Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 to MS Office Sharepoint Server 2007 Upgrade

We are currently in the process of upgrading from SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007 and my colleague Dennis and I were struggling with the upgrade process.

One of the errors that drove us mad during the upgrade process was a simple “User cannot be found.� error which stopped our portal upgrade. Neither the error message nor any logs did indicate who was not found or where the user was missing.

It turned out that the SiteOwner of our portal used to be a local administrator (yes, we should have set it up in a different way in the first place) and this account was deleted from the Sharepoint user list afterwards. Now we were left with a non-existing SiteOwner who we were not able to change anymore. Neither the Sharepoint Central Administration nor the stsadm command line tool worked when we tried to change the SiteOwner for the SPS portal.

There were two entries in Fabian’s blog which pointed us to the solution of this issue (1st and 2nd entry): We added the new SiteOwner as a secondary site owner to the portal site using stsadm and looked at the “sites� table on the SQL server. In the “OwnerID� column of the portal should be a 1 the Sharepoint User ID of the original (now missing) SiteOwner. In the SecondaryContact column we found the ID of the future SiteOwner. We subsequently modified the “OwnerID� from 1 to the number of the SecondaryContact. After that we did change the SiteOwner via the Sharepoint Central Administration which worked perfectly fine and the error was gone.

Attention: the approach worked for us on a test server. I do not recommend using this for any kind of production system. Microsoft does not support any system whose database has been modified manually.

Leave me a comment if you need further information or have more questions.

Copenhagen Day Trips: Karen Blixen Museet

Karen Blixen’s home in Denmark, Rugstedlund, was opened to public after her death and now is the Karen Blixen Museum now. It is easy to reach from Copenhagen via train & bus or directly by car.

The museum offers an opulent collection of Karen Blixen’s books and other publications. There are some her paintings and a movie about aspects of her life. Walking through her old home, you are guided in Danish and English. The museum nicely combines narrative and objects from Karen Blixen’s life so that you can piece together a comprehensive picture of her time, her life and her works.

How to get there from Copenhagen

Hop on the regional train to “NivĂĄ” at the central station or Nørreport and get off at “Skodsborg”. From there, make your way down to “Strandvejen”, the big street along the sea, situated a few steps below the train station. Check out a map or just walk down towards the sea, you won’t be able to miss the street. On the street, take bus number 388 (to Helsingør st.) and get off at “Rungstedvej”. The bus stop is directly at the museum, so you should be able to find it easily. If you are travelling on the weekend, check www.dsb.dk to ensure you won’t have to wait long for the bus.

Worldmapper & Gapminder: Development Statistics more interesting

Pictures can say more than a thousand words and statistics is using this principle with all kinds of charts everyday.
Two particularly interesting visualisations for development numbers are the Worldmapper and the Gapminder.

Worldmapper offers a huge selection of maps which show geographic territories sized in accordance to the chosen indicator. An example is this map that shows infant mortality:

(Source: Worldmapper)

Gapminder’s approach is slightly different since Gapminders unique strength lies in the dynamics of the charts. Gapminder shows changes over time. To get a first impression of Gapminder’s statistics watch the exciting presentation of Hans Rosling here.

For your own, homebrew statistics use the Google Gapminder implementation: http://tools.google.com/gapminder

It is great fun to play with these tools and they also show that some of the myths in development work are not correct any longer.