those folders for documents) in MOSS 2007.

It’s pretty simple. You’ll need to create a scope with two exclusion rules, assuming you’re crawling both file shares and SharePoint sites (one for file share folders and one for document library folders):

1)      Go into Search Settings -> Metadata Property Mappings

a.       Scroll to the “IsDocument” property and select “Edit/Map Property” from the drop-down menu;  check “Allow this property to be used in scopes”

b.   Do the same with the “ContentType” property

2)      Create a new scope (called “NoFolders” or whatever) and add three rules:

a.       Content Source = All Content

b.      IsDocument=0 (make that one an exclusion rule) – this is for file share folders

c.    ContentType=Folder (also an exclusion rule) – this is for sharepoint document library folders

3)      Run a scope update to refresh the scope contents

4)      Do a search on a term that returns a folder (Say, “office”);   then try another, specifying the scope like this – “office scope:nofolders” (this search should not return folders)

5)      If you want that new scope to be the default (so users don’t have to specify the scope), you can set the scope property of the search results web part on the results.aspx page to use that new scope (or you can create a new tab on the search center page)

Some Other good Practice while Configuring Search

– Using FreeText and Contains makes handling wildcards and phrases very easy when building your SQL query string.

– You can stop Lists appearing in results by adding a search scope rule to exclude items where contentclass = STS_List_GenericList.

Posted in SharePoint 2007, Technical Issue SP2007 | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hardware and Software requirements for SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 will release soon and Microsoft have released hardware and software recommendation for 2010.

Organizations who are thinking of upgrading to 2010 next year, should consider these changes to keep up the server running with 2010.

Check it out here-

Posted in SharePoint 2010 | Tagged | Leave a comment