Configure SharePoint 2013 Core Services

In this article which is number 2 in the series I will walk through how to configure the core SharePoint 2013 services.  The first article looked at the installation process.   The next article will focus on some of the BI services available in SharePoint which is more complex and also more interesting if you ask me.

Running PowerShell

If you have managed to avoid PowerShell for this long then congrats.  As you work with SharePoint 2013 and other products you will need to learn some of the basics.  In SharePoint 2013 there are many thanks that require PowerShell and the GUI simply is not an option.  So to set up our PowerShell console go to the start screen (if Windows 2012) or to the Programs menu and locate the SharePoint 2013 PowerShell module. Right click it and “pin” it on the task bar.

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Once this is done, from the task bar, hold down SHIFT+ right click on the icon and select Properties. 

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Select Advanced and click “Run as Administrator”, Press OK and OK.  This will ensure that when we run SharePoint PowerShell commands from this icon in the future the administrative context will be used to give us the the require access.

 

Configure the State Service

The state service is a temporary work area for SharePoint Services to store temporary data.  Note that the State and User Health Data Collection Services are two services that can not be installed from the GUI.

Click the icon to start PowerShell and type the following lines of code which will set up the state service with a chosen database name. 
New-SPStateServiceApplication -Name "State Service Application" 
Get-SPStateServiceApplication| New-SPStateServiceApplicationProxy –defaultproxygroup

Get-SPStateServiceApplication| New-SPStateServiceDatabase -Name "State_Service_DB"

Get-spdatabase | where-object {$_.type -eq "Microsoft.Office.Server.Administration.StateDatabase"} | initialize-spstateservicedatabase

The results should look similar to this.

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Configure the Usage and Health Data Collection Service

This service should be created in order for SharePoint to log the health of the services in the logging database.  This service must be created via PowerShell. The Configuration Wizard will also configure this service but it is not recommended to use this method for production environments for any service.

From the PowerShell console run the following lines of PowerShell.

$usagename = “Usage and Health Data Collection”

$usagedbname = “UsageandHealth”

$serviceinstance = Get-SPUsageService

New-SPusageapplication –Name $usagename –DatabaseName $usageDBName –UsageService $serviceInstance

Results example

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A useful option for this service is to set the log file location for example.

$us = Get-SPUsageService

$Logs = “C:\Logs\”

$us | set-SPUsageService –Loggingenabled $true –UsageLogLocation $logs

Once the service is provisioned you can see the log file location and all the other services that can be enabled for logging.  If there are specific events in this list you wish to log this can also be added by PowerShell. Here we look at an example of the “SQL Exception Usage” events.

set-SPUsageDefinition –Identity “SQL Exceptions Usage” –Enable

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Here we can see our changes we made in PowerShell.

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Register Managed Accounts

It is recommended to add any service accounts that SharePoint will use for application pools and for certain SharePoint services.  It is recommended to use separate accounts for different services in order to help secure the service as well as make it easier to manage and maintain.  Remember that service accounts if they are standard AD accounts as they should be may expire depending on security policies in AD.  Therefore some implementations use accounts with non expiring passwords.  In some environments this may not be acceptable and could be seen as a security risk.  SharePoint can manage the password expiry and reset for us where it generates the passwords for the service accounts itself.  In our example we have gone with standard accounts.

 

As a rule of thumb I create a generic account for core roles such as secure store, metadata management etc, and a BI service account for BI services for example.

From Central Admin navigate to Security, configure managed accounts.

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Click the configure managed accounts link and you should see farm account.

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Click Register Managed Account and enter details for the BI account, application pool accounts and generic service accounts you wish to use.  Our generic service account example is shown here.

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You should then see the service accounts listed here.

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Create the Business Data Connectivity Services

This service is required for SharePoint to be able to use external data sources such as web services or databases for content within SharePoint sites.

To set up BDC services from the GUI open Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications.  Select New, Business Data Connectivity Service.

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Enter the SQL Alias or server name and rename the database to remove the default GUID.

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As this is out first core service we need an application pool and so I have selected to create a new application pool with out generic account registered earlier.  This application pool can then be used for other services we configure later.

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Ensure the correct service account is selected and click ok. #

 

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From Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Services on this Server, Start the BDC Service

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The service should start ok.

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Create the Managed Metadata Service

The managed metadata service is required for several other services and so should be one of the first services to be configured.  The services dependant on the metadata service are  Search, User Profiles, and Machine Translation Service.

From Application Management, Manage Service Applications, select New, Managed Metadata Service. Enter the service name, database server and database name.

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Select use existing application pool and select the generic pool we created earlier.

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The application pool selected will use the account specified when the pool was created. Ignore the configurable account in the screenshot above as this is not actually the selected option here.  Leave the last two checkboxes selected and click OK.

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There is no progress screen here so wait a few seconds to be returned to the applications list.  Return to Central Admin, and start the Managed Metadata web Service.

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This should now start after a few seconds.

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To complete the setup of this service return to the application service and click the second metadata entry in the list and select Properties in the ribbon above.

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If you see the Something Went Wrong error wait a few minutes while the service is provisioned properly in the background.

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Don’t click on the blue text URL link, click elsewhere and select Properties and ensure the following check boxes are ticked and press OK.

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Once done then click on one of the Managed Metadata Service links to show the screen below.

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I always add the service account and farm account to Term Store Administrators as a precaution, from experience with SharePoint 2010.

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This completes the metadata service configuration.

 

Create the Secure Store Service

The Secure Store Service is used to store credentials for applications such as Excel Services (if required) and Performance Point Services which depends on the Secure Store Service configuration.

from Manage Service Applications, Select New Service Application, Secure Store Service.

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Select existing application pool and select the generic app pool created earlier.

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leave the default for the audit Log or modify to your requirements.

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Select the Secure Store and click Manager

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The red error is to remind us to generate a new key so click Generate New Key

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Enter phrase and make a note in a secure place.  It would be needed if the database needed to be restored.

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Start the Service is not already started from Central Admin, System Settings, Services on this server.

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Create Word Automation Services Application

This service is used to convert word documents into various formats and is an optional service.

From Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications, select New, Word Automation Service Application

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Enter a name for the application and select the generic application pool created earlier and click OK.

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Start the service, from Services on Server locate the service ..

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and click start.

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Configure Search Service Application

Ensure the search service accounts are registered as managed accounts.  Central Admin, Security, configure Managed Accounts.

There are several accounts required which I have listed here together with an example account name in AD.

Search Service Applies to all search service application, can be changed in configure service accounts in security (central Admin)
Search Admin App pool account. Can be same as Search Service.
Search Query App pool account. Can be same as Search Service.
Default Content Access Recommended to have a specific account for this account.

For this demo I will use the Search Service account SPSearch.

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Create the Search Service Application

Note : Each search service has a separate content index and there can be multiple search applications to partition sensitive content.  It is also recommended to use a different server for each service application or assign more resources as required. 

From Application Management, Manage Service Applications, New Search Service Application.

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Admin web service (can specify an admin web service app pool account here.)

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Wait for the service to provision

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Select the Search Service Application and click Manage.

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You can change the default crawl content account here which is set to the application service.  use an account that has read permissions on as many of the content locations you with to crawl.  Where specific crawl accounts are required for specific locations create a content crawl rule and assign it the account.

Also specify the email for an administrator account.

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Now lets configure a content source which will be a site created in SharePoint.  Click the Content Sources link on the bottom left as shown above. 

You will see a content source created by default.  This is created to crawl all content on local farm. You can also create additional content sources for other content such as file shares or other SharePoint farms or websites.   Click on this entry “Local SharePoint Sites”.

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If the farm was configured as a farm (not single server) and you did not select to auto configure the services.  This is the recommended approach for production.  You will see there is no incremental or full crawl running or scheduled to run.  So we must edit this content source to specify crawl schedules etc.

Also once into the edit screen ensure the correct URLs are in place for any sites you may have created.

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I have set the incremental crawl to the default values (I did change 5 to 10 minutes)

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Note I have not scheduled a full crawl.  Depending on the content size you may not want to schedule a full crawl.  Rather run it once and let the incremental crawl keep it up to date.  Press ok on this screen.

Use the drop down next to Local SharePoint Sites and trigger a full crawl now.

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These are the basics to get you up and running with Search. I may cover this in more detail in the future but it is as vast subject on which many books have been written purely on this topic.

That’s it for now!

Ok now we have configured all core services for the SharePoint.

In the next post I will cover adding a SharePoint server to the farm we just created and configuring some of the services to run on this second server.  We will also look at how to create the user website.

Installing SharePoint 2013 SP1 on Windows Server 2012 R2

In this article we will look at the step by step process of installing SharePoint 2013 SP1 on Windows Server 2012 R2.  It’s actually the same as installing SharePoint 2013 on Windows 2012 !  I thought I would document it anyway as I was going through the process.

Note that SharePoint 2013 with SP1  will only install on Windows Server 2012 R2 using the slipstreamed media, you can not install SharePoint 2013 RTM and then apply SharePoint 2013 service pack 1 on Windows Server 2012 R2 at this time.

Ensure you are using a setup account which has Admin access on the SharePoint server. 

  • The setup account also needs SYSADMIN rights in the SQL Server instance as well as firewall access etc. to SQL Server.
  • Ensure the SharePoint server has internet access to download the pre-requisite installer files.
    SQL Server role mapping for setup account.

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I have also created an A record alias for my SQL Server simply named SQLDB.

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1. Run the Pre-Requisite Installer

    Run the prerequisiteinstaller,exe from the installation media.  Wait for this to complete after several reboots.

     

    2. Run the Setup file to install the binaries

    Enter license key and accept license agreement and select “Complete” to install the SharePoint binaries onto the server.

    Select Complete for server type  and change the binary install file location if required.

    3. Run The Configuration Wizard to setup the farm

    If you are ready to configure the farm leave the button checked and press Close.

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    Click Next on the first screen and Yes on the IIS notification

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    Select Create new server farm as this is the first server and click Next.

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    Configure Database and farm account. Enter Database server name / alias and farm admin account.

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    Enter Passphrase required when adding further servers to the farm in the future.

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    Specify a port number for the Central Admin site.

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    Check summary and click next to complete configuration of the farm.

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    Wait for the 10 steps to complete which may take about 10 minutes then click finish.

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    Wait for the Central Admin page to open and click Yes or No on the participation screen.

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    Click Cancel for the auto configuration screen. 

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    Many thanks for viewing this page, I hope you found something useful here, if so please let me know !

SharePoint 2013 – Configure PowerPivot for SharePoint

To minimise issues and to have greater control before starting the PowerPivot installation and config check the following points :-

  • The farm is up and running
  • You have Farm Admin account credentials to run the PowerPivot Config Tool with
  • Secure Store Service is configured and running
  • Excel Services is configured and running
    If you do not configure Excel Services the tool will do this for you with default values.   I have configured Excel Services as per article here.

First start by installing the SQL Server (Enterprise or BI Edition) PowerPivot for SharePoint instance on the Application server/s that will run PowerPivot. 

Use the SQL Server 2012 media to run a new instance installation of PowerPivot. In our installation here you can see it already has a default instance with the SQL database engine and SSRS in SharePoint mode installed (SSRS is not configured).

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So we select “Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2012.

Add the PowerPivot feature.

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I have un-ticked the Add SQL Server DB engine as we already have a DB instance we can use.

The feature selection screen automatically fills in the required boxes.

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Here we see the new instance name and configuration.

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Here I have used a domain account for this service.

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I have added the service account and farm admin accounts to the admins role for this instance.

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Spsetup and farm have been added as they are farm admins, the spbisvc account will be used to run the BI web (site) that PowerPivot runs in.  Also add the SPUnattended account, this has been added after the screen shot above.  Then grant the unattended account datareader access on the PowerPivot database once the application has been created.

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Reference
Technet article for PowerPivot

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj820150.aspx

Running the PowerPivot Config tool for SharePoint 2013

The config tool can create the PowerPivot site for you but I have already created my BI site which I want PowerPivot enabled on as I prefer to control how the site is created. If you have not created an Excel Services Service it will also create this with default values.

Ensure Secure Store Service is also configured and running as per previous article on Configuring Core Services.

Once PowerPivot is installed you will need to run the configuration tool. You can do this from the Windows Server start menu. Select the Configuration tool for SharePoint 2013 (not the other one which is for 2010). We see it at the bottom of this screen shot.

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Also note you must run this tool for configuration (and removal) of PowerPivot with farm admin permissions. I have used the SPFarmApp account.   You can also run PowerShell or configure through Central Admin.  We will just run the tool here which will deploy the WSP files to the farm correctly.  We can then accept the PowerPivot Service Application name and database name or just delete the service app and recreate it with our preferred names.   Not the most elegant but simplest and valid for now.

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Press ok on this screen and the tool will validate the environment.

Enter the account information and hit Validate.

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Accept the notice and click Yes

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Wait for this to complete.

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You should now see the PowerPivot application available in the configurable applications in Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications.

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Checking Installation

Here we see screen shots of the deployed applications, SQL databases and application service.

Central Admin, system Settings, Farm Solutions

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SQL Database with default GUID Naming

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Default Application Service, Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications

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Personally I would delete this application by clicking the top element and clicking Delete.  Accept notification and check the box.

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This gets rid of the database also.

Then create the PowerPivot App again form Central Admin , Application Management, Manage Service Applications, New..

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Specify a name and select the BI App Pool

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Change the database name

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Leave rest as Default and press OK.

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All Done.

We now have an appropriately named PowerPivot service and database name.

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now from your BI site you can add the PowerPivot App.

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i have created as Excel type.

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Remember to add the library location to the trusted Excel Library locations if it is not already in there.  this is done through Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications, Manage Excel Services.

 

Thanks for reading.  to follow SSRS in SharePoint integrated mode.

SharePoint 2013 – Configure PowerPivot for SharePoint

To minimise issues and to have greater control before starting the PowerPivot installation and config check the following points :-

  • The farm is up and running
  • You have Farm Admin account credentials to run the PowerPivot Config Tool with
  • Secure Store Service is configured and running
  • Excel Services is configured and running
    If you do not configure Excel Services the tool will do this for you with default values.   I have configured Excel Services as per article here.

First start by installing the SQL Server (Enterprise or BI Edition) PowerPivot for SharePoint instance on the Application server/s that will run PowerPivot. 

Use the SQL Server 2012 media to run a new instance installation of PowerPivot. In our installation here you can see it already has a default instance with the SQL database engine and SSRS in SharePoint mode installed (SSRS is not configured).

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So we select “Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2012.

Add the PowerPivot feature.

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I have un-ticked the Add SQL Server DB engine as we already have a DB instance we can use.

The feature selection screen automatically fills in the required boxes.

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Here we see the new instance name and configuration.

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Here I have used a domain account for this service.

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I have added the service account and farm admin accounts to the admins role for this instance.

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Spsetup and farm have been added as they are farm admins, the spbisvc account will be used to run the BI web (site) that PowerPivot runs in.

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Reference
Technet article for PowerPivot

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj820150.aspx

Running the PowerPivot Config tool for SharePoint 2013

The config tool can create the PowerPivot site for you but I have already created my BI site which I want PowerPivot enabled on as I prefer to control how the site is created. If you have not created an Excel Services Service it will also create this with default values.

Ensure Secure Store Service is also configured and running as per previous article on Configuring Core Services.

Once PowerPivot is installed you will need to run the configuration tool. You can do this from the Windows Server start menu. Select the Configuration tool for SharePoint 2013 (not the other one which is for 2010). We see it at the bottom of this screen shot.

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Also note you must run this tool for configuration (and removal) of PowerPivot with farm admin permissions. I have used the SPFarmApp account.   You can also run PowerShell or configure through Central Admin.  We will just run the tool here which will deploy the WSP files to the farm correctly.  We can then accept the PowerPivot Service Application name and database name or just delete the service app and recreate it with our preferred names.   Not the most elegant but simplest and valid for now.

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Press ok on this screen and the tool will validate the environment.

Enter the account information and hit Validate.

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Accept the notice and click Yes

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Wait for this to complete.

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You should now see the PowerPivot application available in the configurable applications in Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications.

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Checking Installation

Here we see screen shots of the deployed applications, SQL databases and application service.

Central Admin, system Settings, Farm Solutions

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SQL Database with default GUID Naming

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Default Application Service, Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications

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Personally I would delete this application by clicking the top element and clicking Delete.  Accept notification and check the box.

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This gets rid of the database also.

Then create the PowerPivot App again form Central Admin , Application Management, Manage Service Applications, New..

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Specify a name and select the BI App Pool

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Change the database name

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Leave rest as Default and press OK.

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All Done.

We now have an appropriately named PowerPivot service and database name.

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now from your BI site you can add the PowerPivot App.

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i have created as Excel type.

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Remember to add the library location to the trusted Excel Library locations if it is not already in there.  this is done through Central Admin, Application Management, Manage Service Applications, Manage Excel Services.

 

Thanks for reading.  to follow SSRS in SharePoint integrated mode.

SharePoint 2013 – Create Excel Services Service Application

Here we begin with the configuration of the BI features of SharePoint 2013.

From Central Admin, Select Application Management, Manage Service Applications. New Excel Service Application.

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Select Excel Services Application and enter a name for the service and select the BI App Pool. Leave the rest as defaults.

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Once complete select the Excel Services Service and click Manage.

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Here you can configure necessary Excel Services settings. I will go through the key ones to configure or check.

Start with Trusted File Locations

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Click Add Trusted File Location

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Add any URLS to sites or Excel Libraries that are allowed. See examples below. Substitute URLs for your own. Allow children so sub sites and libraries will work also.

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Change workbook size if required and increase image size from default of 1MB as you will soon recieve a request from your users if you don’t.

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I prefer to remove the warning when refreshing data in workbooks. Default is ticked.

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Press OK when complete.

Next go to Trusted Data Connection Libraries and add any data connection library locations here.

Create an Excel Document Library

Select “Add an App” from the site settings menu on the top right of the screen.

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Select Document Library

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Then Select Advanced

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Name the library and enable version history if required (recommended for production).

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Click Create

Add a Data Connection Library

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Advanced,

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I would recommend creating the library with a name that has no spaces in the title. This is to make it easier for users who may want to deploy data source from Visual Studio into SharePoint Data source Libraries. Just one less thing to worry about if you can do this.

Also ensure any data source libraries are added to the trusted locations in Excel Services AND the correct data source library is added i.e. for Excel add the standard one and not the Data Sources for Performance Point.

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Thanks for reading !

We will move onto PowerPivot in the next article.

Adding a SharePoint 2013 Server To A Farm

Adding additional servers to a SharePoint farm provides the flexibility of role assignments per server within the SharePoint farm as well as high availability for servers that are running the same services. For example having two servers running Excel Services increases the availability (and performance) of the farm as both servers would be used by the users and load balanced internally by SharePoint.

Adding The Second Server

First ensure the second server is ready and available up to OS level and Windows Server patching is applied.  Next ensure that it is part of the same domain as the first SharePoint server and that the setup account (SPSETUP in our example) account is a local administrator on this server.

Install the Pre-Requisites and Binaries

Install SharePoint pre requisites and run the SharePoint Setup Program.  The server may require a couple of reboots during the installation.  Once complete install the binaries.

Select Install SharePoint Server

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Enter license key and accept license agreement and select “Complete” to install the SharePoint binaries onto the server.

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Once this process completes you can run the configuration wizard.

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Click Next and accept the warning message by clicking yes.

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Leave the default option selected and click next.

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Enter the database server name and click Retrieve Database Names.

This should make a connection back to the database server and allow you to select the SharePoint_Config database.  If it cannot access SQL Server then ensure there are no firewalls blocking access.  If the firewall is on you can use this script on the SQL Server host server to ensure connectivity :-

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”Open SQL Server Port 1433″ dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=1433

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Enter the passphrase you used when creating the first SharePoint server.

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if you have forgotten your pass phrase then it can be reset easily on the main SharePoint server using the SharePoint PowerShell Module as shown here. and the Set-SPPassPhrase commandlet.as shown here.

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Check Summary and continue.

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The advanced settings here allow you to run the Central Admin site on this new server.  We have selected to NOT host Central Admin on this server also for our exercise.  In order to make the CA site highly available (running on more than one server) then select the option to “use this machine to host the web site.”.  However you would need to configure access mappings or a proper URL for the CA site.  I may cover this in the future.

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Await the completion of the configuration

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Central Admin will now open.  If not log onto the CA site from the original server and we can now see and configure the farm.

If we look at System Settings, Servers in Farm we can see both servers SharePointDemo and SharePointDemo2.

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We can also see that only the basic core services are running on the new server.

Configuring Services on the second SharePoint Server

From Central Admin select, System Settings, Manage Services on server.

Select change Server where the server name is displayed (top right).

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Select the server to change to (we will click SharePointDemo2)

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Now we can see all services running on this server.  So if we want to run a service on this server we simply click start next to the service that is stopped.  Here we will start the Word Automation Service.

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Other services such as Excel Services, Visio Graphics and more can be started up in this way on any additional SharePoint servers.  Services which require an installation process such as PowerPivot, SSRS / Power View will need to be installed first and configured.  We will cover this in the BI services section.

Add Secure Store Service and Configure an Application ID

To add the secure store service start the service.

Also you will note the application event log message on the new SharePoint server.

Event ID “7535, Secure Store Service”…failed to retrieve the master secret key. The error returned was: ‘Unable to obtain master key; “

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From Central Admin, go to manage service applications and click manage on the Secure Store application and the “Unable to obtain master key” error is displayed (just like it was when adding the first server).

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In order to join the new server and configure the Secure Store service correctly select Refresh Key.

Enter the passphrase which was used when creating the Secure Store service.

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Once complete the following screen should appear.

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While we are here lets create a secure store application ID which we can use later in Excel Services when we do the BI section.

Click New enter the application ID name and display name.

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click Next

Enter the account details of the Domain user account that will be used as the unattended account.

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Note: The password will be shown on screen, i have just put in some *’s for the screenshot !

Enter the administrator accounts who can manage the secure store credentials.  I would recommend creating a SharePoint Admins group or groups for different environments to provide this type of access within SharePoint.

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We should now see the application ID we created.

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The credentials we provided here (unattended account) can be used to provide access to backend data sources for example when users do not have direct access.

Create our Web Application, Site Collection and Web (aka Site).

Each Web Application can host many site collections and site collections can host many Webs.  Note the term Web is used to reference a site or the entity which sits in IIS.  Each Web Application can have multiple databases.

A database can contain many site collections.  A site collection can only exist in one database.

Separate site collections can be create for users and business areas that require security isolation.

Here we will get on with the task of create a web so users have something to work with.  We will use the Enterprise BI template and create web application followed by a Site Collection.  We will also give the site a proper URL AND make it highly available in that it will run on two servers.  The webs would run on servers allocated to the Web Front End role in any production architecture meaning that these servers will not host application roles such as Excel Services etc.

Creating the BI Site

First create a DNS Alias and register the application pool account.

We will use the URL http://BI.demo.local and the demo\SPBISvcApp domain account for the application pool.  We will also use Kerberos authentication as opposed to NTLM in order to allow us to fully utilise the BI features.

In DNS I have created a simple A record.

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This would generally be the IP address of a load balancer. The load balancer would be configured to respond to this URL and send it to the Web Front End servers.  Windows Server has it’s own load balancing services which could be used here but generally a hardware load balancer is used as they are more sophisticated in that they can check for certain conditions and strings in a web page for example.  The Windows NLB can only check for pings.  This would not help if the server was well but IIS had hung for example.

Add the managed account if not already done.

From Central Admin, Security, Configure Managed Accounts.  Check to see if your BI service account is included, if not add it now.

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Back to Central Admin, Web applications, Manage Web Applications

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Create New Web Applications, click new.

Create a new IIS web site, Enter a name for it, and enter the host header which should match the A record in DNS.

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Select Kerberos for the authentication method.

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Leave sign in page and public  URL as default.

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Enter the New App Pool Name, check service account and rename the database to something more sensible than the default WSS_Content.

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All other settings can be left as default including the proxy groups.

Wait for the Web App to be created

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Now that the site web app is created we can create the site collection which is a container for the individual webs.

Click on the Create Site Collection link or if you have closed it from Central Admin, Create Site Collections.

Enter a name

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Use Define Managed Paths to create a subsite link rather than top level.  Ours will be a top level bi.demo.local rather than bi.demo.local/SITENAME.

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Enter two administrator accounts and click OK.

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Successful.

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Clicking on the link should open up the site. It may take a while..Enter the login details of the setup or farm account.

and Voila

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Installing SharePoint 2013 Correctly on Windows 2012

This article is part 1 of a series of SharePoint 2013 articles to provide instructions on how to install a SharePoint 2013 farm correctly. 

Why does this article exist and why is it different to others ?

I wrote this for 2 reasons.  1. Firstly the reason is to help and show people how to set up SharePoint properly as opposed to the standard next, next , finish approach which is also available and not recommended,  2. To help me find the information I need quickly and easily when doing related tasks.

I have tried to add tips and shortcuts as well as try to explain why certain things need to be as they are where I can.  I hope you find this useful.  Following this article which starts of with a new clean install of a single server SharePoint farm other articles will look at how to configure the core services followed by the BI services.

There are also many ways to implement SharePoint such as running through the GUI, using XML unattended files through to complete automation using scripts from Codeplex available here http://autospinstaller.codeplex.com. These methods are recommended when doing farm installs regularly. It is however recommend to fully understanding the installation rather than rely on a script to do all the work and not really understanding what the scripts are doing or how to troubleshoot when things don’t go to plan.

The Environment

The environment I have used is a Windows 8 Professional  Dell Latitude laptop with 16GB of RAM and an SSD Drive running Hyper-V virtualization software. The domain controller (DC) and database server (SQL Server) are installed on this same VM on the same virtual network.

Creating the first SharePoint 2013 server of the farm

The first server created would be the server that runs the Central Admin site. Ensure a SharePoint installation account and farm account exist in Active Directory with no special permissions. Examples used are SPSetup and SPFarmapp here.

SQL Server

The virtual machine also has the SQL Server database engine installed as well as the Reporting Services (SharePoint integrated mode) installed.  We won’t cover SQL install here and there will also be a PowerPivot feature installed in the BI section later.

The following features have been installed as the default instance.  in a production environment you would not require the SQL Data Tool generally. I have added them for ease later if I need them.

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Also make the SPfarm admin on the server if you are configuring user profile sync (not covered here) if not installing a domain controller !  Domain admin for this and spsetup if you are (in your lab!).

Pre-Requisites

There are numerous pre-requisites that are needed in order for SharePoint to run properly. Shortcuts can be taken for example using the same service account for everything but this can come and bite you hard in the future so be warned.

SPsetup is an administrator on the SharePoint servers and has the sysadmin role in SQL Server.

There are a number of tools and add-ons that are required that the SharePoint pre-req installer will go and download from the internet..

The following roles are installed as part of the prerequisite installer.

  • Web Server (IIS) role
  • Application Server role
  • Microsoft .NET Framework version 4.5
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Native Client
  • Microsoft WCF Data Services 5.0
  • Microsoft Information Protection and Control Client (MSIPC)
  • Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime v1.0 SP1 (x64)
  • Windows Management Framework 3.0 which includes Windows PowerShell 3.0
  • Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) 1.0 and Microsoft Identity Extensions (previously named WIF 1.1)
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Cumulative Update Package 1 for Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server (KB 2671763)

    The roles and applications are installed by SharePoint automatically if there is an internet connection. If the server has no internet connection (and many don’t) then download each application and place them onto the server.

    A full list is available here.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262485(v=office.15).aspx

Service Accounts

It is also best practice to create service accounts for your sites and services.  We will be using service accounts for :-

– SharePoint core services (e.g. SVCSPApp)

– SharePoint BI Site application pool and BI Services  (e.g. SPBISVCApp)

– PowerPivot, SSRS, SQL  Service accounts.

The accounts need to exist in active directory with no special permissions.  There are extra steps required for the User Profile Sync Service which I may cover in another article.

 

Installing the SharePoint 2013 Prerequisites

My server has internet access to ease the process. When I have scripted this part of the installation I will add it as a new linked article.

Click the splash html app file to start the installation program and wait for the following screen to appear. Click the install prerequisites option.

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· Click Next

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Your system may need a restart a few times. The server will continue with the installations upon restart. If there are problems ensure the installer files are still available after the reboot (mounted for example if using an ISO file).

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SQL Server Permissions

Ensure the SPSetup account has dbcreator, public and security admin roles on the SQL Server.

Ensure SQL Server has MAXDOP set to 1.

Hotfixes

Additional hotfixes are required for SharePoint 2013 on top of the pre reqs.

These are listed here:-

Windows 2008 R2

· KB 2554876 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=254221

· KB 2708075 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=254222

· KB 2759112 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=267536

Windows 2012

· KB 2765317 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=268725

Install SharePoint Binaries

Log onto the server as the SpSetup account which should also be in the Administrators local group on the SharePoint server being installed.

Start the setup.exe program and enter the license key.

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Agree to the Licensing Terms.

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Check the file locations and change as necessary.

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  • Click Install Now.
  • UNTICK and don’t run the Configuration Wizard once above step is complete.  Click Close.

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Configure the Farm

Run the following command from the SharePoint PowerShell console. This will ensure the core databases are not created with long GUIDS appended to their name as per default.

Enter the SQL Server name or alias (strongly recommended) for the database server that will hold the SharePoint databases. Our SQL Server name is SQL and our databases are named SharePoint_ConfigDB and SharePoint_Admin_ContentDB respectively.

New-SPConfigurationDatabase -DatabaseName SharePoint_ConfigDB -DatabaseServer sql -AdministrationContentDatabaseName SharePoint_Admin_ContentDB

Once started a popup will be displayed asking for the farm admin credentials.

  • Enter the FARM Admin account here, not the setup account.

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  • Enter the farm passphrase and wait…..Do not press any keys until it is complete.

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Wait for the confirmation of the passphrase as it could take a few minutes. Pressing anything during this time will require restarting this process.

If you make an error here you can restart by disconnecting the farm and removing the databases created and starting again. Run Disconnect-SPConfigurationDatabase to remove the database farm config and start the above command again.

Open the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard from the start menu.

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  • Press Yes to confirm the warning.

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Follow the screens and click Next on each.

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Leave above as default. Specify port number on Central Web Application page and authentication. Leave as NTLM and I prefer to choose a consistent port rather than use the random port generated by the installer.

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Enter the port number or leave as random. Leave authentication as NTLM for Central Admin unless Kerberos is a requirement. In most cases this is not required for Central Admin.

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As we ran the initial PowerShell script the standard farm admin screen and passphrase screen are note shown and so the configuration begins.

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Wait for this to complete. Once complete the following screen will be presented.

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Click Finish and the Central Admin page should now open up in IE.

Enter the appropriate response to the customer improvement program screen.

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It is important to select Cancel on the next screen as this will stop SharePoint configuring itself with all the default values and nasty databases names with GUIDS. Click Cancel !

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You now have a nice clean and shiny Central Administration site available for use.

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Some Central Admin Differences

Apps

SharePoint 2013 introduces the concept of Apps which are an extension of the previously used solutions to add functionality to SharePoint farms.  Apps do not replace solutions and require configuration of the App Management and Subscription Services.  Apps also reduce security concerns previously where developers needed access to a farm administrator to deploy solutions.  Now Site Collection administrators can manage the apps.  Apps can also run on the SharePoint server, other servers or even a client browser.  Apps can be made available by developers online for On-Premises or Office 365 SharePoint implementations.

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Settings Options

These are now accessible at the top right hand side of the screen.

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Please see the second article in this series which goes through the configuration of the key basic services correctly using the GUI and scripts.

Troubleshooting

Pre req error occurs when installing on Windows 2012 R2 (currently not supported I believe).

“Error: This file does not exist”.  I have tried to manually add the IIS and App roles but same error persists.

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See the following technet blog article for further details.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2013/09/22/sharepoint-2013-support-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx