Some replies on previous comments to my blog

I don't know what the heck is up with the blog service here, but I can't for the life of me, get it set to allow me to even reply and post additional follow up comments to the comments left on my postings.  No matter what I set (Even at the post level) it still blocks any more posts.

So!  I'll utilize this post to reply to those comments that were sitting there for a few months (Sorry guys!) 

If any other fellow msdn bloggers knows what's up, lemme' know.

I also ensured that the the comment alerts will get fired off to me know when there is something there.

First and foremost, there were a great deal of comments basically saying the same thing.

"Hi... I've been trying to download the Utility Suite, but the download at is broken… after I click the Accept button on the EULA page (after clicking Download Now), the following error is displayed:

An error occurred on the server when processing the URL. Please contact the system administrator."

That was a big pain and load of email to our internal alias on this. And it really stank for along time.  I believe they FINALLY got that fixed, as I have not heard any more comments or gripes, complaints, etc on it for a very long time πŸ™‚

Ok, here we go the good stuff....

Comments on

SharePoint Utility Suite 2.1 - Coming Soon

The original comment:

"Although this may not be in the spirit of why the utils have been offered (programming to the Sharepoint objectmodel), I was wondering - is there a utility similar to SPExportWebFiles but that works directly from the SQL Server database only?

Several of our clients have asked for a utility that for disaster recovery could retrieve files stored in document libraries from the actual SQL Server database without having SharePoint running.

Scenario:  Server crash; restore SQL database to another database server but WSS is not running; use a utility that can directly read the blogs/structures inside the SQL database and extract files.

This would provide a failsafe way to recover data even if one cannot immediately re-install/reconfigure WSS environment in full. "


Saturday, February 11, 2006 3:14 AM by Robert Spivack

In Reply:


I've seen a couple of tools floating around that will do this.  They may have been internal tools, but I'll see what I can find, and post back here once I do.  I certainly understand the situation.


Speaking of SPExportWebFiles

Someone recently asked me if I knew of anything that would do the reverse of this, i.e. Point to directory/folder on the disk, and import the files and folders into a SharePoint document library.  I thought about it a bit, and actually implemented something in SPSiteBuilder to do this (It's going through some cool changes right now, and will be in the next release of the Utility Suite.)  It will create all the nested folders for you in the document library and suck in the files.   You can accomplish the same thing using Explorer View, but I could see a need to automate this within an automated service or something.

Comments on

SharePoint User Migration Training

The original comment:

"Keith - I have responsibility for migrations at a large corporation. I will attend any training you can muster on this topic. Is there a projected date? "

Saturday, January 07, 2006 4:20 AM by Sean Fraser

In Reply:

This is becoming a reality now.  I'll be posting small articles here on some basic tasks (Basically using SPUserUtil duh :))

But I'm also working on some courseware to cover the steps needed to migrate users.  This course will cover all kinds of scenarios (And the problems encountered!) and what you have to do with SharePoint to make it right, BUT (And here's the catch!) without using SPUserUtil.

The reason I'm going to cover everything without using SPUserUtil, is so that you understand how to do it completely with the services provided with the products. (i.e., without the need to use an unsupported tool :)).  Once that is knocked out, I'll go through the process of automating it all with SPUserUtil as in the basic outline in the posting this comment was on. 

I'm still encountering more new scenarios almost on a daily basis with folks migrating accounts, so I imagine it could turn into a full week course including labs, etc.  (In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I started working with Marcus Hass on a migration scenario, and he did a pretty cool post on it here. In this scenario, we've discovered a couple of environmental issues that we're still working through. 

Bottom line, is the tool is still doing exactly what it's supposed to do, but depending on the health of your servers, it can make you think SPUserUtil is broken, when in fact, it's just calls to the migration APIs that are failing which causes SPUserUtil to choke.  (Yeah, I'm updating and adding some additional exception handling to it now to help identify these problems).  You need to understand and be able to handle those situations.  If your environment is cool, SPUserUtil (And just using the OOB STSADM, and Portal APIs) work like a champ!

I hope to make this a MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) course, and will definitely let folks know if that comes to fruition.

You can see some of the basic articles I'm talking about at the following links:

The projected date is "When I can finish it :)".  But I'm working through my new manager and my new organization to make it a reality.  Stay tuned for details!

The original comment:

"This done yet? I could use it."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 10:21 AM by Jeff"

In Reply:

See Above πŸ™‚

Comments on

SharePoint Fairies

The original comment:

"Nice Kids and good idea...

Have a nice day. "

Luis Du Solier G Mexican SharePoint Fan"

In Reply:


Thanks!  They're my pride and joy πŸ™‚ 

I told myself I was going to stick to technical content on this blog but I just can't resist this plug πŸ™‚

For an update to the SharePoint Fairies, check this out!

Comments on

SPUserUtil and SPSiteManager download location

The original comment:

"Just curious if you have seen Mike Fitz's post on accessing the database directly: 

I ask this since I've looked at the SPSiteManager code and noticed that it is accessing the database directly. "

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 11:24 AM by Mark Mascolino

In Reply:


Yes, I am fully aware of that article, and Mike's comments should still be applied.  In this case, the Object Model does not offer any way to determine what content database that a given site actually lives in.  I would have never done it were not for the following reasons:

  • This tool was written initially to detect a specific problem, and offer the option to users to repartition the sites.
  • We ran this on mirrors of our own internal portal servers to ensure it would work without impact.

Trust me, I'm a BIG proponent of exactly what Mike is speaking on.  There were many times where I saw it would be easier to just SELECT against the database than to do what I'm doing in most of my tools, and I will always lean hard right on sticking to the OM.  That's the whole point of the SharePoint Utility Suite πŸ™‚

I worked through the product group to determine if there was an OM way to do this, and there just wasn't.

I'm emailing myself a reminder now, to ensure I include this in the SPSiteManager document.

The original comment:

"Another question, what is the software license associated with the SharePoint Utility Suite bundle?"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 3:33 AM by Mark Mascolino

In Reply:

The END USER LICENSE is presented to you when you select the tool suite from the download site.

The Documentation in the entire SharePoint Utility Suite also states the following:

The source code examples provided in this package are delivered β€œAS-IS”.  Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose.  These samples assume that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs. If you have limited programming experience, you may want to contact a Microsoft Certified Partner or the Microsoft fee-based consulting line at (800) 936-5200.  For more information about Microsoft Certified Partners, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:

The original comment:

"Hi Keith,
I searching the net for anything about how WSS resolves/looks up userinformation/display name when you add a user to a site. Sometimes it seems that it grabs it from AD, but then again sometimes not?!?! Sometimes it look like the client cached the info for some users?!?
This means on the same site I experience that the displayname is "Steen Molberg" and others like "DELTA\stemolbe".
I can't find any clear info on this, only that you metions a "mapping file" here on Sharepoint Thoughts

Hope you can help me out. Thanks! "

Monday, January 02, 2006 8:53 AM by Steen Molberg

In Reply:

Hey Steen, check out the following two posts I just made this morning πŸ™‚

I'll be doing a bit more inside explanations of what your talking about in an upcoming post.  But the two postings above give you some of that info.

Once again, sorry guys for not seeing these comments before!  I got just a tad bit busy over the last few months πŸ™‚ Then took on a new job, so I'm just now getting back into the swing of things πŸ™‚


 - Keith Richie

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