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Sample SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Single Server Implementations

Many organizations decide to start by implementing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 instead of experimenting with Windows SharePoint Services. As mentioned in Chapters 1 and 2, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 includes Windows SharePoint Services and in fact uses Windows SharePoint Services as a "foundation" for the additional portal features. Figure 3.4 provides a summary illustration of the structure and capabilities that can be found in SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 Features available with SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Although most Windows SharePoint Services implementations are limited in scope and often reside on a single server system, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 implementations often are much grander in scope and are implemented in server farm configurations. The section "Sample SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Server Farm Implementations," later in the chapter provides some examples of these configurations.

For the single server implementation, almost all organizations choose to use SQL Server 2000, as opposed to the free MSDE database (which is different from WMSDE that can be used with Windows SharePoint Services). The version of MSDE included with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 has serious limitations that make it ill-suited for any but basic testing processes. Limitations include a 2GB database size and limited administration tools. So although it is an option to install SharePoint Portal Server 2003 with the MSDE database, it will not be discussed in any detail because it is not a common practice.

Using SharePoint Portal Server 2003 on a Single Server with SQL Server 2000

A single server implementation of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 using SQL Server 2000 offers a number of advantages and is one of the most commonly found implementations for small to medium-sized companies that are ready to use SharePoint 2003 technologies in their production environments:

  • The use of a single server controls hardware costs, as well as limits the number of Windows Server 2003 licenses, SQL Server 2000 licenses, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 licenses required.

  • Database sizes are not limited to 2GB as they would be with MSDE.

  • Full SQL administration and backup tools are available.

  • The options for upgrading to a server farm are flexible.

  • The more advanced features that can leverage the portal’s value to the organization can be tested, including BizTalk integration, audiences, areas and topics, personal sites, single sign-on, and user profiles.

The drawbacks of installing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 with SQL Server 2000 on a single server are minimal because the environment can easily be expanded to a server farm configuration. The main drawback is one of cost because SharePoint Portal Server 2003 software needs to be purchased from Microsoft, as well as the SQL server software and SharePoint Portal Server 2003 client access licenses.

Chapter 4, "Planning and Designing the SharePoint 2003 Infrastructure," provides additional information on the pricing for the different software components.

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