Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.
Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.

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MMC – Monitor SharePoint in Real-Time

The Microsoft Management Console has been around for years, since Windows NT 3.5 I believe, and it is a great tool.   Recently I helped create a custom .MSC file to watch SharePoint’s “heartbeat” in real-time and had a lot of fun with the results so I’ll share them here.

First, the beautiful end product: 

bueno.msc

Scope: Windows Server 2003 + MOSS 2007

How did we do it?

  1. Start Run “mmc.exe”   (this opens Author mode)
  2. Add Snap In (Ctrl+M)
  3. Click “Add” button
  4. Select “ActiveX Control” and click “Add”
  5. Select “System Monitor Control” and click “Next”
  6. Give it a name (i.e.  “Current Web Connections”) and click “Finish”

Feel free to repeat #3 to #6 to add multiple nodes to the tree.   This way you can monitor more than one metric across the farm.  With the left hand tree complete you are now ready.

Customize each node with:

  • Perfmon counters
  • Servers
  • Colors
  • Chart scale

Simply right click in the blank space, choose “Add Counter”, and follow the steps you would just like in Perfmon.exe     I personally like to add the same counter for each server in my farm so that on one chart I can see, for example, all of the CPU usage on all machines.

Once you’re pleased with the look and feel click “File Save As” and give a filename for the .MSC

You can now open multiple instances (windows) and tile them across the screen to have a real-time view of SharePoint’s “heartbeat” across all the web front ends in your farm.   

Why do I need this?

  • Establish a performance baseline (what is normal CPU?  during the work day?  at night during scheduled jobs?)
  • Troubleshoot a broken server (easily see differences)
  • Become more familiar with the impact of a topology design  (slow crawls = 100% CPU?)
  • It looks really cool, trust me!
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Hide the “Powered By InfoPath” logo

In working with InfoPath Forms Services in MOSS 2007 I found that the web based form experience is great.  And I like InfoPath but even I don’t want a logo bumper sticker to stare at all day.

By editing “ifsmain.css” on the SharePoint web front end’s 12 hive you can override the system styling to hide this element.   The IE developer toolbar helped me find the CSS class (ToolbarBranding) to add the “display:none” attribute.  Screen shot below. 

Open-mouthed

 

C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12TEMPLATELAYOUTSINCifsmain.css

 

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Workflow History – Event Type Numbers Decoded

On a SharePoint site’s hidden Workflow History list you might stumble across some strange numbers.  The Event Type is used to store a numeric value and below I’ve listed what each means in plain English.

These map to Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow.SPWorkflowHistoryEventType which contains their values in Visual Studio for developers.

Unfortunately MSDN does not list the numeric values for use by power users to create filtered views in the browser.   However, I have them here:

 

Number Event Type
0 None
6 TaskCompleted
5 TaskCreated
9 TaskDeleted
7 TaskModified
8 TaskRolledBack
3 WorkflowCancelled
11 WorkflowComment
2 WorkflowCompleted
4 WorkflowDeleted
10 WorkflowError
1 WorkflowStarted

 

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MOVIE – Awesome Admin Grid Scripts

Following up on my earlier post about the popularity of VBScript.  Again, I love new technology but we sometimes need the older tools to “git r done” today.   Please watch the 18 minute screen cast video for a real demo of each script.  Also, the download is available right here:

  SharePoint Dashboard.zip

   Vimeo – Watch Now

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This demo covers my “dashboard” and “grid” script collection.

  • Explore C$
  • Free disk
  • GAC listing
  • Grid install apps
  • Grid file version
  • Grid windows service
  • Grid SPN
  • Grid WMI query
  • HOSTS compare
  • Kerberos (NTAuthenticationProvider)
  • Registry get/push
  • Web.config compare
  • WMI reboot

The design is simple yet powerful.  Drag and drop (noun to verb) from server to script.  Examples: 

  • explore c$ on these 5 machines 
  • push this reg key to 6 machines
  • compare windows services on these 12 machines
  • show me the Kerberos settings for these 7 machines

I began this family of short and simple VBS scripts back when I first deployed MOSS to production and have built them up over the years.  They have completely changed the way I work.  No more slow implementation.  No more uncertainty about configs.   Implement change quickly, spend your time on the whiteboard, and be 100% sure the configs are consistent across the board … every time.

Please take 5 minutes to watch the below video and glance over the screenshots.  Then download the ZIP and build your own RDP files for your servers.   If you find this useful or write new scripts please leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.   I’m always  looking for ways to improve.  Thanks for reading.

© Copyright 2016
@ SPJeff

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