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SharePoint Site Collections Demystified

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This chapter is from the book

In this lesson you will learn about site collections and their main components—top-level sites and subsites—and about document and meeting workspaces.

Site Collections, Top-level Sites, and Subsites Defined

Although the average SharePoint user may not have the rights to create site collections, subsites, document workspaces, or meeting workspaces, it is important to understand what each of these items is, because they are confusing to many new users. This information will also aid you in understanding the overall structure of the SharePoint environment and in building on the skills covered in Lesson 2, "Accessing SharePoint Sites," when navigating a SharePoint environment.

Figure 3.1 provides examples of Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 site collections. A site collection consists of a top-level site, subsites, and the content contained in those sites. Document workspaces and meeting workspaces can also be contained within site collections, and they are essentially sites themselves but are designed for specific purposes that will be discussed in this lesson.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Diagram of site collections.

Note that site collections exist in both Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Windows SharePoint Services is essentially a number of site collections, whereas SharePoint Portal Server 2003 provides a portal environment at the top and site collections beneath it. When a site is created in Windows SharePoint Services and it is not being created below another site, it is called a top-level site. When SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is in place, a site created beneath the portal is a top-level site. A top-level site can have subsites, and those subsites can have subsites, and so on. A top-level site or subsite can also have workspaces created underneath it.

Lesson 23, "Creating Sites," provides more information on creating sites for Site Administrators because the average user will not have the necessary rights to create top-level sites and subsites.

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