Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Search me

This is another one of those "lessons I've learnt" posts, that hopefully save someone else the time that I lost. Based on the rules of Karma, eventually I should be able to reclaim my lost time - if not in this life, maybe in the next.

SharePoint Portal Server has a set of noise word files that it uses to exclude certain terms from it's index. This is to ensure that the indexes don't get cluttered up with terms that no-one searches for like "the", "and", "it".

Now you can edit these noise word files to either include or exclude words. They are just text files with each noise word on it's own line.

Imagine my surprise when I edited my noise word files to remove a word ("re"), but my portal search did not return my documents. Here's what I learnt in the process of fixing this problem up:

1. There are a set of noise word files per portal - not one set for the whole server farm. If you edit the wrong set, it doesn't matter how often you search your portal, you won't get the results you expect.

2. You need to edit all appropriate noise word files. These are language specific. There are three files that are relevant to english content - noiseeng.txt, noiseenu.txt and noiseneu.txt. Make sure you make the appropriate changes to ALL the files.

3. If you want to retrieve old content using newly-excluded noise words, reset and rebuild the content indexes. Otherwise SharePoint will only return items added.

The noise word files are located in a portal-specific sub directory under \Program Files\SharePoint Portal Server\data\applications\ on your SharePoint indexing server. To find out the specific sub directory for your portal, follow these steps:
  1. From the home page of the portal, click Site Settings in the top right corner
  2. Click Configure Search and Indexing
  3. In the Content Indexes section, click on any of the entries
  4. Note the directory path specified in Local Address. Ignore the part after the long code.
  5. Look in the config folder under the folder you identified in the previous step.
For more information on noise words, see:;en-us;837847#E0ZF0ACAAA

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Web based SharePoint Forms today

Disclaimer: I work for Unique World, which is the parent company of Unique World Software - the makers of SharePoint Forms and InfoView.

If you have been involved with InfoPath projects, at some stage you are sure to have wished for a web-based version of the product. Well, that's why our sister-company built InfoView ( This is a great tool for quickly converting your InfoPath form to a web based form.

Well, the crew at Unique World Software are just about to launch a new product built on top of InfoView. This product is called "SharePoint Forms". The nice thing about this product is that you hardly know it's there. Once you have installed it on your SharePoint server, everyone can use your forms libraries - whether they have InfoPath on their desktop or not.

This is very handy for example when users access your SharePoint site from a VPN. They don't have InfoPath on the desktop, but when they click on the "New Form" button in the forms library, the form is opened up within Internet Explorer. They can fill out their form, and save it back to the forms library, just like they would if they had the InfoPath installed. For those users that have InfoPath, they can continue to work with it.

If you update your InfoPath form template (XSN), SharePoint Forms will automatically convert it the next time a user wants to open or create a new document. As I said - it just works behind the scene - letting you just get on with filling out your leave request.

This product has just been launched. For more information, see

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sydney SharePoint User Group - May 2006

Just a reminder that the Sydney SharePoint User Group is meeting this Tuesday - May 16th.

We also have a change of venue this month. Our new location is:

Level 14
24 Campbell Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

This is near Capitol Theatre, 200 metres from Central Station.

For more information, visit

Thursday, May 11, 2006

SPS 2003 and SQL 2005 - backups

Here's an interesting one. We recently moved our SQL databases for SPS from SQL 200o to a SQL 2005 server. All went well, apart from the SPSBackup.exe scripts. We were getting the following error in the SharePoint logs:

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]To connect to this server you must use SQL Server Management Studio or SQL Server Management Objects (SMO).

To solve the problem we uninstalled SQL 2000 client tools from the SPS server and installed the SQL 2005 client tools. That sorted it out for us. The important thing here is that you have to uninstall the SQL 2000 client utilities, otherwise, you'll continue to get the error.

I guess this also means that if you have a portal farm that is using several SQL databases - for different portals, they should all use the same version of SQL.