Overview of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
page 3 of 7
by himabindu vejella
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We can divide MOSS 2007 architecture as logical, physical and administrative. Logical Architecture provides framework for adding data. This includes server farms and websites. It also provides provision for disabling features. Physical Architecture consists of servers that store the data.

This in turn helps in managing configuration and data related to a site. It also supports managing user profile imports. Administrative Architecture helps to manage farm security configuration. This is used to centrally manage server farm and shared services for the server farm.

Logical Architecture

The Logical architecture of MOSS 2007 provides a frame work. The logical components of MOSS 2007 include server farms, Web applications, Site Collections, Web sites, and features.

At the top of the hierarchy are server farms. A server farm is a logical group of Web and application servers that share the same configuration database. This database contains information about the roles servers play in a server farm. For instance, a server can be a Web Front End (WFE) or a database, and a search and indexing or mail server.

The next level in the hierarchy is Web applications. These provide Web server functionality. When we create a Web application by using MOSS 2007, a corresponding Web site is created on IIS. This Web site contains settings that apply to a group of Site Collections under that Web application.

After Web applications, Site Collections is the next hierarchy level. Site Collections determine the settings and the context for grouping together a number of sites and sub sites.

In a Site Collection, sites have mutually exclusive content and user lists. However, the sites may share content such as lists, site templates, and Web Parts. A Site Collection is analogous to a traditional top-level virtual directory in IIS.

MOSS 2007 Site Collections offer administrators the flexibility to configure site quotas, backup processes, and other settings.

The next level in the MOSS hierarchy is a site. A site is a grouping of data stored in lists, libraries, and Web Parts. Sites provide features that are grouped under a single URL and a list of users who can access the site. Only users who have access to a site can access it. The level of permission determines what they can or cannot do on the site.

Sites perform different functions within MOSS 2007. Sites can be compared with sub-folders under virtual directories in IIS.

At the end of the MOSS hierarchy are features. These are customized elements that provide specific functionality and data as a part of a larger solution. A feature can contain data, metadata, and functionality.

Features are used within sites and Site Collections. Depending on the scope, a feature can be enabled or disabled at all or some levels of the MOSS 2007 hierarchy from the site level to the server farm level.

Physical Architecture

The Logical features of Moss 2007 are in sync with physical servers that store the data.

In order to configure a server farm, it is as important to know how logical components are mapped with physical components in MOSS 2007 Architecture.

The Physical architecture of MOSS 2007 consists of a 3-tier model, which consists of web servers at the front, application servers in the middle and a database server at the back.

Front End Server

It manages requests for MOSS 2007 application.

It consists of several virtual directories. These provide application features namely: Managing pages, Templates, Themes and WebParts (reregistered Components).

Application Server

It provides application services that include managing user profile searching, indexing, Excel Services, Audience compilation, User profiles, database, My Sites, Business Data Catalogue (BDC) and synchronization. We can configure different application servers for different services.

This is a collection of application servers that provide shared services out to any portals or sites that need them. These services include:

Database Server

Stores and manages data that is generated by applications and users.

This data might be configuration data, site data, Meta data, and index data.

All the members of a server farm must use the same database server.

This is because the Database server stores and manages configuration database.

This configuration DB is responsible for controlling the settings for the whole server farm.

Administrative Architecture

Administrative Architecture supports three levels of configuration settings that are stored in configuration database in SQL 2005.


Tier 1 stores and manages data that is generated by applications and users. This data might be configuration data, site data, Meta data, and index data. All the members of a server farm must use the same database server. This is because the Data base server stores and manages configuration Database. This configuration Data base is responsible for controlling the settings for whole server farm.

Tier 2

This tier includes all administrative features and functionalities for managing shared services across a server farm. In this tier, business unit IT administrators perform administrative tasks at the service level. Some examples of these tasks are configuring search, indexing, or usage reporting.


This tier includes a wide variety of site-specific management tasks such as Web part management, access management, and content management. A tier 3 administrator is responsible for creating a new list on a site, configuring access permissions for users, and modifying site hierarchy.

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User Comments

Title: Very good   
Name: Ravikumar kalapala
Date: 2010-08-27 2:41:08 AM
Hi Bindu,
Good article. It gives the basic idea for share point.Can explain details, i am very new for share point.

Ravikumar k
Title: Good one   
Name: Nilesh
Date: 2010-07-22 2:38:15 AM
This is good one but I want to know more about sharepoint where to go or find it ?
Title: thanks   
Name: pramod
Date: 2009-05-16 7:46:26 AM
Title: Overview of MOSS 2007   
Name: Hans H
Date: 2008-11-24 3:54:08 PM
Well done! Great explanation.
Title: Good   
Name: Vinay
Date: 2008-10-16 2:10:47 AM
Thank you very much!
Title: Really Good   
Name: Kishore
Date: 2008-10-06 5:25:06 AM
Thanks Bindu for the explanation and really helped me a lot as am a beginner . In my new project i have to work on sharepoint. Please keep it up.


Title: Ok   
Name: Sharukh Khan
Date: 2008-09-18 7:52:10 PM
Its OK Type you can find this type of information everywhere nothing so simple. Looking for more basic information.

Sharukh Khan c/o Gauri
Title: Very Informative   
Name: Mahesh
Date: 2008-09-16 2:26:55 AM
Thanks for the informative article.
Title: useful information   
Name: Suresh
Date: 2008-09-16 2:26:28 AM
useful Information, Thanks
Title: Nice article   
Name: Mani Vannan
Date: 2008-09-16 2:26:22 AM
Nice article on Overview of MOSS 2007. It's very useful for beginners on sharepoint like me.

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