Archive for November, 2011

4 Things to Look for in a SharePoint Consultant

Written by Sean Wallbridge. Posted in Internet, itgroove, Rants, SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Victoria, Victoria, Web Litter

Where do you first look for an outsourced IT/SharePoint provider? That’s a question a lot of business owners and managers don’t know how to answer, and it’s not their fault. After all, if you don’t know a great deal about technology – and why should you, when you have a company to run? – Then how do you go about finding the right team to help with yours?

Too many clients choose an IT consultant based on a logo, an advertisement, or a half-hearted recommendation, when what they really need is someone who can help grow their business. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can always tell just from looking at a picture or having a short conversation.

Because having your business technology work the way it’s supposed to can be an extremely important factor in keeping your company profitable, we’d like to offer a bit of insight that can help you choose the right outsourced IT or SharePoint provider. Here are four things to look for in a consultant:

A willingness to listen, and an understanding of what you want to accomplish as an organization.

Good IT isn’t just about hardware and software; it’s about helping your client use those things to accomplish real-world goals. In order to give you the most value for your money, a good IT provider will learn about what you really want to do before making any recommendations, so that they can help you meet those targets quickly, efficiently, and with the lowest total expense. @itgroove, we pride ourselves on our ability to listen.

Lots of happy clients.

There’s no guarantee that just because lots of other clients are happy with an IT provider that you will be, too, but it sure does increase the odds. At a minimum, lots of satisfied customers show you that your new IT provider is responsive and committed to customer service – something you will definitely appreciate the first time you have a major challenge with your technology. @itgroove, we strive for happy clients and they tell us about it – See the itgroove Testimonials

A bottom-line view of technology.

As we mentioned, it’s not all about having the right equipment, and certainly not the latest and greatest (or most expensive) piece of hardware or software you can find. A good outsourced IT provider won’t always recommend that you buy the newest thing, or the one that costs the most. Instead, they’ll take a look at all the options, consider your situation and budget, and find the solution that’s most appropriate, reliable, and affordable.

What does this all add up to? It’s technical expertise and an understanding of your company’s technology, but it’s also a blend of patience and a practical perspective. In other words, when you are choosing an outsourced IT provider, look beyond equipment certifications and try to choose an IT firm that can help you reach all of your goals, not just keep your computers running.

Learn more about itgroove.

Access Denied to a site collection, even to SharePoint Site Collection Administrators

Written by Sean Wallbridge. Posted in SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010

This is now the second time I’ve seen this, but it is still a rarity and you should only do the following in extreme circumstances once you’ve determined it isn’t something else.

The Problem

A SharePoint Farm is humming along nicely when WHAM! all of a sudden you can’t login to your SharePoint Web Application, yet Central Admin is probably fine. No errors to speak of, no evidence of tampering. Access Denied for everyone including Site Collection Administrators.

The Reason

In our case it wasn’t clear. For the one customer, there is a “rogue SharePoint Admin” that we could easily lay blame on, but we won’t, at least out loud… ;). But my other instinct, based on the fact/timing of when it occurred (our http monitoring caught the almost exact time of the failure *and* backups were in the thick of it at the time) is that either running a file system backup somehow thwacked it, or antivirus, or a combination of the two (one of them locks the file and chaos ensues…).

Stooopid Antivirus Grumble Backup Snarl Software.

The Solution

So in our case, the database was actually AOK.

The solution was to:

  1. Delete the web application (but not the content database)
  2. Recreate the web application and reattach the content database(s)

Now the above is super-simplifying it, so let’s add a little more detail, to ensure nothing is missed

  1. Backup your Content Database(s) just in case you tick the wrong box Winking smile
  2. Take an inventory of all the web application customizations (or refer to your notes, you do have good notes right?)
  • General Settings
  • Managed Paths
  • Customizations in the web.config (hell, you should be backing up that too before you do what I’m suggesting, hint)
  • Attached content databases
  1. Once you know you have everything to recreate the web application, delete it (but do not delete the databases)
  2. Do an IISRESET for good measure
  3. Recreate the Web Application and using that handy inventory you took, get everything back to a working state. When you create the web application, you can specify the existing database and simply reattach any others after the fact

Happy Hunting!