Thursday, June 7, 2012

Enabling in browser support for PDF

A very old post I forgot to publish about enabling SharePoint browser support of PDF

If you have a default SharePoint 2010 setup you would notice that when you go to open a Pdf file SharePoint prompts you to save it rather than opening.

The cause of this behavior is SharePoint 2010 Browser File Handling. This property is on SharePoint Web Application level and its value determines how files are treated in the browser. “Strict” specifies that MIME content types which are not listed in “AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes” are forced to be downloaded. “Permissive” specifies that the HTML and other content types which might contain script are allowed to be displayed directly in the browser. Source:

“AllowedInlineDownloadedMimeTypes” is a collection of MIME types. This list of MIME types does not contain MIME type of Pdf documents by default. It is important to understand that by adding Pdf MIME type to IIS settings you will not solve this issue.

Solution #1 (via User Interface):

The solution is to change Browser File Handling property on Web Application level. For that you need to be a Farm Administrator. Steps to change Browser File Handling property:

  • Go to SharePoint 2010 Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Web Applications
  • Select the row of your web application
  • Click General Settings in the ribbon
  • Scroll down to Browser File Handling and select Permissive
  • Click Ok

Now, your Pdf document will be opened in the browser.

By default, option is set to Strict when creating a web application. When set to Strict, a Pdf document (and other file types) can only be Saved (downloaded), but in Permissive mode, the Pdf document can be opened in the browser by default (this is a setting you can change. See Document Library Settings -> Open in the Client).

Limitation #1:
Once you enabled “Permissive” Browser File Handling, SharePoint will allow all documents be opened in the browser. Today, there is no “out-of-the-box” option to allow Permissive option for Pdf documents only.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Migrate SharePoint 2010 My Sites from default Web Application

Recently I had a client that had setup their "My Sites" in the same web application as their default intranet and wanted to move them to a new web application.
I found several posts on how to exporting my sites like this one and migrating My Sites to a new Content Database but none that actually tacked the issue of moving to a new Web Application.
Well this turned out to be easier than I thought.

  1. Migrate the "My Sites" content to a new content database.
    $db = Get-SPContentDatabase WSS_Content
    Get-SPSite http://portal/personal/* -Limit ALL | where { $_.ContentDatabase -eq $db }
    Get-SPSite http://portal/personal/* -Limit ALL | where { $_.ContentDatabase -eq $db } | Move-SPSite -DestinationDatabase WSS_Content_My_Sites -Confirm:$false
  2. Remove this new content database from the current Web Application.
    In Central Admin -> Application Management -> Manage content databases. Select Content DB, in my case WSS_Content_My_Sites and select Remove content database

  3. Create a new Web Application to house the My Sites.
    Central Admin -> Application Management -> Managed web applications -> Select New from the ribbon.  There is no need to create a new site collection since we are going to drop the content database that will be created.
  4. Re-attach the content database previously removed to this new Web Application
    Central Admin -> Application Management -> Manage content databases.
    Make sure you select the correct Web Application and use the correct database name.

  5. Set the Self-Service Site Creation for the new My Site Web Application.
    Central Admin-> Application Manager -> Manage web application -> select site then Self-Service Site Creation in ribbon
  6. Update links in SharePoint to create new "My Sites" in this new location.
    Central Admin -> Application Management -> Manage service applications
    Select User Profile Service then Manage in the ribbon
    Under My Site Settings -> Setup My Sites -> update My Site Host location
  7. Remove the content database that was created with the new "My Site" Web Application

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to get a SharePoint person field's email adress

This week I had the need to access the email address of a user that was in a person field of a SharePoint list.

Well I incorrectly assumed that this was some flavor of  a SPUser object, turns out the person field in a SPList is a special type SPFieldUser.

Well lets cut to the chase this is the code to access the email address of a SPListItem person column;

private bool EmailUser(SPListItem spListItem, string recordColumn, string subject, string message)
            SPFieldUser spFieldUser = (SPFieldUser)spListItem.Fields[recordColumn];
            SPFieldUserValue spFieldUserValue = (SPFieldUserValue)spFieldUser.GetFieldValue(
            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(spFieldUserValue.User.Email) == false)
                return SPUtility.SendEmail(spListItem.Web, false, false, spFieldUserValue.User.Email, subject, message);
                LogWrite("Error", string.Format("Send Email Error Message")
            return false;