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May 07 2013


How to recover "missing" ExportZen/PrintZen/UploadZen ribbon/tool-bar action commands

All three products, ExportZen, PrintZen and UploadZen integrate themselves into your SharePoint Lists and Libraries by means of custom tool-bar items (SharePoint pre-2010) and/or Ribbon actions (SharePoint 2010 and newer). After a fresh from-scratch installation, they will automatically provide a readily usable default Action in normal out-of-box List/Library View pages, but sometimes as time proceeds and customizations are performed "all over the place", all of a sudden "our ribbon/toolbar action is no longer showing up!"

Here are "three easy steps" to investigate such an incident.

May 06 2013


Rare errors #1: "Root element is missing"

Our license files are sent out as XML text files. Under very rare circumstances, you may get the following error message when attempting to apply your license file: System.Xml.XmlException: Root element is missing. Here's how to work around this uncommon issue.

September 17 2011


Manual installation / deployment of our SharePoint WSP Solution Packages

All our Web Parts and SharePoint solutions come with a deploy.exe Windows-based installation+deployment wizard to achieve streamlined installation and deployment. This wizard works smoothly and pleasantly for 99% of users.

Except when it doesn't. With a growing user base, a tiny minority of edge-case users or misconfigurations that prevent the wizard from completing are to be expected, and this article applies only to them.

Always try deploy.exe first. As a reminder, when you download one of our SharePoint tools, you get a roxority_<Product> file, ie., etc.

Copy it to your SharePoint server (or in a multi-server farm environment, to the primary web front-end server, ie. the one hosting your SharePoint Central Administration) and extract this ZIP setup package on there.

Now, don't just double-click deploy.exe to run it: instead, right-click it and depending on the Windows Server version, you'll see either a 'Run as administrator' or a 'Run as...' option.

  • If it's the latter ('run as...'), pick that option and then specify a user account that (A) has administrative rights on the machine AND (B) is also a member of the SharePoint Farm Administrators group (review it in Central Administration if unsure). Both conditions should be met for best results. (Better yet, you're already logged in to your Windows Server as such as user account.)
  • If the former ('run as administrator'), be sure you're logged in to the server as a user account that (A) has administrative rights on the machine AND (B) is also a member of the SharePoint Farm Administrators group (review it in Central Administration if unsure). Both conditions should be met for best results.

Things should be smooth sailing from here, but if you belong to the less-than-1% of users where the deploy.exe wizard does not complete successfully, read on.

Manual step 1 — install via STSADM:

If you are about to install one of our add-ons, we have to assume you're already at least remotely familiar with the STSADM tool that ships out-of-box with every SharePoint installation. No need to be a command-line ninja, you'll just need one command:

  • STSADM -o addsolution -file c:\fantasypath\<WspFileName>.wsp

Replace c:\fantasypath with the full directory path of the extracted setup package, which will contain between 2 and 4 WSP files. For <WspFileName>.wsp, substitute the WSP file appropriate for your environment:

Product SPF 2010 SPS 2010 WSS 3.0 MOSS 2007 roxority_ExportZen_… …xiv.wsp …xiv.wsp …xii.wsp …xii.wsp roxority_FilterZen_… …xiv.wsp …xiv.wsp …xii_wss.wsp …xii.wsp roxority_PeopleZen_…   …xiv_wss.wsp …xiv.wsp …xii_wss.wsp …xii.wsp roxority_PrintZen_… …xiv.wsp …xiv.wsp …xii.wsp …xii.wsp roxority_UploadZen_…   …xiv_wss.wsp …xiv.wsp …xii.wsp …xii.wsp

Manual step 2 — deploy via Central Administration:

In SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007), go to Central Administration / Operations / Solution Management — in SharePoint 2010, go to Central Administration / System Settings / Farm Management > Manage Farm Solutions.

Next, select the WSP file you just installed in step 1 with STSADM. Click Deploy Solution and follow the on-screen instructions. Do this repeatedly UNTIL you have fully deployed the WSP to:

  • all your content Web Applications applicable for this WSP
  • the Central Administration Web Application (MANDATORY!)
  • all Shared Service Provider (SSP) and Shared Resource Provider (SRP) Web Applications (MANDATORY!)

Manual step 3 — enabling, and then IISRESET:

Using farm-administrative credentials (best to follow the recommendations from the beginning of this article regarding deploy.exe), open any one page linked under the <Product>Zen Studio section on the Central Administration / Site Settings page. This should "enable" the software for full use in this SharePoint server farm, AND notify you about the success of this "enabling" operation too.

The software will not work unless and until this "enabling" procedure has been completed (just opening any <Product>Zen Studio page under Central Administration as per above should do this) and all web front-end servers in the SharePoint server farm have been IISRESET afterwards.

Manual step 4 — activate Site Collection Features:

In the root Web Site of your content Site Collection, go to the Site Settings page. In the Site Collection Administration section, click Site Collection Features (NOT Site Features!) and on the next page, activate the Site Collection Feature(s) you need.

Uninstalling our SharePoint WSP Solution Packages

Just like installation, your best choice for uninstallation is our deploy.exe wizard that is part of the downloaded roxority_<Product> setup package. But if you need to uninstall the solution package manually:

  • first perform manual step 4 above, but instead of activating the Site Collection Features, deactivate them.
  • then perform manual step 2 above, but instead of choosing Deploy Solution, repeatedly Retract Solution until it is no longer deploy to any Web Application.
  • then perform manual step 2 above, but instead of choosing Deploy Solution, click Remove Solution.
  • IISRESET all web front-end servers in the SharePoint server farm


April 06 2011


SharePoint "Unknown Error": How to Show All the Details

Every couple of months, we receive a support request that goes something like this: "when I attempt to do X, SharePoint says Unknown Error". Of course there is no way we can fix an "unknown error". Yet these errors are not unknown, by default SharePoint simply does not show their inner details — presumably the user experience designers at Microsoft presumed that a real error message is too scary for SharePoint end users, but an "unknown error" is somehow so much more reassuring... or maybe there really are too many 3rd-party developers who as a matter of habit always include sensitive passwords in their error messages.

Anyway, if you do encounter an Unknown Error (this has become spectacularly rare fortunately as our software has grown ever more stable over the last 2 years), then we need you to turn on Detailed Error Messages in your SharePoint environment. This is easy to do and absolutely non-dangerous, plus typically you will be reporting your issue from your QA, test or dev server rather than production. Here is what we need you to do.

April 23 2010


Sprechen Sie Deutsch? We certainly do! (French, too.)

We're all about simplification and making things easier, particularly all things SharePoint. Now we made it even easier for all German speaker — ja, auch Sie! — to explore our software: we just launched our first non-English site at

February 23 2010


Export to CSV with SharePoint List item version history: new in ExportZen 1.3

ExportZen 1.3 was just released and this update now supports exporting the full version history of your exported SharePoint List items or Document Library records!

February 22 2010


How to: schedule or batch-invoke SharePoint CSV exports

In a perfect world, we would already offer you a "proper" SharePoint Timer Job to schedule CSV exports of List data. Don't worry, this is on the medium-term product roadmap. Until we get there, there is another way which I want to show you today. So good news: you can start scheduling with this Right Now. This involves only a few setup steps that a later, integrated SharePoint Timer Job would be able to take care of fully. Overall, no rocket science is to be expected, though.

January 29 2010


It's all Give-and-Take: introducing our free Lite editions

Effective today, we're changing our licensing model from Commercial-only to a Free-and-Commercial hybrid, and I'm very happy and excited to announce this.

We streamlined our previous three commercial editions (Standard, Professional and Enterprise) into two (Basic and Ultimate) and added a freeware edition called Lite. Starting today, each of our current and future SharePoint add-ons, Web Parts, tools and solutions will always be also offered in an unlimited freeware Lite edition, no strings attached...

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