SharePoint and the tools of the trade

I thought I’d list some of the tools I use on my SharePoint projects. They include tools for diagnosing errors and performance issues, development tools and more. Most of these are made by individuals or small teams, dedicating their valuable time creating the tools we all love and use. Hats off to you all!

 That said, here is my disclaimer to go with this post:

 These tools are not created or maintained by me. I use / have used all of these personally, but always with caution. I am in no event responsible or liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of or related to the tools listed here.

  •  Read the documentation often included in the tools package or listed on the authors site.
  • Test the tools on your own, controlled environment.
  • In case of questions, check with the author’s site. They usually have sections dedicated to questions and comments and are your best option for getting answers.

 I labelled them according to the following categories:

Maintain Keeping your environment up and running
Develop Building custom SharePoint components
Diagnose Diagnosing errors or performance issues
Design Designing your SharePoint environment and architecture
Deploy Deploying your SharePoint bits and configuration

The tools, in no particular order:

ULS Viewer Diagnose, Maintain Link
 ULSViewer ULSViewer allows users to open a ULS log file and display its contents in a user friendly format. Users can then perform advanced functions such as filtering, sorting, highlighting, loading logs, appending logs, etc in order to single out the data that is important to the user. This information can be used to diagnose problems with machines running ULS services, or to monitor machines and the events they create in realtime.
Fiddler Diagnose Link
 Fiddler Fiddler is a free web debugging proxy which logs all HTTP(s) traffic between your computer and the Internet. Use it to debug traffic from virtually any application that supports a proxy like IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and more.
C2WTS Test Diagnose Link
 C2WTS Application to assist in troubleshooting the Claims to Windows NT Token Service.
Log Parser Studio Diagnose, Maintain Link
 LogParserStudio Log Parser Studio is a utility that allows you to search through and create reports from your IIS, Event, EXADB and others types of logs. It builds on top of Log Parser 2.2 and has a full user interface for easy creation and management of related SQL queries.
Kerbtray Diagnose Link
 KerbTray Kerbtray is part of the Windows Server Resource Kit Tools. It runs from the system tray and provides usefull Kerberos information.
SPDisposeCheck Develop, Diagnose Link
 SPDisposeCheck SPDisposeCheck is a tool that helps developers and administrators check custom SharePoint solutions that use the SharePoint Object Model helping measure against known Microsoft dispose best practices. This tool may not show all memory leaks in your code and may produce false positives which need further review by subject matter experts.
Microsoft SharePoint Online Code Analysis Framework MSOCAF Develop, Diagnose Link
 MSOCAF By using MSOCAF, the engineering review process should be expedited as the customers will be able to detect and fix the code issues themselves before submitting the custom solutions to Microsoft. Optionally, MSOCAF can also be used to deploy custom solutions to the customer’s test environment or to rollback or remove components of a deployed solution. Previously the submission process was manual and thus time consuming. MSOCAF can communicate with a web service hosted on the customer’s SharePoint environment to submit the deployment package, and submit the custom solution automatically.
SPCAF Develop, Diagnose Link
 SPCaf Essential tool to ensure SharePoint code quality. SPCAF analyzes SharePoint code from .wsp and .app files and checks all contained code incl. XML for correctness, best practices etc. It also creates dependency Graphs, calculates code metrics and creates an inventory.
Snap Develop, Diagnose Link
 Snap Captures a stack trace of the managed stack for each thread within a process and writes the output into a XML log file on disk. Each “Snap” results in an XML log file and can have the snap interval, max snap count, or duration configured.
Chrome Developer Tools Develop Link
 Chrome The DevTools, bundled in Chrome, provide web developers deep access into the internals of the browser and their web application. This overview of the Developer Tools points out its most popular and useful features. The target audience are web developers who don’t know of, or have not yet investigated, the DevTools. However, we are sure that even if you are an experienced web developer, you will pick up some tips.
Firefox Firebug Develop Link
 Firebug Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page…
Internet Explorer Developer Tools Develop Link
 IE Every installation of Internet Explorer comes with the Developer Tools. This tool enables Web site developers to quickly debug Microsoft JScript, investigate a behavior specific to Windows Internet Explorer, or iterate rapidly to prototype a new design or try solutions to a problem on-the-fly.
Yslow Diagnose, Develop Link
 YSlow YSlow analyzes web pages and suggests ways to improve their performance based on a set of rules for high performance web pages. is the official open source website.
SSL Diagnostics Diagnose Link
 SSLDiag The SSL Diagnostics tool is a very useful tool for troubleshooting SSL issues. It generates a detailed report of SSL settings for all the websites on an IIS server which helps in quickly identifying SSL issues. But the tool was built for IIS 5 and 6, there is no version available which is compatible with IIS 7. The SSL Diagnostics tool does succeed in generating a report on IIS 7 if the IIS 6.0 Metabase Compatibility feature is installed. To help troubleshoot SSL issues on IIS 7 I have written a tool which works in a similar fashion. It scans all the websites and FTPS sites configured on the server and generates a report which can help in identifying SSL issues.
AutoSPInstaller Deploy, Develop Link
 AutoSPInstaller Automated SharePoint 2010/2013 PowerShell-based installation script. Due to several issues regarding deployments through the use of these “uberscripts”, I only recommend this for setting up test, prototyping or development environments.
AutoSPSourceBuilder Deploy Link
 AutoSPSource AutoSPSourceBuilder: a utility for building a SharePoint 2010 / 2013 install source including prerequisites, service packs, language packs & cumulative updates.
AutoSPInstaller GUI Deploy Link
 AutoSPInstallerGUI AutoSPInstallerGUI is a GUI Configuration Tool for AutoSPInstaller Codeplex Project.
HP Sizer for Microsoft SharePoint Design Link
 HP HP Sizer for Microsoft SharePoint is a complimentary planning resource that encapsulates knowledge gained from extensive performance characterization of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint 2010 in the HP Alliances Performance and Solutions labs, widespread collaboration between HP and Microsoft, and numerous SharePoint performance whitepapers produced by HP engineering. The Sizer offers a quick and consistent methodology for determining and comparing configurations, as well as detailed, customizable server and storage solutions complete with bill of materials and pricing.
SPDocKit Deploy, Maintain Link
 SPDocKit After the installation of Microsoft SharePoint software on the server / farm, you need to create a proper documentation file containing system and configuration settings. That type of document is essential for SharePoint administrators in order to provide support and maintenance of the installed environment.
Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint performs that task with only a few mouse clicks. It saves hours of manually pasting data from different sources into the documentation file. This product automatically generates MS Word (docx) document with all configuration settings.
Termstore Creator Design Link
 Meta The Term Store Manager allows you to import a comma separated text file containing a Term Set. By default the Excel 2010 Save as CSV does not save in the correct format and for that I have made a Excel 2010 macro enabled template which produces the correct format.
Membership Seeder Design Link
 MemberShipSeeder If you need to setup large amounts of test accounts for your Form Based Auth environment, the Membership Seeder tool can help you out.
Feature Admin Maintain Link
 FeatureAdmin The Feature Admin Tool finds faulty FeatureDefinitions and cleanly uninstalls them.
It finds feature remainders in sites, SiteCollections, WebApps and in the Farm, caused e.g. by forcefully uninstalled Features from a farm without deactivating them before. These faulty features, never visible, cause errors.
The Feature Admin Tool is able to identify them and remove them.
CKS DEV Develop Link
 CKSDev The CKS – Development Tools Edition for Visual Studio 2012 is a collection of Visual Studio templates, Server Explorer extensions and tools providing accelerated SharePoint 2010/2013 development based on Microsoft’s SharePoint 2010/2013 development tools.
SharePoint 2013 Search Query Tool Develop, Diagnose, Design Link
 SearchQueryTool Use this tool to test out and debug search queries against the SharePoint 2013 Search REST API.
Learn how to build an HTTP POST query, and how the different parameters should be formatted. After running the query, you can view all types of result sets returned;
Primary Results, Refinement Results, Query Rules Results, Query Suggestions, in addition to the actual raw response received from the Search service.
SharePoint CAML Query Helper Develop Link
CamlQueryHelper Use this program to help build and test SharePoint CAML Queries (Collaborative Application Markup Language).
Compatible with WSS 3.0, MOSS 2007, Foundation 2010, SharePoint 2010, and now SharePoint 2013 (via a separate download).
Very similar to U2U CAML Query Builder for SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007.
This app uses the SharePoint Object Model and Web Services to connect to a site using a URL.
SharePoint Manager 2013 Maintain, Diagnose Link
 SharePointManager The SharePoint Manager 2013 is a SharePoint object model explorer. It enables you to browse every site on the local farm and view every property.