MOSS Multilingual site configuration

May 23, 2007

My article on MOSS multilingual features and concepts. A detailed guide on how to create multilingual websites in MOSS


Role based templates for MySites

May 14, 2007

Every job role is unique and demanding. As people work to drive business outcomes, they have to balance the complexities of interacting with multiple systems, tracking goals, and relating to surrounding processes. IT organizations have been seeking role-based solutions that can provide information workers with common interfaces to access priority information.

Role-Based Templates for SharePoint My Sites are custom templates, designed for Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the My Site functionality, and tailored to address the unique needs and requirements of specific roles within an organization.

For more details visit here

Office SharePoint Server Administration model

May 14, 2007

The administration model is very much enhanced in MOSS as compared to that in SPS 2003. We have a clear isolation of administrative tasks and multi-tier administration model. This allows delegation of different administrative tasks.The three layers of Office SharePoint Server administration model are:

  • SharePoint Central Administration
  • Shared Services Provider Administration
  • Site Collection Administration and Site Settings 

Let’s look at each of them one by one

SharePoint Central Administration 

SharePoint Central Administration comes as a web application which provides administrative features for the contextual MOSS solution. The major administrative tasks that can be performed are:

  • Managing the Server Farm Topology
  • Creating new web applications
  • Creating new site collections
  • Managing Email settings

The administrative tasks at this level are typically performed by IT administrators

Shared Services Administration  

This level of administration allows configuration and settings for different shared services and components that apply to the server farm. The services and settings that can be configured include but are not limited to:

  • Search
  •  User Profiles and audiences
  • Personal Site Settings
  • Audiences
  • Usage reports 

These tasks are normally performed by a business unit IT administrator. 

Site Collection Administration and Site Settings

The third level of administrative configuration applies to the site collections and sites in context. Most of the tasks in this level of administration can be applied to a site level and some can be applied to a site collection level. The administrative options include:

  • Creating content and list
  • Applying security to site and content
  • Changing Site Navigation
  • Changing the look and feel of site
  • Changing site columns, content types and master pages
  • Adding web parts and site features

These tasks are typically performed by a site administrator for a particular site

64 bit PDF IFilter for MOSS now available

May 12, 2007

I was searching long for 64 bit PDF IFilter for MOSS and here it comes now from a company named Foxit.
Download it here
Besides MOSS, this filter can be used for Windows Indexing Service, MSN Desktop Search, IIS, WSS, Exchange Server and SQL Server
The installation instructions are as follows
• Download PDF IFilter
• Stop all appropriate clients
• Uninstall any previous version of Foxit PDF IFilter
• Double-click the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions
• After the installation completes, start all appropriate clients
• (SharePoint only) Add PDF as a file type to be included in the content index
• Re-index your system with the appropriate clients.
Foxit has already provided the 32-bit filter for MOSS.

Vista, Office, MOSS Launch at NED

May 4, 2007

I recently was invited to NED as a speaker for the VISTA, Office, MOSS and .NET 3.0 Launch Event. The event went excellent with a lot of students attending the events and asking questions about the new features in MOSS, Office and Vista. The event was organized collectively by NED INETA user group and MSServerSide.NET user group. It all ended with goodies distributed to students.

Me speaking at Launch

NED Audience

Licensing Options in MOSS

April 16, 2007

Office SharePoint Server 2007 licensing has changed from previous versions in that now you don’t have to worry about the Enterprise or Standard version of the server. The server is available in two flavors.

·         Office SharePoint Server 2007, Server License

o   If you are going for intranet enabled SharePoint and you don’t have any plans to make it available over the internet


·         Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Internet Sites

o   If the intention is to develop internet-facing sites and allow anonymous users to connect and access information over the portal.

If you go for the second option i.e. internet license, no CALs are needed as anonymous users are also allowed to connect. In fact, there is a huge addition in the cost of Internet License itself as compared to the Intranet License.  In case of the first option, i.e. intranet license, you will have to buy CALs for the number of users you want to connect to the server. Two types of CALs are available

·         Standard CALs

o   The Standard CALs are needed to access information available on your intranet server. You can access the features like portal, collaboration, search, ECM, document management etc. However, you cannot use things like BDC, Electronic Forms, Excel Services, Business Intelligence and LOB search features.


·         Enterprise CALs

o   If you need to remove limitations as discussed in the Standard CALS, Enterprise CALs need to be purchased. Here again, you will find a catch, as Enterprise CALs cannot work alone. Enterprise CALs are always deployed on top of Standard CALs. So for any user, if you need the provision of Enterprise features (mentioned above), you will need 1 Standard CAL and 1 Enterprise CAL per user.  

It should be noted that Office SharePoint Server Internet License gives you the Enterprise Functionality that you can have with the Enterprise CALs in case of intranet server.

Design Factors in MOSS 2007 Part 2

April 9, 2007

This is the continuation of my previous article Design Factors in MOSS 2007 Part 1. To summarize that, I discussed the different topology designs based on three different layers proposed for designing a solution with MOSS. In this article, I will be discussing the various factors that can affect such a solution. We already saw in Part 1 that the three major influential factors are:

·         Availability

·         Performance

·         Capacity

I will have a brief discussion of the first two factors and we will be leaving Capacity Analysis to Part 3 of this blog.

Availability and Performance

Most SharePoint consultants are faced with a situation where the clients ask for maximum (say 99%) uptime which is quite logical because in such enterprise level organizations, a little downtime period can result in huge loss of business activities. Some of them need the ability to fail over to a different server farm in case of a disaster. Customers also dream for a design that can considerably optimize performance of the system. Keeping all the above high end requirements in focus, they still insist that the constraints of budget, hardware and software licenses do applyJ

In cases like these, we have to think for a design which can best meet the client requirements being in limits of budget and other maintenance costs. In this blog, I have taken care of the trade-off between availability and performance design and tried to find a balance between the two.

Let’s talk about availability first. Availability, by definition is the extent to which the solution is responsive to the requests and tolerant to failure. If the availability requirements for a particular system are too high, the server farm designs (discussed in Part 1) can be modified to use redundant servers at the WFE and the database level. This is the typical criteria for deciding the number of servers in a server farm. This should normally also result in a high performing system as NLB technique on the WFE servers can result in a better performance in peak times.

Four-Server Farm

Normally, server redundancy is implemented at each layer to bring high availability in the overall system.  For the WFE layer, this can be achieved by using at least two front-end web servers load-balanced and for database layer; two clustered database servers can be used. This is a typical extension of the Two Server Farm architecture.

Four Server Farm

This server farm design introduces minimum high availability features into the system. Since this is an extension of the Two Server farm where the application roles are merged in the WFE roles, the system might not perform at its best but still, the availability requirements are being met using this architecture.

Five and Six Server Farms

To add the application layer to the overall design, at least one more server would be needed to represent the application layer. This will result in a design where high availability is induced at least in the Front End Servers. In addition, releasing the responsibility of Application Roles (Excel Services, Search etc.) from the front end layer results in improved application performance in terms of response time and user experience.

To add redundancy to the application layer itself in turn, we add one more server to the application layer that results in a six-server farm. This, in my point of view, results in the best design that caters both availability and performance requirements.

Six Server Farm

It should be noted that not all application server roles can be redundant. There are limitations that restrict you from adding redundancy to some server roles. Although these application roles can be deployed to multiple servers for scalability, but they do not operate in a load-balanced manner and are not redundant. Such application roles are:

·         WSS 3.0 Search Role (this is different from Office SharePoint Server Search which can be made redundant)

·         Index Server Role

For a solution that has high availability and optimized performance requirements, six-server farm is a design to start with. While designing a system using MOSS for a particular customer scenario, all the above-mentioned aspects should be considered to carve a good design which is long-lasting and meets the customer expectations.