Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Understanding, Designing, and Implementing Big Data Solutions in Azure


I am writing this blog post to point to an important published article from Microsoft Patterns and Practices Team on understanding, designing and implementing Big Data Solution on Windows Azure using HDInsight.

Want to know what is big data ? what is being used for ? Do you have a need for it ? what is the best scenarios to think about adopting to big data tools?
The answer for these questions are covered under the first section of Understanding Big Data on below link:

Second section of this article is covering how to design a scalable big data solutions in Azure platform using HDInsight. Would you use big data to explore your data and extract patterns, Apply BI techniques, Build ETL integration tools, Automation data processes all are covered on below link:

Third section of this article is covering how to using Azure as PaaS to implement your Big Data Solution using HDInsight including how to provision your first Hadoop cluster node and all required configurations for storing your big data files, build end-to-end solutions and visualizing your data:

Hope this helps!


Friday, June 13, 2014

How to: Create ASP.NET MVC Authentication tables in an existing database

Hi All,

I am writing this blog post to show how to migrate or move the standard MVC authentication tables into your existing database in your web application.

When you create a MVC web application in VS 2013, VS embed a sql server database in your project, and this project is being used as a source of membership. Since you will not use this database as an embedded file and you want to have it as part of your existing database in SQL Server instance. The file is created under App_Data folder. To see the .mdf file click on Show all files in the solution explorer.
You can see the contents of this database and all tables in the server explorer window.

How to create those tables in SQL server ?

First, you can delete the .mdf file in App_Data folder. Since we don't need any of these tables.Then, we need to update the default connection string in the web.config to point to our database.

    <add name="DefaultConnection" connectionString="Data Source=SERVER\INSTANCENAME;Initial Catalog=DBNAME;Integrated Security=True" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

Third, Open Nuget Package Manager and write the following commands:

Add-Migration Init

Check out your database, all ASP.NET membership tables with Prefix Asp have been create and then you can test it out by running your application and execute membership actions such as Signing up or Signing in to your application.

Created tables after running above commands:

Hope this helps.


-- ME

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Getting started with Solr for .NET architects & developers - part 1

Hi folks,

I am writing this blog post to provide some tips and insights on using open source search technologies such as Solr in your solutions and applications.

Here are my notes:
1) Solr is an open source search server product. It is free and one of the most trusted, mature search products in the market.

2) Solr uses lucene, lucene is the heart of Solr search server product. Lucene is the full text service or component that is used in Solr which provides all search, index and queries capabilities.

3) Lucene is a java based library to create, manage, and retrieve inverted index files.

4) Inverted index is a specialized data structure by Lucene to handle queries to text based documents.

5) Using full text feature that is available in some DBMS is not a replacement for Solr, Solr provides advanced search, query and ranking capabilities.

6) Solr provides on top of lucene full text capability the following features: pagination, sorting, faceting, auto-suggest, spell checker, hit highlighting, data modeling, grouping, and standard http API to integrate with your solutions.

7) Each Solt server has only one home, the path of the home is $SolrInstallation/example/solr, where $SolrInstallation is the path where you installed solr binaries.

8) Each Solr server can contain more than 1 core, each core contains its index data and configuration.

9) Solr web application is stored under solr.web folder which contains all servelts, html and js files.

10) Solr is running on Jetty as an application server. Google is using Jetty in its App Engine platform.

Hope this helps.

References: Solr in Action

Friday, April 25, 2014

Unable to retrieve metadata for unrecognized element 'providers' when adding a controller in VS 2013


I was trying to add a new controller in my project using Visual Studio 2013. I was using Code First Entity Framework for my data access. I tried to build and clean the project few times before adding the new controller; but still was getting this error message when  adding a new controller to my web api project.

Here is the error message:

The solution is the following:
1) Open the web.config file in your project.
2) Scroll down until you see entity framework section.
3) This is how it will be looking:

    <defaultConnectionFactory type="System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.LocalDbConnectionFactory, EntityFramework">
        <parameter value="v11.0" />
      <provider invariantName="System.Data.SqlClient" type="System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer" />

4) Remove the providers section.
5) Save and you will be able to add new controllers!

Hope this helps!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Error when running web applications that reference SharePoint dlls in IIS Express

Hi All,

I was developing a web application that reference SharePoint 2013 dlls, and since SharePoint server dlls in general runs on a 64 bit environment, i want to use IIS express in Visual Studio 2013 without the need to use full local IIS that runs on 64 bit.

I was getting this error message when i am running my web application:

Could not load file or assembly or one of its dependencies. 

and i was seeing in the yellow error page that the VS 2013 is using IIS express under c:\ program files (86)\ IIS Express folder which is the 32 bit.

I want to switch IIS express to 64 bit so i will be able to run my web application that references 64 bit SharePoint dlls. here is the solution for this:

From Visual Studio 2013 IDE:

Click on :  Tools --> Options --> Projects and Solutions --> Web Projects  --> Use the 64 bit version of IIS Express --> check this checkbox and save.

Once you save, make sure you exit any instance of the IIS express and try to re-run your project! It will run with no issues!


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

How to add a required field validator in SharePoint 2013 Application Pages using HTML5

Hi All,

I was developing a custom application page in SharePoint 2013, while adding all my controls in the custom application page i wanted to add a required field validator to a textbox control.

As a .NET developer, you will find the normal action is to add a required field validator to your page, which basically works, but in this post i want to show you that you can easily incorporate HTML5 validation attributes in SharePoint 2013 pages!!

In HTML5, you can add an attribute called required to any control, which tells the browser that this control is a required control.

<%@ Register TagPrefix="spuc" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls"
             Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<spuc:InputFormTextBox ID="txtName" runat="server" class="ms-input"
      Title="Full Name" TextMode="SingleLine" Columns="40" required />

Adding a required attribute to your markup control will flag this control as a required control in your SharePoint page.

You can apply any other HTML5 validation attribute and it will render correctly in any SharePoint Page with no additional setup.

Here is a cool blog about how to apply HTML5 validation types into input control:



Working Tips with SPWebConfigModification Class in SharePoint 2013

Hi Folks,

I was working on updating a SharePoint web.config programmatically in SharePoint 2013 Farm Solution. Applying web.config modifications in SharePoint is straight forward task by adding the modifications into a collection of the web application and then submit your changes.

Since this class is poorly documented, I was trying to update a specific web application web.config and not all web.config in this farm. all the code samples in MSDN and other blogs don't provide a necessary understanding how it works so before taking the MSDN code and apply it into your feature or wsp you should know the following essential tips:

1) You can apply your web config modifications either on the web application level or the content service level which affects all web config files in your farm.

2) When your code has the following line of code, this means that the changes will be taken effect into all web applications in the farm:

SPWebApplication webApp = new SPSite('siteUrl').WebApplication;

Even though you are using a web application object, but this code will update all web.config files, which you should avoid when you apply solutions unless you are applying Farm updates.

3) If you want to update a specific web application web.config:

SPWebApplication webApp = new SPSite('siteUrl').WebApplication;
WebApp.Update();  // update specific web.config for this web application

line #3 will only update the web.config for a specific web application and not all unlike

Hope this helps!

1) Add or remove entries in web.config programmatically:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Developer Dashboard doesn't show for anonymous users in SharePoint 2013

Hi All,

I was working on a public SharePoint site and i wanted to enabled the developer dashboard utility. I Ran the following powershell command to enable the developer dashboard:

Turn On Developer Dashboard Powershell Command:

$content = ([Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService)
$appsetting =$content.DeveloperDashboardSettings
$appsetting.DisplayLevel = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPDeveloperDashboardLevel]::On

**If you want to turn it off, just change the On flag to Off and you are good.

After that, I was able to see the developer dashboard icon in the Central Administration site but not on my public SharePoint site.

So basically, I found that you have to grant permissions for anonymous users to access this utility since it is not accessible for anonymous users even if the utility is enabled.

How to enable Developer Dashboard for anonymous users:

$contentService = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$dashboardSettings = $contentService.DeveloperDashboardSettings
$dashboardSettings.RequiredPermissions = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions]::EmptyMask

By default, the required permissions property for the developer dashboard utility is "AddAndCustomizePages" which is available for authenticated users who have this permission, so you need to changed it to no permissions by setting the value to EmptyMask which means in SharePoint permissions world no permissions are needed.

Note: This is a good technique while you are developing, testing and in the user acceptance test phase of any SharePoint implementation project. when you don't need this utility it is strongly recommended to turn it off on production environment.

Hope this helps!

1) SharePoint base permissions:

The memory usage on the current server is about {0}. This can cause the eviction or throttling of the Distributed Cache Service


After enabling the usage and data collection service in SharePoint 2013, i was getting the following warning in windows event log:

The SharePoint Health Analyzer detected a condition requiring your attention.  The Current server is running low on memory.
The memory usage on the current server is about {0}. This can cause the eviction or throttling of the Distributed Cache Service/
Check the memory usage on the machine.And try to free up some memory or add more ram on the machine. For more information about this rule, see "".

How to tackle this memory consumption and performance issue in SharePoint 2013:

First, if in you are not utilizing the document activities, feeds or micro-blogging services in SharePoint so it is recommended to stop the Distributed Cache Service. this will give you a great performance boost in your box.

To get an understanding of the benefits of Distributed Cache Service in SharePoint read this TechNet post- Section "Benefits of Distributed Cache":

Second, you can minimize the number of days you want to store SharePoint logs on the disk to free up some space. here is the steps:
1) Open Central Administration,
2) Click on Monitoring.
3) Under Reporting, Click on Configure diagnostic logging.
4) Scroll down to Trace log, where you can change the number of days to store log files from 14 to 5 days or you can specify the size of the log files in GB which gives you control over the size of these growing files.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

RegisterSod is undefined

Hi folks,

I ran into an issue when i was working on a SharePoint hosted app, when the application loads it keeps throwing errors in the IE development tool that "RegisterSod is undefined".

I was deploying the application to the following site url:


The cause of this problem is that i didn't have a site in the root site collection, so i opened the Central Administration and created a site collection for the same web application that i am using to deploy my SharePoint apps to "appCatalog" site.

Re-deployed my application! it works!

Hope this helps!

-- ME

SharePoint Hosted App keeps prompting the username and password in SharePoint 2013

Hi All,

I was deploying a SharePoint Hosted App on my on-premise SharePoint 2013 Development VM and i was getting the Windows login window and it keeps prompting the username and password, then after 3 times the page goes blank with no errors or content in the default page.

After searching and trying different things, the fix wasn't not just to disable the loopback check in the registry that i had already as a DWORD 64 bit entry that is required to Crawl external SharePoint public websites.

The fix was to delete the DWORD 64 bit and replace it with 32 bit and the application starts instantiate with no issues and it starts working!.

Hope this tip helps.

Enjoy SharePointing!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to get the url for a SharePoint EndPoint hosted in a Service Application

Hi All,

This blog post is for SharePoint exposed EndPoints through Service Applications. If you are developing or deploying a custom Service Application in SharePoint 2010/2013 and you are exposing a WCF EndPoint Service EndPoint through the service application this blog post is helping you how to identify and get the Url for the exposed WCF EndPoint.

You need to test and make sure that the service application is working properly before checking any client application or webpart code that is consuming or integrating with this endpoint. Specially, if your endpoint might be having issues related to assembly dependencies or missing files that causes the service application to throw exceptions when it is being called from the client applications.

When you develop a service application in VS 2012/2013, the service application creates an application pool in the IIS, since you give it a name when you install it, and this expose a service instance where you can access it through a url!

To develop Service application for SharePoint 2010/2013, I strongly recommend this starter kit since it gives you a lot of ground work is done for you and you just need to code your logic in it.

Great shout out to Adam Toth !

So the question that needs an answer is:

What is the Url for the exposed WCF end point service that is hosted in a SharePoint Service Application?

1) You need to know the Service Application GUID that is installed in your farm, to do this Open SharePoint PowerShell and write below cmdlet:

Get-SPServiceApplication | select id,name

This will list all deployed service applications and provides the Service Application GUIDs.

2) Open IIS Manager, Expand SharePoint Web Services.
3) Look for the GUID that is associated with your service application.
4) Select the your endpoint and click on the browse from the IIS manager right pane.
5) Add the endpoint name "WcfEndPoint.svc" to the url !



Monday, February 03, 2014

Web Part or Web Form Control on this Page cannot be displayed or imported. while adding a custom webpart in SharePoint 2013

Hi All,

I was developing a custom SharePoint web part for SharePoint 2013 using VS 2013, after i deployed the wsp and when i was adding the web part, i was getting the following error message:

Web Part or Web Form Control on this Page cannot be displayed or imported. The type could not be found or it is not registered as safe.

This is a common SharePoint error when you try to load custom user controls (or Visual Web Parts) into a SharePoint page. 

Any custom control has to be added as a safe control in SharePoint, before VS 2013 we used to add entries in the site web.config or code to add the safe control either programmatically to the site. but you do not need to do this in Visual Studio 2013 since it has a tool to add safe controls through a UI by specifying the namespace and the type and your control will be loaded with no issues or errors.

In VS 2013, follow these steps:

1) Double click on the package item.
2) Under Advanced tab.
3) If the custom control exists in an assembly so when you add the assembly that contains your user control click on add safe control button and specify your assembly & type for their user control.
Or even if the custom control is contained in a project within your solution, so when you add the project output in the package explorer UI, you can still add the user control as a safe control by specifying the namespace and type fields.

4) Safe the changes, build and deploy.
5) Refresh the SharePoint page.
6) Add your custom web part and you will not get the error message.


Transform XML using XSLT document to HTML output in IE

Hi All,

I was developing a JavaScript function that takes an xml document for a HTTP response and i want to transform it to HTML in my page or web part (in SharePoint world).

I had code that uses transformNode that is not supported by IE anymore starting from version 9 and i am using IE 11.

Actually, i spend a quite number of hours to find out what is the best way to load an XML document and transform it using a XSLT file into a HTML output in IE 11 since i was getting different errors.

You will find a lot of posts/blogs are referring to this code snippet to transform xml using xslt file in IE:

var xml = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM"); 
var xslt = new ActiveXObject("MSXML2.FreeThreadedDOMDocument");

var processor   = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XSLTemplate");
processor.stylesheet = xslt;

var objXSLTProc = processor.createProcessor();
objXSLTProc.input = xml;
var output  = objXSLTProc.output;

Above code doesn't work in IE 11, for 2 reasons:
1) IE 11 doesn't support load method! you have to use loadXML instead.
2) you have to get the string representations of both xml and xslt to be able to use loadXML and then process the output.

Here is the code snippet that works with IE 11:

function transformXml(xml)

var loadedXslt = LoadXSLTDocumentInIE("myxslt.xslt");

  // Load the XML Document
  var xmlDoc = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.DOMDocument.3.0");
  xmlDoc.async = false;
  xmlDoc.resolveExternals = false;
  xmlDoc.loadXML((new XMLSerializer()).serializeToString(xml));
   console.log(xmlDoc.parseError.reason); // for debugging, to make sure there is no errors after loading the document.

    // Load the XSL file
    var xslt = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XSLTemplate");
    var xslDoc = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.FreeThreadedDOMDocument");
    xslDoc.async = false;
    xslt.stylesheet = xslDoc;

    var xslProc = xslt.createProcessor();
    xslProc.input = xmlDoc;
    return xslProc.output;


// function to load XSLT document by name, this document has to be accessible through the web browser.
function loadXSLTDocumentInIE(fileName) {
   xhttp = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
   try {
        xhttp.responseType = "msxml-document";
    } catch (e) {
        //console.log("couldn't set the response type msxml in IE");
    }"GET", fileName, false);
    return xhttp;

This code works like a champ in IE 11 :)

Hope this helps.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to get the Query String value in SharePoint 2013 Search Results page

Hi All,

I was working to customize the search results web part by customizing the Search Result Display Item template and the Item Hover Panel as well.
If you want to read more about how to customize the search display templates read below blog post:

I was trying to get a value of the query string that SharePoint 2013 passes once you hit enter in the Search Box, and since this control doesn't have an ID, I decided to pull the value from the query string that has a key "K".

After i developed this scenario, I found that SharePoint if you ran another search keyword for the second time, It would append the newer keyword with anchor (#) and will keep the old search keyword in the query string with key "K"

For example, When you run the search for the first time with keyword "copyright":


If you changed the search keyword to "digital", here is the new url would be:


In my case, i want to get the "digital" and not "copyright" keyword so i want to parse the Url and get the latest search keyword. Here is the code to accomplish this:

This code i wrote it in the outer div element of the body of your display template html file.

Note: You can use this variable "sParam" as you like in the Display Template html file.

Hope this helps.

-- ME

Customize SharePoint 2013 Search Display Templates

Hi Folks,

In this post i will show how to customize SharePoint 2013 Display Templates and specifically the Search Templates.

In SharePoint 2013, you can customize the search results web part by editing the configuration of the web part. but if you want to customize the rendered output/layout in this case you need to use SharePoint Designer 2013 or any HTML editor to customize the search result item or the hover panel.

How to customize the search result item in Search Results web part:

1) From Site Settings page, Click on Master Pages and Page Layouts.
2) Click on Display Templates, This folder contains all SharePoint 2013 Display Templates.
3) You will find wide range of folders under Display Templates, Since we need to customize the search display template, click on Search Folder.
4) You need to find 2 items in this list, here are these files we need to download a copy of them:
5) Select these 2 files and download a copy of them. DO NOT SELECT THE .JS files with the same name. We do not need them, they will be created for us!

6) Once you select both files, click on any little arrow beside the file title and click on Download a copy.
7) Copy these file and rename them so this will be your customized template to be associated with the search results web parts.

For example: let us call them: Item_Default_Custom.html , Item_Default_HoverPanel_Custom.html

7) Upload both files to the list, you will notice a .js file is created for each of the files.
8) Now, we have our own custom template that we can customize in SharePoint.
9) Open SharePoint Designer 2013, From All Files --> _ catalogs  --> masterpage --> Display Templates --> Search
10) You will find both files we just uploaded, here is it is up to you. If you want to customize the search result item, then we will open Item_Default_Custom.html.
If we want to customize the Hover panel when you hover on a search result item, then we have to open Item_Default_HoverPanel_Custom.html.

Tip: In all cases, you should not modify the .js version of the html files. The Javascript file is a SharePoint file that is being updated/generated every time you save any change in the html files.

The changes in the search html template, it requires standard web development experience for editing html and writing javascript code.

Below is a very useful blog, It shows some techniques in how to customize the html files and embed some javascript code If you are not familiar with SharePoint/Web development.

How to configure Search Results Web Part to load your custom Display Template:

Once you customize the search display template, One last step is to configure the Search Results web part to load your template, Below is how to do it:

Your custom Search Display Result item will be loaded in the Display Templates in the web part configuration and once you select it, any change you do in the html will be reflected once you refresh the page in SharePoint 2013.

Hope this helps.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Error when creating search center site in SharePoint 2013

Hi folks,

I was trying to create an enterprise search center site in my SharePoint 2013 VM. When i was clicked on Create button i was getting the well known yellow error page in SharePoint.

I straight up checked the logs and i found the following error message:

Exception in EnsureFeatureActivatedAtWeb: Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: The SharePoint Publishing Infrastructure feature must be activated at the site collection level before the publishing feature can be activated.

So,  I went to the site settings  --> site collection features --> then i activated the SharePoint Publishing infrastructure feature.

Then, I went back to create a subsite --> selected enterprise search center. I entered all required information and when i clicked on create. the site is created with no errors!