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SharePoint 2010 Hosting :: How to configure SharePoint Foundation 2010 email notifications with Microsoft Exchange Online?

clock November 22, 2011 05:33 by author darwin

Problem definition

1. Our corporate email platform is Exchange Online, a MSCloud service. 

2. Our SharePoint (SP) servers are cloud based but are not hosted at a MSCloud service.
3. I need to setup SP to send automatic email notifications when changes occur. 
4. SP Administration allows the email notifications configuration only with SMTP servers set for Anonymous access.
5. Exchange Online provides an SMTP host but only works with authenticated access.

I can’t seem to successfully relay emails from SharePoint using the SMTP provided by Exchange Online.

Solution in a Nutshell 

1. SharePoint should use a local SMTP server.
2. The local SMTP server should be configured to relay to Exchange Online using authentication and correct ports.
3. Exchange Online should be configured to accept messages from your IP Range.

Before you go forward

1. The solution has been tested with: SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2 within a development environment.

1ST: Local SMTP & SharePoint

1. Open the Server Manager, I normally right click over “Computer” and select the “Manage” option.

2. Select “Features” on the Server Manager window and confirm that the SMTP Server is installed. If not select the “Add feature” option. I will assume you have it installed.

3. In order to configure the SMTP Server you will need to open the IIS 6.0 Manager. I know you are using IIS 7, butyou will be opening the IIS 6 Management Console (installed when installing the SMTP Server feature). Open it.

4. Right click on the Virtual Server and select “Properties”. There find the name of the Fully-qualified domain name.

5. Open the SharePoint Central Administration, go to the “System Settings” section and click on the “Configure outgoing email settings” link.

6. Fill the form using first the FQDN you found on the step 4 and then fill the email address you will use to send the notifications. This email is the one hosted on Exchange Online.

2ND: SMTP Server settings

1. Open the SMTP properties (like the step 4 above).
2. Be sure that the section of IP Address says (All unassigned) and then click the “Advanced” button. Confirm that the port is 25.

3. On the tab “Access” click on the “Relay” button and add the IP addresses used by your network interfaces. (An ipconfig command on the command prompt would help).

4. Click on the “Outbound security” button on the “Delivery” tab. Be sure to select “Basic Authentication” and provide the correct credentials for the account specified before on the SP Central Administration (step 5 above). Then select the “TLS encryption” box and Ok to accept the changes.

5. From the same “Delivery” tab click on the “Outbound connections…” button. There modify the TCP port to 587.

6. From the same “Delivery” tab click on the “Advanced” button.

-          There check that the FQDN is the same than the one set on your SMTP.

-          The smart host is set to: There is a list of other smart hosts available for different geographical areas.

-          Be sure that the “Attempt direct delivery before sending to smart host” check box is not marked.

3RD: Exchange Online should be ready to accept communications from your SMTP

1. Go to the page and authenticate with your administrative credentials.

2. Select Exchange Online from the “Service Settings” tab.

3. On the “Safe senders” section you can add new Safe senders be specifying domains or IPs. In this case you should add the public IPs (normally one) that your SP box uses.

After all this is done I would advise you to restart the SMTP and IIS services.

Now you are free to start setting up some email notifications on your SP sites. Just be sure that your user accounts have email addresses assigned.

SharePoint 2010 Hosting :: How to Upgrade SharePoint 2007 Content Database to SharePoint 2010

clock November 14, 2011 06:25 by author darwin

Hello, howdy? Today tutorial will explain how to upgrade SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010.

Upgrade Steps

Run the Pre-Upgrade Check on the SharePoint 2007 Server

Execute the following command from the command line on the SharePoint 2007 server hosting the database to be upgraded:

stsadm –o preupgradecheck

This will scan the server for potential problems that may cause errors during the upgrade process.

Review the log file to get specifics on any issues.  The most likely cause will be features or customizations, so make sure that you uninstall any features or customizations that aren’t necessary on the new server.

Back Up Your 2007 Content Database

Back up your 2007 content database from SQL Management Studio on the SharePoint 2007 server, and put the backup file somewhere it is accessible from the new SharePoint 2010 Server instance.

Restore the 2007 Content Database to the SharePoint 2010 Database Instance

Connect to the SQL Server Instance hosting your SharePoint 2010 installation’s databases.  Restore the legacy content database from the backup file created in the step above.

Create a New SharePoint Web Application

Note:  If you have a Web Application created that you plan on using, skip this step and move onto the next step, “Detatch Any Content Databases from the Target Web Application”.

In Central Administration, select “Application Management” from the left navigation pane, and Manage Web Applications under the Web Applications heading.

Click the “New” button on the ribbon toolbar.

Under the “Database Name and Authentication” section, add “DELETETHIS” or something similar to the end of the database name to differentiate it.  We will be removing and deleting the generated content database.

Once completed, you should see the following success dialog:

Detach Any Content Databases from the Target Web Application

In Central Administration –> Application Management, select “Manage Content Databases” under the Database heading.

Select the target web application in the “Web Application” drop-down box at the top left, if it is not already selected.

Ensure there are no content databases for the target web application.  If the list contains any content databases, click on each content database name.  On the “Manage Content Database Settings” screen, select the “remove content database” checkbox and click OK.

Note: Make sure to log into your SharePoint 2010 SQL Server Instance at your convenience and delete any orphaned content databases that were removed from the web application in the step above.

Run The Powershell Test-SPContentDatabase Cmdlet

Launch the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell available under Start->Programs –> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.  (Note: If running on a development/client instance on Windows 7 x64, ensure you launch the management console with administrative privileges by right clicking the icon and selecting “Run as administrator”).

Run the Test-SPContentDatabase command from the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell PowerShell window with the following syntax:

Test-SPContentDatabase –Name [DBName] –WebApplication [URL]

This tool will scan your Content DB and search for any references to Web Parts or Features that are missing on your SharePoint 2010 installation.  Each error will indicate whether or not it will block the upgrade, and gives a useful remedy for each issue.

Any issues not marked as Upgrade Blocking can be resolve post-upgrade. 

Restore the Content Database Using STSADM.EXE

Using the stsadm.exe tool, run the addcontentdb command using the syntax below:

stsadm –o addcontentdb –url [URL] –databasename [DBName]

Once executed, the command window will update with a progress indicator as seen in the screenshot above.  Once it is complete, you will either receive one of two messages:

Operation Completed Successfully


Upgrade completed with errors.  Review the upgrade log file located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\LOGS\Upgrade-[DateStamp]-[ids].log.  The number of errors and warnings is listed at the end of the upgrade log file.

You can also review the upgrade status in the Central Administration web application under Upgrade and Migration –> Check Upgrade Status.

This report contains the location of the log file for the upgrade process for future reference.

Review any upgrade errors and resolve before moving forward.

Accessing the Upgraded Site and Visual Upgrade

Accessing the Upgraded Site

Open a new web browser instance and navigate to the URL for the web application you upgraded.

You will notice the site retains the same SharePoint 2007 look and feel.  This was done deliberately to allow upgrading to SharePoint 2010 without introducing drastic interface changes to the client base. 

Optional: Visual Upgrade

SharePoint 2010 offers a simple method for upgrading the existing site to the new SharePoint 2010 look-and-feel. 

From the Site Actions menu at the top left, click “Visual Upgrade”.

From the “Site Settings –> Title Description and Icon” page, enter any site metadata you want to upgrade, and click the “Update the User Interface” radio button under the “Visual Upgrade” section as seen below.  Click “OK”.

You will now be returned back to your site’s main page with the updated SharePoint 2010 look-and-feel.

SharePoint 2010 Hosting :: How to Search Content from External Locations in SharePoint 2010

clock November 9, 2011 06:54 by author darwin


With evolution of search, different kinds of requirements arise for searching content. One of the requirements we came across was that they wanted to search for content from external locations (i.e. like Google, YouTube and other public facing internet applications).


SharePoint 2010 has a web part called "Federated Results". This searches content from the configured federated locations (like Google) that search content on provided parameters and generates output.

In this article, we will be concentrating on how to search content from such external applications. For this article, we will take "YouTube" as an external location. To define a federated (external) location, go to Central Administration > Application Management > Service Applications > Manage Service Applications > Search Service Applications. Click on "Federated Locations" under "Queries and Results" category.

Add a new location. We will first fill the general information: Location name (Youtube), display name (Youtube) and description (any suitable description) which makes a location unique.

Moving ahead to the Location Information category, we need to select the protocol which we will search content (i.e either Search index on the server, Fast index or opentext 1.0/1.1). For our requirement to define the YouTube location, we will select the Opentext protocol.

We also need to provide one mandatory detail which is the Query Template - which mentions from which location we will search and what will be the search parameter.

For our requirement we need to mention, "{searchTerms}.rss" where "searchTerms" will be the content searched in search box. Optionally, we can also provide a link for "More Results" that will appear at the bottom of search (as shown in the image below).

Leave the rest of the options to defaults.

Click on OK and add location.

Perform a full incremental crawl after the location is created.

Now go to the web application > search center results page and add a web part named "Federated Results" from "Search" Categories.

Edit the Web Part properties and browse to the Location section under Location Properties. If everything above is performed accurately, an option named "Youtube" will appear. Select it and apply changes.

Now we will search some content like "Microsoft" and we could see that with the search core results, a column of search results appears on right side of the screen which provides search results related to "microsoft" from youtube.

By implementing a process this way, it can reduce overburden of configuration and management of searching from federated locations.