• Transitioning from SharePoint 2007 to 2010: Auto-GUID Issues

    The migration from SharePoint 2007 to 2010 is usually a challenging but pleasant experience. Yes, you may lose some of the work invested in SharePoint 2007, you'll have to do some re-configuration, and it's a good idea to re-train your employees on modified or entirely new features. However, the simplicity of SharePoint 2010 when compared to 2007 is like switching from pounding your head against a rock to pounding it against a mattress.

    Regardless, certain configuration stages are going to present issues, and one that often gets complaints from those who run server farms (or who simply run off a shared server) is the Configure Your Farm utility. This assistance wizard is honestly designed to make your job simpler, but because of one little problem it often doesn't. That problem is that automatic population of a GUID on numerous service application databases.

    Most people will have one of two gut reactions to this problem: 1) They're fine with the problem because they don't see how it will hurt them (such as for those running a private server) or 2) They're not okay with it and now have to manually configure the entire thing. Sadly, those who choose the second column are probably safer. This is because most database backup scripts will break when they run across the GUIDs issued by Configure Your Farm.

    Oddly enough, that includes the Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, which will return a "tag too long" error when it bumps into one of its own GUIDs. Microsoft's own configuration wizard is making it impossible to use a far more vital tool.

    Now, the $500 question: What should you do about it? Sadly, server admins and DBAs will have to wait for new versions of these utilities (which are on their way, and can even be seen in beta format in the Office 365 suite), will have to work with external tools, or will have to enlist the help of SharePoint experts. This is one of those cases where Microsoft has simply slipped up and the servers admins have to make themselves aware of the issue, the consequences, and the work-arounds.

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