I had a look at implementing MS IT Site Life Cycle Management as an alternative to AvePoint products, or the previously blogged-about MS IT Site Delete Capture utility:
Unfortunately, this product just is not going to work for us. It is possible that we could wrangle it into shape with enough time, and an ability/desire to check the code out of codeplex and patch it up. However, I just can’t bring myself to deal with it. Here are some problems that I encountered:
- The utility has not been tested or developed to work on the Server 2008 platform. The directions are written with Server 2003 as a reference platform, and tell you do do things like “create a virtual directory” when what they really want you to do is to create an application in your IIS App Pool. I could live with this but…
- The tool does not work on Server 2003 either, at least, not when using WSS 3.0 Service Pack 2. The web.config file in the LCMWeb directory references an assembly in the GAC named “Microsoft.Internal.MIME”, with the version 126.96.36.199. Guess what? That assembly was upgraded with Service Pack to to version 8.0.681.0. But even after updating the web.config file to the new version, I still get errors when attempting to load the LCMWebConfig.aspx page. humph.
Essentially, this tool is not supported, and ,to make matters worse, it is not being maintained. I really would hate to spend time beating it into shape only to have the damn thing break when the next service pack or release of WSS comes out.
“Site Delete Capture LE” from Microsoft IT… cool idea, tricky to implement. Here is the problem:
Attempts to delete a site result in “Access Denied” error messages in the site delete log files. No corresponding events found in the Security Event logs, nor are we able to detect any “ACCESS DENIED” messages using procmon.exe. What’s up?
Well, in this thread:
one of the project authors suggests that the utility requires additional rights beyond the “least-priviledge” baseline, specifically, the account running your SharePoint WFE applicaiton pool needs to be a “Farm Administrator”, and it needs “Full Control” over the web application.
Much as I did not like this suggestion, I decided to give it a try in the test environment, but it fails anyway. Further investigation reveals that the sharepoint WFE service account is not actaully capable of performing site backups. If you log in as the service account, you cannot run any “stsadm” commands at all… every command results in “ACCESS DENIED”.
It turns out that stsadm.exe will not run without local administrator privs. It also would seem (although I cannot prove it) that the Site Delete Capture utility is using stsadm functions to generate its snapshots. Since I will not be giving our SharePoint WFE app pool local admin rights, I guess I cannot use this utility. On to testing the Site Lifecycle Manager instead…
Hey look… Microsoft IT has released some cool tools for SharePoint management:
Possibly of most use would be:
A utility to automatically backup sites upon deletion actions.
Site Lifecycle Management – a potential replacement for the hated “Site Expiration” process we have in place at present.