Windows SharePoint Services


Windows SharePoint Services

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is the basic part of Microsoft SharePoint, offering collaboration and document management functionality by means of web portals, by providing a centralized repository for shared documents, as well as browser-based management and administration of them. It allows creation of "Document libraries", which are collections of files that can be shared for collaborative editing. SharePoint provides access control and revision control for documents in a library.

It also includes a collection of web parts, which are web widgets that can be embedded into web pages to provide a certain functionality. SharePoint includes web parts such as workspaces and dashboards, navigation tools, lists, alerts (including e-mail alerts), shared calendar, contact lists and discussion boards. It can be configured to return separate content for Intranet, Extranet and Internet locations. It uses a similar permissions model to Microsoft Windows, via groups of users. Active Directory groups can be added to SharePoint groups to easily tie in permissions. Alternatively, other authentication providers can be added through HTML Forms authentication.

Overview

A SharePoint page is built by combining the web parts into a web page, to be accessed using a browser. Any web editor supporting ASP.NET can be used for this purpose, even though Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer is the preferred editor. The extent of customization of the page depends on its design.

WSS pages are ASP.NET applications, as such SharePoint web parts use the ASP.NET web parts infrastructure, and using the ASP.NET APIs, web parts can be written to extend the functionality of WSS. In terms of programmability, WSS exposes an API and object model to programmatically create and manage portals, workspaces and users. In contrast, the MOSS API is more geared towards automation of tasks and integration with other applications. [cite web | url = http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/04/08/WebParts/ | title = Use Windows SharePoint Services as a Platform for Building Collaborative Apps, Part 2 | accessdate = 2007-10-01] Both WSS and MOSS can use the web parts API to enhance the end user functionality. In addition, WSS document libraries can be exposed over ADO.NET connections to programmatically access the files and revisions in them.

At the web server level, WSS configures IIS to forward all requests, regardless of file and content types, to the ASP.NET session hosting the WSS web application, which either makes a certain revision of a certain file available from the database or takes other actions. Unlike regular ASP.NET applications, the .aspx which contains the WSS (and MOSS) application code, resides in SQL Server databases instead of the filesystem. As such, the regular ASP.NET runtime cannot process the file. Instead, WSS plugs a custom "Virtual Path Provider" component [cite web | url = http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/06/07/WSS30Preview/default.aspx | title = Discover Significant Developer Improvements In SharePoint Services | accessdate = 2007-10-01] into the ASP.NET pipeline, which fetches the .aspx files from the database for processing. With this feature, introduced with WSS 3.0, both the WSS application as well as the data it generates and manages, could be stored in a database.

History

The first version, called SharePoint Team Services (usually abbreviated to STS), was released at the same time as Office XP and was available as part of Microsoft FrontPage. STS could run on Windows 2000 Server or Windows XP.

Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 was marketed as an upgrade to SharePoint Team Services, but was in fact a completely redesigned applicationFact|date=July 2007. SharePoint Team Services stored documents in ordinary file storage, keeping document metadata in a database. Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 on the other hand, stores both the document and the metadata in a database, and supports basic document versioning for items in Document Libraries. Service Pack 2 for WSS added support for SQL Server 2005 and the use of the .NET Framework 2.0.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 was released on November 16, 2006 as part of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite and Windows Server 2008. In fact, Windows Server 2008 supports a separate server role for SharePoint services. WSS 3.0 is built using .NET Framework 2.0 and .NET Framework 3.0 Windows Workflow Foundation to add workflow capabilities to the basic suite. By the beginning of 2007 WSS 3.0 was made available to the public. Windows 2000 Server is not supported by WSS 3.0, nor is SQL Server 2000.

Features

The WSS 3.0 wiki allows RSS export of content and, when viewed in Internet Explorer, provides a WYSIWYG editor. As with MediaWiki, it produces hyperlinks with a double square bracket but unlike MediaWiki it uses HTML for markup. An [http://www.codeplex.com/CKS/WorkItem/View.aspx?WorkItemId=1623 enhanced wiki] is available for SharePoint on Codeplex and is free to download and install. The service is limited to upload of 50MB and some special characters like &,? .. are not allowed.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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