Brian Blogs on SharePoint

Information, curiosities, and observations about SharePoint and the community.

Archive for May, 2007

SharePoint 3.0 – Alternate Access Mapping

Posted by Brian Gough on May 22, 2007


How can I render the site using both http:// and https://?

We set up a anonymous access WSS site without SSL on it. After a time, we realized that we really should enable SSL so when our employees log in to the site, their credentials will be encrypted. Yes, the rest of the content is also encrypted but in our case we are more concerned about the credentials than the content, especially since the site is open to the public.

After getting the certificates installed and IIS set, we still needed to be able to use both http: and https:. Why? Because our site is open to the public, we want them to use the http:// link; some of our content points to external sites using http:// and we do not want ‘joe user’ to be constantly bothered with the notification window asking them if they want to display both secure and non-secure content.

So what did we do to make this happen?


We used a seldom talked about capability ( trying to find other words for ‘features’ since a thing called ‘features’ is a new part of SharePoint 3.0 <wink>) called Alternate Access Mapping (AAM). Rather than try to duplicate what other more learned people have already written, here is a link that goes into more details about AAM….

My needs are rather simple compared to all that you can use AAM for. I just need the same content served up when a user enters http: or https:.


  • Logon to the Central Administration site
  • Click on ‘Operations’.
  • Click ‘Alternate access mappings’ under the Global Configuration section.
  • You will see a list of all your SharePoint sites.
  • To the far right of the menu bar you will see a dropdown list labeled ‘Alternate Access Mapping Collection:’ Click the drop down and select ‘Change alternate access mapping collection’.
  • Select the site you want to add the AAM to.
  • Click ‘Edit Public URLs’ in the menu bar. This will open a page showing your URL in the zone it is defined in. in my case it is in ‘Default’.
  • You can see there are several options to enter a value ( Default, Internet, intranet, Custom, and Extranet). Enter the full URL using https: into one of these areas. I was able to enter it into any one of those fields and got the same behavior, but I chose Intranet for mine since it is really just for our employees to use.
  • Click ‘Save’.

You should now be able to view your site using either http: or https:.

Good luck and good coding.


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WSS 3.0 – "Cannot retrieve properties at this time."

Posted by Brian Gough on May 20, 2007

This is an error that would rear its ugly head from time to time since SharePoint 2.0. It is thrown sometimes when trying to use the Content Editor Webpart (CEWP).

One fix that is widely documented is to make sure that your site in IIS is using “All Unassigned” IP addresses instead a specific IP. They also suggest you ensure that you are using Host Headers to render multiple sites on the same port. So, you might want to check that first.

In my case however, I already had all that in place but still got the error on my WSS 3.0 site. I always seem to be the exception to the rules… hmmmm

A solution I discovered involves removing SharePoint from the web application and extending the web application again.


Before doing anything…

  • If you have made any modifications to the webconfig to support any customizations or use of assemblies like SmartPart ( or any flavor thereof), make a copy of your webconfig and any custom directories, such as /usercontrols before proceeding.
  • Make note of the content database it is currently using.


  • Using the SharePoint Administration site, select the site that is throwing the error.
  • Choose to remove SharePoint from that site. When you make this selection, do NOT delete the database!! This will keep it available for when we extend the site again.
  • After SharePoint has been removed, you want to select the option to Extend a site.
  • Select the IIS Web Application again, choose to use the same content database it was connected to before.
  • Once the site is extended, SharePoint is now installed on that web application.
  • Replace your old webconfig and custom directorories, if needed
  • Run IISReset.

You should now be able to render the site and use the CEWP without the error occurring.

I wish I could say what causes this error but I have not discovered that yet. If anyone can shed light on that I would love to be shown that light!

BTW, I mention this solution on the discussion boards for SharePoint as well.

I hope this helps some of you out there.

Good Luck and good coding.

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Ahhh, the Power of User Groups

Posted by Brian Gough on May 19, 2007

For sometime now , I have been talking up SharePoint to a colleague of mine at Coca-Cola. John has become a regular attendee at the Guild meetings and we often take time to chat about SharePoint. He also attended the May Code Camp ( see Code Camp Post) to see my presentation on the new SharePoint 3.0 UI.

I am happy to say that he has been so impressed with the 3.0 version that he finally got the execs at Coke to see the light and use MOSS in their Charlotte location!

Way to go John!

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Code Camp – May 2007, Charlotte, NC

Posted by Brian Gough on May 19, 2007

The Enterprise Developers Guild hosted another great Code Camp! Thanks to all the officers and volunteers for helping make it happen! We ran three tracks of .Net University content (presentation then labs) and one track of separate presentations.
I gave a presentation on SharePoint 3.0’s new UI to show all the folks the new powerful interface. Everyone really enjoyed it and expressed a desire for more SharePoint presentations and labs. So, the Guild is working on doing another Code Camp in the fall! Wahoo!

We had more than 100 attendees to take advantage of this free training at Central Piedmont Community College ( CPCC ). Thanks to Brian Hitney (Microsoft DE), Microsoft, Apress, and O’Rielly we had lots of great books to give waway. No one went away empty handed! Did I mention the that little bag with a Zune and ton of other stuff?! Wow! Thanks again Brian Hitney!

Also thanks go out to Logical Advantage, Metalogix, Signature Consultants, and Queen and Associates for thier finacial support. With out them we would not have had coffee, donuts, lunch, snacks, printouts and CD of all the content!

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