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New features in outgoing email settings SharePoint 2016

New features in outgoing email settings SharePoint 2016

Introduction of New features in outgoing email settings like non-default port can be set in the field “SMTP Server port”. which means SMTP server can use non-default ports.

SharePoint Server 2016 supports sending email to SMTP servers that use STARTTLS connection encryption.STARTTLS is an extension to plain text communication protocols, which offers a way to upgrade a plain text connection to an encrypted (TLS or SSL) connection instead of using a separate port for encrypted communication.

This Outgoing Email Settings supports sending mail to SMTP servers using STARTTLS connection encryption, therefore SMTP can use non-default ports. It does not support unencrypted connections.

The following list shows the SharePoint 2016 requirements that are needed to negotiate connection encryption with an SMTP server:

  • STARTTLS must be enabled on the SMTP server.
  • The SMTP server must support the TLS 1.0, TSL 1.1, or TLS 1.2 protocol.
  • The SMTP server must have a server certificate installed.
  • The server certificate must be valid. Typically, this means that the name of the server certificate must match the name of the SMTP server provided to SharePoint. The server certificate must also be issued by a certificate authority that is trusted by the SharePoint server.
  • SharePoint must be configured to use SMTP connection encryption.
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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) with SMTP Connection Encryption

To configure SharePoint to always use SMTP connection encryption, In SharePoint Central Administration website and under System Settings , Configure outgoing e-mail settings and set the Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) drop-down menu to Yes. To configure SharePoint to always use SMTP connection encryption in Windows PowerShell, use the Set-SPWebApplication cmdlet without the -DisableSMTPEncryption parameter.

For example:
$WebApp = Get-SPWebApplication -IncludeCentralAdministration | ? {
$_.IsAdministrationWebApplication -eq $true }
Set-SPWebApplication -Identity $WebApp -SMTPServer smtp.internal.contoso.com -OutgoingEmailAddress sharepoint@domain.com -ReplyToEmailAddress sharepoint@domain.com
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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) with No SMTP Connection Encryption

To configure SharePoint to never use SMTP connection encryption in SharePoint Central Administration, browse to System Settings > Configure outgoing email settings and set the Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) drop-down menu to No.

To configure SharePoint to never use SMTP connection encryption in Windows PowerShell, use the Set-SPWebApplication cmdlet with the -DisableSMTPEncryption parameter.

For example:
$WebApp = Get-SPWebApplication -IncludeCentralAdministration | ? {
$_.IsAdministrationWebApplication -eq $true }
Set-SPWebApplication -Identity $WebApp -SMTPServer smtp.internal.contoso.com -DisableSMTPEncryption -OutgoingEmailAddress sharepoint@domain.com -ReplyToEmailAddress sharepoint@domain.com

SharePoint 2016 Help Collection

In this article, we will discuss ,how to use PowerShell cmdlets for managing Help Collections SharePoint.

SharePoint help collection is not configured with SharePoint Configuration, This needs to manually configured.SharePoint Help Files(.Cab) installed on the hive folder with SharePoint Installation but not configured by default. In order to configure it we have to run the PowerShell commands.

when users click on the Help button  on their site collection, they get the following error

help

” Unfortunately, Help Seems to be broken,There aren’t any help collections in the current language for the site you’re using.”

unfortunately-help-seems-to-be-broken

Even if go to Site settings > Site administration > Help Settings will get this

home-error

Clearly Help collection is broken and now it is SharePoint Admins responsibility to fix the broken Help Collection.

S0lution :

In order to fix the broken help collection, following activities needs to be done.

Check the CAB files exist
Get the Current Help File Status
Install the Help File(s)
Testing

Check Help Files :

Logon the SharePoint Server and browse to the hive folder.

Go to “C:\program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\16\HCCab

In this folder, make sure you see cab files for 14 & 15.

cab-file

If you have multiple language packs then check each language folder i.e English is 1033

  • Log on the server with farm admin account
  • Open PowerShell windows (Run as Administrator)
  • Run the Get-sphelpcollection command

get-sphelp

you can see nothing return even command completed successfully

Install Help files :

install all the available help,run the command with all options

  • Log on the server with farm admin account
  • Open PowerShell (Run as Administrator) and run Install-SPHelpCollection – All

install-sphelp

This command will install the help files available in the hive folder.
Wait for 5 minutes to completely install it, if you have multiple language packs install then even wait little more.
Now run Get-SpHelpCollection and you will get something like this.

get-sphelp2

Test it at both locations via site settings as well as from the browsing the Site collection.

Go to Site collection > Site settings > help Settings and you will see this option

home

Now if you click on the “?” (help button) on the top suite bar, you will get this pop up

central-admin-help

Uninstall :

As we noticed, we have 2010 help files also installed, we have to uninstall one by one.

  • Log on the server with farm admin account
  • Open PowerShell ( Run as administrator) and run this command
  • Uninstall-SpHelpCollection –Name “OSSEndUser.1033.12”

uninstall-help

Conclusion :

In this session we learned how to fix the broken Help Collection.

Keep reading and learning.

Parallel Query Processing

  • SQL Server provides parallel queries to optimize query execution and index operations for computers that have more than one microprocessor (CPU). Because SQL Server can perform a query or index operation in parallel by using several operating system threads, the operation can be completed quickly and efficiently.
  • During query optimization, SQL Server looks for queries or index operations that might benefit from parallel execution.

  • For these queries, SQL Server inserts exchange operators into the query execution plan to prepare the query for parallel execution. 

  • An exchange operator is an operator in a query execution plan that provides process management, data redistribution, and flow control. The exchange operator includes the Distribute Streams, Repartition Streams, and Gather Streams logical operators as subtypes, one or more of which can appear in the Show plan output of a query plan for a parallel query.

  • After exchange operators are inserted, the result is a parallel-query execution plan.

  • A parallel-query execution plan can use more than one thread. A serial execution plan, used by a nonparallel query, uses only one thread for its execution. The actual number of threads used by a parallel query is determined at query plan execution initialization and is determined by the complexity of the plan and the degree of parallelism.

  • Degree of parallelism determines the maximum number of CPUs that are being used; it does not mean the number of threads that are being used. The degree of parallelism value is set at the server level and can be modified by using the sp_configure system stored procedure.

  • You can override this value for individual query or index statements by specifying the MAXDOP query hint or MAXDOP index option.

The SQL Server query optimizer does not use a parallel execution plan for a query if any one of the following conditions is true:

  • The serial execution cost of the query is not high enough to consider an alternative, parallel execution plan.
  • A serial execution plan is considered faster than any possible parallel execution plan for the particular query.
  • The query contains scalar or relational operators that cannot be run in parallel. Certain operators can cause a section of the query plan to run in serial mode, or the whole plan to run in serial mode.

To configure the max degree of parallelism option

  1. In Object Explorer, right-click a server and select Properties.

  2. Click the Advanced node.

  3. In the Max Degree of Parallelism box, select the maximum number of processors to use in parallel plan execution.

Add SQL Server Availability Group to Exiting Failover Cluster Instance–Part1 of 2

Introduction

Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 AlwaysOn provides flexible design choices for selecting an appropriate high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) solution for your application. Building on that fact I will be providing a posts that provides a step-by-step configuration for extending a 2 Node SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance with a 3rd Node that host AlwaysOn Availability Group (This scenario is also known as FCI+AG). For more information about SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn high availability and disaster recovery design patterns, see SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn High Availability and Disaster Recovery Design Patterns.

Prerequisites

This posts assumes a basic knowledge of failover cluster instances (FCIs), availability groups, high availability, and disaster recovery concepts. For more information about the full AlwaysOn solution feature set, see the Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn Solutions Guide for High Availability and Disaster Recovery white paper.

Scenario

In this scenario I will be using a preconfigured FCI with 2 Nodes, and will be walking through the activities needed for adding a 3rd Node as a DR Server with the following software setup:

  1. Windows Server 2012 R2
  2. All servers are joined to the domain

To make the scenario simple I will be using a Domain Account that has a Local Administrator Permission on All Nodes. In addition, the configuration below will be using a combination of PowerShell Scripts (that will be running as Admin) and GUI so let’s get started:

1. Installing SQL Server on DR Node

We need to install a New Standalone Instance on the DR Node. I will do that using the below sample unattended SQL Setup Script:

Setup.exe /q /ACTION=Install /FEATURES=SQL /INSTANCENAME=MSSQLSERVER /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”” /SQLSVCPASSWORD=”” /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS=”” /AGTSVCACCOUNT=”” /AGTSVCPASSWORD=”” /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS<

2. Installing Windows Failover Cluster on DR Node

Login to the DR Node and run the below script using PowerShell:

Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering –IncludeAllSubFeature
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools

3. Add DR Node to Existing Windows Failover Cluster

Login to the Active Node on the FCI >> Open “Failover Cluster Manager” and Right click on “Nodes”, Then click on “Add Node”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

User keyboard to Enter server name: in “Add Node Wizard” then click on “Add” in “Add Node Wizard”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Select “No” for Validating Cluster and Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Unselect “Add all eligible storage to the cluster. (check box)” in “Add Node Wizard”

Click on “Next” in “Add Node Wizard”

Make sure that the new node appears in the list of nodes.