SharePoint 2013 Social – Part 1 – Setting up a new My Site Host Site collection.

It seems people nowadays want to chat, discuss in a  strange-looking environment instead of working in a classical one where they just only sit down, write on paper, send emails to colleagues or so on.

The new SharePoint platform recently has just been released, which wakes SharePoint community up after a sleep silently, especially buzzword around the acquisition of Yammer make people think of an integrated strong social computing platform in such a new SharePoint before the release of preview build.

I said that I would install SharePoint 2013 in the next year in the previous post because I didn’t have time for it, but actually when I have taken a look at social features, I’m totally attracted by some of them, like the conversation functionality illustrated below.

As a result, I come to a decision on writing an exploration series of new social features in SharePoint 2013 Preview. I call it Preview because Microsoft has not actually released Beta build yet. I guess the Beta build will be released after the worldwide SharePoint Conference 2012 which will be held in November 2012 in Las Vegas.

I’m not going to write in details like the very excellent book “Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Customizing My Site” written by one of the recognized international SharePoint experts Michael Doyle, or an invaluable series of SharePoint 2010 User Profile done by one of only 4 SharePoint MCA globally Spencer Harbar, or a lot of helpful articles in the globe. What I want to do is show you how new social features in SharePoint 2013 fairly attract me.

The series will consist of the following part:

My Site is a personal site which was released the first time in MOSS 2007. My Site allows you and your employees to share information, contact, documents, blog posts or so on in their own sites. Building My Site in your organization is to connect people working in a central location, in order to make a powerful community locally. In SharePoint 2010, My Site is more beautiful and friendly than version 2003 and MOSS 2007. It has much more rich social features as well, which enable people in local organization to share personal information optionally, useful documents, blog posts or things related particularly topics they have specialized in, and other information.

Before enabling My Site, you have to create new Web application and My Site Host site collection which is run under the Web Application. My Site also relies on User Profile Service application so before building a social networking solution using OOTB features, you must create new User Profile service application. Moreover, in order for your organization to maximum utilize phenomenal capabilities, you have to get Managed Metadata service application and Search service application involved. Managed Metadata service application helps store properties, information about you like Skills, Specializations, or so on. Search service application allows people to search their colleagues when wanting to ask something or meet.

In this post, I will walk you through how to initially set up a My Site Host site collection associated to a new Web Application. Before doing this, make sure you have SharePoint 2013 successfully installed, and have not run Farm Configuration Wizard yet.

Open SharePoint 2013 Central Administration site, and then click Application Management section, click Manage web applications under Web Applications.

Click New in the Ribbon. I have just installed SharePoint 2013 Preview, so as you see, there is no Web Application at this moment.

In the new popup, you will be wondering why Authentication option doesn’t appear as in SharePoint 2010. This is one of big changes in SharePoint 2013 Preview; Claims-based Authentication now is the default authentication when creating a new Web Application. Classic-mode Authentication is still available but it only can be managed via PowerShell.

Complete IIS Web Site setting as this is similar to steps of creating new web application in SharePoint 2010. If you use the option “Use an existing IIS website”, I’m not sure your Web application would has Claims-based Authentication, but you can convert from Classic Mode to Claims-Based Authentication by using a new cmdlet called Convert-SPWebApplication.

If you need to know something in terms of Claim changes, SharePoint MCA Wictor Wilen has blogged here:

In the Security Configuration setting, select Yes under Allow Anonymous setting if you want your web application to be published anonymously. Select Yes under Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) if you want to use SSL in the web application for particular purpose, such as deploying Active Directory Federation Service 2.0 to trust partner organizations, or transferring encrypted data over the Internet.

In the Claims Authentication Type, select whether Windows Authentication in conjunction with NTLM or Kerberos. I highly recommend you to keep default or select properly authentication types. Using Basic authentication option would make your Web application less secure.

In case you consider deploying Form-based Authentication, you can select Enable Forms Based Authentication (FBA) and then type Membership provider name and Role manager name. There are a lot of articles on the Internet guiding on how to configure FBA, however, consider carefully because I have seen many of them make people more stuck on their environment.  I’m not sure if there is any changes in terms of Form-based authentication in SharePoint 2013 Preview.

If you have already imported a certificate to relying party, you will then select Trusted Identity provider. This option is used when you want to deploy a federation solution. This setting is grayed out when there is no certificate imported in my environment.

In the Sign In Page URL setting, select Default Sign In Page. In the Public URL, enter URL of Web application and keep Zone default, we can change these settings later.

In the Application Pool setting, select Create new application pool, and type its name. Select Configurable and select managed account. If you don’t configure managed account setting, click Register new managed account and then enter username and password.

In the Database Name and Authentication setting, SharePoint 2013 automatically get information from database server. Type the name of content database .Under Database authentication, select properly authentication types. The selection depends on your policies.

In the Service Application Connections, select service applications you have created in order to connect to existing web applications. If you run Farm Configuration Wizard after creating new configuration database and farm as well, you will have selected Service Applications in the list. We can create new ones and connect to Web application later.

It’s said that we should not run Farm Configuration Wizard, unless you will use only one account used as service application application pool for multiple selected Service application. I would say it depends on. Anyway, skip Farm Configuration Wizard as a best advice from SharePoint experts around the world. You can “rectify” them later though.

One of the things I would say is that you should follow Customer Experience Improvement Program because I’m sure you already love SharePoint and do want SharePoint to be extremely improved.

After the new web application is completely created. Open Central Administration web site and start creating new My Host Site collection under the new web application. Keep you page at Application Management setting and select Create site collections under Site Collections.

In the Web Application setting, select the new Web application you have created, and then type the Title and Description. I would recommend you to complete all information regardless Description. Sometimes I have seen many people don’t care about Description area, but in my humble opinion, Description is actually important when you have to manage a bunch of site collections in a production environment. Keep your description about site collection as clear as possible.

In the Web Site Address setting, use the default URL or define managed path if this is put inside your site collection plan.

In the Template Selection setting, you will see the selection which helps you choose whether SharePoint 2010 template or SharePoint 2013 template. In the new version, we have some new templates, such as Community Site, Community Portal. I will cover these templates in the next posts. Click Enterprise tab and then select My Site Host.

Assign user accounts responsible as whether primary or secondary site collection administrator. An interesting thing here is that when you type first letters, SharePoint will quickly query account in the Active Directory and then let you know a list of results.

Finally, select a quota template if you have created one. You can create and then apply later.

Typically there are few changes in creating new web application and site collection.

  • We don’t have  Classic Mode Authentication when creating a new Web application. Claims-based Authentication is default option instead.
  • SharePoint 2013 Preview allows you to select SharePoint 2010 template.
  • There are some new templates you will have to work on.
  • When typing accounts, SharePoint 2013 will automatically query to Active Directory basically and you then quickly select existing accounts.

In the next post, I will walk you through how to synchronize user accounts stored in Active Directory to SharePoint before you enjoy many interesting features in relation to social networking.

If you need to practice without preparing a virtual machine. Go rent a server at affordable costs with free migration & money-back guarantee from Apps4Rent. Moreover, you can load & access dedicated web applications like hosted SharePoint and Exchange on the cloud with citrix or windows virtual desktops with 24×7 support and 99.9% uptime guarantee from


  1. August 1, 2012 — 5:03 am

    Hi Thuan

    Added your article to the SharePoint Community Newsletter. It appears in several places, for example :

    Keep up the great posts.

    • August 1, 2012 — 6:50 am

      Thanks Jones.

      I will difinitively write about DocRead in the future.
      How about DocRead on SharePoint 2013? I’m sure Collaboris is doing very well on SharePoint 13 and will release the next interesting DocRead version in the near future.


      • August 1, 2012 — 7:01 am

        No problems Thuan.

        We are intending to “attempt” an install on 2013 this week. DocRead has a many thousands of lines of .Net code, so I am sceptical to see how that upgrades!

        I will share my experiences!

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