SharePoint 2013 Search not working because of Configuration cache

Today, I had an issue with SharePoint Content Search Web Parts, it kept showing a message about something wrong happened, I logged into the application server that has the search component running and checked the content sources and found that the crawler is stuck for over 200 hours.

I tried restarting the search controller and it failed to start due to log in failure, well, the password for the service account was changed ūüė¶

I set the new password and started the services, ran the crawler and still the web parts showing errors and no results are showing.

I opened Google Chrome PostMan and  tried issuing a REST request to the search API and I got an XML response with the following exception

-1, Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.REST.SearchServiceException

Next thing was to have a look at the event viewer and this is from where i started, i found the following error:

An update conflict has occurred, and you must re-try this action. The object SearchRuntimeService 

It seems that for some reason, the SharePoint Configuration Cache became inconsistent across all servers, so I followed the steps in the below link and from 2 App servers and 4 WFE, only 1 App server didn’t work and the value inside the cache.ini file didn’t change and the number of XML files were fewer than the rest of servers.

After a lot of search, I had no other option but to rerun the configuration wizard on this App server, and guess what? The Config Wizard stopped after the second step.

After going through the log file, I found that there was a missing DLL related to one of our custom developed timer jobs, Once I installed this DLL, the config wizard completed successfully, the cache.ini file has the updated file and finally I got SharePoint search working as expected.

S0, What is SharePoint Configuration Cache?

It is a setup of XML + INI files stored at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\<GUID>, on all SharePoint farm servers, it contains a copy of objects stored in the Farm Configuration database, If for any reason the configuration files became inconsistent, you will have stop the timer service, clear this folder except for the cache.ini file, set the value of the cache.ini file to 1 and start the timer service again, this will ensure that all files are updated with the latest configuration for the farm.

Building a LOB application with MVC 5 – Part 0

There are a lot of tutorials and blog posts about MVC, Web API and other Asp.Net technologies, but it has been always a problem getting all these parts together in once place and utilize it to build something bigger.

In this post, I will start a series where we will introduce and build a complete functioning lin of business web application using Asp.Net MVC 5, I will start with introducing the business behind the application, and in each part, we will introduce a new feature of MVC and use it to build a new feature in our LOB application, this will allow us to know how to use MVC in practical example and we will also go deep dive in each feature to build more advanced features.

Introduction to the LOB Application

The application we are going to build together is called Appointment Manager, it will be a flexible application that allows users to register either as service provider or consumer, below are the list of features for each role

  1. Service providers. ex:doctors, mechanics, carpenters
    1.  Check his Calendar
    2. View appointment details
    3. View ratings for his work
    4. Select which services he provides
    5. Manage his available time slots for each service
  2. Service consumers
    1. Browse service categories
    2. Browse service providers in a specific category
    3. View specific service provider details, history and rating
    4. Book an appointment
    5. Check his Calendar
    6. Rate a service Provider
  3. Admin
    1. Manage Service Categories
    2. Manage Attribute for each service category, ex: Mechanic category will have Car model, Year and his services will include Oil change, A/C, …
  4. Shared Features
    1. Register
    2. Login, Logout
    3. Edit Profile

By the end of this series we will have the application built and we will have full knowledge of MVC 5 framework

Introdction to the Technical Part

In each part, we will introduce a key component in MVC and use it to build another feature in the application, below are the features we are going to discuss in MVC

  1. Introduction to MVC
  2. Models
  3. View
  4. Controllers
  5. Routing
  6. Localization
  7. Bootstrap
  8. EntityFramework
  9. Identity and Security
  10. Bootstrap
  11. SignalR

Setting up ALM

Since this will be a real business application, we want to apply everything we do in the real life, and the first thing is to decide about how are we going to manage the application life-cycle management, fortunately, Microsoft offers a full platform for that;TFS, In our series, I will use Team services or TFS Online with GitHub as our source code repository, You can also use TFS on premise, Microsoft offers TFS express for free, you can download and install it and use it through the series

I will start by creating the project and then enter the list of features into a user stories.

Since TFS online support Git, I will use it as our source code control and I will link it later to GitHub

Create the project on TFS Online

In order to be able to use TFS online, you have to have a visual studio account, if you don’t already have one,go to¬†¬†and register using your MS Account, it is free

  1. Open your browser and navigate to https://[your account]
  2. Under “Recent Projects & Teams” Click New¬†TFS New
  3. Enter the Project name, description, Process Template and Version control as Git, TFS support different process templates such as Scrum and CMMI, if you have different needs, you can create a new template and customize it, we won’t go deeper here but you can read more about TFS templates from this link¬† Project
  4. Once the project is created, clink on “Navigate to the project” button
  5. Once the page is loaded, you will see a dashboard from where you can see everything about your project, ex: Code, Sprint burn down chart and user stories
  6. Click on Backlog link in the Work widget to start editing the user storiesTFS dashboard
  7. Once the page is loaded, you can add the story¬†by¬†typing the story title in title field and press enter or click Add button, if you can’t see the title field, just¬†click the New link as shown in the screenshot belowbacklog

After the story is added, you can double click it to open the edit dialog which will enable you to add all the details, once this is done, click the Save icon on the top rightedit story

  1. TFS offers you the ability to categorize your user stories into something called Features, think of it as sub-modules to group the related features together, You can click Features from the left menu and add the needed features, then go to the backlog  by clicking the Stories link and Click the Mapping icon and make sure it is On, this will open a panel on the right with the list of features defined, drag the user stories from the left and drop it over the feature

So far, we talked about the application we want to build, we configured its source control and added its requirement.

In the next part we will introduce MVC 5, Create the project structure and build the home page for the application.

You can get the full source code from GitHub Repository