SharePoint 2010 – Search and other Web Apps don’t work out the box

Every time I tried to do a search on my SharePoint server, it came back with an error as follows:

“The Web application at http://sharepoint.domain.local/ could not be found. Verify that you have typed the URL correctly. If the URL should be serving existing content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended application.”

For a while it had me beaten. Then I realised the problem – elements of SharePoint will not work properly if the Internal FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) is used from a browser instead of the Host name, because elements of SharePoint will only work when using the pre-defined names it knows. To illustrate the point, by connecting to the server via http://sharepoint/, the search process worked perfectly.

So how to fix this? In an ideal world you want to be able to have SharePoint working fine on the Hostname, the Internal FQDN and [depending on your setup] the external FQDN. And here is how you do it……

1) Fire up the SharePoint Central Administration.

2) On the opening page, look under the System Settings heading for Configure alternate access mappings.

3) From here you can edit, add or ‘map to external resource’ a URL. In this case, I am going to add a URL for my internal FQDN. So I click Add Internal URLs.

4) Next, you need to select the entry for Alternate Access Mapping Collection. I click the drop down link to do this and use the change option, and in the proceeding window select my main SharePoint site. This then takes me back to the previous window with this option selected.

5) In the field for Add Internal URL, I need to add my FQDN, protocol and port number. As I am operating on port 80 / http, this is set as: http://sharepoint.domain.local:80. My required domain is internal, so from the zone list I select Intranet then click on Save.

6)You’re done! Fire up a browser using the newly added domain name, and you will find all should now work. Note that if you are applying an internal domain name that is completely different from the SharePoint host name, you will need to make changes to your DNS servers records to reflect this, or else the name won’t resolve.

‘Verify that the Activity Feed Timer Job is enabled’ error in SharePoint 2010

I’m only just breaking open the box on properly using SharePoint. Every test install I have done, I have been hampered by this same error. The solution is simple.

First off, completely ignore the link that Microsoft gives you for ‘help’ – it resolved nothing. Instead, from within the Central Administration home page, do the following:

Click the Monitoring title.
Under the Timer Jobs heading, click on Review job definitions.
Scroll down the list and look for User Profile Service Application – Activity Feed Job (might be worded differently on pre- SharePoint 2010 SP1). You’ll note this is ‘disabled’. Click on the title link, and then the Enable button in the page that follows. This will set the service to hourly by default, and in the span of time your problem should disappear from the problems list in Central Administration.

SharePoint 2010 – ‘database requires upgrade or not supported’ error post SP1 install

I was unable to search for anything in my SharePoint portal. On inspection in the Central Administration panel, I got the error message in the title.

To correct this, I did as it said in the ‘remedy’ area, when clicking on the problem. In summary:

1) Fired up the PowerShell; in my case with Win 2008 R2 and SharePoint 2010 installed, this can be found as ‘Windows PowerShell Modules’ under theĀ  ‘Administrative Tools’ section on the from the start menu.

2) Run Upgrade-SPContentDatabase -id WSS_Content. If you want to upgrade a different database, you will need to find its GUID instead, which should be listed within the database name

3) You will be asked for confirmation as to whether you want to do this. Upon approving this, a percentage readout will trickle along PowerShell window. This may take a few minutes or more to complete, depending on how much data you have.

4) Your database for content should now be updated!

N.B. Having done the above, I found that SharePoint was still having problems with a lot of other database. My conclusion was that during the SP1 update, it did not update the databases. An easy resolution to this to go to:

Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products ->SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard

This will save a lot of time! The wizard is automated, and fixed all problems for me :) Why the upgrade didn’t do this automatically is anyone’s guess!