IE 7’s friendly HTTP messages are unfriendly if you want IIS To do custom error messages

So IE7, by default, overrides Web Servers’ custom error messages with very helpful “friendly” reinterpretations of error messages. To turn these off through the UI, go to Internet Options -> Advanced, and disable “Show friendly HTTP error messages”.

Thanks, Microsoft!

Also found at: HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main!Friendly http errors (according to the Vista GP excel spreadsheet)

Oy! – Inaccuracy in order of steps in a MS support document screws up the process

This almost sucked. Hard.

The Microsoft Technet article I linked to previously about moving the WSS Content Database in WSS 2003 is pretty good! Except for the last section, under Moving the Datases, subsection “Set the content database in Windows SharePoint Services”.

Unfortunately, the article says you should, for each Virtual Server, remove/disconnect each content database, THEN add the new content database. This is ass-backwards, and SharePoint (SP2, at least) won’t let you do it. It will only work if you add the new content database first and THEN remove the old database.

I thought my goose was cooked until we tried that, then we were okay.

In my dream world, Microsoft and all other vendors will actually QA their documentation as thoroughly as they say the QA their code.

Miscellaneous research points from this morning

Simple read-write connection of a database table (non-SharePoint) to a DataView Web Part in MOSS 2007

Test this out/play with it in a test area. Don’t do this in production. Duh.


  • SQL Server 2005
  • SharePoint v3 (I don’t honestly know, but I think just WSS 3.0 w/o MOSS 2007)
  • SharePoint Designer 2007
  • A SQL account with db_datareader and db_datawriter permissions on the database in question, and the account’s password
  • A table in the database with a primary key
  • Sufficient SharePoint rights to use SharePoint Designer to create DataViews on Web Part Pages somewhere

(Italics are steps added after MS Support helped me out with this.)

  1. Make sure you have the SQL account name and password at the ready (for this example, account is sqlmossupdatetest)
  2. Make sure you know the SQL Server name/instance name (if any – for this example, the server name is DEV1 and the instance name is MOSS)
  3. Make sure that the table in the database has an autoincrementing primary key (Column settings for this are related to Identity properties w/in SQL Management Studio).
  4. Create a new Web Part Page in one of your document libraries. Exit Edit Mode.
  5. Open the site where your Web Part Page resides in SharePoint Designer 2007.
  6. Next, open up the Web Part Page you just created by browsing to it and double-clicking it in SharePoint Designer.
  7. In SharePoint Designer’s default upper right toolbox pane, choose the Data Source Library tab.
  8. Under the Database Connections group, click the link for Connect to a database…
  9. Click the Configure Database Connection… button.
  10. In the server name textbox, type the server name, or server name\instance name if you’ve got an instance name (i.e. in my case, it was DEV1\MOSS).
  11. Keep Microsoft .NET Framework Data Provider for SQL Server for the Provder Name.
  12. For Authentication choose (not very secure) the first radio button, Save this username and password in the data connection, and enter the username and password you have in the Database.
  13. Click Next. If you get an alert about how other authors can see the user/password information, click OK.
  14. Choose the proper Database and Table for your Data View.
  15. Click Finish. Then click OK.
  16. Click and drag the new Database Connection to a Web Part Zone in your Web Part Page.
  17. Use the right menu-arrow on the Data View Web Part to bring up the menu items for the web part and choose Edit Columns… .
  18. Remove the Identity/PK column from the Display section. Click OK. 
  19. Use the right menu-arrow on the Data View Web Part to bring up the various menu items for the web part and choose Data View Properties… .
  20. Choose the Editing tab and enable the checkboxes for Show edit item links, Show delete item links & Show insert item links.
  21. Save the page in SharePoint Designer and click Yes if prompted about changing the site definition.
  22. Close SharePoint Designer and refresh the Web Part Page in IE. Be sure to populate your ID field with a unique value. Obviously this cries out for more work to actually dynamically create a unique key, etc.

Update: Oddly enough, while T-SQL INSERTs & DELETEs seem to work, UPDATEs don’t, so I’m now digging further and seeing whether I can write custom SQL in the connection definition to do the UPDATE properly.

Update 2: A support ticket (via my employer, a Microsoft Gold Manged Regional Partner) has been opened about the UPDATEs issue. I’ll report back when we have a fix.

Update 3: The support issue is closed. The issue with updates was caused by trying to edit the PK value. To keep the web part from trying to edit/update the PK value, you remove it from sight and then it doesn’t bother with trying to change it on update, so the update is successful. I added a couple of steps to the procedure to do that. Also, I forgot to say that I brought up the question of documentation for custom SQL and apparently there is no such documentation currently at MS for the Parameters features.