Installing SharePoint 2010 Beta 1

Update: If you want a free 35 page eBook, covering amongst other, installing the public Beta of SharePoint 2010, just head over to the Introducing SharePoint 2010 website and download the free first issue.

I’ve been talking to a lot of the beta testers of SharePoint 2010 and one thing seems to be common; getting SharePoint 2010 beta 1 installed is damn hard.

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a quick overview of the prerequisites up until the installation was running, but apparently, that didn’t fall well with the NDA people at Microsoft so the post was removed. Of course, that means that those who need help and Google for that help wont find anything.

Anyway, I thought I’d post it here now, so that in case you do need help with installing the SharePoint 2010 beta you can at least get some help.


You will need Windows 2008 and you will need it in the 64 bit flavor. I’m doing my current work on a trial Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine.

You can also save yourself some time and download the beta 1 of the Geneva framework. The Geneva framework is a new framework for authenticating users using claims-based authentication, and it’s required for SharePoint 2010, both WSS4 and SS2010.

Note that you must have beta 1. Beta 2 will not work. Repeat: Get Geneva beta 1. Sadly, Microsoft seems to have removed beta 1 from their web pages, so you’ll need to Google or get your copy from somewhere else.

If you install Geneva beta 2, your installation may start, but your configuration wizard will crash at step 3 since it is trying to get the wrong version of Geneva. You’ll get one of those nice ‘Everything crashed’ messages that takes forever to debug. However, walk through the setup log and you’ll get some pointers that the version of Geneva is wrong.

You’ll also need to install a 64 bit SQL Server, but either 2005 or 2008 will do. You might as well start installing that right away; you’ll want it prior to starting the installation of SharePoint 2010 and you _must_ have it prior to running the configuration wizard.

Roles and Features

SharePoint 2010 requires some roles and features enabled. Specifically. you must add the Web Server (IIS) role, and you might as well do this first. You’ll want to add the ASP.NET role service, which will force a few other services as well. In addition, you’ll want to have the IIS 6.0 manageability services enabled and also the Windows Authentication service.

If you do not enable the Windows Authentication service, your web sites will not work and only show up blank.

Below is my web server role services prior to hitting Install. Click the image to get, well, the big picture…


You will also want to enable the .NET 3.5.1 feature, and the Geneva installation will remind you of this.


The easiest way, by the way, to figure out which components you need to install and configure, is to hit the Install Office SharePoint Server option on the Start screen of the installation.

In SharePoint 2010 you get the more user-friendly option of having an ‘Install software prerequisites’ just like you have in Search Server 2008, however, this option has never worked for me, and I never get the setup I need. So, start the installation by hitting Install Office SharePoint Server instead, and if you haven’t set up everything, setup will fail and tell you exactly what you need to install or enable first.

Once you have everything set up correctly, the installation runs as smooth as anything.

Finally, once installation completes, you can run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard as you would, and set up your farm. This runs pretty much as it did in SharePoint 2007 with the noted addition of the farm password, of course.

After the 11 steps are completed, hit Finish and you’ll see the pretty face of Central Administration and the new Initial Farm Configuration Wizard.

I’ll talk more about that wizard later 🙂


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Document Sets in SharePoint 2010 – A Creative Use of Content Types

Another new feature of SharePoint 2010 is the introduction of document sets. I know a lot of people have been looking forward to this functionality.

Basically, a document set is a container for multiple documents (doh!) to which you can assign certain metadata and treat as a single entity in many ways. For example, you can utilize the new SharePoint 2010 Document ID feature to keep track of where a document resides in a site collection, you can use the new managed tagging solution to assign keywords to the document set, and you can move or copy the entire set rather than the individual files.

So, how is this piece of magic accomplished? Well, ladies and gentlemen, give a big round of applause for the genius at Microsoft who came up with the idea of content types.

Content Types?

Document sets is just another content type. In fact, its a folder content type, meaning it inherits from the 0x0120 content type, meaning that other items can attach to the document set, meaning, well, it’s a really creative use of content types.

Oh, you didn’t know folders were just content types? Well, now you know. Nothing magic, no container functionality really, just an item to which other items can attach.

Back to the document set content type. As you will see, or have seen if you check this out after the SPC2009 conference, document sets have a pretty neat user interface called the Document Set homepage. When you click on a document set in a library you get to see (no, I’m not going to post screenshots) an overview of the set in question and have the option of uploading new documents, edit existing documents, set properties for the document set, etc. This is done by setting a custom form for the content type, a form that displays the content of the document set as well as the neat overview page.

However, this is just the literal surface of the document set feature, and there is so much more you need to know.

Custom Document Set

This all makes sense when you create a custom document set, however, and of course, since the document set is a content type, you can in fact add your own custom document set types.

First, document sets sport an entirely dedicated page for setting up the behavior of the set, available from the content type setup page through the link. You can select which content types are allowed in a document set. This allows you to create a set of financial documents, applications, or multimedia files and disallow adding other content than what you intend.

You can also share metadata columns for items in the set. If you add a new column to the document set itself, that column becomes available for sharing with the contained documents. For example, you may want to add a Customer column on the document set to store documents related to a customer, and any documents inside the document set can then get the Customer column inherited from the set.

You can also define which columns are displayed on the document set homepage. You can even edit the homepage layout, design, and contents.

Finally, you can perform actions on the entire set. For example, Microsoft has included a ‘Download set’ feature which compresses all the files in a set into a single zip file for download.

Once the public beta hits the shelves, I’ll post images and more detailed walkthroughs…


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New Book in the Horizon: Building the SharePoint 2010 User Experience

Well, the proverbial cat is again out of the bag. I’m writing a new book. If you count the journal as books, and I mean, at 100-150 at least they are short books, this will be the 11th announced SharePoint book I’m writing.

Building the SharePoint 2010 User Experience is now available for pre-order on Amazon. I wont disclose too much detail yet, but I guess you can sort of deduce that this will be a second edition of the previous book, targeted at SharePoint 2010.

So, I guess that means I’ll be writing a lot this winter. Thankfully, I don’t really have anything else to do, besides my 160% position at Ergo, writing at least four journal issues until then, and learning all I can about SharePoint 2010.

To my wife Lena: I hope to see you again sometime in late March… If we have any kids in the meantime, please find appropriate names and tell them I love them.


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