Issues reported with the MCMS security update

April 15, 2007

Stefan has reported several problems with the MCMS security update, being experienced by several customers, please check out his article for details on the issues, reasons why and the workarounds.


Mandatory hot fix for MCMS

April 12, 2007

[Via Stefan]

A security fix for MCMS 2001 and 2002 has been released this week.

It is mandatory to install this fix on all production machines to fix a known security hole which exists in all edition of MCMS.

Be aware that the MCMS 2002 version of this fix can only be installed on SP2. As older service pack levels are no longer supported the fix has only been released for the supported service pack levels.

In order to ensure that your MCMS 2002 machine is no longer vulnerable you have to ensure that MCMS 2002 SP2 is installed and after this the security fix MS07-018.


Upgrade to MOSS today

March 7, 2007

I have previously posted about the removal of customer support from Microsoft for MCMS SP1a on January 9th 2007. I highly recommend that customers that wish to maintain their support arrangements for their content management platform, upgrade MCMS to SP2.

Also the new MOSS platform is providing lots of benefits to previous MCMS customers. A lot of the custom built features of MCMS such as content publishing, workflow extensions, search and content review notifications are now straight out of the box.

Quite a few of my customers are reviewing both their Intranet (SharePoint Portal Server) and Internet (MCMS) platforms and are consolidating towards a single technology platform (MOSS).

I would highly recommend migrating to the new MOSS technology platform for any of my SPS or MCMS customers as this Enterprise level solution is providing lots of benefical features to help organisations operate more effectively.


ASP.NET AJAX – SharePoint and MCMS Kits

January 24, 2007

Good news the ASP.NET AJAX framework (previously known as Atlas) has been released – RTM. Other good news for the SharePoint developers is the release, by Daniel Larson, of the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions Toolkit for SharePoint. And MCMS developers haven’t missed out either, check out this posting from Stefan Goßner regarding enabling ASP.NET AJAX with MCMS.


MCMS SP1a support ends soon

November 3, 2006

Just read a posting on Stefan Goßner’s blog that might be interesting to note for MCMS customers

“A short note for all customers who have not yet upgraded to MCMS 2002 SP2.

As outlined on the Microsoft support lifecycle page for service packs support for MCMS 2002 SP1a will end at January 9th, 2007. Support for SP1 already ended on July 11th, 2006.
Customers requiring support for their MCMS environment will have to upgrade to SP2.”

As I stated in a previous post, any customer using SP1a should seriously consider migrating to SP2 or even MOSS 2007.


Mapping MCMS terminology to MOSS

September 11, 2006

Those that currently develop MCMS 2002 sites and want to move over to MOSS 2007, will need to understand the equivalent terminology in the new platform. The information below provides a list of MCMS terms and their equivalent term in MOSS 2007.

MCMS 2002 MOSS 2007
Template definition Content Type
Template page (.ASPX) Page Layout
Content placeholder List Column
Placeholder controls Web controls
Posting Page
Channel Site
Resource gallery Document library, picture library
Basic built-in workflow Windows Workflow Framework (WF)

Other equivalences that you will need to become familiar with would be the namespace changes. A good article on the API differences is on the MSDN site.


MCMS 2002 vs MOSS 2007 Terms

September 11, 2006

Those that currently develop MCMS 2002 sites and want to move over to MOSS 2007, will need to understand the equivalent terminology in the new platform. The information below provides a list of MCMS terms and their equivalent term in MOSS 2007.

MCMS 2002 MOSS 2007
Template definition Content Type
Template page (.ASPX) Page Layout
Content placeholder List Column
Placeholder controls Web controls
Posting Page
Channel Site
Resource gallery Document library, picture library
Basic built-in workflow Windows Workflow Framework (WF)

Other equivalences that you will need to become familiar with would be the namespace changes. A good article on the API differences is on the MSDN site.


Web Content Management Links and Resources

September 4, 2006

Andrew Connell an MCMS MVP has compiled a very comprehensive list of links and resource around Web Content Management in MOSS 2007 and MCMS 2002. Definitely one for bookmarking.


CMS Assessment Tool

September 4, 2006

For those who currently operate MCMS 2002 sites and are considering the move to MOSS 2007, it has never been easier. As I have stated previously, migration is a two step process, step one being the content and step two being the site code. Content is migrated to MOSS using the content migration tool. During this process the tool will perform several tests on your MCMS database. Although this will give a fairly comprehensive report on the state of the content, it doesn’t address issues that might arise during the manual code migration.

The CMS Assessment Tool is a tool that has been developed to perform the same tests that occur during the migration plus a review of the source code. Information on how to install, run and interpret the result can be found here.

The CMS Assessment Tool can be run over any current MCMS solution and you do not even need to have MOSS 2007 installed. I would encourage anyone thinking about migration to MOSS, to run the assessment tool to determine any road blocks or areas that will need to be worked on during migration.


TechEd 2006 – Was fantastic

August 30, 2006

Last week I attended TechEd 2006 in Sydney. It was fantastic. I was able to attend some excellent sessions on MOSS run by Arphan Shah and Angus Logan. I especially enjoyed the session on Web Content Management and also the one on upgrading MCMS to MOSS by Chris Johnson.

During my time in Sydney I was able to catch up with quite a few of the Microsoft guys including Angus Logan, Pen Lewin, Mike Fitzmaurice and Arphan Shah (I have included a picture below taken by Elaine Van Bergen during the 1:1 session with Arphan – sorry for the quality it was taken using the camera on my phone).

Arphan Shah and I

Arphan was impressed to hear that my son (Ethan, 6 years) is currently blogging using Microsoft Office Word 2007.


DCA and SQL login KB913400

July 31, 2006
When configuring an MCMS in the production environment I did not have access to an Active Directory. I therefore used an SQL logon to access the database with the DCA. Unfortunately I received the following message regardless of granting the SQL login DBO access to the database.

Error verifying rights: Using a SQL Login to access the database requires that this Login have DBO rights because it is used by this application to configure the database. Using Trusted Authentication to access the database only requires that the previously defined MCMS system account have the following database privileges: db_datareader, db_datawriter and db_ddladmin.

I found that Microsoft have release a hotfix KB913400 on 26 July, 2006 that resolves this issue. You will need to log a support call with Microsoft.

Disable the Warning before leaving page message

July 27, 2006

I recently had a requirement to remove the warning message that is displayed when a user tries to leave a MCMS posting while editing it.

I found a javascript method in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Content Management Server\Server\IIS_CMS\WebAuthor\Client\AuthFormClient.js file.

WBC_offWarningBeforeLeave();

This did the trick.


Reusing MCMS dialogs

July 27, 2006

Have you have written a custom placeholder and wanted to allow the user to select an image from the resource gallery? Well, the AuthFormClient.js has several Javascript methods that allow you to do just this.

WBC_launchImageGallery(strPostingQueryString, strPhName, strPhType, bAllowUpload)

There are lots methods in the MCMS framework files that do all sorts of cool things (and even some mysterious things), so check them out.


Helicon ISAPI Rewrite

July 27, 2006

I have been developing an MCMS site for a customer that consists of an Authoring and Presentation server in Production. The servers have Map Host Headers enabled. The server are mapped as MCMSAUTHOR for the authoring server and the presentation server as mcms.customer.com.au.

In order to allow content to be migrated between the two environments using the SDAPI without getting a new top level channel in presentation called “MCMSAUTHOR”, install this tool (Helicon ISAPI Reweite Lite) http://www.isapirewrite.com/. This tool enables you to rename the top level channel in the authoring environment to be mcms.customer.com.au. Thus migration occurs correctly.

The rules for this transformation would be:

RewriteCond Host: mcmsauthor
RewriteHeader Host: .* mcms\.customer\.com\.au


What Service Pack do I have installed?

July 27, 2006

A simple way to determine the service pack level installed in your MCMS 2002, is to open Site Manager and go into Help About from the menu. Check the reported Server Version against the following list:

5.0.1581.0 = RTM
5.0.2284.0 = SP1
5.0.4484.0 = SP1a
5.0.5054.0 = SP2


Mapping host headers causes looping Windows Authentication

June 6, 2006

A new feature added to Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP SP2 (Loopback check security, that helps mitigate reflection attacks). If you configure an IIS site to use a host header and configure that site to use windows integrated authentication, you may have experienced problems logging in to the site.

The symptoms can include:

  • IIS prompting for credentials event though you are logged into the domain and have configured IE to pass credentials automatically.
  • Not being able to log into the site no matter what username/password you use
  • Getting HTTP 404.1 when trying to access the site
  • Authentication events in the security event log like Event ID 537 : An error occurred during logon

A detailed description of the issue can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=896861

To resolve the issue you can either turn off the loopback check on the entire server or indicate which host header map back to the local loopback address. (I have found that only the disabling solved my issues).

Method 1: Disable Loopback Checking

  • open regedit
  • Find HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa
  • Create a new DWORD value called DisableLoopbackCheck and give it a value of 1
  • Restart the computer

Method 2: Specify Host Names

  • Open regedit
  • Find HKLM\system\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\MSV1_0
  • Create a new multi-string value called BackConnectionHostNames
  • Add the host headers to this value that map back to the local loopback
  • Restart your computer

Upgrade path for MCMS

April 4, 2006

Recently I have been investigating the upgrade path for our existing MCMS customers towards Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 . I have been looking at providing the smoothest transition.

Migration to the new platform will be done in two parts, content migration and code migration.

To facilitate the content migration a built-in feature of MOSS 2007 is used that migrates content which includes channels, postings, placeholder content, custom properties, resource galleries, resources, rights groups, users, template galleries and template gallery items. To use the Content migration feature the existing MCMS environment is required to be upgraded to SP2. Content migration can be achieved as an entire site migration or on a channel by channel basis.

Code migration is not as simple as the content migration as the entire architecture has been revisited. Upgrading the existing MCMS environment to SP2 allows the utilisation of Visual Studio 2005 and the new ASP.NET 2.0 features such as SiteMap Provider, Menu control, Master Pages, etc… The upgrade to SP2 also allows the use of SQL Server 2005, which brings great performance improvements. If the MCMS is modified to used Master Pages these can be migrated to the SharePoint Server site. Be aware that Custom placeholders are being replaced with SharePoint Server field controls, any custom placeholders will need to be redeveloped as SharePoint server field controls, so any development effort spent in this area should be assessed in a cost benefit.

So far, I have upgraded three customer sites to SP2 and have found the process to be quite painless. I would recommend that any one still using SP1a consider upgrading their environments.

There are several recommended steps for preparing MCMS 2002 sites for migration, these are:

Upgrade the application to MCMS SP2, which adds support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, and Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
Modify the application to use ASP.NET 2.0 features. For more information see Designing your MCMS 2002 Solution for Reusability.
Minimise the number of templates. You can implement most sites with fewer than 30 templates.
Use ASP.NET master pages in the MCMS 2002 templates to encapsulate styles, layout and other site branding artifacts.
Modify the navigation controls to use ASP.NET navigation provider based on the MCMS 2002 Publishing API.
If the site uses ASP.NET forms authentication, use the ASP.NET authentication provider.
Move business logic code out of template files and encapsulate calls to the MCMS 2002 Publishing API into a data abstraction layer.

The future of content management within MOSS 2007 is going to be exciting and given the clear upgrade path from Microsoft it should reasonably easy to migrate (given preparations have been made).


MCMS SP2 Article List

February 13, 2006

Andrew Connell has compiled a pretty comprehensive list of MCMS SP2 related articles. The list can be found on his blog.


MCMS Roadmap and Future

February 9, 2006

Via http://blogs.msdn.com/arpans/archive/2005/12/30/508244.aspx

This is a very interesting read from Arpan Shah, Product Manager for MCMS at Microsoft. He talks about the future of MCMS and its alignment with the SharePoint product.

“…we are building CMS functionality on top of Wndows SharePoint Services (WSS) “v3″. CMS and SPS, along with a lot of other great functionality, will be one integrated set of technologies built on top of WSS “v3″. The Office Server investments built on top of WSS “v3″ are codenamed Office “12″ SharePoint Servers…”

Arpan examines the different experiences for different CMS 2002 roles in the Office “12″ timeframe for End-User/Subscribers, Content Contributor, Template Designer and IT Professionals

He also discusses some of the new features, such as a more complete API and enhanced Workflow. The workflow functionality will be built on top of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) for which WSS “v3″ is the host. Enterprise Search will also be integrated with the CMS functionality in Office “12″ and greater support for multilingual content will be in the base product.

Being built on top of WSS “v3″ means that CMS will be able to access a rich set of feature. Several example are Single Item Security, Recycle Bin, RSS, Page Layouts (“template”) can have workflow and Web Parts.

In the mean time, if you are a CMS 2002 customer today, Arphan suggest that you take a look at the Reusability Whitepaper as well as his posting on start getting ready for Office “12″. You should also contact your account manager/Microsoft representitive for more information on the futures of CMS.


Telerik blog

January 13, 2006

Support staff from Telerik are now blogging, check out there new blog http://blogs.telerik.com


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