Friday, May 8, 2009

SharePoint SP2 is out

I don't know if any of you know this, but the SP2 for SharePoint was released on April 28.

The following text is from the Microsoft blog post


Customers can be benefited from the following enhancements with Service Pack 2.

  • Performance and Availability Improvements

Service Pack 2 includes many fixes and enhancements designed to improve performance, availability, and stability in your server farms, including:

    • New Timer job automatically rebuilds content database index to improve database performance.
    • When a content database is marked as read-only, the user interface will be modified so users cannot perform tasks that require writing to the database.
    • Performance enhancement across nearly all the components. 
  • Improved Interoperability

Service Pack 2 continues to improve SharePoint interoperability with other products and platforms.

    • Broader support of browsers 
      Internet Explorer 8 is added into Level 1 browser support. 
      FireFox 3.0 is added into Level 2 browser support. (Firefox 2.0 is no longer supported by Mozilla)
    • Provide improved client integration user experience with Form Based Authentication. Now the client application can store user credentials instead of asking for them every time. For more technical details please refer to the updated articles on TechNet. 
      Configure forms-based authentication (Office SharePoint Server 
      Configure forms-based authentication (Windows SharePoint Services) 
  • Getting Ready for SharePoint Server 2010

A new preupgradecheck operation is added to stsadm tool. It can be used to scan your server farm to establish whether it is ready for upgrade to SharePoint Products and Technologies "14". It identifies issues that could present obstacles to the upgrade process. It checks for several SharePoint Products and Technologies "14" system requirements, including the presence of Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 and a 64-bit hardware, and provides feedback and best practice recommendations for your current environment, together with information on how to resolve any issues that the tool discovers. 

Along with all the improvements, the preupgrade check is going to be handy for analyzing the  upgrade path to Office 14. I actually went ahead and installed the Service Pack 2 on a SharePoint server which only had SP1 installed on there and no updates after that. The upgrade process went smoothly with no hiccups. The one thing to note is that SP2 is available as a separate download for both WSS and MOSS. The SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration wizard will pop up as soon as you finish installing the WSS SP2. It will save time to exit out of that (if you have MOSS installed), then install the SP2 for MOSS and then run the wizard. This wizard modifies database schema, so it saves time to run it once for both. 

SP2 can be installed on any build before before Fenruary 2009, which means that you could install it on a SharePoint server that has no service packs installed yet, just SP1, or the infrastructure update and builds after that but before February 2009.

This means that the newly released April "uber" package that Stefan talks about here is not included in SP2. The "uber" package will need to be installed after SP2.

Just to be safe, please try installing SP2 on a test/stage environment before unleashing it on production to make sure it will work for you :).

Update: I installed the SP2 as mentioned above, but ran into an issue right after where I could not authenticate to SharePoint using IE7 or SP Designer. I tried getting all the latest updates but that did not help either. I tried authenticating with Firefox and it authenticated just fine. So in case any of you come across this authentication with IE issue, here is what I found after some looking around.

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and then click the following registry key:
  3. Right-click Lsa, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. Type DisableLoopbackCheck, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click DisableLoopbackCheck, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor, and then restart your computer.

I tried this out and it worked wonderfully.

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