Nothing is more frustrating that trying to create a new Data Source that talks to the SharePoint XML Web Services and receiving this error:
Server returned a non-specific error when trying to get data from the data source
KB article 923173 deals specifically with this error, but none of the suggestions were the fix for me. I was not using a Proxy nor was I behind a firewall. In fact, my environment was totally virtualized and I was working on a stand alone installation of MOSS. SharePoint Designer happened to be installed on the same virtual environment. This was particularly frustrating because I was trying to give a Web Services demo for a class I was teaching on SharePoint Designer and kept running into this roadblock.
With the help of a fellow SharePoint guru, Bruce Redfern, we were able to track down the issue to the following two things:
- Using the machine name or http://localhost as the Service description location for the web service was not working for us. We could connect to the web service and we could properly browse through the list of Operations, but after creating the data source and trying to Show Data, we would get that error above. In order to get around this, we had to specify the actual IP of the machine. So an example would be: http://10.0.1.15/_vti_bin/usergroup.asmx?WSDL
- So if you got as far as the above, you’ll find that the web service will still not work. The final thing you have to remember is within the Data Source Properties window, click on the Login tab. You’ll want to select Save this username and password in the data connection. Enter in your moss/wss service account credentials and give it a go again.