Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to get detailed error message in Sharepoint site

SharePoint uses a user friendly (Yellow & Blue) error page to show that a problem occurred. Yeah, they call it the user friendly page, but we, as developers, call it the Annoying Page. The first time I wrote SharePoint code, I received a screen like the one shown in the figure below:

This error page points out that an assembly has thrown an unhandled System.Exception. Sometimes, the user-friendly error page will specify the nature of the error if the code that threw the exception used something more specific than System.Exception or if it included a message in the Exception class constructor.

We need to get a more detailed Error Message than the annoying “Unexpected error has occurred “. This can be achieved by doing three modifications to the Web.Config file from the virtual directory containing your SharePoint application. These modifications are listed in the next table.

customErrors Mode :Off or Remote only
SafeMode CallStack : True
SafeMode AllowPageLevelTrace: True

No Custom Errors shows the full error to every client, every time. This is typically used Development environment, since there are no clients using it.

I recommend using the Debug Config feature to automate this process. This is just a feature that when you activate on a web application, it automatically tweaks the Web.Config of the specified web application across the farm.

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