Thursday, October 4, 2007

Common problems with the MOSS variations

One of the most fantastic features in MOSS is the multilanguage support. It is accomplished through variations and I am going to explain two of the problems that I have encountered with it.

The invisible language selector: When you enable features on a site and create the variations, is probably that you are unable to select the language. The reason is a commented line in the language selector user control. You only have to uncomment it. The user control is located at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\VariationsLabelMenu.ascx”.

The variation systems crash, how to trace it?: A negative aspect of the variation system is that it do not alert when it fails. Then, the first place to look for any issue is in the variation logs at the top level site settings. The variation log shows all the activity of the variation system and shows errors like duplicate pages or content type errors. If this log is not useful you can explore the SharePoint logs (in the “hive 12”), but if the logs do not show the problem the next step is to check the state of the scheduled jobs in the farm. There is a job responsible of the propagation and it can be found in the Operation’s section in the Central Administration. If there is a problem with the jobs you can restart them restarting the Windows SharePoint Timer Service (services.msc) in all front-ends. It will restart all the jobs and the variation propagation will begin to work again.

I hope it help you!

Related Links:


Slinky said...

One other thing to note about Variations errors: if they are not completing, Microsoft has told me the folowing: 1) heavy customization of MOSS may cause variations to fail and 2) If your site is a restore of a backup, the Timer Jobs that handle the variations are not backed up in the standard MOSS backup. So when the site is restored, you are left without the timer jobs to support the variations.

For other "musings" on my experiences with variations, I have a blog post on

Àlex said...

Finally the Microsoft guys have fixed it. I have not tried yet, but in the post SP1 hotfix is included this fix.

See my newer post for more info.

Tim Dobrinski said...


After many attempts to fix my variations problems, I have developed what I call the Variations Editor. It analyzes sites and looks at the underlying settings of SharePoint Variations - from the page properties to the Relationships List - and offers solutions to fix them (and fixes them). I've made it available as a free download.

I hope it helps with some common Variations problems.

Online Visitors