Archive for May, 2012

SharePoint: How to create a custom master page

May 26th, 2012 No comments

    Sometimes we need to add a JavaScript to, change layout or make other alterations in a master page that is used by a SharePoint application. Certainly, we can modify built-in master pages, but it’s far away from the best practices. Moreover, all changes we made may be lost after a regular SharePoint update. So, we should make a copy of a particular built-in master page, deploy it through a feature and set as default for our application instead of the built-in one.

Making a full copy

Let’s assume our application is bound to the V4.master (usually located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\GLOBAL or C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS), which is default for SharePoint 2010. We make a full copy of the master page and name it MyV4.master.

If you still use SharePoint 2007, your application is likely bound to the default.master (usually located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\GLOBAL). Create a full copy of it.

Creating a feature

In a new VisualStudio 2010 SharePoint project or in an existent one, we create a feature and call it, for example, MyMasterPageFeature. We add a Module to the project, let’s say MyMasterPage, put the MyV4.master into the Module and modify Elements.xml properly. Below is the possible project’s structure:

Structure of SharePoint Project containing Feature

Where the Elements.xml from the MyMasterPage Module should look like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="">
  <Module Name="MyMasterPage" Url="_catalogs/masterpage" Path="" RootWebOnly="FALSE">    
    <File Path="MyMasterPage\MyV4.master" Url="MyV4.master" Type="GhostableInLibrary" />

The manifest of the MyMasterPageFeature in design mode (or the feature.xml in a resultant wsp package) should look like the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Feature xmlns="" 
             Title="MySharePointProject Feature" 
             Description="MySharePointProject Feature" 
    <ElementManifest Location="MyMasterPage\Elements.xml" />
    <ElementFile Location="MyMasterPage\MyV4.master" />

If it’s a new SharePoint project intended for the feature only, we can leave Package.Template.xml and MyMasterPageFeature.Template.xml without any changes.

For a SharePoint 2007 application or one migrated from it the possible project’s structure is shown below. The content of the xml files in question is the same as for 2010 version.

Structure of SharePoint 2007 Project containing Feature

Subclassing MasterPage

On this stage I also suggest to subclass the master page‘s class. In this case you will have more control under the master page‘s rendering; it can be very useful in the future. For this, just add a new cs-file (for example, MyMasterPageClass.cs) to the project and put the following code into the file:

using System;
using System.Web.UI;

namespace MySharePointProject
    public class MyMasterPageClass : MasterPage
        protected override void OnLoad(EventArgs e)

In the MyV4.master replace the line

<%@Master language="C#" %>

with the one like this

<%@Master language="C#" 
   Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=acf3114812c89a34" %>

Deploying the wsp package and activating the feature

Ok, now we need to build the project, make a wsp package and deploy it. All these actions can be easily done from Visual Studio 2010, or, in case of SharePoint 2007, by means of WSPBuilder. If you prefer deploying wsp packages through PowerShell (SharePoint 2010 only), it’s mentioned here. Or use stsadm.exe for SharePoint 2007.

Make sure that the MyMasterPageClass is registered as safe control in a web.config corresponding to your SharePoint application:

	<SafeControl Assembly="MySharePointProject, Version=, 
                                  Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=acf3114812c89a34" 
                          Namespace="MySharePointProject" TypeName="*" 
                          Safe="True" SafeAgainstScript="False" />

Now everything is ready to activate the feature, so we do this through the UI, PowerShell (SharePoint 2010 only) or stsadm.exe (SharePoint 2007 only).

Set the custom Master Page as Default

After the feature is activated we need to set the MyV4.master as Default. For already deployed SharePoint applications it can be done through the SharePoint Designer.

Set Default Master Page

For new applications we should provide something like this within our ONET.xml:

    <Configuration ID="0" Name="Default" MasterUrl="_catalogs/masterpage/MyV4.master">

Since that moment we have our own customizable master page and have a full control under what and how is being rendered.

SharePoint: Removing a BDC model via PowerShell

May 7th, 2012 No comments

    In one of the previous posts I showed how to import a BDC model; the current one is about removing. The following script allows to remove a bdc model by its name:

$model = Get-SPBusinessDataCatalogMetadataObject 
    -Name "yourModelName" -BDCObjectType Model -ServiceContext "http://yourWebAppUrl"
Remove-SPBusinessDataCatalogModel -identity $model -Confirm:$false

Note: here command line parameters are wrapped to the next lines for readability only. In SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, each command and its parameters should be in the same line.

The Get-SPBusinessDataCatalogMetadataObject command gets a Model object by its name and saves reference to it in the $model variable. The Model object is relevant to your web application accessible through the url http://yourWebAppUrl. As its name implies, the Remove-SPBusinessDataCatalogModel method removes the received model using the $model variable. -Confirm:$false allows to skip an YES/NO confirmation arising right before a model is deleted indeed. Remember that the operation isn’t reversible, use the -Confirm:$false with precaution.

If you need to remove all bdc models, you can use the script as follows:

$metaStore = Get-SPBusinessDataCatalogMetadataObject
                -BdcObjectType Catalog -ServiceContext "http://yourWebAppUrl"
foreach ($model in $metaStore.GetModels("*")) { 
		Remove-SPBusinessDataCatalogModel –Identity $model -Confirm:$false

Note: here command line parameters are wrapped to the next lines for readability only. In SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, each command and its parameters should be in the same line.

SharePoint: “Value does not fall within the expected range” exception in SPFieldMap.GetColumnNumber

May 4th, 2012 No comments

    If you get the exception shown below, you likely need to increase the List View Lookup Threshold.

[ArgumentException: Value does not fall within the expected range.]
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFieldMap.GetColumnNumber(String strFieldName, Boolean bThrow) +23672719
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItemCollection.GetColumnNumber(String groupName, Boolean bThrowException) +174
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItemCollection.GetRawValue(String fieldname, Int32 iIndex, Boolean bThrow) +44
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.GetValue(SPField fld, Int32 columnNumber, Boolean bRaw, Boolean bThrowException) +26792787
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.GetValue(String strName, Boolean bThrowException) +77
   Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem.get_Item(String fieldName) +12

Go to Central Administration, click on Application Management, then click on Manage web applications, select an application throwing the exception (in my case it’s SharePoint – 80), in the upper Ribbon click on arrow below the General Settings group to display a drop-down menu, click on Resource Throttling.

General Settings - Resource Throttling

Increase a value of the List View Lookup Threshold. The default value is 8. I set to 20, and the exception is gone.

List View Lookup Threshold

SharePoint: Deploying a BDC model via PowerShell

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

    In SharePoint 2010 a BDC model can be easily deployed using PowerShell. Launch SharePoint 2010 Management Shell (click on Start, then All Programs -> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products -> SharePoint 2010 Management Shell) and execute the following script:

$metaStore = Get-SPBusinessDataCatalogMetadataObject 
                -BdcObjectType "Catalog" -ServiceContext "http://yourWebAppUrl"
                -Path "c:\folder\subfolder\yourfile.bdcm" -Identity $metaStore -Force

Note: here command line parameters are wrapped to the next lines for readability only. In SharePoint 2010 Management Shell, each command and its parameters should be in the same line.

The first command, Get-SPBusinessDataCatalogMetadataObject, returns and saves in the $metaStore variable a Catalog metadata object relevant to your web application accessible through the url http://yourWebAppUrl. The second command, Import-SPBusinessDataCatalogModel, imports a Business Data Connectivity Model defined in a file, path of which is indicated by the -Path key. The model is to be added to the Catalog referenced by the $metaStore and overwrites the existent version (if any) due to the -Force key.

Despite the -Force key you can get the following error:

Error: Cannot merge contents of LobSystem (External System) with Name 'Products' 
as it appears to be different from a preexisting LobSystem in the current load context.

What you need to do in this case is remove the previous version of the model.