When developing claims based web applications which need to connect to ADFS, Azure or any other STS, it’s not always possible to connect to an existing environment, for example, due to security, the absence of a test environment or an unwilling admin ;). To solve this, a lot of people try to setup a local AD, ADFS, which can cause a lot of trouble, especially in an Enterprise environment. This setup is not very convenient, especially when you just want to create a claims based application. Whenever SharePoint and Claims based hight trust provider hosted apps are thrown into the game, the inconvenient setup turns into a very complex situation.
Luckily, there is a very easy solution for this! In the next two blogposts I will show to solve this:
How to setup a simple STS for web application development (this blogpost) – how to create a simple STS using Thinktecture embedded STS and configure the web application using the classic web.config
How to setup claims based authentication via OWIN
How to mix in SharePoint 2013 and hight trust claims based provider hosted apps using OWIN and the thinktecture Embedded STS
I was working on a small addition to the Thinktecture EmbeddedSTS, to ease up local development for our development teams, who are building a lot of MVC applications and SharePoint provider hosted apps. We don’t want to bother them with setting up a separate AD and ADFS, so we decided to use a simple, small STS: the Thinktecture Embedded STS. One of the actions was to add a FederationMetdata endpoint. This is a small improvement, as it’s now possible to setup claims based identities via OWIN, which is way easier to setup than via the typical web.config configuration. But there was one nifty error that was, in my case, very hard to find, but easy to fix. It turned out that the signature node may not contain any formatting, this means that spaces, line feeds and carriage returns should not be included in this Federationmetadata file
When you created your Microsoft Azure subscription with a personal Microsoft Account, it’s likely that you won’t be able to use some azure services, for example, the new Power BI service, as they require an organizational account. This blogpost describes on how to create an organizational account and delegate the azure administrator role to this account, so you’ll be free to use any azure service.
If you want to use the recently released Visual Studio 2015 preview together with Sitecore rocks for sitecore development, you won’t be able to install this plugin from the Visual Studio Extensions gallery: you won’t even find installable plugin while searching for the plugin. This blogpost describes how to get this plugin to work.
With the release of Visual Studio 2013, Microsoft also added a very nice MVC template for remote SharePoint Apps. This is a slightly modifed version of the default MVC5 template, which doesn’t, for example, contain an own authentication provider, but does contain all the stuff like bootstrap and the latest jquery version. Some extra helper files have been added (via a nuget package) to assist in the communication with SharePoint 2013. This does work perfectly with the Actions defined in MVC controllers, but the code doesn’t work together with ApiControllers. Yet 😉 This blogpost shows us how (roughly) the same functionality can be implemented for use with the WebApi controller! At the end, the full source code is provided, it works in azure, as well as with high trust solutions. A good read on the basics of the SharePointContextProvider can be found here and here
Note: the provided code is by no means production ready! I didn’t test it thoroughly, but the basic scenario’s do work!
With the introduction of the SharePoint App model, it becomes more and more interesting to convert existing applications in your organisation from a “plain” MVC application to a SharePoint app. This makes it easy to integrate SharePoint capabilities such as Search, UserProfiles and newsfeeds within your application, to make it even cooler! This blogpost describes the steps that are required to convert a MVC application to a SharePoint 2013 app using Visual Studio 2013
Sometimes, when creating new SharePoint applications, the following error occurs:
3> ErrorDetail: There was a problem with activating the app web definition.
3> ErrorType: App
3> ErrorTypeName: App Related
3> ExceptionMessage: Exception from HRESULT: 0x81070964
3> Source: AppWeb
3> SourceName: App Web Deployment
With the introduction of Apps for SharePoint 2013 and the expansion of the SharePoint API, a whole new world opened for us, the SharePoint developers. This blogpost describes on how to integrate SignalR 2.0 into a SharePoint 2013 MVC app, with the possiblity to use SignalR from your hostweb! We will end up with a nifty SharePoint application that makes use of signalR and a remote event receiver, which uses the signalR hub to push through new items to every registred client. An example solution is provided at the end of the document, but imagine what you could do with this. I personally always include signalR solutions when building apps, to monitor all events that I am interested in when debugging/fixing apps.
SharePoint 2013 brought great things: great new social features, the API got a major extension and of course, the new introduced app model. A feature that I really missed though, was the ability to post documents to your newsfeed from the context menu. This blogpost describes how to do this.