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While working on a client’s MOSS 2007 public web site, I noticed that none of the reports in the Site Content and Structure page were not working. (There were duplicates as well, which I fixed by simply deleting the duplicate items from the Content and Structure Reports list at the root level.) I would click the item in the View drop down list, and the page would simply refresh. I checked the error log and found the following error:

SMObjectList.SmtReportsList: Reports List was not provisioned

Searching the web only revealed that other people were having the same problem. Microsoft wrote a KB article describing at least one symptom I was experiencing: duplicate report entries in the Site Actions menu. The article did not explain that the hot fix would also remedy the problem of no results showing up.

I emailed Microsoft customer support a few times, got the KB download, but didn’t feel very comfortable installing the hot fix on a production server just a few days before go-live. Also, the verbiage of the installation instructions seemed to imply that I had to export and re-import the site. Not something I wanted to do.

I then did some work to track down the error listed above by using .Net Reflector. The error was coming from a property called ‘SiteCollectionReportsListId‘ on the Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.SMObjectList.SmtReportsList class. Of course, like all nifty properties in SharePoint, it was private. I was able to figure out where the property was getting its information, which was simply from the AllProperties hashtable in the SPWeb at the root of the site.

Writing a quick console app enabled me to find out that the problem site had this property set, but it was set to a GUID which didn’t point to a list on the current site. This GUID wasn’t changed when the site was imported using STSADM! I then wrote some more code in my handy little console app and tweaked the property to the valid GUID. Voila! Reports started working again!

Source Code  Executable

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New versions of Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services and WSPBuilder were released within the last week.  I’ve used WSPBuilder on many client projects.  VSeWSS has been lacking in features and stability, but it seems like many of the kinks have been worked out in this final version.  The most interesting new feature of VSeWSS is the WSP View, which allows you to include or project file from being in the produced WSP.I’m not sure which tool is better at this point, as I haven’t tested out VSeWSS yet.

Update: 2/28/2008
While I was initially excited about the new VSeWSS, I’m still a little disappointed.  You can’t install it on a Vista or XP Machine.  I also like to build my WSP without deploying it or updating the current server (I can’t update or deploy if I’m on Vista); WSPBuilder lets me do that.

WSPBuilder also includes some neat things that VSeWW doesn’t have: a template for a solution with workflow, a template for a workflow feature, a menu item in VS to creates a SharePoint Solution Installer package, the ability to build WSPs via command line, not to mention the configurability offered through the config file (and the open source).

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Here’s another provisioning gotcha. I had some problems provisioning a site column which pointed to a list I was also provisioning through a feature. Below are some code examples of how I implemented a quick solution.

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I’ve seen a number of posts about connecting web parts within site definition, but most of them are either confusing or totall outdated.  I ran into the problem of connecting web parts which are provisioned through a site definition (or feature) while working on a client project.

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