SharePoint Online AppRegNew via PowerShell

$clientId = "clientId GUID"
$appDomain = "App Domain"
$appName = "Friendly Name"
$appUrl = "App Url"
$newClientSecret = "Client Secret"

$servicePrincipalName = @("$clientID/$appDomain")
New-MsolServicePrincipal -ServicePrincipalNames $servicePrincipalName -AppPrincipalId $clientID -DisplayName $appName `
  -Type Symmetric -Usage Verify -StartDate "12/01/2016" -EndDate "12/01/2017" -Addresses (New-MsolServicePrincipalAddresses -Address $appUrl) 
New-MsolServicePrincipalCredential -AppPrincipalId $clientId -Type Symmetric -Usage Sign -Value $newClientSecret
New-MsolServicePrincipalCredential -AppPrincipalId $clientId -Type Symmetric -Usage Verify -Value $newClientSecret
New-MsolServicePrincipalCredential -AppPrincipalId $clientId -Type Password -Usage Verify -Value $newClientSecret

NodeJS Development Environment w/SharePoint Framework Support

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently (or not interested in SharePoint development), you’ve probably heard/read the recent announcement about the preview release of the SharePoint Framework. You can read the announcement here:

http://dev.office.com/blogs/sharepoint-framework-developer-preview-release

The new SPFx adopts client-side development using Typescript (a superset language of JavaScript) and uses tools born from NodeJS development – such as Gulp and Yeoman. The aim of this post is not to go into the specifics of these tools, besides, there’s lots of information on the Internet.

If you’ve made the leap into client-side development (for SharePoint or otherwise) – congratulations and welcome to the new era of software development. Those of you embarking on the learning curve will soon learn that client-side development (and by extension SPFx development) requires installation of various tools for your development arsenal. The days of just installing a single IDE are fading away. At this point I shall mention that those die hard Visual Studio folks can develop NodeJS and SPFx projects with their IDE. However, you still need NodeJS and dependent modules installed to develop for SPFX. The following article details the steps:

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-dev-docs/wiki

Like many JavaScript and Typescript developers before me, I have opted for the platform independent tools, using Visual Studio Code. VSCode is a lightweight code editor that embraces client-side and NodeJS development and runs on Windows, OSX and Linux (you can even run it on a Raspberry PI). Just as with it’s big brother, Visual Studio Code works with additional software to constitute a true development environment – alone it’s really just a JavaScript/Typescript editor. I’ll refer you to the previously mentioned article that speaks to installing all the necessary components for SPFx development.

By now, you’re probably thinking “I have to install Visual Studio Code or Visual Studio 2015, NodeJS, Yeoman, Gulp, Windows Build Tools, yada, yada, yada, just to get a development environment up and running?”. The short answer is “yes”. Luckily for you (those of you on Windows at least), I have created a PowerShell script that downloads all the tools and dependencies for you, available at the following location:

https://github.com/robgarrett/Study/blob/master/Install-JSDev.ps1

My script downloads the following binaries and installs them:

  • Visual Studio Code
  • NodeJS LTS
  • Windows GIT

After installation of the binaries, the script uses the Node Package Manager (NPM) to install:

  • Windows-Build-Tools (includes an installation of Python)
  • Yeoman
  • Gulp
  • The SPFx Yeoman Generator (this creates SPFx scaffolding)
  • Typescript 2.0

Typescript 2.0 isn’t necessarily required for SPFx development (I believe TSv1.0 installed as a dependency of one of the other packages), but Typescript is coming to stay so might as well get used to the next version.

Depending on the performance of your development machine and your Internet, the script can take some time installing all the necessary packages. So grab a coffee and let it do its stuff.

Finally, you’re ready to start developing. If you’re ready to dive into SPFx Web Part development you can create your first web-part using the instructions at the following location:

https://github.com/robgarrett/Study/blob/master/Install-JSDev.ps1

FYI – the @Microsoft/Generator-SharePoint downloads a ton of modules and it can take an absolute age. It might seem like a lot of waiting around to develop your first SPFx web part, but SPFx and the workbench rely on lots of modules. For subsequent projects you can always make a copy of the default web-part scaffolding (directory structure and files) save generating from scratch. At the very least the node_modules folder is good to keep because it contains all dependent NodeJS projects and libraries.

So, that’s it. Sorry, if you’re on OSX or Linux – you’ll have to download to the installs per the article instructions until I or someone else creates a bash script to do the same as my PowerShell script (note: PowerShell now runs on Linux, but my script is Windows specific). Hey, at least you seldom set up your development environment from scratch.

SharePoint 2013 Not Crawling Cold Fusion (CFM) Pages

It’s not every day that you find needle in a haystack, but when you do it’s worth blogging for prosperity…

My customer has set up SharePoint 2013 as the central search authority for their organization and uses it to crawl non-SharePoint sites as well as SharePoint. We noticed that SharePoint was not crawling links in Cold Fusion pages (.cfm). Instead, the crawler was treating CFM pages as text and stopping at the top-most levels without indexing lower-level pages.

We noticed in testing that renaming CFM to HTML extension fixed the issue, but wasn’t sustainable for the vast number of CF sites in the organization.

For the longest time I was messing around with the New-SPEnterpriseSearchFileFormat cmdlet, urging SharePoint to treat CFM pages the same as HTML. What I determined is this cmdlet is good for mapping custom extensions to Windows platform IFilters. What I wanted to do was to mimic the crawler indexing HTML pages, which does not use Windows IFilters. After much perseverance, I found the following information (included below, incase the link goes away):

# To check the current settings for filtering extensions, run the following command lines:
$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication "Search Service Application"
$ssa.GetProperty("ExtensionsToFilter")
# Here's the default output that you'll receive:
#;ascx;asp;aspx;htm;html;jhtml;jsp;mht;php;

#To add the .cfm extension to the property, run the following commands:
$ssa.SetProperty("ExtensionsToFilter", ";ascx;asp;aspx;htm;html;jhtml;jsp;mht;php;cfm;")
$ssa.Update()
# To restart the search functionality on a crawler when no crawling is occurring, run the following commands:
net stop osearch15
net start osearch15

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2953907

SharePoint Crawling User Profiles (SPS3://) – Access Denied w/o HTTP

I stumbled across an interesting issue with People Search in SharePoint 2016. I was attempting to crawl the user profile store with URL: sps3://server-name and getting Access Denied in the crawl log. I checked the Administrators for the User Profile Service in Manage Service Applications and confirmed my default content access account (crawl account) had access to Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers (see here).

Looking at the ULS I noticed errors about missing Alternate Access Mappings for an HTTP address, before seeing the Access Denied error. This caught my eye because I’ve configured my collaboration web application and my-site host as HTTPS.
For kicks, I added an IIS binding for HTTP://SERVER-NAME and added an AAM for the server name on HTTP, alongside my HTTPS FQDN. Lo-and-behold, after starting a full crawl the log reported successes for people data.

So, it appears that SharePoint takes the URL sps3://server-name and converts it to http://server-name to make some determination of access to the User Profile store. I’m not sure why this is the case (not yet anyway).

Lesson learned (for now): make sure SharePoint’s default content access account can access the same domain URL on HTTP as that of the SPS3 protocol. As mentioned at the top of this post, I found this out on SharePoint 2016, and I need to test to see if the results are the same on SharePoint 2013.

[Update 5/13/2016]: Turns out I should read the TechNet articles carefully. The following article indicates using sps3s://mysite-url, which then works correctly.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh582311.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Deploying a SharePoint Add-In from the Catalog via PowerShell

I recently came across a situation where I was asked if I could deploy a SharePoint App/Add-in from the corporate catalog to a sub-site, via PowerShell. With no surprise, there’s no single PowerShell Cmdlet that will perform this task. So, I took it upon myself to reverse engineer the SharePoint storefront and see how Microsoft does it within the platform.

The following code relies on .NET Reflection to invoke private and internal methods in the SharePoint server-side APIs. For this reason, I recommend taking caution in using this code, because we’re calling methods that Microsoft never intended developers to access. I highly recommend keeping this code away from production.

The code assumes the presence of custom add-ins/apps in the catalog and will iterate them. With each add-in/app, you have the option to add the app to the root site of the given site collection. You could easily change this code to suit your purpose. Note: if an app is already installed for a given web, it’ll not show up in the iteration.

[CmdletBinding()]param();

if ((Get-PSSnapin -Name "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null) {
    Add-PSSnapin "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell";
}

$yes = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&Yes","Description."
$no = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&No","Description."
$cancel = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&Cancel","Description."
$options = [System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription[]]($yes, $no, $cancel)

$url = "site collection URL here";
$site = Get-SPSite $url;
$web = $site.RootWeb;

Write-Verbose "Getting apps from the catalog";
$json = Invoke-RestMethod -UseDefaultCredentials -Method Get -Uri $url + "/_layouts/15/addanapp.aspx?task=GetMyApps&sort=1&query=&myappscatalog=0&ci=1&vd=1";
$json | ? { $_.Catalog -eq 1 } | % {
    $appId = $_.ID;

    Write-Host -foreground Yellow "Title: $($_.Title)";
    Write-Host -foreground Yellow "AppID: $appId";

    $result = $host.ui.PromptForChoice("App Install", "Install App $($_.Title)", $options, 1)
    if ($result -eq 2) { break; }
    if ($result -eq 0) {

        Write-Verbose "Get the Corporate Catalog Accessor instance";
        $flags = [System.Reflection.BindingFlags]::NonPublic -bor [System.Reflection.BindingFlags]::Instance;
        $asm = [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint");
        $ccaType = $asm.GetType("Microsoft.SharePoint.Marketplace.CorporateCuratedGallery.SPCorporateCatalogAccessor");
        $ccaCtor = $ccaType.GetConstructors($flags) | ? { $_.GetParameters().Count -eq 1; }
        $cca = $ccaCtor.Invoke(@($web));

        Write-Verbose "Getting App Package from the Catalog";
        $method = $ccaType.GetMethods($flags) | ? { $_.Name -ilike "GetAppPackage" -and ($_.GetParameters())[0].ParameterType.Name -eq "String" }
        $stream = $method.Invoke($cca, @($appId));

        Write-Verbose "Installing App from Catalog";
        $spAppType = $asm.GetType("Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPApp");
        $method = $spAppType.GetMethod("CreateAppUsingPackageMetadata", [System.Reflection.BindingFlags]::NonPublic -bor [System.Reflection.BindingFlags]::Static);
        [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPApp]$spApp = $method.Invoke($null, @($stream, $web, 2, $false, $null, $null));
        $appInstanceId = $spApp.CreateAppInstance($web);
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor Yellow "AppInstanceID: $appInstanceId";
        $appInstance = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPAppCatalog]::GetAppInstance($web, $appInstanceId);
        $appInstance.Install();
    }
}

SharePoint 2013 Build Numbers and PowerShell

If you’re in the business of maintaining SharePoint 2013 on-premises, you’ve undoubtedly come across Todd Klindt’s blog post with ongoing table of build numbers and corresponding CU names: http://www.toddklindt.com/sp2013builds.

Knowing the current patch version of your farm is pretty straight forward. You can look up the farm build number in Central Administration -> Manage Servers in Farm, and grab the number at the top of the page. Cross reference this number with the table in Todd’s blog post and you have the CU version installed in your farm.

I wanted to go a step further and write a PowerShell script that pulls the build number and looks up the details from Todd’s blog post automagically. Here it is:

[CmdletBinding()]Param();

$global:srcWebPage = "http://www.toddklindt.com/sp2013builds"; # Thanks Todd.

if ((Get-PSSnapin -Name "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null) {
    Add-PSSnapin "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell";
}

try {
    $farm = Get-SPFarm;
    $buildVersion = $farm.BuildVersion;
    $buildVersionString = $buildVersion.ToString();
    $site = Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing -Uri $global:srcWebPage;
    $pattern = "\<td.*\>.+(" + $buildVersionString.Replace(".", "\.") + ").*\</td\>\s*\<td.*\>(.+)\</td\>\s*\<td.*\>(.+)\</td\>";
    $pattern += '\s*\<td.*\>.*\<a.+href="(.+)".*\>(.+)\</a\>\</td\>';
    $pattern += '\s*\<td.*\>.*\<a.+href="(.+)".*\>(.+)\</a\>\</td\>';
    Write-Verbose $pattern;
    $m = [Regex]::Match($site.RawContent, $pattern, [System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions]::Multiline);
    if (!$m.Success) { throw "Could not find build number $buildVersionString in $global:srcWebPage"; }
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Current Build Number: ";
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $buildVersionString;
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Current Patch/CU: ";
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $m.Groups[2].Value;
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "KB of Current Patch/CU: ";
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $m.Groups[5].Value;
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Download of Current Patch/CU: ";
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $m.Groups[6].Value;
    Write-Host
    $index = $m.Index + $m.Length;
    $pattern = "\<td.*\>.+([0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+).*\</td\>\s*\<td.*\>(.+)\</td\>\s*\<td.*\>(.+)\</td\>";
    $pattern += '\s*\<td.*\>.*\<a.+href="(.+)".*\>(.+)\</a\>\</td\>';
    $pattern += '\s*\<td.*\>.*\<a.+href="(.+)".*\>(.+)\</a\>\</td\>';
    $m = [Regex]::Match($site.RawContent.Substring($index), $pattern, [System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions]::Multiline);
    if ($m.Success) {
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Next Build Number: ";
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor green $m.Groups[1].Value;
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Next Patch/CU: ";
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor green $m.Groups[2].Value;
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "KB of Next Patch/CU: ";
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor green $m.Groups[5].Value;
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor white -NoNewline "Download of Next Patch/CU: ";
        Write-Host -ForegroundColor green $m.Groups[6].Value;
    }

} catch {
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Red $_.Exception;
}

PowerShell Register Provider-Hosted Add-in/App

My current client uses provider-hosted add-ins with SharePoint 2013 on-premises. We have a centralized server infrastructure – provider-host – for the add-ins, where we deploy the add-in/app logic and then deploy the APP files to different SharePoint 2013 environments.

Why? The add-ins we’ve developed use CSOM to effect changes in the environment they’re deployed (SharePoint). We have one team developing the provider-hosted add-ins, and another team testing the add-ins within their development environments. This post is not about lifecycle deployment of SharePoint Provider-Hosted Add-ins – besides, we have integration, staging, test, and production hosts for this purpose – but about a nifty PowerShell script to reuse APP files across environments.

So, the scenario goes like this…

We have an integration farm with the provider-hosted add-ins deployed (and working). Developers download these add-ins from the integration SharePoint farm app catalog and save the APP files locally. They then upload these APP files into the app catalog of their local development SharePoint farm. Each development farm has a registered Security Token Issuer, using the same issuer ID as the integration farm. The development farms also have a trusted root certificate for the High-Trust between the provider-host and SharePoint, also the same as integration. The remaining step is to ensure that each add-in deployed to the development farm has the same client/app ID as that registered in the integration farm.

The typical process to register a shared add-in would be to crack open the APP file (just a zip file), look in the manifest.xml file and pull the client ID, and then call https://site/_layouts/15/appregnew.aspx. However, I wanted a script that avoided all that nonsense, and here it is:

[CmdletBinding()]Param(
    [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$appPath,
    [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$webUrl
);

if ((Get-PSSnapin -Name "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null) {
    Add-PSSnapin "Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell";
}

$zipStream = $null;
$streamReader = $null;
try {
    Write-Verbose "Looking for AppManifest in APP Zip";
    [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName('System.IO.Compression') | Out-Null;
    if (![System.IO.File]::Exists($appPath)) { throw "$appPath does not exist"; }
    $zipBytes = [System.IO.File]::ReadAllBytes($appPath);
    $zipStream = New-Object System.IO.Memorystream;
    $zipStream.Write($zipBytes, 0, $zipBytes.Length);
    $zipArchive = New-Object System.IO.Compression.ZipArchive($zipStream);
    $zipEntry = $zipArchive.GetEntry("AppManifest.xml");
    $streamReader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader($zipEntry.Open());
    $manifest = New-Object System.Xml.XmlDocument;
    $manifest.LoadXml($streamReader.ReadToEnd());
    
    Write-Verbose "Looking for ClientID";
    $ns = New-Object System.Xml.XmlNamespaceManager($manifest.NameTable);
    $ns.AddNamespace("x", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/2012/app/manifest");
    $node = $manifest.SelectSingleNode("/x:App/x:AppPrincipal/x:RemoteWebApplication", $ns);
    $clientId = $node.Attributes["ClientId"].Value;
    $node = $manifest.SelectSingleNode("/x:App/x:Properties/x:Title", $ns);
    $appTitle = $node.InnerText;
    Write-Verbose "Found app with title $appTitle and clientID $clientId";
    
    Write-Verbose "Registering App ClientId with SharePoint";
    $web = Get-SPWeb $webUrl;
    $realm = Get-SPAuthenticationRealm -ServiceContext $web.Site;
    $fullAppId = $clientId + '@' + $realm;
    Register-SPAppPrincipal -DisplayName $appTitle -NameIdentifier $fullAppId -Site $web;

} catch {
    Write-Host -ForegroundColor Red $_.Exception;
} finally {
    if ($streamReader -ne $null) { $streamReader.Close(); }
    if ($zipStream -ne $null) { $zipStream.Close(); }
}

The script takes a full path to the APP file and a web URL to register the add-in. As you can see from the code, the script replicates the manual steps of unzipping the APP (in memory), pulls out the client ID and calls Register-SPAppPrincipal to register the add-in.

SharePoint Add-In Governance

I’ve been working with a client that recently asked me about Governance of SharePoint Provider-Hosted Add-ins in their on-premises SharePoint 2013. Essentially, they wanted to take control over how site owners installed add-ins from the corporate SharePoint App Catalog. The App Catalog allows administrators to toggle whether site owners can install add-ins or request permission to install them, but my client was looking for a more granular solution on a site-by-site basis.

My thought process went in the direction of detecting installation of an add-in and finding a way to intercept the installation process. This led me to the App Installed event that SharePoint supports for provider-hosted add-ins. Imagine a scenario where every add-in in the catalog fired an App Installed event that then checked the add-in against a central database/list etc., to determine whether the site owner could complete the installation. Seems simple enough. However, what if I then said administrators could upload provider-hosted add-ins to the catalog that might not have App Installed event code present? Perhaps a third-party add-in or add-in developed by another person outside the governance circle.

I wondered if it’d be possible to inject logic into existing add-ins after they’d been deployed to the app catalog. Turns out this isn’t as hard as it sounds. For those of you thinking I’m about to go with a code hack and a suggestion that could compromise compiled code, just hang in a moment longer.

Provider-Hosted Add-ins consist of an APP file in the app catalog, which redirects execution to an endpoint on another sever. The APP file is really just a glorified ZIP file with AppManifest.xml and other supporting files contained. Provider-Hosted add-ins that support the App Installed event (and Upgrading and Uninstalling events) include an endpoint reference to a remote event receiver web service in the AppManifest.xml. My theory was that I could download the APP file, unzip it, make the change to the AppManifest.xml file, zip it again, and upload it back to the catalog. The new modified APP file would contain a remote event receiver location of my choosing. So, I started work…

First to illustrate what I mean, here’s a snapshot of a test Provider-Hosted Add-in:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<!--Created:cb85b80c-f585-40ff-8bfc-12ff4d0e34a9-->
<App xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/2012/app/manifest"      Name="HelloWorld"      ProductID="{316a9436-6358-4626-a007-c31fafe306a2}"      Version="1.0.0.0"      SharePointMinVersion="15.0.0.0" >
  <Properties>
    <Title>Hello World</Title>
    <StartPage>~remoteAppUrl/Pages/Default.aspx?{StandardTokens}</StartPage>
    <InstalledEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</InstalledEventEndpoint>
    <UninstallingEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</UninstallingEventEndpoint>
    <UpgradedEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</UpgradedEventEndpoint>
  </Properties>

  <AppPrincipal>
    <RemoteWebApplication ClientId="*" />
  </AppPrincipal>
  <AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="false">
  </AppPermissionRequests>
</App>

Next, I needed some plumbing that would register event receivers on the App Catalog to manipulate add-ins uploaded to the catalog. In keeping with good SharePoint 2013 development, I created a Provider-Hosted Add-in for this purpose. I called this PH add-in the App Catalog Updater, ACU for short.

Because the ACU needs to make changes to the App Catalog, this add-in requires tenant control and the ability to run under the app-only context (as opposed to app and user credentials). This prevents this add-in from ever going into the Marketplace, but for my purpose this didn’t matter.

The following is the AppManifest.xml for the ACU:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<!--Created:cb85b80c-f585-40ff-8bfc-12ff4d0e34a9-->
<App xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/2012/app/manifest"      Name="SPAppsUpdateAppCat"      ProductID="{316a9436-6358-4626-a007-c31fafe306a2}"      Version="1.0.0.0"      SharePointMinVersion="15.0.0.0" >
  <Properties>
    <Title>SPApps.UpdateAppCat</Title>
    <StartPage>~remoteAppUrl/Pages/Default.aspx?{StandardTokens}</StartPage>
    <InstalledEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</InstalledEventEndpoint>
    <UninstallingEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</UninstallingEventEndpoint>
    <UpgradedEventEndpoint>~remoteAppUrl/Services/AppEventReceiver.svc</UpgradedEventEndpoint>
  </Properties>

  <AppPrincipal>
    <RemoteWebApplication ClientId="*" />
  </AppPrincipal>
  <AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="true">
    <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/tenant" Right="FullControl" />
  </AppPermissionRequests>
</App>

As mentioned, the ACU registers remote events on the App Catalog, which I achieve, using the following code:

using System;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.EventReceivers;

namespace SPApps.UpdateAppCatWeb.Services
{
    public class AppEventReceiver : IRemoteEventService
    {
        ///

<summary>
        /// Handles app events that occur after the app is installed or upgraded, or when app is being uninstalled.
        /// </summary>


        /// <param name="properties">Holds information about the app event.</param>
        /// <returns>Holds information returned from the app event.</returns>
        public SPRemoteEventResult ProcessEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            var result = new SPRemoteEventResult();
            Logger.Logger.LogInfo("ProcessEvent called for AppEventReceiver", () =>
            {
                using (var clientContext = TokenHelper.CreateAppEventClientContext(properties, false))
                {
                    switch (properties.EventType)
                    {
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppInstalled:
                            // Remove any old RER first.
                            AppHelper.UnregisterRemoteEvents(clientContext);
                            // Install a RER for the App Catalog.
                            AppHelper.RegisterRemoteEvents(clientContext);
                            // Iterate existing apps and process them.
                            AppHelper.ProcessAppList(clientContext);
                            break;
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppUninstalling:
                            // Remove RER from the App Catalog.
                            AppHelper.UnregisterRemoteEvents(clientContext);
                            break;
                    }
                }
            });
            return result;
        }

        ///

<summary>
        /// This method is a required placeholder, but is not used by app events.
        /// </summary>


        /// <param name="properties">Unused.</param>
        public void ProcessOneWayEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }

    }
}

The above code resides in the App Installed event receiver code for the ACU. This code executes when the ACU is installed the first time, and then calls a handy App Helper class to register the event receivers on the App Catalog. In addition, the code looks for existing add-ins in the catalog for processing, again using the App Helper.

Let’s take a look at the App Helper class:

using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client;
using System;
using System.Xml;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Globalization;
using System.IO.Compression;
using System.ServiceModel;

namespace SPApps.UpdateAppCatWeb
{
    static class AppHelper
    {
        private const string LISTNAME = "Apps for SharePoint";
        private const string RERNAME = "Apps_Remote_Event_Receiver";

        public static void RegisterRemoteEvents(ClientContext clientContext)
        {
            if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");
            try
            {
                // Get the Apps List.
                Logger.Logger.LogInfo("Registering remote events", () =>
                {
                    var appCat = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(LISTNAME);
                    clientContext.Load(clientContext.Web);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    // Get the operation context and remote event service URL.
                    var remoteUrl = GetServiceUrl("ListEventReceiver.svc");
                    // Add RER for Item Added.
                    if (!IsRemoteEventRegistered(clientContext, EventReceiverType.ItemAdded))
                    {
                        appCat.EventReceivers.Add(new EventReceiverDefinitionCreationInformation
                        {
                            EventType = EventReceiverType.ItemAdded,
                            ReceiverName = RERNAME,
                            ReceiverUrl = remoteUrl,
                            SequenceNumber = 10000,
                            Synchronization = EventReceiverSynchronization.Synchronous
                        });
                        clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    }
                    // Add RER for Item Updated
                    if (IsRemoteEventRegistered(clientContext, EventReceiverType.ItemUpdated)) return;
                    appCat.EventReceivers.Add(new EventReceiverDefinitionCreationInformation
                    {
                        EventType = EventReceiverType.ItemUpdated,
                        ReceiverName = RERNAME,
                        ReceiverUrl = remoteUrl,
                        SequenceNumber = 10001
                    });
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                });
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
            }
        }

        public static bool IsRemoteEventRegistered(ClientContext clientContext, EventReceiverType type)
        {
            var result = false;
            if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");
            try
            {
                // Get the list
                Logger.Logger.LogInfo("Checking if remote events registered", () =>
                {
                    var srcList = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(LISTNAME);
                    clientContext.Load(clientContext.Web);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    // Iterate all event receivers.
                    clientContext.Load(srcList.EventReceivers);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    foreach (var er in srcList.EventReceivers)
                        if (0 == string.Compare(er.ReceiverName, RERNAME, true, CultureInfo.CurrentCulture) && er.EventType == type)
                        {
                            result = true;
                            break;
                        }
                });
                return result;
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
            }
            return false;
        }

        public static void UnregisterRemoteEvents(ClientContext clientContext)
        {
            if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");
            try
            {
                Logger.Logger.LogInfo("Unregistering remote events", () =>
                {
                    // Get the App Catalog.
                    var appCat = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(LISTNAME);
                    clientContext.Load(clientContext.Web);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    // Remove all event receivers.
                    clientContext.Load(appCat.EventReceivers);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    var toDelete = new List<EventReceiverDefinition>();
                    // ReSharper disable once LoopCanBeConvertedToQuery
                    foreach (var er in appCat.EventReceivers)
                    {
                        if (er.ReceiverName == RERNAME) toDelete.Add(er);
                    }
                    foreach (var er in toDelete)
                    {
                        er.DeleteObject();
                        clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    }
                });
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
            }
        }

        internal static void ProcessAppList(ClientContext clientContext)
        {
            if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");
            try
            {
                Logger.Logger.LogInfo("Processing app catalog", () =>
                {
                    // Get the App Catalog and App List Item.
                    var appCat = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(LISTNAME);
                    clientContext.Load(clientContext.Web);
                    clientContext.Load(appCat);
                    var query = CamlQuery.CreateAllItemsQuery();
                    var items = appCat.GetItems(query);
                    clientContext.Load(items);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    foreach (var item in items)
                        ProcessAppListItem(clientContext, item);
                });
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
            }
        }

        internal static void ProcessAppListItem(ClientContext clientContext, int itemID)
        {
            if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");
            if (itemID <= 0) throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException("itemID");             try {                 // Get the App Catalog and App List Item.                 var appCat = clientContext.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(LISTNAME);                 clientContext.Load(clientContext.Web);                 clientContext.Load(appCat);                 var item = appCat.GetItemById(itemID);                 clientContext.Load(item);                 clientContext.ExecuteQuery();                 ProcessAppListItem(clientContext, item);             }             catch (Exception ex)             {                 Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());                 Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());             }         }         internal static void ProcessAppListItem(ClientContext clientContext, ListItem item)         {             if (null == clientContext) throw new ArgumentNullException("clientContext");             if (null == item) throw new ArgumentNullException("item");             try             {                 Logger.Logger.LogInfo("Processing list item with ID {0}", () => {
                    clientContext.Load(item.File);
                    var stream = item.File.OpenBinaryStream();
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                    var fileInfo = new FileSaveBinaryInformation();
                    fileInfo.ContentStream = new System.IO.MemoryStream();
                    // Load the app manifest file.
                    ProcessManifest(stream.Value, fileInfo.ContentStream, (manifest, ns) => {
                        // Load the properties.
                        var propNode = manifest.SelectSingleNode("x:App/x:Properties", ns);
                        // Look for the endpoints.
                        var installedNode = propNode.SelectSingleNode("x:InstalledEventEndpoint", ns);
                        var upgradedNode = propNode.SelectSingleNode("x:UpgradedEventEndpoint", ns);
                        var uninstalledNode = propNode.SelectSingleNode("x:UninstallingEventEndpoint", ns);
                        if (null == installedNode)
                        {
                            installedNode = manifest.CreateElement("InstalledEventEndpoint", manifest.DocumentElement.NamespaceURI);
                            propNode.AppendChild(installedNode);
                        }
                        if (null == upgradedNode)
                        {
                            upgradedNode = manifest.CreateElement("UpgradedEventEndpoint", manifest.DocumentElement.NamespaceURI);
                            propNode.AppendChild(upgradedNode);
                        }
                        if (null == uninstalledNode)
                        {
                            uninstalledNode = manifest.CreateElement("UninstallingEventEndpoint", manifest.DocumentElement.NamespaceURI);
                            propNode.AppendChild(uninstalledNode);
                        }
                        // NOTE: We're replacing the app installing and upgrading events so we can manage app lifecycle.
                        // If the deployed originally used these events, we've overridden them.
                        installedNode.InnerText = GetServiceUrl("AppMgmtReceiver.svc");
                        upgradedNode.InnerText = GetServiceUrl("AppMgmtReceiver.svc");
                        uninstalledNode.InnerText = GetServiceUrl("AppMgmtReceiver.svc");
                    });
                    // Save the manifest back to SharePoint.
                    fileInfo.ContentStream.Seek(0, System.IO.SeekOrigin.Begin);
                    item.File.SaveBinary(fileInfo);
                    clientContext.Load(item.File);
                    clientContext.ExecuteQuery();
                }, item.Id);
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
            }
        }

        private static void ProcessManifest(System.IO.Stream inStream, System.IO.Stream outStream, Action<XmlDocument, XmlNamespaceManager> manifestDel)
        {
            if (null == inStream) throw new ArgumentNullException("inStream");
            if (null == outStream) throw new ArgumentNullException("outStream");
            if (null == manifestDel) throw new ArgumentNullException("manifestDel");
            using (var memory = new System.IO.MemoryStream())
            {
                var buffer = new byte[1024 * 64];
                int nread = 0, total = 0;
                while ((nread = inStream.Read(buffer, 0, buffer.Length)) > 0)
                {
                    memory.Write(buffer, 0, nread);
                    total += nread;
                }
                memory.Seek(0, System.IO.SeekOrigin.Begin);
                // Open the app manifest.
                using (var zipArchive = new ZipArchive(memory, ZipArchiveMode.Update, true))
                {
                    var entry = zipArchive.GetEntry("AppManifest.xml");
                    if (null == entry) throw new Exception("Could not find AppManifest.xml in the app archive");
                    var manifest = new XmlDocument();
                    using (var sr = new System.IO.StreamReader(entry.Open()))
                    {
                        manifest.LoadXml(sr.ReadToEnd());
                        sr.Close();
                    }
                    var ns = new XmlNamespaceManager(manifest.NameTable);
                    ns.AddNamespace("x", "http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/2012/app/manifest");
                    // Call the delegate.
                    manifestDel(manifest, ns);
                    // Write back to the archive.
                    using (var sw = new System.IO.StreamWriter(entry.Open()))
                    {
                        sw.Write(manifest.OuterXml);
                        sw.Close();
                    }
                }
                // Memory stream now contains the updated archive
                memory.Seek(0, System.IO.SeekOrigin.Begin);
                // Write result to output stream.
                buffer = new byte[1024 * 64];
                nread = 0; total = 0;
                while ((nread = memory.Read(buffer, 0, buffer.Length)) > 0)
                {
                    outStream.Write(buffer, 0, nread);
                    total += nread;
                }
            }
        }

        private static string GetServiceUrl(string serviceEndpoint)
        {
            if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(serviceEndpoint)) throw new ArgumentNullException("serviceEndpoint");
            if (null == OperationContext.Current) throw new Exception("Could not get service URL from the operational context.");
            var url = OperationContext.Current.Channel.LocalAddress.Uri.AbsoluteUri;
            var opContext = url.Substring(0, url.LastIndexOf("/", StringComparison.Ordinal));
            return string.Format("{0}/{1}", opContext, serviceEndpoint);
        }
    }
}

This class, both registers event receivers on the App Catalog as well as provide logic for the injection of App Installed events for new and existing add-ins. The ProcessListItem method is the most interesting (in my opinion). This method downloads the APP file from the catalog into a memory stream, unzips the contents with the .NET compression API, makes the changes to the AppManifest.xml file, and then zips the file and re-uploads the APP to the catalog.

The location of the injected endpoint is another remote event receiver on the ACU. The governance code should reside somewhere central, and hosted in the ACU seemed like as good a place as any.

In the above code, we can trace the call from the ACU ProcessEvent method through to the code that updates the existing add-ins in the catalog. For new add-ins added to the catalog later, we also need a list remote event receiver, which the ACU registers and calls an endpoint ListEventReceiver.svc. The following is the code-behind for this service (again hosted in the ACU):

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.EventReceivers;
using SPApps.UpdateAppCatWeb;

namespace SPApps.SubSiteCreateWeb.Services
{
    public class ListEventReceiver : IRemoteEventService
    {
        public void ProcessOneWayEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }

        public SPRemoteEventResult ProcessEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            var result = new SPRemoteEventResult();
            Logger.Logger.LogInfo("ProcessEvent called on ListEventReceiver", () =>
            {
                if (null == properties) throw new ArgumentNullException("properties");
                try
                {
                    switch (properties.EventType)
                    {
                        case SPRemoteEventType.ItemAdded:
                            using (var clientContext = TokenHelper.CreateRemoteEventReceiverClientContext(properties))
                                AppHelper.ProcessAppListItem(clientContext, properties.ItemEventProperties.ListItemId);
                            break;
                    }

                }
                catch (Exception ex)
                {
                    Logger.Logger.LogError(ex.ToString());
                    Debug.WriteLine(ex.ToString());
                }
            });
            return result;
        }
    }
}

Going back to the App Helper, take note of the code that registers the List Remote Event Receiver. I register the App Installed event as Synchronous. This is important, because this event is fired when uploading an APP to the catalog. SharePoint provides a dialog box to enter metadata about the add-in as part of the upload process. Leaving the event as asynchronous (default) causes a conflict error when clicking the save button on the dialog.

Lastly, let’s look at the code that is called from the injected RER endpoint – the code that allows or denies installation of the add-in:

using System;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.EventReceivers;

namespace SPApps.UpdateAppCatWeb.Services
{
    public class AppMgmtReceiver : IRemoteEventService
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Handles app events that occur after the app is installed or upgraded, or when app is being uninstalled.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="properties">Holds information about the app event.</param>
        /// <returns>Holds information returned from the app event.</returns>
        public SPRemoteEventResult ProcessEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            var result = new SPRemoteEventResult();
            Logger.Logger.LogInfo("ProcessEvent called for AppMgmtReceiver", () =>
            {
                using (var clientContext = TokenHelper.CreateAppEventClientContext(properties, false))
                {
                    switch (properties.EventType)
                    {
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppInstalled:
                            result.Status = SPRemoteEventServiceStatus.CancelWithError;
                            result.ErrorMessage = "You are not allowed to install this app!";
                            break;
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppUpgraded:
                            break;
                    }
                }
            });
            return result;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This method is a required placeholder, but is not used by app events.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="properties">Unused.</param>
        public void ProcessOneWayEvent(SPRemoteEventProperties properties)
        {
            var result = new SPRemoteEventResult();
            Logger.Logger.LogInfo("ProcessEvent called for AppMgmtReceiver", () =>
            {
                using (var clientContext = TokenHelper.CreateAppEventClientContext(properties, false))
                {
                    switch (properties.EventType)
                    {
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppInstalled:
                            break;
                        case SPRemoteEventType.AppUpgraded:
                            break;
                    }
                }
            });
        }

    }
}

The above code is very simplistic and just denies installation of any add-in. However, this could easily be adapted (and will be for my customer) to check a central repository for before determining that an add-in is allowed or denied installation.

So, there we have it. With a little bit of trickery to the App Catalog it’s possible to implement rudimentary add-in governance. The complete project is available on github: https://github.com/robgarrett/SharePoint-Apps.

ALL CODE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. I MAKE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, THAT THEY ARE FREE OF ERROR, OR ARE CONSISTENT WITH ANY PARTICULAR STANDARD OF MERCHANTABILITY, OR THAT IT WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR ANY PARTICULAR APPLICATION. I DISCLAIM ALL LIABILITY FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES RESULTING FROM YOUR USE OF THE INCLUDED CODE. ALL CODE PROVIDED OR LINKED IS FREE FOR DISTRIBUTION AND IS NOT CONSIDERED PROTECTED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF MINE NOR MICROSOFT CORPORATION.

SharePoint 2016 MinRole Services List

Hopefully, by now we should all know about MinRole functionality in SharePoint 2016. If not, check out Bill Baer’s article here. In setting up my new farm, I was curious as to what services should live on what server to be in compliance. Of course, the point of MinRole is to save farm architects from worrying too much about this, but I was curious.

The list at the bottom of this post lists of all SP2016 services and the associated MinRole. I cannot take credit for the list, I got help from a post, located here, and converted the C# code to PowerShell:

    $servicesInRole = @{};
    $minRoleValues = [System.Enum]::GetNames([Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPServerRole]);
    $minRoleValues | % { $servicesInRole.Add($_, (New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList)); }

    $farm.Services | % {
        $service = $_;
        $service.Instances | % {
            $serviceInstance = $_;
            # Check in which minrole the service can reside.
            $minRoleValues | % {
                if ($serviceInstance.ShouldProvision($_)) {
                    [System.Collections.ArrayList]$item = $servicesInRole.Get_Item($_);
                    if (!$item.Contains($service.TypeName)) {
                        $item.Add($service.TypeName) | Out-Null;
                    }
                }
            }
        }

    }

Interestingly, the list includes a role called “SingleServer”, which is not the same as “SingleServerFarm”. I’ve not yet tried adding a new server to my farm with this “SingleServer” role. I imagine this is for specific purpose, since it includes the insights service, but not much else.

I’ve been reading some comments about MinRoles and there appears some confusion surrounding the purpose of a MinRole. Essentially, a MinRole is a default configuration for a SharePoint server in the farm, based on the role the server will play in real life. For example, the “WebFrontEnd” role consists of services optimized for front end content delivery, since users typically hit these servers directly (via load balancer). The “Application” role consists of services optimized for back end processing.

Notice that some services exist in multiple MinRole configurations. For example, the “WebFrontEnd” and “Application” roles both contain the Business Connectivity Services. It’s feasible that both end users and back end processes require access to BCS. Therefore the BCS service lives in both role configurations, likewise with the Secure Store Service etc. This might upset some minimalist architects who like to deploy all services to one (or many) application servers and just web application services to WFE servers. If you think about it, it’s probably better to deploy some services to WFE servers when these services deliver content to end users.   If you’re looking for fine grained control over deployment location of SharePoint services, use the “Custom” role.

Something I found out after adding a new WFE server to my farm, which had services preconfigured on my App server – SharePoint started services included in the “WebFrontEnd” MinRole on my WFE server automaticlly. As I should have expected.

MinRole: WebFrontEnd

Service: Access Services 2010
Service: Microsoft Project Server Events Service
Service: Secure Store Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application
Service: Request Management
Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Project Server Application Service
Service: PerformancePoint Service
Service: Visio Graphics Service
Service: Managed Metadata Web Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Calculation Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: SharePoint Server Search
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: App Management Service
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Machine Translation Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Queuing Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: User Profile Service
Service: Business Data Connectivity Service
Service: Access Services
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights
Service: Information Management Policy Configuration Service

MinRole: SingleServerFarm

Service: Access Services 2010
Service: Microsoft Project Server Events Service
Service: Secure Store Service
Service: PowerPoint Conversion Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application
Service: Request Management
Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Project Server Application Service
Service: PerformancePoint Service
Service: Visio Graphics Service
Service: Managed Metadata Web Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Calculation Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: SharePoint Server Search
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: App Management Service
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Machine Translation Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Queuing Service
Service: Application Discovery and Load Balancer Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service
Service: Search Administration Web Service
Service: Word Automation Services
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: User Profile Service
Service: Business Data Connectivity Service
Service: Lotus Notes Connector
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service
Service: Access Services
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights
Service: Search Host Controller Service
Service: Information Management Policy Configuration Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-Mail
Service: Search Query and Site Settings Service

MinRole: SingleServer

Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights

MinRole: Invalid

Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database

MinRole: Search

Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: SharePoint Server Search
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Application Discovery and Load Balancer Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Search Administration Web Service
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights
Service: Search Host Controller Service
Service: Search Query and Site Settings Service

MinRole: Application

Service: Microsoft Project Server Events Service
Service: Secure Store Service
Service: PowerPoint Conversion Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application
Service: Request Management
Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Project Server Application Service
Service: Managed Metadata Web Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Calculation Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: App Management Service
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Machine Translation Service
Service: Microsoft Project Server Queuing Service
Service: Application Discovery and Load Balancer Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service
Service: Word Automation Services
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: User Profile Service
Service: Business Data Connectivity Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights
Service: Information Management Policy Configuration Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-Mail

MinRole: DistributedCache

Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application
Service: Request Management
Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights

MinRole: Custom

Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application
Service: SSP Job Control Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Administration
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Database
Service: Portal Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Tracing
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Timer
Service: Security Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Usage
Service: Claims to Windows Token Service
Service: Microsoft SharePoint Insights

 

Apple iPhone Upgrade Plan

For those of you that watched the Apple “Hey Siri” event keynote, or have been following up on the Internet, today Apple announced their iPhone Upgrade Plan.

Apple’s new upgrade plan is similar to what some of the wireless network providers are already providing, and aims to allow consumers to take advantage of a new iPhone model every year, without having to wait for contract dates to expire. Just like the network provider offerings, it seems great on the surface – you pay a small amount each month and get the latest technology in return. When the next gen iPhone comes out, you hand in your current model and get a new model. This is very much like leasing a car, you pay for what you use. But how does the total cost over 12 months stack up to just buying the phone outright?

Below is a table I put together in Excel that includes pricing for the iPhone 5s, 6, 6+, 6s, and 6s+, per the numbers published by Apple today and from AT&T. I didn’t include pricing from Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile because their plans are typically comparable (sort of). Besides, the point of this blog post was to differentiate the costs for buying a new iPhone outright every 12 months verses buying into a leasing plan from Apple.

 

image

Looking at the table, you can see that I priced out the various iPhone 64GB models, with the exception of the 5s, which only comes with a maximum of 32GB. The calculations in this table hinge on the typical resale for used iPhone devices. I based my resale numbers on the average price that an iPhone 5s, 6 and 6+ sell for today, and then factored the price for 12 months from now. So, the resale of an iPhone 6s plus in 12 months should be about the same price as a used iPhone 6 plus today.

Let’s assume you decide to buy a new iPhone 6s when it comes out next week. If you buy the phone outright you can expect to part with $749 + $99. I’ve included Apple Care because the new Apple Upgrade Plan includes it. After 12 months, when we assume Apple with have the next model version, you’ll still own your 6s outright and can probably sell it for $500. So, you’ll be in the hole by $348, which is about right for a year of wear and tear on an electronic smartphone. Compare this price with the Apple Upgrade plan, which costs $32.45 per month (numbers from the Apple web site).

When Apple introduced the plan in early September, the first thought was that this was a lease plan – one where you hand back the device after you’re done using it. However, the plan appears as an interest free loan (according to @maccast). The monthly payment equates to the cost of the phone, plus Apple Care, spread over 24 months of payments. This being the case, the numbers in the above table are subjective. If you plan to trade your iPhone for the next model, Apple will give you the trade in value based on wear and tear as well as the value from the Apple recycle trade in program. This assumes your phone is free from damage (cracks), powers on, and retains a charge. Anything less than good condition and you’ll likely get less for trade in. Should you decide to keep the phone, Apple will continue to charge you the monthly fee until the balance is paid off, or you decide to pay the remaining balance in full (or so I think). What I’m unclear on is whether you can hand back your iPhone after 12 months, having paid 12 monthly payments, and then walk away free and clear – no more payments, no more device. If so, this is then a leased phone in the same sense as a leased vehicle – hand back and walk away, buy remaining balance, or trade towards the next model.

Next, let’s look at the 6s plus. What’s interesting here is that the loss for buying outright is the same as that of the 6s. Although the 6s plus sells at $100 more than the 6s, you can expect to make $100 extra come time to sell it. However, look at the amount you’ll pay for the upgrade plan – $449.40 – the difference is now closer to $100.

If we’re talking about upgrade plans, we shouldn’t ignore At&T’s Next plan. Again, I’m pretty sure Sprint and Verizon offer something similar, but for comparison sake… With AT&T’s Next program you end up buying the phone outright and the payments are just spread out over a 24 or 30 months term, depending on the plan. Assuming the same resale value as before, you’re at the same loss value, only you had most of the money in your bank for 12 months, making some, if not small, amount of interest.

Finally, there’s the 2 year contract pricing – it appears that the network providers are getting away from these plans, besides, they’re too restrictive in not allowing changing to other providers mid-contract and phone upgrades are limited, so you’d be insane to sign up for one of these plans for another 2 years. The costs aren’t great either – it used to be the case that the network providers subsidized the cost of the phone if you agreed to a fixed 2 year contract. As phones got more expensive (we’re not talking a $99 flip phone anymore) providers realized they were losing money, especially since plans have become more affordable. I found out the hard way when I purchased my iPhone 6, last year, for $299, that AT&T increased my monthly plan charge by $25. Over the life of the plan, that equates to $600, on top of the $299 I’d already paid. That’s more than the cost of the phone at retail.

To conclude – the Apple Upgrade plan isn’t too bad on cost. If you like to get the latest iPhone each year and want peace of mind with Apple Care, then this could work for you. However, if you look after your phone and prefer to take your chances on no Apple Care and plan on selling your phone in 12 months, you could save yourself some $$$. On the other hand, if you’re fine keeping a iPhone one or two generations behind the current, it makes a whole lot more sense to buy outright at the start or amortize the cost over 24 months.