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Monday, January 4, 2010

Stock Ticker Web Part error - "Unable to contact the yahoo finance web site."

Symptom
The stock ticker Web part found here: http://www.codeplex.com/svstockticker is properly installed and rendering. But instead of displying the stocks, this message appears: "Unable to contact the yahoo finance web site." You are able to navigate to the yahoo site just fine, so it is up and running, but just not able to connect through the Web part.
Problem
I found a clue to the answer from Scott Vintinner on one of his blogs.
He said, "That message usually means that the web server is unable to access the Yahoo web site. The Sharepoint web server downloads the data file directly from the Yahoo website (the client only downloads the chart images from the yahoo web site). Check with your firewall people to make sure that your server can access the Internet. If you use a proxy configuration, you'll need to modify the web.config file to accommodate that (I'm not sure of the steps)."
Solution
I changed the web.config in the virtual directory for the Web application. The default location is here: C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\Your_SharePoint_Site.
1. Make a backup copy of the web.config.
2. Change this line:
<defaultProxy>
<proxy autoDetect="true" />
</defaultProxy>

to:
<defaultProxy>
<proxy autoDetect="false" />
</defaultProxy>

3. Save the web.config
After this change, I was able to see the stock in the Web part without an issue.

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