SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows and POST REST API


Following on from my last post of using GET REST API in workflows, this post will show how you can create an item in a list using the POST REST API.

Creating a list Item using REST API.

Using the same list as before, on my SharePoint site, I have a list. The list is nothing special, it’s just an example of some data.

Title: String
Person: User field
Colour: Choice field

You wouldn’t do this in real world scenario, but my demo will demonstrate when you run the workflow on any item, it will just create a new item in the list.

A better real world scenario might be when an item is added to this list, some of the information needs to be copied and created in another list, or when an item is changed a workflow fires to copy the information to another list similar to a history list.

Creating the workflow

In SharePoint Designer, I have gone to my list, and created a new workflow.

  • First, we need to add a Dictionary Item. This is so we can create a header for our HTTP Call. Type in “Dictionary
    and then in the options to choose from select Build Dictionary.

    Click on “this”.

    A dialog will appear, and it is here we need to add two headers.
Name Type Value
accept String application/json;odata=verbose
content-type String application/json;odata=verbose

Click on Variable:dictionary, and create a new variable called Headers.

  • We need to create another Dictionary now, this is to store the “type”. When you create an item with REST API, you need to provide the __metadata with the ListItemEntityType. Typically this item is SP.Data.[ListName]Item. However, to be absolutely sure, you can use this REST API call in the browser to find out.

     

    https://<tenant>/sites/<Site>/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('	<listTitle>')/ListItemEntityTypeFullName
    
Name Type Value
type String SP.Data.DemoListItem

  • One more dictionary needs to be created, this is the RequestContent for the POST Call.
Name Type Value
__metadata Dictionary Variable:EntityType
Title String New Item
Colour String Blue
PersonId String Current Item:Created By (return field as: User Id Number)

When you create this, ensure that __metadata has 2 underscores in front of it.
All fields are the internal names.

User fields all have an Id field with it, in my case the Person field has a PersonId field, it is this that I set with another User Id.

Choice fields just accept a valid string.

Taxonomy fields are a little different, see section below.

  • Now we can call a HTTP web service. Underneath the dictionary, start typing “http” and press enter to insert Call HTTP Web Service.
    Click on “this” to open up the dialog box, and then click on the … for the string builder dialog box.

    I like to use as much dynamic values as possible so my URL in here looks like the following:

    [%Workflow Context:Current Site URL%]/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('[%Workflow Context:List Name%]')/items
    

    Set the HTTP method to HTTP POST.

    After entering the URL and setting the Method, click the dropdown at the far right on the line in SPD and select properties. Set the RequestHeaders to the Dictionary Variable:Headers you made in the first step. Set the RequestContent to the dictionary Variable:NewItemMetadata. Set the ResponseContent to a new variable, and the ResponseStatusCode to a new variable. Click OK.

    The ResponseContent will be populated with the results, and the ResponseStatusCode will be populated with Created if successful, or a different value if something went wrong.

  • After the Web service call, I add an If Statement, to test that the variable responseCode equals to Created.
  • I log success to the history list.
  • In the else statement of if “responseCode equals Created” I grab the error message from the ResponseContent dictionary and output the value to an error message. Then I display the error message in the history list. To grab the error the dictionary path is error/message/value

  • Don’t forget to Transition to Stage “End of Workflow” at the end.

Publish your workflow.

When I run the workflow against any list item, after a moment a new entry is added to the list.

Updating Taxonomy/managed metadata column in POST REST API calls.

To be able to update a Taxonomy column in a list you would need to create the following 2 dictionary’s first, then assign 2nd dictionary to the column.

TaxonomyMetadata Dictionary

Name Type Value
type String SP.Taxonomy.TaxonomyFieldValue

TaxonomyValue Dictionary

Name Type Value
__metadata Dictionary TaxonomyMetadata Dictionary
Label String <Label value>
TermGuid String <TermGuid>
WssId String -1

<Label Value> – the actual value of the taxonomy term
<TermGuid> – The guid of the taxonomy term found in the termstore.
The WssId can always be -1 as SharePoint can work that out itself, but it requires a value.

PostRequestContent

Name Type Value
__metadata Dictionary Variable:EntityType
Title String New Item
<TaxonomyColumnInternalName> Dictionary Variable:TaxonomyValue Dictionary

It is the final dictionary above that you would set in the web service call as the RequestContent.

SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflows and GET REST API


SharePoint Workflows have been around for a long time, and with Microsoft flow now firmly taking hold the need for SharePoint workflows might be less. However, I recently had to work with SharePoint Workflows and learnt a few things around using REST API and I wanted to share my knowledge.

Reading a list/Item using REST API.

On my SharePoint site, I have a list. The list is nothing special, it’s just an example of some data.

Title: String
Person: User field
Colour: Choice field

All I’m going to do in the workflow, is when it is run, it will grab the items in the list, and then display the results in the history list. The point of this demo is to show how to make REST API calls and grab/loop through data.

Creating the workflow

In SharePoint Designer, I have gone to my list, and created a new workflow.

  • First, we need to add a Dictionary Item. This is so we can create a header for our HTTP Call. Type in “Dictionary
    and then in the options to choose from select Build Dictionary.

    Click on “this”.

    A dialog will appear, and it is here we need to add two headers.
Name Type Value
accept String application/json;odata=verbose
content-type String application/json;odata=verbose

Click on Variable:dictionary, and create a new variable called Headers.

Because SPD is a pain, it has already created a variable called dictionary, if you click on Local Variables from the ribbon, you can delete this variable. This will ensure you keep only the variables you are using within your workflow and save confusion later. Always give your variables sensible names, just as if you were writing code.

  • Now we can call a HTTP web service. Underneath the dictionary, start typing “http” and press enter to insert Call HTTP Web Service.
    Click on “this” to open up the dialog box, and then click on the … for the string builder dialog box.

    I like to use as much dynamic values as possible so my URL in here looks like the following:

    [%Workflow Context:Current Site URL%]/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('[%Workflow Context:List Name%]')/items?$select=Title,Colour,Person/Title,Person/Name,Person/EMail&$expand=Person
    

    In the above API call I’m bringing back additional information about the Person from the person column. See at the end of this post about bringing back other information on a person column.

    After entering the URL, click the dropdown at the far right on the line in SPD and select properties. Set the RequestHeaders to the Dictionary you made in the first step. Set the ResponseContent to a new variable, and the ResponseStatusCode to a new variable. Click OK.

    The ResponseContent will be populated with the results, and the ResponseStatusCode will be populated with OK if successful, or a different value if something went wrong.

  • After the Web service call, I add an If Statement, to test that the variable responseCode equals to OK.
  • Now we want to grab the results. So now we will grab a dictionary item. Type “Get” and press enter to insert Get an Item from a Dictionary.
    Click “item by name or path” and type “d/results”
    Click “dictionary” and select “ResponseContent”
    Click “item” and create a new variable. This variable is a dictionary too that will contain the individual items. I’ve called mine DemoList.
  • We need to count the number of items in the new dictionary variable. I do this to ensure that we have returned items.
    Type “Count” and press enter to insert count items in a dictionary.

    Click “dictionary” and select variable “DemoList”.
    Can leave output Variable to count.

  • Put another If statement, and check that Count is greater than 0.
  • We now need to create a variable that will be our indexloop.
  • Add a loop with a condition. (Alternatively, we could have skipped the last step and added a “loop n times” instead).
    Set the condition to read. “The contents of this loop will run repeatedly while: Variable: indexloop is less than Variable: count

  • Now I’m going to get the values of Title, Colour, Person/Title and Person/Name from the DemoList dictionary.
    Type “Get” and press enter to insert Get an Item from a Dictionary
    Click “item by name or path” and type “([%Variable: indexloop%)/Title”

    Click “dictionary” and select “DemoList”
    Click “item” and create a new variable.

    Repeat this for all the parameters.

  • Still inside the loop underneath gathering the parameters we need to raise the index variable by one.
    Type “Calc” then press enter to insert Do Calculations
    Click first “value” and select the Variable: “indexloop”

    Click second “value” and set to 1.

    Set the output to a number variable. I called mine NewIndex

  • Now you need to set the variable NewIndex to indexloop.
  • Lastly, for demo purpose, I’m logging the results I’ve got to the history list. This logging to history lists is still within the loop.
    Type “Log” then press Enter to insert log to History List.
    Then I’m just logging out the variables I’ve captured.
  • Don’t forget to Transition to Stage “End of Workflow” at the end.

Publish your workflow.

When I run the workflow against any list item I see the following results in my History List.

Bringing back additional Person Data in REST API calls.

To bring back a person column data (or a lookup column), you need to expand it in a REST API call, you also need to include the values you want to bring back from the expanded column. A list of all possible values you can bring back for a user column can be found if you type the following in a browser (after already signing into SharePoint that is).

https://<tenant>/sites/<site>/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('<ListTitle>')/items(1)/<UserFieldInternalNameColumn>

*I’m using XV – XML Viewer chrome extension for the layout.

Hide your documents from Delve


Delve is a powerful tool to see and discover information that is likely to be interesting to you. You only see content that you have access to. The powerful search behind Delve uses the Microsoft Graph.

You can access Delve from the Waffle inside your Office 365, or by going directly to the URL https://delve.office.com and signing in with your 365 account.

Now you or someone else will only see a document if they have access to it. However, there might be a reason that you don’t want it to show up in Delve at all. To prevent a document showing up in delve you can create a HideFromDelve column of the type Yes/No in the library the document is in. The column creates a new crawled property within search schema called ows_HideFromDelve. This is automatically mapped to the HideFromDelve managed property. Set the column value to Yes for the document you do not wish to see in Delve.

Set the default value to No otherwise every document you create within the library will not show up in Delve (Unless this is the desire outcome).

Getting Fiddler to work with SharePoint Online


Something that I’ve always struggled with is getting Fiddler to provide me with REST API results for SharePoint online. These steps should help you.

Install and configure Fiddler

  1. First download and install Fiddler if you haven’t already. You can download fiddler at the following URL : https://www.telerik.com/download/fiddler Unfortunately you have to use an email address to be able to download it now.
  2. After first install of Fiddler, you will get an AppContainer Configuration dialog appear. Just click Cancel for now.
  3. Once Fiddler has opened, from the menu click Tools > Telerik Fiddler Options
  4. On the HTTPS tab ensure that Decrypt HTTPS traffic is selected
  5. Click OK. You will get a dialog asking if you should Trust the Fiddler Root certificate. It is fine to say Yes here.
  6. Say Yes to install the certificate.
  7. They really want to make sure, you are sure. Click Yes again.
  8. Fiddler’s root certificate has now been added to the Machine Root List.
  9. Close and Restart Fiddler.

Composing a REST URL for SharePoint Online.

First we need to log in to SharePoint online.

Now this is the point when I can never get it to work. I open IE/Edge, and instantly whenever I try to hit a https web page I get the following screen.

The trick here is to open Chrome and use that instead.

  1. Using Chrome, log in to your SharePoint online.
  2. In Fiddler, you should see in the left pane, it’s been capturing all your requests. Find a 200 result for your SharePoint site.
  3. In the right hand pane, take down the following information and store it in NotePad.
    1. FedAuth Cookie
    2. rtFA Cookie
  4. Above the right hand pane in Fiddler, one of the tabs is called Composer click on this tab.
  5. In the GET section put your REST API request E.g https://<YourOnlineName>.SharePoint.com/sites/Workflow/_api/web
  6. In the section below enter the following:
    Accept: application/json;odata=verbose
    Content-Type: application/json;odata=verbose
    Cookie:
    
  7. After cookie, you will want to put the rtFa=<rtFaCode>;FedAuth=<FedAuthCode>
  8. Click the Execute button at the top right of the screen. Once you have pressed it a call will be made and show up in the left hand pane. It’s easy to spot because the icon is for JSON.
  9. Double click on this entry and the right hand bottom pane, you will have your JSON response.

Performing Post Requests

There are a few more steps to complete to perform a post request, I’m going to walk you through the steps below. I already have a list called FiddlerList in my SharePoint online site. Currently it holds one item. (My site called Workflow as I was testing something with workflow before working on this post, this has nothing to do with the demo, hopefully it won’t confuse you)

  1. In Fiddler, from your previous composed GET request, first change the GET request to list all items currently in this list. My GET request is now https:// <YourOnlineName>.sharepoint.com/sites/Workflow/_api/web/Lists/getByTitle(‘FiddlerList’)/Items
  2. The results are show below. Take note of your type in the __metadata node. Mine is SP.Data.FiddlerListListItem
    you will need this later for adding an item. The type is normally SP.Data.<ListName>ListItem
  3. Now we need to create a POST request to the URI of /_api/contextinfo and then capture the FormDigestValue

  4. Now we have all the information required to create an item. Go back to the composed tab. Change the URI back to the way we had before to get the list items. https://<YourOnlineName&gt;.sharepoint.com/sites/Workflow/_api/web/Lists/getByTitle(‘FiddlerList’)/Items
  5. Add the X-RequestDigest: put in your FormDigestValue. Your page should look similar to below.
  6. Then in the bottom pane, the Request Body, put the following (Remember to change the type to match your list type).
    {'__metadata': {'type':'SP.Data.FiddlerListListItem'},
    'Title':'Created by Fiddler REST'
    };
    
  7. Click Execute
  8. If all has worked well you should get a 201 Create Response back, and see the item created in your list.

Update API Request

To perform an update to the list item, first we need to know what the Item ID is. At the end of the 201 create JSON response I can see that the Item I created has the ID of 2.

  1. In my composer I have changed my URI to https://<YourOnlineName>.sharepoint.com/sites/workflow/_api/web/Lists/getByTitle(‘FiddlerList’)/Items(2)
  2. In the top pane, I have set the content-length back to 0 and added IF-MATCH: * and X-HTTP-Method: PATCH this indicates that the post request is actually an update.
  3. Lastly in the bottom pane, Request Body, I have changed the Title.

    Note: Screen shot shows MERGE which is backwards compatible, should use newer command PATCH.
  4. After executing, I get a 204 response, and I can see the title has changed in my list.

Delete API Request

Lastly I’m going to delete my item.

  1. Change X-HTTP-Method to say DELETE instead of PATCH
  2. Remove the Request Body text.
  3. Click Execute, you will get a 200 response back.
  4. Your item has now been removed from the List.

The above should be enough to get you going. You can now use fiddler to test out your REST API calls.

Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 16 – Installing and setting up Visual Studio


A few years ago I wrote “Build your SharePoint 2013 development machine on Windows Server 2012” series, I mainly work in the cloud now, but as the blogs was so popular, I thought I would create a new series for the newer version of SharePoint.

You can access other parts of this post below.

The last part of the 16-part series is to install and set up visual studio so you can start developing on your machine.

I’m going to use Visual Studio 2015 Community edition, this might not be suitable for you, you might have access to Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise/Professional edition. Also there is Usage agreements to the Visual Studio 2015 Community edition, which if in an organisation you might be breaking the licensing agreement.

Downloading Visual Studio Community

  1. Open a browser, and go to URL https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-community-vs.aspx
  2. Click Download Community 2015 button
  3. Run or Save then run, the download file.
  4. Once the installer has started, select Custom then click Next
  5. On the Select Features screen, I didn’t need to select anything and clicked Next. However, you might want extra programming languages, maybe the common tools such as the Git for Windows extension.
  6. Click Install.
  7. When finished, you will be asked to reboot your machine. Click Restart Now.

Configuring Visual Studio

  1. After your server has rebooted, Sign in and open Visual Studio
  2. You will be presented with a screen to connect to your developer services, if you have any sign in now. It is worth looking into if you are planning on doing some Azure, as you can get some free credits by signing up to Visual Studio Dev Essentials https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/free-developer-offers-vs.aspx. Either sign in, or click Not now, Maybe later.
  3. It will prepare Visual Studio for you on your machine as it is the first time it has been opened.
  4. First thing to do once open is check if there are any updates required. From the Visual Studio menu click Tools > Extensions and Updates… Update anything that needs updating.

Installing Office and SharePoint 2016 Developer Tools

After installing all your updates for Visual Studio, if you go and try to create a new project, you will find that there is no Office/SharePoint templates.

You will need to install this. Note: If you have already installed Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2015 and Microsoft Office Developer Tools Preview for Visual Studio 2015, you will need to uninstall these first otherwise SharePoint 2016 projects will not show up in Visual Studio.

  1. In a browser go to the URL https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51683 and click Download to download Microsoft Office Developer Tools Preview 2 for Visual Studio 2015
  2. Select 14.0.23930\enu\cba_bundle.exe. Once downloaded, run.
  3. Click Install
  4. After it has successfully installed, you can click Close
  5. Open Visual Studio 2015 (Don’t forget to run as Administrator)
  6. Click File > New > Project
  7. Under Templates > Visual C# > Office/SharePoint > SharePoint Solutions and you should see the SharePoint 2016 templates.

Getting around the cannot connect to the target site message.

If you continued from the last part to create a SharePoint project and tried to connect to SharePoint, you would have got the following message about SharePoint solutions only work with locally-installed version of SharePoint Foundation or SharePoint Server.

To get around this problem you have to add the URL’s to your host file.

  1. Open Notepad as administrator
  2. Open the file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. (You will need to look at all files, not .txt files to see it)
  3. Add the following lines and then save the hosts file.
    127.0.0.1 dev.cfcode2016.com

    127.0.0.1 intranet.cfcode2016.com

  4. Now when you click the Validate button in Visual Studio – SharePoint Customization Wizard you will get a connection successful message.

Other programs to install

You might decide not to use Visual Studio 2015, and use Visual Studio Code as I’m aware some developers are now doing, mainly because it is a lot faster to run on the machine. You might also want to install Office products such as Word/Excel.

Removing old Checkpoints.

Now your machines are complete, you probably don’t have a reason to go back re-apply an old checkpoint. Therefore it make sense to clean them up. After all every time you take a checkpoint a new file is created on your host, and the difference between your original or previous checkpoint file is stored within this new file. If you take a look at where your Virtual Machine stores it’s hard drive, there will be multiple files, all quite large in size. Not including the folders, this takes up over 85GB of space on my host machine.

  1. Ensure that your Hyper V virtual machines are shut down.
  2. Here you can either delete just the CheckPoints you want, or delete the whole subtree. As I don’t need to keep any of my checkpoints, I’m going to select the top checkpoint and then click Delete Checkpoint subtree from the right pane.
  3. Click Delete on the confirmation dialog box.
  4. If you look back where you store your Virtual Machines its hard drive, it looks a lot less messy, and uses up less space. (Total over 47GB)

Thank you for reading this series, hopefully you found it useful.

Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 15 – Configuring Workflow


A few years ago I wrote “Build your SharePoint 2013 development machine on Windows Server 2012” series, I mainly work in the cloud now, but as the blogs was so popular, I thought I would create a new series for the newer version of SharePoint.

You can access other parts of this post below.

The configuration of the Workflow Manager for SharePoint 2016 is the same as it was for SharePoint 2013. Not only do you need to install the separate Workflow Manager components, once installed SharePoint designer will show SharePoint 2013 Workflow in a dropdown when deciding which platform to build the workflow on.

We will be installing Workflow Manager 1.0 CU3. Although my instructions add all this to the SharePoint Machine, the reason why Microsoft have made the Workflow manager separate is for scaling. There is no need for this to be installed on the SharePoint box. You could create another Windows Server 2012 R2 and add that to the domain and run the Workflow manager on that. There are probably a few more steps required in configuring. Here is a full walkthrough provided by Microsoft Technet https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SharePoint-2016-Workflow-acd5ba2a if you wish to delve in deeper.

Installing SharePoint Designer 2013

Wait! SharePoint Designer 2013? Yes.

There is no SharePoint Designer 2016, there is no plan to release one either. Microsoft have stated that they will support SPD 2013 with SharePoint 2016. We are installing SharePoint Designer here because I can use it to prove if you have correctly configured Workflow Manager with SharePoint 2016 correctly.

SharePoint Designer 2013 is a free tool from Microsoft.

  1. Download SharePoint Designer 2013 32bit from the Microsoft Site.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-GB/download/details.aspx?id=35491
  2. Once downloaded run the file sharepointdesigner_32bit.exe
  3. Accept the License terms and click Continue.
  4. Click Install Now, (Unless you wish to customise and change file location, user information etc)
  5. Once installed, I’d recommend performing a Windows Update. From the Start Menu, type Windows Update, open the application and run any updates required. Reboot if necessary.

Check to see Workflow settings in SharePoint Designer

  1. From the start menu, type SPD and open SharePoint Designer 2013.
  2. Once it has loaded up, click Open Site
  3. Type the URL https://dev.cfcode2016.com click Open
  4. If prompted, enter your credentials
    User: cfcode2016\SP_SetupPassword: Pa55w0rd
  5. From the Navigation menu, select Workflows

  6. On the ribbon menu, select List Workflows > Documents

  7. In the Create List Workflow dialog, at the bottom you will see a dropdown box for Choose the platform to build your workflow on. Only SharePoint 2010 will be listed.

  8. When we come back to this later, we will see SharePoint 2013 Workflow. Close SharePoint Designer for now.

Configuring Workflow Manger accounts

The Workflow Manager will run under new accounts that we haven’t created yet.

  1. On the Domain Controller machine, in the start menu, type Active Directory Users and Computers and open it.
  2. Expand the tree in the left hand pane to see the Managed Service Accounts OU. Select the Managed Service Accounts OU.
  3. Right click in the right hand pane, and select New > User.
  4. Create a user called SP_Workflow. Set the full name and log on name to SP_Workflow. Click Next.
  5. In the password dialog screen, enter the following and click Next
    1. Password and Confirm Password as: Pa55w0rd
    2. Untick User must change password at next logon.
    3. Leave User cannot change password as unticked
    4. Tick Password never expires
    5. Leave Account is disabled as unticked
    6. Click Next. Then click Finished.

Setting up SQL with the correct Security Accounts

  1. On the SharePoint Machine, from the start menu, type SQL Server Management Studio and open up the application
  2. In SQL Server click Connect. (This should be to SQL2016 database instance).
  3. In the left hand menu expand Security. Right click Logins. And select New Login…
  4. In the Login – New dialog box, click the Search button.
  5. Click the Locations button and select Entire Directory.
  6. Type SP_Workflow in the Enter the object name to select, and click Check Names. This will resolve the name. Click OK.
  7. In the left hand panel select Server Roles.
  8. Tick both securityadmin and dbcreator then click OK.
  9. Close down SQL Server Management Studio

Giving SP_Workflow administrative rights on the SharePoint machine.

  1. From the start menu, type Edit local users and groups and open up the application.
  2. In the left hand panel, select Groups
  3. In the right hand pane, double click Administrators
  4. On the Administrators Properties dialog box, click Add
  5. Type SP_Workflow in the Enter the object name to select, and click Check Names. This will resolve the name. Click OK.
  6. Close Edit local users and groups.

Install the Microsoft Web Platform Installer 5.0

  1. Go to the URL https://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx and download the latest Microsoft Web Platform Installer
  2. Once downloaded run the file wpilauncher.exe
  3. If like my machine it is already on there, it will just open the Web Platform Installer 5.0 else it will install it for you. Accept the License Agreement and click Install. Then click Finish when complete.

Install Workflow manager

  1. From the Start menu, type Web Platform Installer and open the application

  2. In the search box in the top right of the screen, type Workflow Manager and press Enter.
  3. Click Add on the Workflow manager 1.0 Refresh (CU2) and click Install at the bottom.

  4. Click I Accept

  5. When complete, click Continue.

  6. Click Finish.

  7. Close the Workflow Manger Configuration Wizard that has popped up.

Apply Cumulative Update 3.0 for Workflow Manager 1.0

  1. Close and re-open the Web Platform Installer 5.0 we are going to install the CU 3. (You need to close and re-open otherwise the installer thinks Workflow Manger 1.0 hasn’t been installed)
  2. Type Workflow Manger and press Enter in the top right search box.
  3. Click Add for Workflow Manager 1.0 Cumulative Update 3, then click Install at the bottom.
  4. Click I Accept. Once installed click Finish. Click Exit on the Web Platform Installer.

Configure the Workflow manager

  1. From the start menu, type Workflow Manager Configuration
  2. Click on Configure Workflow Manger with Custom Settings
  3. In the Configure Farm Management Database,
    1. Enter your SQL Server Instance: sql2016.cfcode2016.com
    2. Tick Use the above SQL Server Instance and Settings for all Databases
    3. Enter the Database Name: WF_ManagementDB
    4. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK.
  4. In the Configure Instance Management Database
    1. Enter the Database Name: WF_InstanceManagementDB
    2. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK.
  5. In the Configure Resource Management Database
    1. Enter the Database Name: WF_ResourceManagementDB
    2. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK.
  6. In the Configure Service Account
    1. Enter the User ID: CFCODE2016\SP_Workflow
    2. Enter the Password: Pa55w0rd
  7. In Configure Certificates
    1. Leave Auto-generate ticked
    2. Certificate Generation Key: Pa55w0rd
    3. Confirm Certificate Generation Key: Pa55w0rd
  8. In Configure Ports leave default port numbers
    1. https: 12290
    2. http: 12291
    3. Leave Allow Workflow management over HTTP on this Computer unticked
    4. Leave Enable firewall rules on this compute unticked (As we have disabled our firewall)
  9. In Configure Admin Group
    1. Leave BUILTIN\Administrators
  10. Click Next button
  11. On the Service Bus Configuration page, please provide the following
  12. In Configure Farm Management Database
    1. Enter the Database Name: Sb_ManagementDB
    2. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK
  13. In Configure Gateway Database
    1. Enter the Database Name: Sb_GatewayDB
    2. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK
  14. In Configure Message Container Database
    1. Enter the Database Name: Sb_MessageContainerDB
    2. Click Test Connection button to ensure all working OK
  15. In Configure Service Account
    1. Tick Use the same service account credentials as provided for Workflow Manager
  16. In Configure Certificate
    1. Tick Auto-generate
    2. Tick Use the same certificate generation key as provided for Workflow Manager
  17. In Configure Ports
    1. https: 9355
    2. tcp: 9354
    3. Message Broker Port: 9356
    4. Internal communication Port Range: 9000
    5. Untick Enable firewall rules on this computer (as we have disabled out firewall)
  18. In Configure Admin Group
    1. Leave BUILTIN\Administrators
  19. Click Next button
  20. On the Summary page, click the Tick button at the bottom right of the screen to start installation.
  21. The configuration process can take up to 10 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will see a success pag

Add Workflow Manager Certificate into SharePoint

  1. In Start Menu, type IIS and open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Expand your server name, and Sites. You will now see a site called Workflow Management Site

  3. Click on Workflow Management Site, then on the right hand pane, click Bindings
  4. Select https and click edit.

  5. On the Edit Site Binding, under SSL certificate you will see a Certificate that matches your Server Name. Click the View button.

  6. On the Certificate dialog, click on the Details tab.
  7. Then click Copy to File button.
  8. On the Certificate Export Wizard click Next.
  9. On the Export Private Key page, select No, do not export the private key, click Next

  10. On Export File Format page, select DER encoded binary X.509 (.CER) Click Next
  11. On File to Export page, select a path and filename on your machine. Click Next.

  12. Click Finish. You will receive a successful export message.

Import Certificate into SharePoint Trust

  1. Open SharePoint 2016 central administration
  2. Under Security > General Security click Manage Trust
  3. Click the New button in the ribbon.
  4. On the Establish Trust Relationship page, enter following information:
    1. Name: Workflow Manager
    2. Root Authority Certificate: <Select your file from previous steps>
  5. Click OK.
  6. You will see your certificate in the store.

Register Workflow Service Proxy

  1. In Start Menu, type SharePoint 2016 management Shell (run as administrator) and open the application
  2. In the console type:

Verify the Configuration of Workflow Manager.

  1. Open SharePoint 2016 central administration
  2. Click Application Management
    > Manage services applications
  3. At the bottom of the Manage Services Applications page, there will be Workflow Service Application Proxy

  4. If you click on Workflow Service Application Proxy it will take you a status page that will show you that workflow is now connected.

Check to see Workflow Settings are working in SharePoint Designer

  1. From the start menu, type SharePoint Designer and open the application
  2. Once SharePoint designer has opened, click Open Site.
  3. Type the URL https://dev.cfcode2016.com click Open.
  4. If prompted, enter your credentials
    User: CFCode2016\SP_Setup
    Password: Pa55w0rd
  5. From the Navigation menu, select Workflows
  6. On the ribbon menu, select List Workflow > Documents
  7. In the Create List Workflow dialog, at the bottom you will see a dropdown box for Choose the platform to build your workflow on. Both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 should be listed if the Workflow is set up correctly.

We are almost at the end. You SharePoint farm is configured to give you a good start as a development machine. Only thing left now is actual development tools. That will be covered in my final post of the series. Shut down your machines, take a checkpoint. (We will remove checkpoints in the last post)

Building SharePoint 2016 development environment – Part 14 – Enterprise Search Centre


A few years ago I wrote “Build your SharePoint 2013 development machine on Windows Server 2012” series, I mainly work in the cloud now, but as the blogs was so popular, I thought I would create a new series for the newer version of SharePoint.

You can access other parts of this post below.

Creating a vanity name

  • Log into your domain controller. In Start type DNS and open the DNS Manager.
  • In the left hand pane, expand Forward Lookup Zones and click on cfcode2016.com
  • Right click on cfcode2016.com and select New Host (A or AAAA)…
  • Put in the name search, put the IP address point to the SharePoint Server. 192.168.137.200. Click Add Host

Search Centre Web application

We are now going to create a new Web Application for our Search center site. We are going to create a path-based site collection.

  1. From the start menu, type SharePoint 2016 Central Administration and open the site.
  2. Select Application Management > Manage Web Applications.
  3. In the ribbon click the New icon
  4. In the Create New Web Application dialog leave Create a new IIS web site selected and set up the following
    1. Name: SharePoint Search – 33333,
    2. Port:33333
    3. Host Header: <Leave Blank>
    4. Path: <Leave as default>
    5. Allow Anonymous: No
    6. Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Yes
    7. Claims authentication Types: Leave as is, enabled, integrated, NTLM
    8. Application Pool: Search – 33333
    9. Select Security Account: CFCODE2016\SP_Search
    10. Database Name: SP_SearchDB
  5. Click OK.
  6. After Web Application created, click OK.

IIS Bindings and AAMs.

  • . In Start type IIS and open IIS Manager
  • Navigate to SharePoint Search -33333 and then on the right hand panel, click Bindings…
  • On the Bindings dialog, select the bindings for port 33333 and click Edit
  • Leave the host name blank, but select your certificate. Click Ok
  • Click Add
  • In the Add Site Binding page, select https from the Type dropdown, leave the IP address as All Unassigned, the Port should say 443. Ensure you tick Require Server Name Indication. Enter the Host name as search.cfcode2016.com then select your certificate. Click OK
  • Open SharePoint 2016 Central Administration and select Application Management then Configure alternative access mappings.
  • On the right of the screen, change the Alternate Access Mapping Collection to SharePoint Search -33333
  • Click on the only entry https://cfsp2016:33333 and edit it to say https://search.cfcode2016.com, click OK.
  • Click Add Internal URLs enter https://cfsp2016:33333 click Save.
  • Click Add Internal URLs enter https://cfsp2016.cfcode2016.com:33333 click Save.

Create Search Centre Site Collection

  1. From Central Administration landing page, select Application Management then select Create site collections
  2. Ensure the Web Application is https://search.cfcode2016.com then enter the following information:
    1. Title: Enterprise Search
    2. URL: /
    3. Template Selection: Enterprise > Enterprise Search Center
    4. Primary Site Collection Admin: SP_Setup
  3. Click OK.
  4. Once site is created, just click OK.

Give All users visitors access to Search.

  1. Once the site has been created, navigate to https://search.cfcode2016.com
  2. Go to Site Settings. Click the Cog icon at the top right of the page, then select Site Settings.
  3. Under Users and Permissions, click Site Permissions
  4. Click on Enterprise Search Visitors.
  5. On the menu bar, click New > Add Users
  6. Type and select Everyone. Click Share.

Configure Search Service Settings

  1. Back in Central Administration, select Application Management then Manage service applications.
  2. Click on Search Service Application.
  3. On the Search Service Application page, the top of the screen is already asking you Where should user’s searches go? Click on the location link.
  4. Enter the URL as https://search.cfcode2016.com. Click OK.

Note: At this point I uploaded a document to my intranet.cfcode2016.com site.

Search Content Sources

Here we are going to configure the Content Sources so that it searches and brings back the correct content.

  1. Open SharePoint 2016 Central Administration.
  2. Open Application Management > Manage Service application > Search Service Application
  3. In the Quick Launch menu on the left, under Crawling click Content Sources
  4. Click on Local SharePoint Sites.
  5. In the Start Address remove everything apart from the following :
    1. https://hnsc.cfcode2016.com
    2. https://hnsc.cfcode2016.com:11111
  6. Under Crawl Schedules we are going to set it up to run full crawl once a week and incremental once day. You may configure this differently or not at all for you environment. It really depends how much you need search to be up to date. It is quite an intensive resource process, and we are running everything on one box. Under Incremental Crawl,
    click on Create Schedule
  7. Set the Type as Daily. Accept the defaults and click OK.
  8. Under Full Crawl, click on Edit schedule. Set the Type as Weekly. Accept the defaults and click OK.
  9. Click OK
  10. Back on the Manage Content Source page, click New Content Source in the menu and fill out the following:
    1. Name: People
    2. Content Source Type: SharePoint Sites
    3. Start Addresses: https://my.cfcode2016.com
      sps3s://my.cfcode2016.com
    4. Crawl Settings: Crawl everything under the hostname for each start address
    5. Crawl Schedule: (Same as Local SharePoint Sites, use the dropdown)

Setting the Super User and Super Reader account

  1. Back in SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, select Application Management > Manage Web Applications.
  2. Select SharePoint HNSC Web Application and then click User Policy from the ribbon.
  3. On the Policy for Web Application dialog, click the Add Users on the menu.
  4. Accept (All Zones) then click Next.
  5. Add the user cfcode2016\SP_SuperUser and tick Full Control. Click Finish
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for cfcode2016\SP_SuperReader and give Full Read rights.
  7. Click OK and close Policy for Web Application.

Kick off a full crawl

  1. Head back to the Search Service Application Service (Application Management > Manage Service Applications > Search Service Application.
  2. On the quick launch menu area, look for Content Sources under Crawling and click it.
  3. On the Manage Content Source page, click Start all crawls. This will kick of search crawling on your server.
  4. After crawling had finished, I headed to https://search.cfcode2016.com and searched for my document I uploaded earlier called “typescript”

Issue with People Search.

If you go to your People Search and type * but find no results come back, and you have followed everything correctly, I would ask you to check one thing.

  1. In SharePoint 2016 Central Administration, go to Application Management > Manage Service Applications. Then highlight the SharePoint User Profile Service Application.
  2. Click Administrator from the ribbon. Ensure that SP_Search is in there and has the permission Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers, and ensure that SP_Farm is in there with Full Control.
  3. After updating this, run another full crawl, then try People search again.

We are almost at the end of the blog series on building a SharePoint 2016 development machine. Two more posts to go. Setting up workflows and setting up Visual Studio. Shut down your machines, take a checkpoint.