Archive for May, 2016

Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by Digital Design. This information was provided by vendor for community education on product. No official review was performed by Vlad Catrinescu and Vlad Catrinescu is not participating in the Webinar on Migration from SharePoint to Office 365.

Microsoft SharePoint Online rapidly becomes a standard for organizations seeking a centralized information repository and collaborative workspace. Businesses are moving their SharePoint-based applications to the cloud in order to reduce IT costs and improve performance.

Such migration can be a long and complex process, not necessarily without an impact on the business operations.

On June 7th we will be sitting together online with our experts Andrey Dolbeshkin –  Head of Office365 practice at Digital Design and Richard Barrett – Technical Solutions Professional at  AvePoint to discuss strategies of migration, business process integrity and continuity and showcase couple of recent projects to highlight DO’s and DONT’s of the migration from SharePoint to Office 365.

Key topics:

  • Common midsized and large enterprises migration challenges
  • How to build an architecture plan for your Office 365 deployment
  • Selecting the right migration strategy
  • Typical challenges you may face
  • SharePoint customizations
  • Performing the migration in 5 steps
  • Case from AvePoint

Join us on Tuesday, June 7th at 16:00 European Time | 15:00 UK Time | 10:00 EDT

Register here: http://www.digdes.com/webinar

Community Blast Provided and Sponsored by Digital Design. This information was provided by vendor for community education on product. No official review was performed by Vlad Catrinescu and Vlad Catrinescu is not participating in the Webinar.

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In February, I wrote a blog post that touched many SharePoint Developers announcing that Microsoft is retiring SharePoint 2013 MCSD developer exams as soon as September 30th, 2016. Microsoft recently did an unannounced update to delay that date.

Microsoft Delays SharePoint 2013 MCSD Retirement

If we look at the Exams scheduled to retire page (make sure you’re on the en-us version, as other versions may not be up to date) , under the Visual Studio and .NET category, both exam 70-488 and 70-489 are set to retire on March 31st, 2017

Microsoft Delays SharePoint 2013 MCSD Retirement

This gives students an extra 6 months to get that MCSD: SharePoint 2013 certifications. However, with SharePoint 2016 already out, would you still pay money to get certified on SharePoint 2013? If you do, make sure to book the exam before July as Microsoft Certification Exams will be more expensive soon

 

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Update (January 9th) :  The winner is Mike Gilronan from Collarcity!  Congratz!

I have been blogging about learning resources for a while and one of the best ways to learn from the experts is to attend in person conferences! SPTechCon gave me a 4-Day All-Access Conference Pass to SPTechCon Boston 2016 to give away to the readers of my blog! To enter you simply have to put your name and email (They will not be shared with SPTechCon unless you’re the winner of the pass), and you can get bonus entries if you follow @vladcatrinescu on Twitter and like the Absolute SharePoint page on Facebook! Furthermore you can tweet about the giveaway every day and get 9 bonus entries for every time you tweet!

 SPTechCon Boston 2016

The prize only includes the conference pass and not any travel costs or anything else. Just the conference pass! Here is a small paragraph about the conference

SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference is returning to Boston, June 27-30, 2016! SPTechCon offers more than 80 technical classes and tutorials — presented by the most knowledgeable instructors working in SharePoint today — to help attendees improve their skills and broaden their knowledge of Microsoft’s collaboration and productivity software.

SPTechCon Boston will feature the first conference sessions on SharePoint 2016, the highly anticipated next release of SharePoint! We will also bring you more on working with SharePoint 2013 and Office 365, with practical information you can put to use on the job right away! Whether you’re looking to upgrade to a later version than the one you’re currently on, or simply need answers to those daunting problems you’ve been unable to overcome, SPTechCon is the place for you!

SPTechCon offers classes and tutorials for IT professionals, business decision makers, information workers, software architects and developers. Each presenter at the conference will be a true SharePoint expert, with many drawn from Microsoft’s tech teams or from outside authorities with Microsoft MVP status.

Good Luck!

 

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After a popular session at Collab365 Conference last week where Microsoft Learning talked about the SharePoint 2016 exams, they finally released the information on their site as well. The exam number is 70-339 and is called Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016. According to the Collab365 Conference session, the 70-339 exam will be the only SharePoint exam required for the SharePoint 2016 MCSE certification. The date on the Microsoft learning site for the exam release is June 20th, so in a bit more than a month.

SharePoint 2016 MCSE

The 70-339 exam will test you on the following topics:

  • Design SharePoint infrastructure (15–20%)
  • Plan authentication and security (15–20%)
  • Plan workload optimization (15–20%)
  • Plan productivity solutions (15–20%)
  • Manage search capabilities (10–15%)
  • Plan and configure cloud services (5–10%)
  • Monitor and optimize a SharePoint environment (10–15%)

The path for the SharePoint 2016 MCSE is not yet released, but if we look at the MCSE: Messaging (Exchange 2016) exam path, the path for the SharePoint 2016 MCSE would be the following:

  • 70-346 (Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements)
  • 70-347 (Enabling Office 365 Services)

After successfully completing steps 1 and 2, you’ll earn a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Office 365 certification.

  • 70-339 (Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 (in development))

To view more information about the exam from the Microsoft Learning site, check out the exam here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-339.aspx .

Opinions on 70-339 (Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016)

I know the exam is still under development and the description might change, but as I am reading the exam objectives, there are a lot of strange descriptions. Let’s look at the Exam Objectives in detail. Those are my personal opinions and the bullets will start with “Vlad: “. Feel free to give me your opinions on the exam , or on my opinions in the comments.

Design SharePoint infrastructure (15–20%)

  • Design information architecture
    • Design an inter-site navigational taxonomy; design site columns and content types; design keywords, synonyms, promoted results, managed properties, durable links, and document library accessibility; plan information management policies; plan compliance features, such as document fingerprinting and item-level encryption; plan search for sensitive and non-sensitive content; plan managed site structures; plan term sets; plan for support of Open Document Format (ODF); plan mobile navigation
      • Vlad: Glad to see that planning the Sensitive and non-sensitive information, especially that DLP is only mapped per site collection, so that certainly makes sense. Durable Links is also mentioned, although I don’t see what you can plan for it, except use it or not use it. Also, I never heard about document fingerprinting and Item-level encryption in SharePoint before. Something I will have to read more on.
  • Design a logical architecture
    • Plan application pools; plan web applications; plan for software boundaries; plan content databases; plan host-header site collections; plan Fast Site Collection creation; plan zones and alternate access mapping
  • Design a physical architecture
    • Design a server farm topology (traditional, streamlined, hybrid) by using MinRole (user roles, robot services roles, cache services roles); design Central Administration deployment; design a storage architecture, including ReFS; configure basic request management; define individual server requirements; define service topologies; plan server load balancing; plan a network infrastructure; plan for large file support; plan an app hosting model
      • Vlad: The first phrase confuses me; how can I plan a traditional topology by using MinRole? It should read (Traditional, streamlined, MinRole), and then it should maybe have talked about On-Premises and Hybrid.
  • Plan an installation
    • Identify and configure installation prerequisites, implement scripted deployment, plan Access Services deployment, plan Project Server installation, implement patch slipstreaming, plan and install language packs, plan and configure service connection points, plan installation tracking and auditing, plan and install Office Online Server, implement managed paths for Office 365 migrations, configure SharePoint hybrid cloud settings
      • Vlad: Not sure what “Managed Paths for Office 365 Migrations” is. Should we only use the two Office 365 Managed Paths (/sites, /teams) On-Premises as well? Also, what can we track and audit in the install?
  • Plan a hybrid cloud environment
    • Plan for deployment of Office Online; configure server-to-server authentication; configure OAuth; configure Audiences and hybrid features, to include Search, OneDrive for Business, Team Sites, extensible App Launcher, and hybrid picker tools
      • Vlad: Why is Office Online in the Hybrid cloud? Already that Microsoft confused a lot of clients because Office Online Server, is on-premises, but clients think that it’s in Office 365 only. By putting it in the “Hybrid Cloud” category, it will confuse people even more.

Plan authentication and security (15–20%)

  • Plan and configure authentication
    • Plan and configure Windows authentication, plan and configure anonymous authentication, plan connection encryption (TLS, SMTP), plan and configure identity federation, configure claims providers, configure site-to-site (S2S) intra-server and OAuth authentication, configure connections to Access Control Service, configure authentication for hybrid cloud deployment
  • Plan and configure authorization
    • Plan and configure SharePoint users and groups, plan and configure People Picker, plan and configure sharing (hints, one-click, create and share), plan and configure permission inheritance, plan and configure anonymous access, plan web application policies
      • Vlad: One Click Share is a permission nightmare.
  • Plan and configure platform and farm security
    • Plan and configure security isolation, services lockdown, and antivirus settings; plan and configure certificate management; plan for Kerberos support for service applications; plan and configure information rights management (IRM), delegated farm administration, and delegated service application administration; plan and configure managed accounts; plan and configure blocked file types; plan and configure web part security, including WOPI support
  • Create and configure a User Profile Service (UPA) application
    • Configure a UPA application, configure social permissions, plan and configure sync connections of MIM 2016 synchronization, configure profile properties, configure claims integration with UPA
  • Manage site and site collection security
    • Manage site access requests, manage App permissions, manage anonymous access, manage permission inheritance, configure permission levels, configure HTML field security
  • Provision and configure web applications
    • Create managed paths, configure Alternate Access Mappings (AAM), configure SharePoint Designer settings

Plan workload optimization (15–20%)

  • Create and maintain site collections
    • Provision Fast Site Collection Creation, configure Host header site collections, configure self-service site creation, maintain site owners, maintain site quotas, configure site policies, configure a team mailbox, plan Sites Page Pinning
  • Plan SharePoint high availability and disaster recovery solutions
    • Plan for service distribution, plan for service instance configuration, plan for physical server distribution, plan for network redundancy, plan for server load balancing, plan for SQL Server aliases, plan for SQL Server clustering, plan for SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups, plan for SQL Server Log Shipping, plan for storage redundancy, plan for login replication
  • Plan backup and restore
    • Establish a SharePoint backup schedule, establish a SQL Server backup schedule, plan a non-production environment content refresh, plan for farm configuration recovery, plan for service application recovery, plan for content recovery, configure a recovery solution using SQL Database running in Azure and other Azure backup solutions
      • Vlad: Happy to see Azure here for DR, but wonder what the “Other Azure Backup solutions” are.
  • Plan and configure social workloads
    • Plan communities, plan My Sites, plan OneDrive redirection, plan social permissions, plan user profiles, plan activity feeds, plan connections, configure Yammer settings
      • Vlad: OneDrive redirection and Yammer should be in Hybrid, not here.
  • Plan and configure a Web Content Management (WCM) workload
    • Plan and configure channels, plan and configure product catalog and topic pages, plan and configure Design Manager, plan and configure content deployment, plan and configure display templates, plan and configure variations
  • Plan and configure an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) workload
    • Plan and configure E-Discovery; plan and configure document routing; plan and configure co-authoring; plan and configure durable links; plan and configure record disposition and retention; plan large document repositories; plan and configure software boundaries; plan and configure Data Loss Prevention, In-Place Holds, and Document Deletion features
      • Vlad: How can we configure Software boundaries J ? Also there is nothing to configure with Durable Links… everything is done when connecting Office Online Server to SharePoint.

Plan productivity solutions (15–20%)

  • Evaluate content and customizations
    • Perform migration pre-check tasks, analyze content database test results, configure web application authentication for upgrade, resolve orphan objects, resolve missing file system components, resolve configuration conflict issues
  • Plan an upgrade process
    • Plan removal of servers in rotation, configure a parallel upgrade, configure read-only access for content, configure upgrade farms, measure upgrade performance, plan an installation sequence, plan and migrate SharePoint on-premises to SharePoint Online or a hybrid topology
      • Vlad: Plan Remove of servers in rotation, I hope it’s from the NLB and not the farm. Wonder what they will cover in the migrating to SharePoint Online… how to use a third party? The FastTrack isn’t anything technical, so doubt it will be covered, and the PowerShell cmdlets are still very basic.
  • Create and configure app management
    • Create and configure the App Store, create and configure subscriptions, configure marketplace connections, configure DNS entries, configure wildcard certificates
      • Vlad: Aren’t those Add-ins now J?
  • Create and configure productivity services
    • Create and configure Office Online Server, Microsoft Access services, Microsoft Visio services, Microsoft Word Automation services, Microsoft PowerPoint Conversion services, and Translation Services; configure hybrid OneDrive for Business with Profile Redirection and Extensible App Launcher; plan and install Office Online Server, SharePoint Insights, and SharePoint Server Telemetry features
      • Vlad: Office online Server again, didn’t we already plan and configure for it 3x? J. Also, a lot of Hybrid here again… and Office Online Server in the middle of hybrid features, even if it has nothing to do with Hybrid. SharePoint Insights isn’t even yet released in beta, so hopefully no questions on it at launch and… “SharePoint Server Telemetry features”. That’s something I never heard off before, so maybe this is a leak of an upcoming feature in the first Feature Pack? Who knows… but hopefully they won’t test on it June 20th.
  • Create and configure a Business Connectivity Service (BCS) and Secure Store application
    • Import and configure BCS models, configure BCS model security, configure BCS for search, generate a Secure Store master key, manage Secure Store target application permissions, create Secure Store target applications, configure hybrid BCS
      • Vlad: Hybrid BCS is a different beast than BCS… wonder why this is here and not in the hybrid section.
  • Manage SharePoint solutions and applications
    • Manage sandbox solution quotas, configure sandbox solution management, deploy farm solutions, upgrade farm solutions, deploy Apps, upgrade Apps

Manage search capabilities (10–15%)

  • Create and configure Enterprise search
    • Plan and configure a search topology, plan and configure content sources, plan and configure crawl schedules, plan and configure crawl rules, plan and configure crawl performance, plan and configure security trimming, choose and configure hybrid search
  • Create and configure a Managed Metadata Service (MMS) application
    • Configure proxy settings for managed service applications, configure content type hub settings, configure sharing term sets, plan and configure content type propagation schedules, configure custom properties, configure term store permissions, configure managed metadata service (MMS) imports
  • Manage search
    • Manage result sources; manage query rules; manage display templates; manage Search Engine Optimization (SEO) settings; manage result types; manage a search schema; manage federated search, including integration with Delve and Office Graph
      • Vlad: Delve + Office Graph don’t work with Federated Search. Hope they mean Cloud Hybrid Search.
  • Manage taxonomy
    • Manage site collection term set access, manage term set navigation, manage topic catalog pages, configure custom properties, configure search refinement, configure list refinement
  • Plan and configure a search workload
    • Plan and configure search result relevancy, plan and configure index freshness, plan and configure result sources, plan and configure the end-user experience, plan and configure a search schema, analyze search analytics reports

Plan and configure cloud services (5–10%)

  • Plan and configure a BI infrastructure
    • Plan and configure Performance Point, plan and configure reporting services, plan and configure PowerPivot, plan and configure Excel Services (Office Online only), plan and configure PowerView, plan and configure BI security
      • Vlad: Again a comment about Office Online + BI being in Hybrid. Why is BI in the Cloud Services Category, when Office Online Server has NOTHING to do with Office 365? Again more confusion to make clients think that Office Online Server is not on-premises.
  • Create and configure work management
    • Configure a connection to Exchange, activate and configure a connection to Microsoft Project Server 2016, manage trusts, plan Exchange configuration for E-Discovery
      • Vlad: Why is this in the Cloud Services section? Project Server 2016 is on Premises, as well as Exchange 2016.
  • Plan and configure cloud and federated hybrid search
    • Plan and configure on-premises and Office 365 search and encrypted metadata when content is transferred to the search index in Office 365, configure user specific queries and inbound/outbound or bi-directional hybrid topologies

Monitor and optimize a SharePoint environment (10–15%)

  • Monitor a SharePoint environment
    • Define monitoring requirements, configure performance counter capture, configure page performance monitoring, configure usage and health providers, monitor and forecast storage needs, monitor SharePoint hybrid cloud deployments
  • Tune and optimize a SharePoint environment
    • Plan and configure SQL optimization, execute database maintenance rules, plan for capacity software boundaries, estimate storage requirements, plan and configure caching and a caching strategy, tune network performance, plan and configure Zero Downtime Patching
      • Vlad: You can’t really configure Zero Down Time Patching (ZDT). You can plan for it, you can plan your upgrade sequence, but there is nothing to configure for ZDT.
  • Troubleshoot a SharePoint environment
    • Establish baseline performance, perform client-side tracing, perform server-side tracing, analyze usage data, enable a developer dashboard, analyze diagnostic logs, troubleshoot SharePoint hybrid cloud issues

What do you think about the exam contents? Anything missing, anything that shouldn’t be there? Should this have been two different exams? One for On-Prem and one for Hybrid? Let me know in the comments!

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A few weeks ago, I started playing with Hybrid SharePoint Server 2016 scenarios, to see if there are any differences with SharePoint 2013. As I am mostly an IT Pro, usually I never did the OData Source myself, but had a developer set that up for me. This time, I was in my lab, and I was both the DEV and the SharePoint Admin that had to do the IT part. (Talk about DevOps). That and the fact that I had quite a lot of problems with getting it to work with Entity Framework 6, I decided to do a blog post for all the SharePoint Admins and Developers out there that want to create a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type with an OData Source.

This blog will really be a step by step that everyone could follow, so if you are a more experienced dev, you can probably skip most of the screenshots, but I am sure that if you’re an IT Pro and first time doing this, you will find it valuable.

Intro

Our Goal for this blog post is to get the following table, in SharePoint Server 2016. The Hybrid configuration will be done in another blog post, for this one, we simply want to make it work in SharePoint 2016 On-Premises.

You will need to have access to a SharePoint Development machine with Visual Studio, as well as a IIS server where you can deploy your WebService at after (This can be done on the SharePoint Server).

Note, and this one is especially for people (like me) who will simply do this for testing. You need to have a Primary Key in your table for this to work. Without a Primary Key, you will get strange errors. For production, I hope this will not be a problem, but if you create a quick Database for testing, make sure your table has a PK defined.

Creating the OData Source

Create a new Project of type ASP.NET Web Application and name it as you wish. (For this scenario, we disabled the checkbox for Application Insights , since we don’t want to use /configure it).

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

In the next page, select Empty, since we want an Empty Web Application where we will add our own stuff.

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

Now, we will need to start adding items in this Project, so right click on the project name, Add, and Add New Item.

Select ADO.Net Entity Data Model under the Data tab, and give it a proper name such as “ContosoModel”

In the Entity Data Model Wizard, choose EF Designer from Database.

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

On the “Choose your Data Connection” page, click on “New Connection”

Enter the Connection Information for your business needs. If you use Windows Authentication, it will use the account that the Application Pool you run your Web Services Site runs it to access the Database. (Once deployed). There are multiple other ways to configure it depending on your business needs, but for this demo, we will use Windows Authentication.

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

After you configure it, click on Test Connection to make sure that everything is configured correctly.

Back to the “Choose Your Data Connection” Page, you will have your connection selected, and you can optionally change the connection setting in the Web Config.

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

Choose Entity Framework 6.x so we use the latest version available for our project.

On the next page, choose all the tables that you want included in the OData Service and give a good name to your Model Namespace.

If everything worked correctly, you will see a next page, with the columns of your table(s) in a designer. If you don’t, check out the error log at the bottom of your Visual Studio

After this is done, we need to add another item to our Project!

Creating a SharePoint 2016 External Content Type trough OData in VS 2015 with EF6

This one is the WCF Data Service, which should be under the Web Tab. Make sure to give it a proper name.

A page will appear, mostly Pre-populated

And here is where it gets a bit tricky. The first thing we have to do is replace the “public
class
WcfDataService1 : DataService< /* TODO: put your data source class name here */ >

Where we will have to replace it with DataService<
ContosoEntities> . (The connection string we created in Web.Config when creating our connection earlier). However, this will fail. The reason is that, Visual Studio wrongly defaults to using “DataService”, when this will not work with Entity Framework 6. We will need to make some changes!

In the Top Bar, under Tools > NuGet Package Manager, open the Package Manager Console

In the Console, run the following command to get the Entity Framework Provider Package “Install-Package Microsoft.OData.EntityFrameworkProvider –Pre”. It should successfully install as seen in the following screenshot.

At the top of your file, add the “using System.Data.Services.Providers;line to load the proper classes.

A bit lower in the file, change the DataService<ConnectionStringName> to EntityFrameworkDataService<ContosoEntities> (Where ContosoEntities, is the connection string name you defined earlier in this blog post)

Lower again, in this example, I used the “UserVerboseErros = true”, for debugging, but you can delete that line for production. More important, make sure to do a config.SetEntityAccesRules(“TableName”) EntitySetRights.(rights); . In my case, I gave them AllRead.

The Project is now ready, so I created a IIS Site called WebServices, as well as an Application called Contoso.

From Visual Studio, Click on “Publish ProjectName”

From now on, the procedure might vary depending on where you’re publishing your project to. The screenshots I will put here are for deploying on localhost. On the First Page, select “Custom”

Enter a Profile Name for this custom Profile

Enter the Server where you wish to deploy it (in my case localhost) and the Site name in format IISSiteName\ApplicationName

Also enter what the destination name will be, depending on the bindings you use on your IIS Site. Once you click on Validate Connection, you should see a green checkbox that appears near the button.

In the Database, select the available Connection String.

On the next page, you will see the items that will be deployed, and since it’s a new deployment we will see a bunch of them. Simply click on Publish and it should only take a few seconds.

If Everything works correctly, You should be able to navigate to the URL where you deployed your webservice /Servicename.svc and see something similar to this. An XML with your tables inside!

Next step, is to go to webservice/servicename.svc/TableName?TOP10 (Tablename IS Case Sensitive!) For example. https://webservices.learn-sp2016.com:55124/Contoso/Contoso.svc/CUSTOMERS?top10 . The result will depend on the browser. On IE you will see a RSS Feed Screen, with as you see, 6 results, but we can’t see the results.

On Chrome, you will see an XML, and if you look closely, you will actually see the customer data in there!

Cool , so our OData Service works, and is able to show data from the SQL Database in the Browser. You can now close that Visual Studio solution, and start a new one! This time, is of type “SharePoint Add-in”. And don’t worry, we will not actually deploy it, so you don’t need to have Add-ins Configured for this to work. You will however need a Dev Site Collection!

Enter the URL of your Dev Debugging Site, and then SharePoint-Hosted.

For the API version, I will select SharePoint 2016, since that’s where I want to deploy this Add-in

We will now need to add a New Item, Content Type for an External Data Source. And strangely, this is not in the “New Item” pop up as before, but directly on the Add!

For the OData Service URl, enter the URL to your Service, and give it a name!

Select the Table(s) on which you want to create External Content Types and make sure to leave the checkbox at the bottom checked.

After this is done, you should have two .ECT files in your Project.

Open the ECT file with the built in XML text editor in Visual Studio

In the top of the document, within the Model element, you will see a Name attribute. This Name attribute is the name you selected when you connected to the OData source, such as NorthwindCustomersModel. The value of this name is the same in all of the ECT files created from the entities, but it has to be unique in order to use it in SharePoint. You will need to change the name based on the ECT you are using , for example CustomersTable

Now, navigate to your project, copy this ECT File to somewhere on your desktop

You can then go into Central Admin, BCS Service Application and upload the ECT File. Also, If you didn’t already do it, make sure you have set the permissions!

Afterwards, make sure to use “Set Metadata Store”, to give it the required permissions

After that is done, go to any Site Collection, and add an “External List”

Select your External Content Type

And everything should work!

You now managed to show data in SharePoint, by using Business Connectivity Services consuming an OData Source! If you want to configure Hybrid BCS , you will need to follow a future blog post that will start from this point. I will link to it once it’s live!

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As more people start playing with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in SharePoint 2016, some of them have come across an “Unexpected” error when applying a DLP Policy to a Site Collection.

Value cannot be null. Parameter name: site

The error message in the ULS Log for your correlation ID would be similar to the following line:

Getting Error Message for Exception System.Web.HttpUnhandledException (0x80004005): Exception of type ‘System.Web.HttpUnhandledException’ was thrown. —> System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null. Parameter name: site

This error most commonly arrives when you try to setup a policy for a Site Collection that is not in the same Web Application as your Policy Center. Due to Security reasons, the Compliance Policies can only apply DLP Policies to the same Web Application, so if you want to apply a policy to a Site Collection in a different Web Application, you would need a Policy Center Site collection in that Web Application.

I know the previous paragraph might sound confusing a bit, but to put it a different way, you need to create a Policy Center Site Collection in every Web Application that you want to apply DLP Policies in. If you try to apply a DLP Policy to a Site Collection in a different Web App, you will get the error above!

If you want an overview of Data Loss Prevention in SharePoint 2016, check out my CMSWire article over here: http://www.cmswire.com/information-management/under-the-hood-with-sharepoint-2016-data-loss-prevention/ 

For a step by step tutorial on how to setup DLP in SharePoint 2016, check out my blog : https://absolute-sharepoint.com/2015/12/configure-dlp-in-sharepoint-2016-step-by-step-tutorial.html 

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Microsoft Learning has silently posted a blog post on the Born to Learn blog announcing that starting July 2016, the price of the Microsoft Certification exams will increase to an unspecified amount. The July date is when Microsoft’s Fiscal Year 2017 starts, so maybe it’s a way to sell more exams in the current Fiscal Year, or make their Microsoft Learning division more profitable in FY17.

Microsoft Certification Exams

Here is the FAQ from the announcement blog post:

Q: When will the exam price adjustment go into effect?

A: The price change is anticipated in July 2016.

Q: Is the exam price adjustment happening worldwide?

A: Yes.

 Q: To which exams will this price adjustment apply?

A: It will apply to commercial MCP exams, academic MCP exams, and MTA exams. Academic exams purchased from Pearson VUE and Courseware Marketplace will also see price changes. This does not apply to academic exams purchased through volume licensing.

 Q: Will the price adjustment also apply to online proctored exams?

A: Yes, it will.

 Q: Will the price adjustment also impact academic exam pricing?

A: Yes, it will apply to academic exams purchased from Pearson VUE and Courseware Marketplace. However, It does not apply to pricing for academic volume licensing.

You can view the official blog on the Born to Learn blog over here: https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/veronica/archive/2016/04/25/faqs-microsoft-certification-exam-price-adjustment-2016

If you’re looking to get certified in 2016, you might want to check out the Microsoft Certification Booster Packs that give you some discounts on a couple of options.

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