Error when creating new Site Collections via Central Administration

A customer recently reported that they were not able to create any new Site Collections within any Web Application in their SharePoint 2013 UAT environment. Instead of being able to create a new Site Collection they repeatedly received the error shown in the image below.

Provider must implement the class 'System.Web.Security.MembershipProvider'.
Provider must implement the class ‘System.Web.Security.MembershipProvider’.

I in order to troubleshoot this issue I tried creating a Site Collection myself while monitoring the ULS logs. An event with an ID of 8307 was appearing in the logs each time I tried to create a new Site Collection. This event had a message of “An exception occurred in Forms claim provider when calling SPClaimProvider.FillResolve(): Provider must implement the class ‘System.Web.Security.MembershipProvider’. (C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\34596\web.config line 606)”.

ULS Viewer
ULS Viewer
Event 8307. SharePoint Foundation. Claims Authentication.
Event 8307, SharePoint Foundation, Claims Authentication.

This suggested a problem with the web.config for the Central Administration Web Application and an error with a Membership provider. Forms Based Authentication (FBA) has been used to configure FBA in this environment so I continued exploring this avenue further.

I reviewed the web.config at the line indicated from the event and noticed that there were multiple entries for FBA membership and role providers. I removed these duplicate entries and was able to create Site Collections without any problems then.

As the Forms Based Authentication in this environment was configured using the FBA Configuration Manager I can only think that this was at fault somehow – the odd thing is that the same tool was also used on to configure the production environment which I also confirmed was not also having the same issue.

I would suggest that after using the FBA Configuration Manager to configure FBA that you ensure you can create new Site Collections. It’s certainly something I am going to be including to my deployment checklist!

Forms Based Authentication Configuration Manager for SharePoint

I’ve configured Forms Based Authentication (FBA) in SharePoint on several occasions – from 2007 right through to 2013, but until now I have never discovered a life saving tool that Steve Peschka has written called Forms Based Authentication Configuration Manager (FBA Configuration Manager for SharePoint 2013) available on his TechNet Blog Share-n-dipity.

I’ve been there at least once or twice and I’m sure others have as well – where we’re happily modifying the web.config on half-a-dozen or more servers and as Steve so elegantly describes it, we “fat finger some random part of a web.config change” causing complete devastation to the running of SharePoint and to your progress. Well not any more my sysadmin friends, not any more not with this tool. It allows you to edit the connection string, people picker wildcard, membership provider, role provider details within the web.config for a specific web application. It then creates a backup copy and updates the web.config across all the servers in your farm through a timer job which is a really neat trick.

FBA Configuration Manager
FBA Configuration Manager

Having done this now on several occasions I thought I was pretty confident flying through the steps necessary within an hour or so…the occasional error would sneak in and then I would spend as long again troubleshooting the configuration. Steve’s Forms Based Authentication Configuration Manager has now completely removed the chances of any errors sneaking in and will make me even quicker configuring FBA in SharePoint. Thank you Steve!