SP2013 Newsfeed/ActivityFeed … experience learned

One thing I continually re-learn in this business is that you cannot be too careful or too simple when trying to trouble-shoot issues. I recently built a new SharePoint 2013 farm to get my working bits up to the released build (RTM). After setting up the User Profile service, the My Site host, Search, and a couple of web applications (including communities), I started reviewing social features.

When navigating to a user’s personal site, which I had cleverly and originally configured as http://my, I was getting the standard page that indicated that the site was being created:



So I patiently waited… and waited… and waited. At this point (2 full days later) it was time to start digging in to see what was going on. Using ULS Viewer, I attached to the real-time ULS feed (File..Open From..ULS) and filtered on “Category contains Personal”.

The first thing I noted was:

<date/time> w3wp.exe (0x2668)    0x1A80    SharePoint Portal Server    Personal Site Instantiation    af1lc    High    Skipping creation of personal site from MySitePersonalSiteUpgradeOnNavigationWebPart::CreatePersonalSite() because one or more of the creation criteria has not been met. [SPWeb Url=http://my/Person.aspx?accountname=CONTOSO\user5]  http://my/Person.aspx?accountname=CONTOSO\user5]Self-Service Site Creation == False  Can Create Personal Site == True  Is user licensed == True  Storage&Social UPA Permission == True  Site or Page or Web Part is in design mode == False      c7d7de9b-bf6b-1084-5706-a8b8f278e6c3

So there’s a big clue right there regarding Self Service Site Creation. I had created my MySite web application without enabling self-service site creation. My first re-learn is to read the documentation:


It’s quite clear within the docs that you need to enable self-service site creation on your MySite web application. I just made an assumption that this was done by default. (and yes, I know what assume does)

After correcting the self-service site creation option, I noticed that my personal sites were still not being created.


Further investigation of the ULS entries showed the following:

<date/time> OWSTIMER.EXE (0x1838)    0x14A0    SharePoint Portal Server    Personal Site Instantiation    ogsj    High    Exception while creating personal site: () for (CONTOSO\user7): (Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.PersonalSiteCreateConfigurationException: A failure was encountered while attempting to create the site, wildcard inclusion used to create personal sites does not exist.     <callstack removed for brevity>

So the next thing to correct was the wildcard inclusion for ‘personal’ in the MySite web application. However, while looking into this I did notice one other anomaly:

<date/time> OWSTIMER.EXE (0x1838)    0x14A0    SharePoint Portal Server    Personal Site Instantiation    ogso    Medium    [Processing] CreatePersonalSite: Testing for personal site: (http://my/my/personal/user5) for user: (CONTOSO\user5).    947fdf9b-6fdd-1084-5706-a755a3e35b43

Notice the URL above… http://my/my/personal/user5. After re-checking the User Profile Service Application and the MySite properties, the Personal Site Location was set (by default) to “my/personal”. After altering that to just “personal”, then I was able to create personal sites successfully.

So, the things to keep in mind about getting your Newsfeed and Activity Feeds configured and setup:

  1. Enable Self-Service Site Creation on your MySite web application
  2. Add the wildcard inclusion managed path for your personal site location
  3. Verify the personal site location that is configured in your User Profile Service Application
  4. RTFM – read the freakin’ manual


Final ULS entry:

<date/time> OWSTIMER.EXE (0x1838)    0x17AC    SharePoint Portal Server    Personal Site Instantiation    ogvo    Medium    Personal site successfully created for user: (CONTOSO\user7) at (http://my/personal/user7). Note: The UserProfile properties may not take effect till the DbChangePoll timer runs.    c880df9b-2f6a-1084-5706-a3beff2027a1




*NOTE: The observant among you may notice that the screenshots above and the ULS entries reflect different users – User5 and User 7. This is because the data that I used for this blog entry was gathered over different days and different users for the purposes of reproductions.

Comments (1)
  1. Julian says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Brian. It was very insightful

Comments are closed.

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