Overview of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
 
Published: 18 Sep 2008
Abstract
In this article, Hima provides a detailed overview of Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS) 2007 including its physical, logical, and administrative architectures. Hima begins the article by examining the building blocks of MOSS 2007- the various types of architecture in detail. Towards the end of the article, she provides a brief explanation of SharePoint Central and Shared Services Administration along with a few reference links for additional learning.
by himabindu vejella
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Introduction

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 is an enterprise content management server that is tightly integrated with Microsoft (MS) Office. It is a single infrastructure for intranet, internet and extranet portals or applications. It has been designed to provide strategic business solutions in order to increase the business values for organizations. It allows enterprises to build applications on the basis of different types of solutions. These solutions include Portal, Collaboration, Enterprise search, Enterprise content management, Business Forms and Business Intelligence (BI). While we implement solutions using MOSS 2007, we need to plan in order to manage these new capabilities. MOSS 2007 also provides new capabilities over the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 platform.

Design Goals

It is specifically designed to meet these goals:

1. Aggregation

2. Collaboration

3. Communication

4. Distribution

5. Integration

6. Management

Partners, Customers, Vendors, Independent Software Vendor (ISV) make use of MOSS 2007 in order to build solutions for business and technical requirements of respective organizations. As a result efficiency of information employees, Business Development Managers (BDMs) is improved at the job level.

The six building blocks of MOSS 2007 can be categorized as  

·         Collaboration

·         Portal

·         Enterprise Search

·         Content Management

·         Business Forms

·         Business Intelligence

Collaborative Solutions

The design goals for collaborative solutions include provision for Collaboration-oriented base framework as team. These solutions are interoperable with communication technologies. These solutions include extended features that enable information to collaborate in intuitive and efficient ways. An example of these solutions is integrating Workspaces, E-Mail integration, Outlook integration, Project management "lite," Offline documents/lists, Tasks, Forums, Surveys, Blogs, RSS and Wikis.

Portal Solutions

The design goals for portal solutions focused on providing accurate, relevant information in a timely, effective and context-sensitive manner. Due to this feature Employees have the required tools and information to undertake their role-specific/job specific tasks. These solutions are integrated with Windows Share Point Services.

Some of the examples of portal solutions are Topics, Site Directory, People and Expertise Search:

People specific search "tab," Social network support, My Site, Improved Public Page, Personal homepage, Targeting and personalization, Easier targeting – Distribution lists and Security Groups, Profile store improvements, Scalability, flexible schema, LDAP synchronization

Enterprise Search Solutions

The design goals for enterprise search solutions include ensuring that information workers have access to appropriate information, content, and people to efficiently perform their tasks. A well-designed search-and-indexing strategy provides adequate and appropriate search results.

There are ways to programmatically admin the enterprise search.

Content Management Solutions

The design goals for content management solutions include providing robust and flexible frameworks which in turn help organizations manage every aspect of their content processes and life cycles, such as managing documents, records, and Web-based content.

Business Forms Solutions

The design goals for forms solutions include streamlining, consolidating, and automating data capture processes so that business processes can run smoothly and efficiently.

Business Intelligence (BI) Solutions

The design goals for business intelligence solutions include providing features and technologies that enable business decision makers to make informed decisions on the basis of easy data access and robust data analysis. MOSS 2007 provides these solutions with the help of Excel client/services, Dash Boards and KPI's.

The need for Excel client is for creating the spreadsheets and then it is published to the MOSS 2007 document libraries. The Excel Services provides the necessary features for displaying the Excel files as reports or customized manner in the web browser.

Dashboard provides optimized analysis of data by the end user. They also make the information relevant within in the reports. This data can be stored in the form of Aggregate workbooks, reports, scorecards, etc.

Architecture

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.

Tier1

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.

Tier3

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.

SharePoint Administration

The administration of a server farm or a stand-alone server requires adding, editing, and deleting settings in the configuration database. We can edit this data by using the administrative tools provided in MOSS 2007.

These are the administrative tools that are available.

1. SharePoint Central Administration

2. Shared Services Administration

1. SharePoint Central Administration

The SharePoint Central Administration site is the central hub for administering WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007. This site uses the .NET Framework to access the configuration database for adding, editing, or changing configuration settings.

A shortcut to this site is automatically generated when we run the setup wizard for WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007. We can access this shortcut from the Start menu. We will also access this site by using the URL of the administrative Web site from a computer having network access to a Web server.

The administrative settings on the site are categorized as operations and application management. We can modify these settings from the following two Web pages:

Operations Page: On this page, we can configure the general settings applicable to a WSS 3.0 server or a server farm. Some examples of these settings are security, backup, restore, and SMTP.

Application Management Page: On this page, we can configure settings related to specific Web applications and components installed on the server or server farm. For example, we can configure settings for Site Collection quotas, search service, and workflow. In addition, we can configure settings for specific Site Collections on the Site Collection settings page.

2. Shared Services Administration

We can use the Shared Services Administration site to configure and manage shared services such as My Sites, profiles, search and indexing functions. This site is automatically created on the Share Point Central Administration Web site when we configure MOSS 2007.

To access the Shared Services Administration site, on the SharePoint Central Administration Web site, we have to do the following. Go to the Application Management page and click the Create or configure this farm's shared services link.

The stsadm.exe tool is a command-line utility that provides functionality similar to the Shared Services Administration site. This tool is also used for customizing and managing Share Point. It also provides some additional commands that are not available on the Shared Services Administration site. This utility creates batch files for automating administrative tasks and, therefore, takes less time for repetitive tasks than User Interface (UI) based methods.

For example, to create batch files using the stsadm.exe utility, we need to set the default alert frequency to one minute by using the set property operation. To perform this task, we will use the following command:

Stsadm -o setproperty -propertyname job-immediate-alerts -URL http://aspportal.com l -propertyvalue "every 1 minute between 0 and 59"

However, using the stsadm.exe tool does not offer much flexibility in configuring settings. For example, if we deploy Web Parts using stsadm.exe, we cannot control where all the Web Parts are deployed.

Related Downloads

2007 Office System Document: 2007 Office System Logical Architecture Diagram

Description: The above diagram depicts logical architecture of MOSS 2007 in depth.

Planning and Architecture for MOSS 2007

Description: An E-book that describes planning and architecture of MOSS 2007 in detail.

References

Conclusion

This article explained an overview on MOSS 2007, its features and design goals. The Architecture of MOSS 2007 was explained in depth.



User Comments

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

Thanks,
Ravikumar k
ravikumar1003@gmail.com
Title: Good one   
Name: Nilesh
Date: 2010-07-22 2:38:15 AM
Comment:
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
Comment:
thanks
Title: Overview of MOSS 2007   
Name: Hans H
Date: 2008-11-24 3:54:08 PM
Comment:
Well done! Great explanation.
Title: Good   
Name: Vinay
Date: 2008-10-16 2:10:47 AM
Comment:
Thank you very much!
Title: Really Good   
Name: Kishore
Date: 2008-10-06 5:25:06 AM
Comment:
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.

IT IS HELPFULL TO THE BEGINNRS TO UNDERSTND QUICKLY AND EFFECTIVELY.

regards,
Kishore
Title: Ok   
Name: Sharukh Khan
Date: 2008-09-18 7:52:10 PM
Comment:
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
Comment:
Thanks for the informative article.
Title: useful information   
Name: Suresh
Date: 2008-09-16 2:26:28 AM
Comment:
useful Information, Thanks
Title: Nice article   
Name: Mani Vannan
Date: 2008-09-16 2:26:22 AM
Comment:
Nice article on Overview of MOSS 2007. It's very useful for beginners on sharepoint like me.

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