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Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, commonly abbreviated to MOSS, is the successor to Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. It has a large range of new features not in the previous version.

MOSS is a licensed enterprise extension to version 3.0 of the no-cost Windows SharePoint Services platform - a component available for Windows Server 2003. Its main strength is enabling an organization’s information to be organized and aggregated in one central, web-based application. It can be configured to return separate content for Intranet, Extranet and Internet locations. The primary areas of investment that Microsoft has made over the previous version are Excel Services, Infopath Forms Services, the Business Data Catalog, Enterprise Search, web content management, more specialized document management, records management, web 2.0 collaboration functionality like blog and wikis, delivery of information stored in SharePoint via RSS, PowerPoint slide libraries, and the ability to take content and lists offline with Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Access.

The application uses a Microsoft SQL Server back-end for storing data. The front-end consists of ASP.NET pages served via Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows Server 2003. MOSS 2007 requires .NET Framework 3.0 (with Windows Workflow Foundation) to be installed.

Logical Architecture OverviewEdit

MOSS 2007 features an updated UI over its 2003 predecessor, which is supported in the backend by a logical architecture very much like the SPS 2003. MOSS 2007 can be installed to run on a single Windows 2003 Server requiring the installation of .NET 3.0 WF, turning on IIS, which is turned off by default, and the installation of either SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft's free version, SQL Express.

The architecture is composed of Web Server front ends, generally a search service which crawls the data store creating an index, a number of other services, and the database back-end, a standard enterprise architecture.

As such it can be built out by load balancing more web servers on the front end and building larger clusters of SQL Server on the back-end. Though recommended to be installed on physical machines, virtualization has been used with MOSS and the previous marks to create this architecture, though not officially supported at the time of writing.

SharePoint allows administrators to create Web Applications each on its own port. A separate web application on a separate port can contain site collections, each having its own database in SQL Server. Site collections can have sites which can contain subsites. A web server can contain hundreds of site collections.

It is highly recommended in critical solutions to have separate functions in separate Web Applications with their own Application pools in IIS, this reduces the risks that a failure in one portal will impact others.

One of the weaknesses of the tool is its own ease of use. Administrators may be tempted to start one port 80 and build a single site collection with sub-sites underneath, exposed to the company as a home page and sub-pages. Though this makes logical sense for a large organization or one with bespoke portals using custom Web Parts or Forms Server, it can cause problems. All the sites in a site collection will be stored in the same database, which can become too large to effectively back-up. Moreover, bespoke development using the same Web Application and Application pool can bring a company-wide internet down.

When designing a large implementation it makes sense to break distinct areas of the organization in to their own portal with their own Web Applications.

MOSS 2007 also allows content types and document libraries to have information management policies, which allows the triggering of workflow or deletion after a certain fixed event or time period, helping to reduce many of the size-growth problems of earlier versions.

FeaturesEdit

Enterprise searchEdit

MOSS 2007 can be used for enterprise search, to search across the document libraries and user groups. MOSS 2007 fully indexes all the documents stored in its library, in addition, it also indexes data stored in databases which are exposed via ADO.NET or Web Services with a well-defined WSDL schema. Any search from the portal interface or client applications can use the MOSS search capabilities to search over this index. SharePoint servers, Web sites, file shares, Exchange Public Folders, and databases can be set as data sources which it will then index. The indexing system is a tuned version of the one used in Windows Desktop Search. The indexing engine uses specified crawling rules to decide what is to be indexed. The indexhttp://e.excellence.com.cn/mastertest/default.aspx engine uses continuous propagation, which allows even a partial index to be queried against. It also exposes an UI for visual administration of the search capabilities. MOSS 2007 also includes suggestion capability, which suggests search terms in case of typographical errors.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Standard, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise also includes a people search functionality, which can search for people, based on their affiliation and expertise, provided the enterprise infrastructure makes the information available. It can search from SharePoint user groups, as well as Active Directory and other LDAP directories provided the information has been imported into MOSS.

Collaboration with Office 2007Edit

An organization does not need to upgrade to Office 2007 to use MOSS 2007, though the later version of Office offers better integration. Office 2003 is required to allow two way communication via HTTP and HTTPS.

WikiEdit

The MOSS 2007 wiki is rather simplistic. It lacks many of the conventions of MediaWiki, but it allows RSS export of content and is fairly simple to use. As with MediaWiki it produces hyperlinks with a double square bracket.

Accessibility Edit

Although MOSS 2007 accessibility has improved since SharePoint Portal Server 2003,[1] it is still difficult to get a Sharepoint web site to adhere to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 1.0 specification.[2] Sharepoint relies extensively on table-based layouts, especially in the Web Parts Framework, and XHTML is also problematic as Sharepoint's built-in controls produce markup that does not validate under XHTML doctypes.[3] Substantial custom development is therefore essential in order to comply with these standards.[4] This has proven to be a key stumbling block to the adoption of Sharepoint solutions in situations where strict adherence to accessibility standards is of particular importance, such as the public sector.[1]

Previous SharePoint Server versionsEdit

Version naming now emphasizes the closer integration with Microsoft Office applications and has dropped the word "Portal".

  • 2001 - SharePoint Portal Server 2001
  • 2003 - Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
  • 2007 - Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Each of these versions has differed significantly from each other both in functionality and underlying architecture. Office SharePoint Server 2007 adds workflow functionality, ASP.NET 2.0 compatibility, extensive integration to Microsoft Office products and support for the easy creation of blogs and wikis amongst many other new features and enhancements.[5]

External links Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Andrew Woodward. SharePoint Accessibility - Is MOSS 2007 accessible?. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  2. Focus on Accessibility. Sharepoint2007.com: the business portal for SharePoint 2007 information. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  3. Zac Smith. Guide to making Sharepoint XHTML Compliant. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  4. Another day, another accessible MOSS website. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.
  5. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 feature comparison. Retrieved on 2007-05-11.


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