Passing HTML in Nintex Workflow Start Workflow Web Service

by jess on October 15, 2014

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Nintex Workflow provides the capabilities to start other workflows using the “Call Web Service” workflow action. One of the benefits of this method, is that you can pass workflow variable values through the web service through the associationData parameter. The Nintex Community site has a good basic write-up on how do to this:

Start a Workflow using a Web Service

One of the tips missing from the article is how to pass HTML data using the web service method. If you follow the article to the letter, you will find that your data is not represented on the child workflow.

To pass HTML data, you need to use the “XmlEncode” Inline Function when creating your association data string. This will make the value of your data safe for transport:


When the child workflow starts and receives the passing data, I have found it will automatically decode the value, and make it available for normal HTML display.

Parsing Values with Commas
If the value of your variable has commas contained within it, you might find that the function truncates the text value when the workflow runs. This is apparently due to the way the inline function is passed information from Nintex Workflow, separating values with commas. To protect against this, wrap your variable reference with {TextStart} and {TextEnd}:


This will pass the full value of your XML encoded content so you can complete the process!

Fixes in SharePoint 2010 Service Pack 2

by jess on July 31, 2013

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Microsoft recently released Service Pack 2 for SharePoint, which can be downloaded on “Updates for SharePoint 2010 Products” page. Below are the fixes specifically included in the updates:

Fixes in the SP2 Update

  • Navigating to a SharePoint site with a BlackBerry device may open a non-mobile page.   Adding RIM6 into compat.browser allows users to access SharePoint pages and view documents in mobile view.
  • If anonymous access is enabled for SharePoint 2010 SP1 (or later Cumulative Update), attempts to to access the site via a mobile device will receive an authentication prompt.
  • Customers are unable to use spell check in Korean when running SharePoint on Windows Server 2012.
  • Displaying Summary Links Web Part in personalizing view; generating confusing error message.
  • Deployment fails for content types containing a formula field in Italian.
  • File attachments are not deleted due to incorrect URL formatting.
  • If requireExactUrl is not set for openweb calls, the PublishingWeb constructor may spawn variation pages  into incorrect locations while attempting re-creation of failed label during create hierarchies.
  • Incremental content deployment fails, giving the following error: FatalError: The given key was not present in the dictionary.
  • Spell Checker doesn’t work properly with Internet Explorer 10.
  • Rich text editor spell checker may work incorrectly on 64 bit machines.
  • Customers encounter issues sending e-mail from workflows when the From address uses a non-Unicode character set.
  • Updated VBE7.dll to fix safe array corruption for x64 hosts when calling UDF methods using safe array arguments directly from the host.
  • SQL exceptions will appear in the log when running update statistics timer.
  • Improved performance of the AllUserData table.
  • Getting a feed against a discussion board fails if feed contains more than zero items.
  • SharePoint 2010 client object model now has compatibility for accessing SharePoint 2013 servers.
  • Windows 8 users with Internet Explorer 10 receive an error when trying to open a document from SharePoint 2010 directly in the Office client.
  • Call GetChanges won’t return changes in certain cases where the change log has been edited and no parameters are set.
  • STSAdm MigrateUser fails when SQL server is not in domain.
  • Attempting to delete a child web from site settings causes the page to fail.
  • There is no exposed method to recalculate the second stage recycle bin size.
  • April 2011 Calendar View does not display correctly with Amman System Time zone.
  • Users can create a scenario where a site loses permissions.
  • After deleting a web that contains historical document versions in the RecycleBin, rows are abandoned in the database.  These rows bloat the size of the database, causing difficulty with database management operations such as backup/restore, complicating upgrade and other scenarios.
  • After creating alerts on a document library with unique permissions and moving the contents using SPFolder.MoveTo method, the permissions seem to be lost and even the farm administrator is not able to delete these alerts.

Hide Distribution List Membership in SharePoint 2010 User Profiles

by jess on July 9, 2013

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To hide Exchange distribution list memberships on SharePoint 2010 user profiles, follow these steps:

  • Access Central Administration
  • Access the User Profile Service Application
  • Under People, click Manage Policies


  • Under Memberships, click Distribution List, then click Edit Policy


  • Change the Policy Settings field to: Disabled
  • Uncheck the checkbox for User can override


  • Click OK

The distribution lists should now no longer display on individual User Profiles in SharePoint.

Install SharePoint Server 2010 SP1 with Office Web Apps

by jess on July 10, 2011

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This post is a screenshot walk through of upgrading a standalone (with SQL Server) SharePoint Server 2010 installation to Service Pack 1, along with Office Web Apps.

I’m not sure that the first run on the Config Wizard needs to take place, but since there are some prerequisites to OWA SP1 if you don’t have SharePoint SP1 installed first, I’m doing them separate.


Order of Installation:

  1. Install the binary files for Foundation SP1
  2. Install the binary files for SP Server SP1
  3. Run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard
  4. Install Office Web Apps SP1
  5. Run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard

Update I: Here is an excellent write up on the steps and procedures for installing on a full farm.

Continue Reading


Missing Site Column on a Custom Content Type

by jess on May 8, 2011

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Recently, I ran into an odd issue in a SharePoint environment where a Site Column disappeared on a custom Content Type. I could still see it in the View, and it was holding a value, but I couldn’t see it on the Content Type page or anywhere else. A colleague pushed me into PowerShell, and I was able to do a quick analysis of the Site Column and see that somehow it had been set to Read Only. Once I set the value of Read Only to false, the field appeared like normal.

   1:  $site = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite("http://site")
   2:  $web = $site.RootWeb
   3:  $missingField = $web.Fields["FieldName"]
   4:  $missingField.ReadOnlyField = $false
   5:  $missingField.Update()

SPS2010 – October CU Issues

by jess on November 7, 2010

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The SharePoint Team blog posted a notice Friday (11/5), that there was an issue with the SPS2010 October CU, and to not install it. Cryptically, they said if you have installed it, to contact Microsoft Support.

Later in the day, they posted a follow-up, detailing which packages were affected (SharePoint Server Package 2394320 and Project Server Package 2394322), and steps for a workaround.

It appears that the main issue is that the User Profile Service Application loses the assigned permissions during the install of the CU. The post walks you through resetting the permissions.

SharePoint/Office 2010 RTM Downloads

by jess on April 22, 2010

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The following are available on TechNet and MSDN:

  • Project Professional 2010 (x64) – (English) 272 (MB)
  • Project Professional 2010 (x86) – (English) 235 (MB)
  • Project Standard 2010 (x64) – (English) 245 (MB)
  • Project Standard 2010 (x86) – (English) 223 (MB)
  • Office Professional Plus 2010 (x64) – (English) 718 (MB)
  • Office Professional Plus 2010 (x86) – (English) 650 (MB)
  • SharePoint Server 2010 (x64) – DVD (English) 723 (MB)
  • Visio 2010 (x64) – (English) 343 (MB)
  • Visio 2010 (x86) – (English) 293 (MB)

Discover core databases for a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 farm

by jess on March 4, 2010

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Below are steps for one method to discover databases used by a WSS 3.0 farm. Log in to SharePoint Central Administration for each of these activities.

Configuration Database

  1. Go to the “Operations” tab
  2. Click “Servers in Farm”
  3. Under “Farm Information” see the following items:
    1. Configuration database server
    2. Configuration database name

Central Administration Content Database

  1. Go to the “Application Management” tab
  2. Click “Web application list”
  3. Click “SharePoint Central Administration v3″
  4. Under “SharePoint Site Management”, click “Site collection list”
  5. Under the root “/” site, look in the information table for the “Database Name” value

General Usage Content Databases

  1. Go to the “Application Management” tab
  2. Click “Web application list”
  3. For each web application listed other than “SharePoint Central Administration v3″ (see above), perform the following:
    1. Click the web application name
    2. Under “SharePoint Site Management”, click “Site collection list”
    3. For each listed site collection (by URL):
      1. Click the URL of the site collection
      2. In the information table, look for the “Database Name” value

Search Database

  1. Go to the “Operations” tab
  2. Under “Topology and Services”, click “Services on server”
  3. Click the text “Windows SharePoint Services Help Search”
  4. Under “Search Database”, look for the values:
    • Database Server
    • Database Name

Nintex Workflow – “Run If” is King

by jess on November 17, 2009

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If you run into logic nesting issues using Nintex Workflow, remember that “Run If” is better than “Set a Condition”.

Team Site Search Broken on SharePoint 2003

by jess on April 13, 2009

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I realize SharePoint 2003 is fairly old by now, but there are a few production installs out there I’m sure. I still see frequent hits on the account lockout post from awhile back. Here’s a tip from some troubleshooting last fall in case it helps someone else.

We ran into an issue on one of our SPS 2003 installations where the team site information was not searchable at the team site level. We could successfully search all content at the portal/area level, but no results would come back when we performed the same search inside of a team site.

After some troubleshooting with our DBA and Microsoft Support (mostly our DBA), we realized that a required column by SharePoint for indexing the team site content was missing. The column name was Extension.

The resolution for this problem ended up being fairly simple once we figured it out:

  1. Open SharePoint Central Administration on the front-end server
  2. In the left-hand navigation, click “Windows SharePoint Services”
  3. Under “Component Configuration”, click “Configure full-text search”
  4. Uncheck “Enable full-text search and index component”
  5. Click OK
  6. Under “Component Configuration”, click “Configure full-text search”
  7. Now re-check “Enable full-text search and index component”
  8. Click OK
  9. At this point the required column “Extension” should be recreated in the SQL database
  10. Force a re-index or wait for the next schedule
  11. Test

This fixed the issue for us, and we were able to bring back search results at both the portal and team site level again.