Parallel SharePoint Tasks with PowerShell

Today I was working on a deployment for a client which entailed activating a custom SharePoint Feature on about 1000 Site Collections. This Feature did a fair number of things and on average it takes about 10-15 minutes to complete in their test environment (which is pretty slow compared to their production environment which I’ve not yet deployed to but I expect close to a 5 minute run time per Site Collection once I go to production with it). You can obviously do the math and quickly see that it will take me somewhere around 10 days for this to complete if I did one Site Collection at a time. This is just unacceptable as I personally don’t want to be monitoring a Feature activation script for that long. What’s worse is that when I look at CPU and memory utilization on the servers I can see that they have plenty of resources so it’s not like the operation is actually taxing the system, they’re just slow operations. So the solution, for me, is pretty obvious: I need to activate these Features in parallel. Continue reading →

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Replace SharePoint 2010 Web Parts by Type

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to replace all occurrences of one web part type with another web part type? No? Consider this scenario: you are using the out of the box content query web part and you discover one of the numerous bugs with this web part or decide that you want to ensure that a specific XSLT file is always used or something like that, so you decide to create a custom content query web part by sub-classing the out of the box one; now you deploy your custom web part and remove the out of the box one from the web part gallery so that any new instance will now be based on your custom type. So this is great, you’ve accomplished your goals and have implemented one of my personal best practices (don’t use the out of the box content query web part and instead use a custom implementation). But now what do you do with the potentially hundreds of existing instances that are deployed on pages throughout your Farm? Well, you need to somehow replace those instances with instances of your new type. For this, PowerShell is your friend! Continue reading →

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Manage Your Service Apps Faster

In the SharePoint 2010 Administrators Survival Camp that I teach for Critical Path Training I teach a module on PowerShell (and a whole bunch of tips and tricks along the way). One of the tips that I teach is to use the Resources list in Central Administration to create links to the most often used service applications. While teaching the module this month I began creating a Farm Build script based on Gary Lapointe’s Farm-SPBuild script from ISC London. The script creates the Farm that the student creates manually on the first day of class. I went on to add the following script to create the links to my “favorite” web apps. Continue reading →

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Exporting and Importing SharePoint 2010 Terms

Ever had the need to migrate Terms from the Managed Metadata Term Store from one environment to another? Do you find the flat, CSV, import approach provided out of the box to be insufficient (especially with its lack of support for alternate labels)? When I first started working with Terms over two years ago I was extremely frustrated by the lack of export and import capabilities so I decided to solve the problem myself by creating two cmdlets, Export-SPTerms and Import-SPTerms. I’ve actually had these cmdlets publicly available for about two years now but I suspect very few people actually know they exist so I thought I’d put together this short post just to highlight them (I also recently pushed out an update which adds support for Site Collection scoped Groups if you have SP1 deployed). Continue reading →

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“Stamping” PDF Files Downloaded from SharePoint 2010

First off I want to clarify that the subject of this post is not my idea as it is something that my friend Roman Kobzarev put together for his company and I merely assisted with getting the code to work. The problem that Roman was trying to solve was that his company provided numerous PDF files that registered/paying members could download and, unfortunately, they were finding some of those files being posted to various other sites without their permission; so in an attempt to at least discourage this they wanted to stamp the PDF files with some information about the user who downloaded the file. Continue reading →

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Updating SharePoint 2010 User Information

One of my clients recently had an issue where a particularly high profile user (CEO) had their title spelled incorrectly in Active Directory; unfortunately the error wasn’t noticed right away and now, despite changing the information in Active Directory, SharePoint was still showing the wrong title in the People Picker when granting the user rights to a Site Collection. Fortunately I had a partial PowerShell script to fix the issue and just needed to only slightly modify it – you can see the original script on pages 299 and 300 of my book. So before I show the modified script it’s first important to understand the problem and why I needed to use a script and why what I had in the book is somewhat incomplete. Continue reading →

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