Thursday, November 2, 2017

How to workaround "Sorry, we are having trouble connecting to the server" error from Chrome and Edge for SharePoint 2016

After configured SharePoint 2016 with FP2, we have seen  "Sorry, we are having trouble connecting to the server" error in many places using Chrome and Edge. This error does not happened when you are using Firefox or IE.  Here are the findings and workaround.

1. Here are some functions but not limited to you will receive this error. 
  • Add users to any permission groups like administrator, the error displayed when you typing the user but could not resolve the name. (See picture #1)
  • Unable to add any list item to the list (See picture #2)
  • Unable to delete any list item from list view
  • Unable to share documents with anyone
  • Unable to add list template to list template gallery
  • Unable to delete list template from list template gallery
  • Constantly getting error "Sorry, we are having trouble connecting to the server".

2. Debugging error from fiddler. 

If you debug the issue through Fiddler, you will find the “403” error and the “Origin” under Security of the request Header is dropping the port number like this below.

3. Steps to reproduce the issues.

We did further debugging with Microsoft and identified this is new security “feature” implemented in SharePoint 2016 that is causing this issue. This is impacting any web applications with SSL that is not in default 443 port number. Here is the step to reproduce the issue.

In SharePoint 2016 create two web applications with root site collections and then enable for SSL
One web applications use default port number and another is something like 51000.
In central admin go to  alternate access mapping settings and add internal URL mapping to the second new web application.  Use the same name and append a port number.
Example map:

Internal URL
Public URL

Go to IIS on the WFE and edit binding, change 443 to port 51000 and apply SSL cert to binding.
On load balance device configure for port redirection and SSL offload
Configure device to listen for https:\\
Configure device to send traffic to WFE node as https:\\
Browse to the site as https:\\
Site settings -> People and Groups ->New ->Add user, people picker should be present now. Type a user name and press to activate name resolution.
Error message "Sorry, we are having trouble connecting to the server" will be displayed

We have tied to add a Custom Rule in the fiddler like below and the issue can be resolved.
    static function OnBeforeRequest(oSession: Session) {
        if ( oSession.HostnameIs("") && oSession.uriContains("/ProcessQuery")) {
       // …

4. Multiple options to work around this issue.

Now we have few options to work around this issue. Here are the options confirmed with Microsoft.
  • Option 1 - Create a rule in the Load balancer
  • Option 2 - Use the same SSL certificate on all the web applications in the farm using a SAN configuration and configure all the web applications to use port 443 and a host header
  • Option 3 - Configure all the VIPs in the LB to forward to the SharePoint servers on port 443 instead of the port the web applications is actually listening on
  • Option 4 - Configure the SharePoint servers to have multiple IP addresses for each web applications so they all can use port 443.

We have implemented the option one by adding the following rule to the Load balancer.
IF the hostname = " " && the URI contains "/ProcessQuery”

You might try other options that should also resolve the issue.

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