The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them

UPDATE: After additional research, and with thanks to our customers, we have regrettably discovered that our own products were the cause of the issues discussed in this post. Two products were directly affected:

  • Calendar Plus Web Part: This product resulted in text being displayed in the top left of the screen.
  • Rating Column: This product caused the Ribbon and scrollbar to be disabled.

 If you have either or both of these products deployed to your SharePoint farm, with apologies, we ask that you please upgrade to the latest release, in which the bugs have been fixed.

Bamboo recently upgraded our portal security from Microsoft ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) to Forefront UAG (Unified Access Gateway) 2010. This creates a centralized gateway which allows users to login once, and quickly access links to Microsoft Web applications including on-premises SharePoint and Exchange Web Mail while still providing powerful security… but it comes at a cost.

Here at Bamboo Solutions, we live off of SharePoint Server 2010 as our central mechanism of communication, including utilizing our own products, such as:

  • Project Management Central
  • Discussion Board Plus

(To name just a couple that are critical to our everyday operations.)  After launching the new Forefront UAG, we began experiencing some odd behavior, which included:

  1. Scrollbars were disabled, making it impossible to scroll up, down, left, or right. Clicking and dragging the cursor in those directions (highlighting the page) it worked fine, but, well, you know…
  2. Ribbons were disabled.  When trying to click on a Ribbon tab in a page nothing happened, and when we opened an item’s properties in pop-up window, all actions were disabled.

Here are the solutions that I found:

  1. Do not access your Web Applications directly, passing the Forefront UAG URL.  In a Forefront UAG deployment, there is a central URL that you launch to login; if you instead provide a link to go directly to the SharePoint site, for example, you will have problems (even though you receive a Forefront UAG login screen when you access SharePoint directly).  Similarly, say you do login to Forefront UAG first, but you then open a new tab in the same browser and enter a direct URL to the SharePoint site, you will still suffer the issues.  Instead, login to Forefront UAG and then click on the SharePoint link from the Application and Network Access Portal page.  This will launch SharePoint in a new tab in the same browser session. You will now be able to enter direct links to items, pages, and sites in the same browser session.
  2. If your password is about to expire, it could be a factor in causing the abovementioned issues.  Everyone at Bamboo didn’t experience this, but I did.  I checked if my password was about to expire opening the Outlook Web App. If your password is about to expire, a message is displayed on the top of the Outlook Web App. Upon changing my password, the issues described above went away. To change your password, return to the Application and Network Access Portal page and click the icon that looks like  , then select Change Password and follow the instructions.

I hope that you find these workarounds useful!


Craig Humphrey
wrote
re: The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them
on Sun, Jun 24 2012 8:28 PM

Hey Jeff,

great tips! We’re about to do something similar (though mainly Extranet oriented).  Any chance you can post a basic diagram of how/where UAG/SharePoint/AD sit?

Thanks

Craig

Jeff Kozloff
wrote
re: The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them
on Sun, Jun 24 2012 11:05 PM

To be honest, I am just a power user in this case.. but let me ping our IT Admin and see if he can provide me some insight….

nghobadi
wrote
re: The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them
on Tue, Sep 11 2012 9:40 PM

Thanks for this post.

We just got our UAG appliance from Celestix and ran into the same issue.  After spending hours back and forth with both celestix and Micorosoft, it turns out that the offending bit happens to be a Bamboo web part – specifically Bamboo Ratings.

Jeff Kozloff
wrote
re: The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them
on Wed, Sep 12 2012 7:21 PM

Hello nghobadi,

Thank you for posting your findings and we deeply apologize if it turns out that our products is the cause 🙁 I believe I have spoken with one of your colleagues and have opened a support ticket for further one-on-one assistance.

Thank you again for your time and patience.

RobBlitz
wrote
re: The Woes of Forefront UAG and SharePoint 2010 … and the Workarounds for Them
on Tue, Apr 2 2013 9:13 PM

The Discussion Board Plus solution has the Rating column feature included. We have the 1.5 version of Discussion Board Plus. Any idea if the Rating column fix would be a part of thisversion of Discussion Board Plus?

SharePoint

Applications

SharePoint apps are stand-alone applications that perform specific tasks on a SharePoint site. Apps can perform functions such as managing a discussion board or knowledge base, performing project management or time tracking tasks, or doing other workflow operations.

SharePoint

Product Suites

Experience greater power and savings by bundling our SharePoint apps and web parts.


Essentials


Essentials Plus


Bamboo Premier


Project Management Suite


Knowledge Management Suite


External User Manager


SharePoint

Web Parts

Extend SharePoint beyond its out-of-the-box capabilities by tailoring it to your requirements with Bamboo Solution’s growing portfolio of Web Parts. Web Parts are the building blocks of pages on a SharePoint site that can be used to customize the user interface and content of a site page. 

SharePoint

Product Suites

Experience greater power and savings by bundling our SharePoint apps and web parts.


Essentials


Essentials Plus


Bamboo Premier


Project Management Suite


Knowledge Management Suite


External User Manager


Office 365

Cloud Parts

Cloud Parts are functional components that extend your SharePoint environment whether it’s hosted, on-premises, or part of Microsoft Office 365. More than mere ports of existing software to the cloud, our Cloud Parts have been built from the ground up to take advantage of the best that the cloud has to offer.

SharePoint

Product Suites

Experience greater power and savings by bundling our SharePoint apps and web parts.


Cloud Parts Suite for O365/SP Onl.


Featured Services

SharePoint Health Check

A SharePoint Health Check will identify the causes of issues and risks associated with your specific environment, and is custom tailored to provide you with the best recommendations to optimize your SharePoint environment.

SQL Health Check

Document recommendations relating to performance, stability, availability, or a specific focus you request of your SQL Server database instances.

My SharePointXperts

The truth is that each SharePoint skill may not be a full time job for many organizations, and it is nearly impossible for one person to do everything you need – so augment your team with SharePointXperts; providing the skill sets you need when you need them!