Category Archives: SharePoint 2010

One of those “I never noticed that” on the Check Permission dialog box…

In one of my help desk calls, someone asked why a user who only had Contribute permission seemingly had a ton of other higher level permissions associated with their account. Being the cynical IT person that I am, my first thought was “OK, what did they misunderstand?” However, looking at the following, I had to agree that they had a lot more than Contribute:


In 99% of the times I’ve used Check Permissions, I don’t see “The following factors also affect this level of access for” section. What’s worse, I didn’t know right off WHY this person was getting that additional information. It certainly wasn’t as part of their SharePoint permission group settings.

It took me a bit of time to finally figure out what the difference was. This particular person was originally put in the Site Administrators area for this site, as they were one of the original business owners. Roles shifted and their permissions were altered to only have Contribute, but no one removed him from the Site Administrators group. Once I did that, all the “following factors” disappeared.


“InfoPath cannot connect to the server” – that sucks…

The other day, I was trying to customize a list form using InfoPath, and I started receiving this error:

InfoPath cannot connect to the server. The server may be offline, your computer might not be connected to the network, or InfoPath Forms Services 2010 might not be enabled on the server. To fix this problem, start by checking your network connection, and then trying again.”

Um… no, the server is up, I’m connected to the network, and InfoPath Forms Services is working just fine on every other site out there, thank you very much.

So… off to Google (or Bing) that error message, hoping for something fairly quick and simple. After a little digging, I came up with this blog post that pointed me down the right path:

To quote the meat of his post:

Since this was not an issue with other site collections we can narrow it down further that it is only with the InfoPath Site Features (IPFSSiteFeatures). This is a hidden feature in all site collections and can only be viewed through PowerShell. I found by simply disabling and re-enabling this feature fixed the problem.

Using PowerShell, you have to run the two commands:

PS C:\> Disable-SPFeature "IPFSSiteFeatures" -url "http://Server/Sites/SiteCollection"
PS C:\> Enable-SPFeature "IPFSSiteFeatures" -url "http://Server/Sites/SiteCollection"

Once I did that, everything went back to normal. I wish I knew a bit more behind the *why* of that happening, but I’m more into triage and keep moving… and this worked.

Slides from SharePoint Saturday Redmond – Leading Your SharePoint Customers To Water… *and* Teaching Them How To Drink

Here are my slides from SharePoint Saturday Portlandia on November 14th, 2015. We had a good turnout, and I made it through the session even though I was nursing a cold.

I think the most enjoyable part of this is the discussions afterwards. I love how this content sparks ideas and the “I could do that” statements.


How did I miss “Enable enhanced rich text content such as tables, images, and hyperlinks”?

I have a customer testing a new custom list that tracks policy and procedure reviews. The form has been altered using the Customize Form button that opens up InfoPath (yes, I love InfoPath!). Everything has been going well, except for a certain enhanced rich text control on the form. The customer reported that they did not have any way to make a hyperlink in that field.

It’s set up in the list to be a multi-line text field that uses rich text (so I can allow for hyperlinks). I have another field that’s set up the same way. On the form, the second field works just fine. You go into the field, highlight a word or phrase, and you get the option to make it a hyperlink in the Ribbon Bar. But that first control… not so much.

I checked the list and they were identical in how they’re set up. I checked a list item and there were hyperlinks in both fields. Looks like it works to me. She replied that she must be doing something wrong, as she wasn’t getting the hyperlink option. I went out there in a new item, and guess what… I wasn’t getting the hyperlink option either.

When I started looking at the properties of the control, I found an option that I guess has always been on by default, and I’ve never really noticed it before:


It was unselected in my problem control, and that’s why I wasn’t getting the hyperlink options. When I selected that option and republished the form, it worked just like the other control did.

Lesson… pay attention to *all* the properties, even the ones you normally overlook.

One reason for “This task could not be updated at this time”

I really like the SharePoint 2010 Approval workflow, as it provides a lot of functionality for not very much work. The out-of-the-box one is a bit limited, but it works if you take it for what it is. The version you can use in SharePoint Designer is nicer as it gives you a lot more flexibility in what you do and don’t do based on what happens.

One of my workflows is used for approving standard IT procedures, and today I got a question from the site owner. Someone was trying to approve a task that they received in Outlook, but they got the following error:


That’s not terribly descriptive, and at first glance I didn’t have a clue as to what was different for this person since everyone else seemed to be working fine.

At least for this instance, the problem was caused by the person only being in a permission group that granted them Read access to the site. They could get the task and call it up, but the approval or rejection would fail with the above error message.

Fix… just put them in one of the permission groups that had at least Contribute level access.

Don’t always assume things are what you believe them to be…

I had one of those “duh” moments today…

I had a report from a customer who was claiming that a link to a document in an automated email was broken. Since the email was generated from an InfoPath form when the form was submitted (and presumably saved also), I had my doubts. However, when I went to the library and checked for the document, it wasn’t there. No recycle bin, the submitter had Contribute access without delete…

… or so it appeared.

It turns out that the person submitting the form is one of two people who share the same name. I saw “her name” in the permission list, and assumed all was well. But when I finally noticed her picture compared to an email picture, I noticed they were two completely different people. The person who was submitting the form didn’t have Contribute access, so the email would send but the form wouldn’t save.

Note to self… never assume that everything is as you believe it to be without double-checking the obvious.

Displaying a PowerPoint slide in a Page Viewer Web Part

Bottom line… this is FAR more difficult than it needs to be… 😦

The straightforward (and intuitive) way to do it would be to create a new page and add a Page Viewer web part:20150921Image01

Next, go out to one of your document libraries, open up the PowerPoint file in browser mode, and get the URL:20150921Image02

That gives you a URL that looks somewhat like the following:

No problem, right? Actually, major problem, as it gives you the following error:20150921Image03

What you have to do instead is search the page source code to find the iframe tag. It’s within there that you’ll find the actual code you’re looking for:20150921Image04

In this case, the iframe code for my PowerPoint file is:

PowerPointFrame.aspx?PowerPointView=ReadingView&d=F4d0845e366cf4196adc344c19238f728md26da0e52012465c8dbe3c9d5cafe974m07df9f35b715495798c790767e0515a8m&source=http%3A%2F%2Fdomain%2Ecom%2Fsites%2FDuffTeamSite%2FShared%2520Documents%2FForms%2FAllItems%2Easpx” width=”100%” height=”100%” style=”position: absolute; top: 0px; left: 0px; right: 0px; bottom: 0px;” frameborder=”0″>

From that, you have to take a snippet of that code above (in bold green) and add the bold purple code below to get the following for your page URL:


Once you have that completed, you can use that URL as the address for your web page to show (in this case, your slides):20150921Image05

To get it to be a bit more visible, adjust the height and width parameters of the web part:20150921Image06

This is how I have to set up PowerPoint page viewer web parts in SharePoint 2010. I certainly hope it gets more intuitive in upcoming versions.