TechEd Braindump: SharePoint Portal Server 2003: Best Practices for an Implementation

Speaker: Bill English

 

  • SharePoint Portal Server is a product. Windows SharePoint Sevices is a service.
  • Portal Sever gives us the ability to do three things: aggregates, organizes, and presents information. SharePoint Sevices are used for collaboration.
  • Areas appear in the portal and are used to aggregates, organizes, and presents information.
  • Site Collections Sites and Workspaces are used to:
    • Provide a collaboration space for users
    • Provide a development environment for new applications.
  • SharePoint Portal Server assumes a distributed administrative architecture
    • End-users will now manage most of the information in your company. Before you give a portal to a group of users, ensure they are willing to help manage the portal.
    • Your IT department will manage portions of the portals, all virtual servers and server farm configurations.
  • SharePoint Portal server will introduce
    • New communication paths
    • New methods of collaboration (e-mail vs. sites)
    • New methods of communication
    • New ways of storing and developing information
  • SharePoint Portal Server introduces culture and business process change.
    • You are not installing a product you are installing culture change!
  • Pitfalls to avoid
    • Don’t try to do collaboration in the portal. The security administration doesn’t scale well to the end-user.
    • Don’t develop a taxonomy without consulting your stakeholders – don’t rush
    • Allow for mistakes – the flexible taxonomy features of SharePoint Portal Server are designed to for an evolving taxonomy.
  • Document Libraries are where documents are exposed
  • Documents are held in SQL Database.
  • Basic document collaboration is in the box. Check in/check out/versioning.
  • SharePoint is not a document management system. You put documents in SharePoint that need to be collaborated on. 80% of the time all that is necessary is check in/check out versioning. Microsoft calls this document collaboration.
  • Lists are fabulous at hosting data
  • List enumeration becomes slow for long lists (over 2,000 items)
  • Libraries and Lists: Pitfalls to avoid:
    • Treating SharePoint Portal server as a document management system
  • The SharePoint index is placed on the index server and twice on the search server.
  • Searching and Indexing: Key Considerations
    • Can crawl and index any number of content sources
    • Can customize the Advanced Search to include custom metadata for searching
    • Heavy bandwidth usage
    • Server resource intensive
    • In a heavy indexing environments this will be the reason you scale out to a larger farm
    • Cannot share WSS and SPS indexed
    • The most difficult and time consuming part of portal server to troubleshoot
  • Searching and Indexing: Pitfalls to avoid:
    • Underestimating server resource needs.
    • Underestimating bandwidth needs.
    • Not knowing where your company data is.
    • Not estimating the amount of data to be indexed. Medium Farm: (Total Data size * .4) * 3 = Disk space needs for indexes.
    • Not screening content source requests. Need to develop a business case for when you add new sources
    • Not properly educating end users.
  • Security and Extranets: Tradeoffs:
    • Do you want a highly secure implementation?
    • Do you want a highly collaborative implementation?
    • SharePoint Portal server does well at both, but some will always be disgruntled with one aspect or another.
  • Security and Extranets: Key Considerations:
    • You will want to authenticate Extranet users
    • Can implement a two-tier authentication process – two-factor is very difficult
    • Can use SSL for access to the portal/sites
    • Each virtual server will need its own SSL certificate
    • Can use an Anonymous feature if you want to expose a site to the internet.
  • Can use SharePoint with farms

Disclaimer: These are my notes from my experience at TechEd 2005. I do not guarantee the validity or accuracy of these notes. They are my thoughts and what information I felt was important at the time.