An error occurred accessing your Microsoft SharePoint Foundation site files

We encountered the following exception while trying to open a SharePoint 2013 site using SharePoint Designer

“An error occurred accessing your Microsoft SharePoint Foundation site files. Authors- if authoring against a web server, please contact the Webmaster for this server’s Web site. WebMasters – please see the server’s application event log for more details.”

SharePoint Designer Error

SharePoint Designer Error

After exhaustive troubleshooting, we discovered that New Relic configuration is what was causing the issue. This might or might not be the case for you!!

Step 1: You could first try to disable the New Relic agent altogether  and see if that is causing the issue.

Following is the screen capture to show the path to navigate and the XML Element to change to  disable the .NET Agent for New Relic, change agentEnabled = “false”

New Relic Agent Enabled

New Relic Agent Enabled

Once you have confirmed it’s the New Relic  that’s causing the issue, try the following option.

Step 2: Disabling the Browser Auto Injection with Agent still enabled.

The following screen capture clearly indicates the changes that are needed to disable the Browser Auto Injection with Agent STILL ENABLED.

Browser Auto Injection disabled

Browser Auto Injection disabled

Browser Auto Injection automatically injects a piece of Javascript code to the <head> of the page that tracks front end page views and other end user metrics. Here is our documentation on this: https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/browser/new-relic-browser/additional-standard-features/page-views-understanding-your-sites-popularity

The impact of disabling Auto Injection is that you will no longer be receiving these end-user metrics unless you use the copy/paste method to manually add the Javascript code, described here: https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/browser/new-relic-browser/installation-configuration/adding-apps-new-relic-browser#copy-paste-app

There are a few options for adding the Javascript in Sharepoint, you could:

  • Create a new master-page, and add the Javascript to the <head> there. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn205273.aspx
  • Use the AdditionalPageHead delegate control in your SP solution. http://www.fivenumber.com/understanding-sharepoint-delegate-control/
  • Using Designer, add the script as you would in any other HTML editor. However, we’ve witnessed odd behavior where Designer will place the <head> tags inside the <body> tags, which has caused copy/paste instrumentation not to work. The solution here is to add the script right below the DOCTYPE declaration, outside of any actual tags. The script will still be rendered inside of <head> tags on actual deployment, though.


The idea behind sharing this information is to encourage you to look at other dependencies like network configuration, third party modules or agents etc. that might be causing the issue. In our case it was New Relic, it could be something else for you.

Disclaimer: New Relic is one of THE BEST monitoring tools available in the market. Undoubtedly! It is just that you need to know how to tweak the configuration tailored to your needs.

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