Troubleshoot Alfresco Office Services

Use this information to troubleshoot common Alfresco Office Services issues.

Issue with Online Editing

There is a known issue where Online Editing is not available using the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer. See Plan browser support (SharePoint Server 2010) for more information.

Error message: “The address is not valid” when connecting to http://server:port/alfresco/aos

If you have installed Alfresco manually or upgraded from a previous version of Alfresco, you might not have installed the Alfresco Office Services AMP file. If that is the case, you will receive an error message “The address is not valid” when you try to connect and authenticate with the address: http://server:port/alfresco/aos. You will also see the following error message in the server log:

Blocked a directory listing request from MS-Office. This indicates a broken MS-Office
deployment. Please check that the `ROOT` and the `_vti_bin` webapps are deployed properly and
reachable from the outside!

To fix this problem, ensure that you have installed the Alfresco Office Services AMP file, which deploys the _vti_bin.war file that is required for AOS to work correctly.

Error or blank screen when accessing web server

If you have not enabled SSL, you might encounter the following error message:

Access to this web server is disabled by default because it is controlled by basic authentication and does not use Secure Socket Layer (SSL).

If you are running an old version of Office, you might see nothing after entering the URL in the Office file dialog.

To rectify this problem, we strongly recommend that you activate SSL when using Alfresco Office Services. For more information, see Configuring SSL.

Missing version history and check in/ check out options in Office

If you cannot see certain fields in the Document Panel in your Microsoft Office applications; for example, version history, check out and check in history, or you cannot see a directory listing for a file, it might be that your ROOT and _vti_bin files have not been deployed properly, or you have not applied the Alfresco Office Services AMP file, if you have installed Alfresco manually.

To check whether this is the case, try to open the ROOT and _vti_bin files from a browser. In these examples, replace server:port with your server and port details.

If you type:http://server:port/, you will see a message Welcome to Alfresco!.

If you type: http://server:port/_vti_inf.html, you will see a blank page. Select Show page source in the browser to see _vti_bin ScriptUrl information.

If you type: http://server:port/_vti_bin/, you will see a message Welcome to Alfresco! This is the /_vti_bin application. This application does not provide a web interface in the browser..

If these files and messages are not available from the browser, then AOS has not been deployed properly.

See Install Alfresco WARs for information on where the deployed ROOT and _vti_bin WAR files need to be located. If _vti_bin.war does not exist, you’ll need to reinstall the Alfresco Office Services AMP.

Extra files created when mounting AOS using WebDAV and Mac Finder

Do not mount the AOS repository root (alfresco/aos or any sub folder) as a WebDAV folder with Mac Finder. Otherwise you might see extraneous files in Alfresco Share; for example, files prefixed with the characters ._.

Microsoft path length limitation

Microsoft Office has a general path length limitation of 250 characters. This affects any external application interacting with Office, not just AOS. Office can handle more than 250 characters in many cases, but Microsoft does not provide official support in these circumstances. These are problems that you might encounter if you use long paths:

  • Office reports that a document cannot be registered and OLE linking is deactivated (due to the path length limitation in OLE)
  • The browser plug-in does not open a document

Avoid deep folder structures and path lengths over 250 characters, or if you must use long path lengths, test extensively with Office before deploying to a production environment.

File dialog in Microsoft Office shows file listing instead of graphical view

For untrusted servers, Microsoft Office blocks the graphical web view of files and instead shows the files as a list.

To solve this problem, either:

  • On each client machine, in Internet Options or Internet Accounts, add the server in the list of trusted sites
  • On your local intranet, modify the rules used to identify servers to include your server

Check in failure

There is a known problem if property mapping is activated and, in a single MS Office session, you create a new file with the Save As option, then check it out and check it back in. The check in will fail in this situation.

To avoid this problem, upgrade to Alfresco, or exclude read-only mandatory properties from the property mapping.

The problem is caused when some mandatory fields are not filled out, but are declared as read-only. This is typically caused by system properties (for example, Creator or Modifier) that come with some system aspects. You can avoid this by overwriting the includedAspectsPatterns configuration to include specific custom aspects only.

Property mapping failure with Office 2013 and Windows

If you are using Office 2013 and are working with an OLE file (for example, .doc, .xls, or .ppt files), and the Protected View is activated for the document, then property mapping can fail even after switching into Editing Mode.

To resolve this problem, you need to prevent the Protected View in Office by adding the repository server to the list of trusted sites.

Values of date fields in OLE documents not stored

Values of Date and DateTime fields are not set in OLE documents (for example, .doc, .xls, or .ppt files) if the time zone of the client machine is greater than UTC+1. If these Date or DateTime fields are declared as mandatory, then you will not be able to save document changes.

To resolve this problem, you need to either set Date and DateTime as optional fields, or ensure that the time zone is not greater than UTC+1.

Problems deploying AOS on JBoss

If you use the JBoss application server, you must customize the web.xml file in the Alfresco ROOT.war, _vti_bin.war and share.war files to include this code fragment:


This ensures that the JSF deployer in JBoss uses its own bundled JSF version.

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