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Synchronizing OneNote over SSL with integrated Windows authentication

February 4, 2011 4 comments

I started using OneNote about a year ago, and I’m still very much an amateur when it comes to what OneNote can really do.  I’m constantly finding new neat features in the program, but that has nothing to do with this post.  We have a server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, which is built on Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0.  I placed two OneNote notebooks in separate Document Libraries on separate SharePoint sites, and configured the sites to use Integrated Windows authentication.  Everything seems to work great via Internet Explorer, but other applications, such as OneNote and Windows Explorer, don’t work so well.  I thought this was due to the fact that my WSS sites only accepted SSL connections with an internal domain certificate, but as it turns out, it has nothing to do with SSL!

Does this look familiar at all?  If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will get this error when trying to connect to a WSS 2.0/3.0 site using WebDAV.  In case you didn’t know, if you have a OneNote notebook stored on a SharePoint site, it connects via WebDAV to sync changes.  Also, if you access a SharePoint site via the UNC path, it also uses WebDAV.  For the last few months, when I opened OneNote, it would tell me OneNote needs a password to sync some of your notebooks.  Click here to see the list of sections and notebooks that require passwords.  When I clicked the message, I was prompted for credentials, and although I was already logged into my laptop with my domain credentials, I would simply put the same user/pass that I was logged in with, and it would sync.  I also found that I could not browse to the Document Library with the UNC path (\\example.v1corp.com@SSL\mysharepointsite).  When I tried this, I got the message The operation being requested was not performed because the user has not been authenticated.  The site uses Integrated Windows Authentication and was already in my Intranet zone in Internet Explorer, but it would not authenticate me.

Then I found this.  This is a known issue in Windows Vista, and KB941050 details how to fix it either with hotfix 943280 or with a registry hack.  As I am running Windows 7 and the hotfix did not seem to work for me, I tried the latter.  All you need to do to make Windows Explorer and OneNote happy is to create a new Multi-String Value called AuthForwardServerList in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters, add your site’s URL in the form of https://example.v1corp.com/mysharepointsite (obviously replace the FQDN and site with your own information, and drop the s if you are not using SSL), and restart the WebClient service.  No reboot necessary :).  The error goes away and you can access WSS Document Libraries over the Internet and sync OneNote notebooks via Integrated Windows Authentication (a strong word of caution though, if you are using Integrated Windows Authentication over the Internet, you really should use SSL to encrypt the information).

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Microsoft announces Small Business Server 7!

We’ve had some people take vacations at Vision One recently, so the rest of us have been spread pretty thin, and I completely missed the fact that Microsoft revealed some of the details on the much-anticipated successor to Small Business Server 2008.  This announcement was made at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference early this past Monday, July 12th, 2010.  According to The Official SBS Blog, there will be public preview releases for the next version of SBS within the next month or two.  And yes, you read that right; there will be TWO releases:

  • Windows Small Business Server “7”:  This next version of SBS will include a richer remote access experience, replaces Windows Server 2008 with Windows Server 2008 R2, replaces Exchange Server 2007 with Exchange Server 2010, and will also replace Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with SharePoint 2010 Foundation.  SBS 7 will still have the 75 user limit.
  • Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora”: This is a whole new type of SBS.  Aurora, as it is being called right now, will offer a mix of traditional and cloud capabilities.  Some of the features it boasts is automated backup and restore capabilities, organizing/accessing business information from almost anywhere, and will be limited to 25 users.

If you are familiar with the SBS platform, then there isn’t much I can tell you about SBS 7 that you didn’t already get from the above, so I won’t go into that.  Instead, I will elaborate on Aurora a little.  Aurora is meant only for new customers since it cannot be joined to an existing Active Directory domain, and must be the first server in a new domain.  Based on some of the screenshots and management features, a lot of the code base is likely shared with Microsoft Home Server “Vail”, which only makes sense as this is meant for customers with 5-25 PCs.  One big difference between SBS 7 and SBS Aurora is the lack of e-mail and collaboration on the box.  Instead, Aurora customers will leverage Microsoft’s hosted services for Exchange and SharePoint.  My feelings are torn on this idea until I see pricing, since SBS Aurora will mean a monthly fee for the hosted components, whereas SBS 7 has no monthly costs.  One nice perk with Aurora is that in addition to Windows Server Backup there will be a PC image backup tool for customers who need to backup client machines.

For those of you interested in beta-testing the new SBS line, head on over to this link to be notified on updates from Microsoft 🙂