"PowerPivot Management Dashboard ProcessingTimer Job" throws error "User cannot be found”.

Updated 9/22/2015

After migrating from a SharePoint 2010 site using Classic Mode Authentication(default) to SharePoint 2013 site in claims mode (default again) using database attach, you will run into a situation where document authors are not converted to the new claims identities by the migration process. This is not limited to Excel documents, but is more relevant to us as PowerPivot uses these IDs while performing specific actions.


Symptoms and Overview:

In the scope of PowerPivot, this is an issue as our timer jobs expect that the user names will be in the correct format when we need to utilize them. If they are not, you can run into a very specific issue where the PowerPivot Management Dashboard Processing Timer Job fails with a "User cannot be found." error.

“Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found” at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.SPAddin.UsageProcessingTimerJob.PrepareUsageData

Some or all of your PowerPivot files likely have their author property set in the old Windows style name like “MYDOMAIN\someuser”. If the author property was set to a claims format it would look like this: “i:0#.w|MYDOMAIN\someuser” and your timer job would run without issues.


The "easy" workaround for this issue is to delete and re-upload the PowerPivot workbooks affected. The author field cannot be fully examined from the SharePoint UI, so it can be difficult to track down all of these workbooks. Also, this workaround does not always modify the document properly.
Attached to this post (very bottom) is sample code that shows one way to list all of the workbooks for a PowerPivot service application that have an author property in the Windows style format (these files will throw and error when the "PowerPivot Management Dashboard Processing Timer Job" runs).

We have also run into scenarios where the timer job will fail, but our detection tool will not pick up the improperly formatted user name in the database. The workaround of re-uploading or modifying via script is the same regardless.

In the second scenario, in the ULS logs you will see the timer job iterate through all of your PowerPivot workbooks and fail on a specific book. This stops the timer job in its tracks and it will not proceed:

OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        General         g3ql        Verbose GetUriScheme(/site/subsite/anothersubsite/PowerPivotGallery/workbookname.xlsx)
OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        Security         ahluw        Verbose        Entering: GetByLoginNoThrow(domain\username)
OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        Security ahluz        Verbose        Exiting: GetByLoginNoThrow(domain\username)
OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        PowerPivot Service        Usage        99        High        EXCEPTION: Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: User cannot be found.     at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPUserCollection.get_Item(String loginName)     at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.SPAddin.UsageProcessingTimerJob.UpdateDocumentIfNeeded(SPFile file, SqlDataReader reader, SqlCommand updateCommand)     at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.SPAddin.UsageProcessingTimerJob.UpdateDocuments(GeminiServiceApplication application, SqlConnection conn1, SqlConnection conn2)     at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.SPAddin.UsageProcessingTimerJob.PrepareUsageData(GeminiServiceApplication application)     at Microsoft.AnalysisServices.SPAddin.UsageProcessingTimerJob.Execute(Guid targetInstanceId)

In a working scenario, you would see the following for each workbook. Take note of the claims identifier prior to the domain:

OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        General g3ql        Verbose GetUriScheme(/site/AnotherWorkbook.xlsx)        
OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        Security         ahluw        Verbose        Entering: GetByLoginNoThrow(i:0#.w|domain\username)
OWSTIMER.EXE (ServerName)        0x879C        SharePoint Foundation        Security         ahluz        Verbose        Exiting: GetByLoginNoThrow(i:0#.w|domain\username)

After this entry, you will see normal traffic and the process moving on to the next document or ending the sequence if there are no other documents to parse.


PPTimerUserError.exe Usage:
Extract the zip and navigate to the following path:
Rename PPTimerUserError.bak to PPTimerUserError.exe so you can run the program (.bak so zip scanners don't block the file)

The .exe must be run from one of the farm SharePoint 2013 servers as an administrator account that has access to your SharePoint Service Application databases. The output is tab delimited so you can open with Excel to sort and filter as needed.
Usage: PPTimerUserError <DB Server> <PowerPiviot DB Name>
Example: PPTimerUserError warrenr-ws1 DefaultPowerPivotServiceApplicationDB-57bc03ae-bd41-4102-ab6f-f03201e3b583 

Output will be placed here: C:\temp\PPTimerAuthorReport.txt  and PPTimerAuthorReportDetails.txt

You will find the information you need in the detailed report (PPTimerAuthorReportDetails.txt).

Find all of the documents that error with "User cannot be found".

You then have 2 options for fixing this. You can either download the document, delete it from the library and re-upload it, or we have built the following script to auto modify the document with an ID of your choosing:


$web = get-spweb http://SITECOLLECTIONURLHERE/sites/MORE
$list = $web.lists['LIBRARY NAME']
$user = get-spuser -Web $web -limit all | ? {$_.userlogin -match "username"}
$sUser = $user.id.ToString() + ';#' + $user.DisplayName
$rItem = $list.items | ?{$_.name -eq "workbookname.xlsx"}
write-host "Current Author is:" $ritem.properties["vti_author"]
$ritem["Author"] = $sUser
$ritem.properties["vti_author"] = $user.loginname
$ritem["Editor"] = $sUser
write-host "Updated Author is:" $ritem.properties["vti_author"]

You will need to modify the highlighted fields to fit your situation. Also note that the "username" field is literally that, just a user name. Do not input a user in "domain\username" format. You can run this script line by line as you test and validate its functionality. Lastly, when you run this, you may also see another PowerShell window open with some messages about snapshots. Just let it run. It is the GallerySnapshot process running manually due to the document update.

A note about the above script. We decided not to expand on this script as each person's usage may be different. Feel free to use this skeleton script in any way fits your situation (put it in a loop for a library or document type etc….) or even modify it to detect the current author and change it to the claims ID of the same user.

Please make sure you test this script in some kind of test farm thoroughly!!


Comments (2)

  1. Phillip says:

    When trying to run PPTimerUserError on a SharePoint farm that has SSL enabled the log file comes back with the following error. Is there something that has to be done differently to get this too run in this type of environment?

    Starting run at : 7/20/2015 3:23:53 PM
    Unhandled exception
    System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Invalid object name ‘Usage.Documents’.
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection, Action`1 wrapCloseInAction)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj, Boolean callerHasConnectionLock, Boolean asyncClose)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.TryRun(RunBehavior runBehavior, SqlCommand cmdHandler, SqlDataReader dataStream, BulkCopySimpleResultSet bulkCopyHandler, TdsParserStateObject stateObj, Boolean& dataReady)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.TryConsumeMetaData()
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlDataReader.get_MetaData()
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.FinishExecuteReader(SqlDataReader ds, RunBehavior runBehavior, String resetOptionsString)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReaderTds(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, Boolean async, Int32 timeout, Task& task, Boolean asyncWrite, SqlDataReader ds)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method, TaskCompletionSource`1 completion, Int32 timeout, Task& task, Boolean asyncWrite)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteReader(CommandBehavior cmdBehavior, RunBehavior runBehavior, Boolean returnStream, String method)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteReader(CommandBehavior behavior, String method)
    at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteReader()
    at PPTimerUserError.Program.Main(String[] args)
    Error Number:208,State:1,Class:16

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