Monday, October 19, 2015

SharePoint correlation IDs don't have to drive you crazy!

I have a serious love / hate relationship with SharePoint correlation IDs. You know - the ones that tell you that there was an error but are otherwise not very informative?

example of SharePoint 2013 Correlation ID
The beauty of Correlation IDs is that it you are given a reference point to track down log entries of relevance. Remember, it's not an error code, it is what it says it is - a correlation ID - a tool to grab related events in the log to get a better picture of why something failed and had to show you an on-screen error message!

You can use a Microsoft's now official (it used to be on CodePlex) Unified Log Service (ULS) Viewer to view the logs and even search by correlation ID, but you can also just fire up a SharePoint enabled PowerShell prompt and use Merge-SPlogfile to get the information faster!

This simple PowerShell cmdlet will allow you to search all the farm servers and find any instances of the correlation ID and show you the issues!
For example, to grab all of the events with the correlation ID in the graphic above and place the results in a text file instead of dumping on screen I would use the following command:

Merge-SPlogfile –Path c:\Mergelog.txt –Correlation 3410f29b-b756-694c-7a574ff74cab

For example, just today I just was getting an error when viewing content based on an external data type and received a correlation ID type error with little information in the error itself.

I ran the above command then opened excel and used the data tab in the ribbon to get external data from a text file and chose Tab Delimited. Then I formatted the results as a table and hid a few columns I'm not interested in.

The results looked like this:
Click to see larger

As you can see, the correlation ID is the same for all results (that's the point) so as I troll through the results I see things like error in the execution of the web part (true) and an Access Denied message from the secure store - and this was my problem, my user account hadn't been mapped to be able to use the secure store target application ID!

Let me know if this worked for you or if you have any questions! Happy searching!

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