Speaking at Raona SharePoint Day on 2nd October in London

I’m speaking on Business Intelligence and SharePoint at the Raona SharePoint day on 2nd October. You can follow Raona on Twitter for news

With demos of Vodafone, Telefonica and Ecoembes, it will be good to see SharePoint in action. Sometimes people need examples so that they can see what to do with technology, and to spark ideas. I don’t think that’s a bad thing; technology is essentially a creative process, so why not take a look at what others have been trailblazing in the field.

If you’d like to register, here is the link and I hope to see you there.

Notes to self: PrerequisiteInstaller.exe app crash when you try to install SharePoint 2013

I’m installing SharePoint 2013 onto a Virtual Machine, and I keep getting a crash at the point at which I try to install the Prerequisites.

Essentially, I just click on the link to install prerequisites, and I just get ‘no longer working’ message and PrerequisiteInstaller.exe crashes.

How can you resolve this?

1. make sure you are running with administrator rights
2. switch off UAC – to do this in Windows Server 2012, you can change the following registry setting:

Change the DWORD “EnableLUA” from 1 to 0
Reboot server

And then, try to install the SharePoint prerequisites again. This should resolve the problem.

Hope that helps!

PowerPivot error: unable to upgrade the Data Model in this workbook

Upon opening a PowerPivot in Excel 2013 workbook, I get the following message:

unable to upgrade the Data Model in this workbook. The error occurred while upgrading PowerPivot workbook. The data model has reverted to the previous version

The PowerPivot model was created in Excel 2013. The machine is 64-bit and the model was created here and hasn’t been moved.
It was working fine yesterday, and the only real change was the addition of a password in order to secure the file.

The error message in details is here:

Error Message:

Element not found. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8002802B (TYPE_E_ELEMENTNOTFOUND))

Call Stack:

   at Microsoft.Office.PowerPivot.ExcelAddIn.INativeEntryPoint.BeginUpgradeASPPModel(String workbookName)
   at Microsoft.Office.PowerPivot.ExcelAddIn.InProcServer.LoadSandboxAfterConnection(String errorCache)



I resolved this issue by:
running the ‘PowerPivot in Sharepoint 2013 Configuration’.
I also removed the password from the file. To move it around, I will have to use other methods of encrypting the file.  For customer data, I use diskGenie iStorage portable encrypted hard drives and USBs, rather than the plethora of USBs I tend to pick up for free from events.

After running the Wizard and removing the password, I could open up the PowerPivot model just fine.

Hope that helps.

Power View error: There are no addresses available for this application

Whilst doing a demo, I noted that running Power View on SharePoint gave the following error message:
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEndpointAddressNotFoundException: There are no addresses available for this application.
There are two steps to resolving this issue:
1. Using the Central Admin on Sharepoint, check the services running on the server.
Go to Central Admin > Application Management > Manage Services on Server
Check if your services have stopped, particularly the ‘SQL Server Reporting Services Service’. Also, take a look at the ‘Managed Metadata’ or ‘User Profile’ services. 
2. Once you’ve reviewed the services, you might need to do perform an IISReset command
I hope that helps!

My 10 years with SharePoint from the SQL Server perspective; the story so far.

I’ve been working with SharePoint since SharePoint Server 2003. It’s been ten years since my boss, on his last day working beside me as a consultant for Dimension Data, ran past me saying “I’ve made you SharePoint administrator, you’ll love it” as he ran out of the door. I yelled back “What’s SharePoint?” and he gave me a cheeky grin and said “you’ll thank me, you’ll love it.” I never saw him again.

Over the ten years now, there have been times where I have wanted to do anything except thank him for inheriting SharePoint. There are other times where I’ve been the sole voice, evangelising its usage within an organisation. Ultimately, yes, I do want to thank him!

I’m amazed by how SharePoint has evolved over the years. The central tenet is the same; sharing information, regardless of the format. I’m glad that there is a move towards collaborative sharing, working and business intelligence.

If there is anything I could change about SharePoint, it would be the following things:

  • I’d make sure that every SharePoint project included the business users and business sponsors, and not just technical resources. I’d want a diverse team, right at the top of my list.
  • I’d clarify the licensing. 
  • I’d make it super-easy to jazz up a SharePoint website. If you want some really fancy SharePoint website, you have to know things like CSS. I’m not a web designer so I’m not going to go there.
  • SharePoint has a broad skill set of skills in setting it up; it’s an architecture project, not just a Business Intelligence project. I’d like that message to get across. 

Since SharePoint is delivered as a website, that makes it look deceptively easy.  Don’t be fooled. It’s sharing information, so the information assets need to be secured and controlled as with other information stores.  Over my ten years, I’ve struggled with security, identity delegation, and authentication. If you’re thinking “well, that’s easy” then you’re blessed that you didn’t see the earlier kerfuffle in trying to sort it out! So, I was very glad to see that Kay Unkroth and an amazing team of Technical Reviewers have put together a white paper entitled Microsoft BI Authentication and Identity Delegation

I come at SharePoint from a SQL Server angle; in other words, from the data up.   I recommend this white paper since there is a lot here about connecting to various data sources, and the SQL Server expert will find this very useful. There’s also references to custom user references. For the SQL Server Business Intelligence reader, there’s a lot of information about enabling personal, team and enterprise Business Intelligence from the architecture perspective, and this will prove useful to you for your SharePoint 2013 projects.

I strongly recommend that you read this paper. Sometimes I think people assume Business Intelligence is just about pretty pictures (sigh). However, to make the reports, dashboards and so on happen in SharePoint, you’re not waving a magic wand. Magic needs to happen under the hood. Unkroth’s white paper will help to demystify the complexities for you. I really wish we’d had all this information earlier.

I’ve spent many nights working with SharePoint to make things happen for my Business Intelligence customers. However, it does seem to me that the thinking at Microsoft is becoming more ‘joined up’ and I’m glad to see a diverse range of technical authors who have helped to make this paper happen.

I love what I’ve seen SharePoint do for customers over the years, and I look forward to working with it for the next ten.

Spanish Error when Installing SharePoint 2013 Server on a VM

I’m in the process of installing SharePoint Server 2013 on a VMWare machine, with Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1.  After I’ve installed all the pre-requisites, I start to install the server itself. That’s when I get a cute Spanish error message:

In case you need more detail, it says:

Error 1335. El archivo.CAV “Proof.CAB” que se necesita para esta
instalacon esta danado o no se puede usar. Esto puede indicar un error de 
red, un error al leer desde el CD-ROM, o un problema con esta paquete.

Hopefully that’s more ‘search engine’ friendly than the image.

I don’t speak Spanish, but I can tell you that it simply means that the VM can’t see your CD drive properly. Super easy to fix. All I did, was use the *.ISO file as the CD drive, and you can see how to do this in the image below:

Once you do this, you can proceed to install SharePoint 2013. Good luck!