Document Storage Structure – WSS in SBS 2003


harrybbbb here – the author of Windows Small Buisness Server 2003 Best PRactices (the purple book). I like to upload a few pages per day of my book and today we discuss document storage structures and uploading a document in Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) in SBS 2003.


Harry Brlesford, CEO at SMB Nation,

Microsoft Small Business Specialist (SBSC), MBA, MCSE, MCP,CNE , CLSE and even CNP


Document Storage Structure

As promised, you’ll first create the document storage structure.


1.         Log on as NormH on PRESIDENT with the password Purple3300.


2.         Launch Internet Explorer from Start, Internet. The Springer Span­iels Limited Home page will appear (which is the WSS default portal).


3.         Select Documents and Lists.


4.         Click on the Create button and the Create Page will be displayed.


5.         Select Document Library.


6.         The New Document Library page will appear. Type Clients in the Name field. In the Description field, type This is a data storage area for clients of Springer Spaniels Limited. Verify your screen looks similar to Figure 7-3.


7.         Make sure the Yes radio button is selected beneath Display this docu­ment library on the Quick Launch bar in the Navigation field.


8.         In Document Versions, please CAREFULLY read the description text and then select Yes beneath Create a version each time you edit a file in this document library. Go ahead and accept the default settings under Document Templates.


9.         Click on Create to create the document library. The document li­brary has been created.


10. Click on the Home button on the right-side of the WSS tool bar.



Figure 7-3

Creating the document library for SPRINGERS.

Next, you’ll create the folder structure for some SPRINGERS customers. I assume you are still on the PRESIDENT computer and at the WSS Home page.

1                     Select Documents and Lists.

2                     Select Clients under Documents and Lists.

3                    Select New Folder. Name the folder: Walters Kennels. Click Save and Close. Repeat this step to create another folder for Jones Family.

4                    Minimize Internet Explorer (keep it open) but stay on the Clients page (where you should be at this point).


Create and Upload a Business Document

You will now create a business document on the PRESIDENT machine that you’ll then upload into the WSS document management system. Note that I assume you have installed Microsoft Office 2003 on this workstation (as per the discussion in a prior chapter in the context of Business Contact Manager). If such isn’t the case, you should install Office 2003 now before proceeding. You need Office XP or

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Office 2003 to exploit all WSS functionality. You could sorta follow this example using WordPad to create the document, but it won’t be the same.

1                    Still logged on as NormH on PRESIDENT, click Start, All Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Word 2003.

2                    Create a business document (type in a sample business agreement, etc.). Then save the file to the My Documents folder as Breeder1.doc. Close Microsoft Office Word 2003.

3                    Maximize Internet Explorer and click on the Jones Family folder visible on the Clients page.

4                    Click Upload Document.


BEST PRACTICE: There is an even cooler way to upload the document that I’d encourage at this juncture. While in Word 2003, select File, Save As. Then select My Network Places on the lower left. Observe the SharePoint folders that have been published (General Documents on companyweb, Jones Family on

companyweb). Drill down into the Jones Family folder and save the document (perhaps as Breeder2.doc). This method exploits SharePoint’s deeper integration with Office 2003 and more nifty features are enabled. This would be the preferred way to add a document.

5.         Click Browse, select Breeder1.doc, and click Open. Then click Save and Close. Your screen should look similar to Figure 7-4.

BEST PRACTICE: So you want to upload multiple documents at once, not one at a time as this example would suggest. It’s easy! Notice below in Figure 7-4 that there is a select on the far left column titled Explorer View. Simply click that and you’ll see the document corpus presented in a traditional Windows Explorer-like view. You can now drag and drop multiple documents from another Windows Explorer session into this window to upload multiple documents at once. Cool!

So time for something even cooler. Use the Import Files Wizard

(select from Server Management, Standard Management, Internal

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Web Site, Import Files) to not only import in bulk but also import deep file structures. Pretend you had a folder named Ralston that had many sub folders beneath it (project, accounts, training, etc.). Each sub folder has many documents. You would use the Import Files Wizard and point to Ralston (the parent folder) to import everything at once (all sub folders and files). This is very efficient and the ultimate preferred approach in a migration.

Figure 7-4

You’ve successfully created and uploaded the document in WSS at this point.

BEST PRACTICE: Taking a second to discuss the storage mechanism in WSS, you should know that the data files, such as Breeder1.doc, are being stored in a SQL Server-type database file. That effectively negates the coolness of Volume Shadow Copy Restore in Windows Server 2003 to individually recover a single file (such as Breeder1.doc). Rather, you’ll have to access said file via WSS (where

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you could argue the cool versioning capability effectively acts like

Volume Shadow Copy Restore for all practical purposes).

Speaking of recovering an individual document in WSS, you need to assume, too, that predecessor applications, such as Internet Information Server (IIS), are also running for WSS to function correctly. But don’t let that discourage you from using WSS because, as you’ll see in a moment, the versioning capabilities of WSS outweigh such minor concerns (in my humble opinion). And many document management systems on the market have similar dependencies, so this isn’t just a WSS issue. I discuss WSS backup and restore later in the Advanced WSS Topics section.

Another take on the embedded object in the database matter worth discussing here. Students in the SBS 2003 hands-on labs have in the past asked, “Where is the document stored?” and “Let me use Windows Explorer to go find the document.” The thing is that you can’t go find the individual document using Windows Explorer after you’ve uploaded it into WSS. Case sorta closed.

The exception to the “law” I just laid out above is that you can use My Network Places to navigate to the Web folders (also known as a “network place”) like Jones Family and retrieve your documents from a Windows Explorer-like interface. The enabling technology for this is Webdav.

You also need to consider the following storage fact. When you uploaded the document in the above procedure, it copied the document into the WSS database. It did not really move this file but rather kinda copied it. The risk is this: Users, accustomed to seeing the file at its original location (and still new to WSS), might inadvertently bypass WSS and open the original file. This would negate your good efforts to get everyone to use WSS. Ergo – once you upload the file into the WSS system (e.g., into the Jones Family), you need to move the original file (in the procedure above, it was in

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the My Documents folder) to another folder so those rascal users can’t find it. You need to force them to use WSS!

Go ahead and delete Breeder1.doc from the My Documents folder before proceeding.

6.         Now, carefully select the drop-down context menu for Breeder1.doc in the Jones Family folder. This is shown in Figure 7-5 (the reason for this screenshot is that many students had difficulty finding the drop-down context menu in the fall 2003 SBS 2003 hands-on labs that toured the US).

Figure 7-5

Viewing the drop-down context menu for the Breeder1.doc document.

7.         Select Check Out from the drop-down context menu shown above in Figure 7-5. The name Norm Hasborn now appears in the Checked Out To column.

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BEST PRACTICE: You have now checked out the document, and any other user attempting to access the document will only have a read-only copy (they would know you have the edit version). This is the essence of the document management system in WSS: VERSION CONTROL, baby! It is akin to how programming code is managed using the library function in Microsoft Visual Source Safe (VSS) in the developer’s world. Think long and hard about this BEST PRACTICE the next time you’re in a quandary about which document is “most current” (like when you’re writing an SBS book and managing chapter revisions – let me tell ya!).

1                    Now select Edit in Microsoft Office Word from the drop-down menu seen in Figure 7-5 above to open the document. Note this edit menu option is only available with Office XP or higher. Click OK when warned by the Internet Explorer dialog box that some files can harm your computer, etc.

2                    Modify the document with a few sentences such as that seen in Fig­ure 7-6.


Figure 7-6

Note the WSS specific stuff in the right column of the Word document (this is the Shared Workspace area I discuss later in the WSS and Office 2003 section). This is a great example of how Office 2003 better exploits the full capabilities of WSS.



10.       In the far right column, click Check-in under Status for NormH. Complete the Check-in Comments screen similar to Figure 7-7 and click OK.


11.       Close the document in Microsoft Word.


Figure 7-7

The Office 2003 check process is much more elegant than using an older application where different steps would be required for checking in a document.

BEST PRACTICE: I know what you’re likely thinking here. It’s kinda weird that you could check in the document yet the document remained open and could be edited. I find it odd as well. Consider also that a document can be opened in WSS without being checked out. Sadly, I’ve confirmed with Microsoft in doing my book research that out of the SBS 2003 box, there is no way to enforce that a check-out must occur before a document is opened.

The above observations present two challenges. First, there will be a huge training opportunity for SBSers implementing WSS in an organization to get them to use it properly and consistently (that’s aptly called a management consulting opportunity). Second, these observations are why I call WSS a basic document management package, something that Microsoft wouldn’t dispute. It may well be that WSS will ultimately sell a lot of real document management

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systems like the SBS version of DocumentLocator from Columbia Soft (

Still want to talk through these limitations? Okay. Consider a discussion I had with a SharePoint expert in doing research for my book. On the one hand, you can argue that WSS can’t be everything to all people. Two examples of a couple of limitations are:

                      Access Control List (ACL) limitations. WSS doesn’t use ACLs but rather uses permission controls at the document library level.

                      Offline Access limitations. This is simple. There is no offline access in WSS.


But on the other hand, WSS has alerts that aren’t present in the NTFS file system. And Microsoft found that in the SMB space, using the Web browser interface to manage files was more intuitive than Windows Explorer or My Computers.

The lesson learned is that there are always two stories to each side.


12.       Return to Internet Explorer where you should be in the Jones Family data storage area. Click on Breeder1.doc so that the drop-down menu appears. Select Version History. Your screen should look similar to Figure 7-8.

Figure 7-8

This is the screen that would allow you to roll back to a prior version of a document. This is VERY POWERFUL stuff!

13.       For more fun, click the Modify versioning settings on the left (under Actions) on the Versions saved for Breeder1.doc to page to learn about more settings. Select Yes under Content Approval so that a user with the Manage Lists right has to approve items submit­ted to this list. Click OK.

Notice that after you select the content approval setting above, there is a new option in the left column titled Approve/reject items.

BEST PRACTICE: So does Norm Hasborn have the Manage Lists permission? Let’s find out by clicking Site Settings on the WSS tool bar. Then click Manage Users under Administration. Note on the

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list that appears, Norm Hasborn and Bob Easter are Administrators and the remaining users are simply Web Designers.

So how did those two users get to be members of the Administrator site group in WSS? It’s simple. Back in Chapter 2 in the User List (just after Table 2-2), you’ll recall that Norm and Bob were added with the Power User Template. That’s what did it!

But I haven’t answered the basic question. Prove that user NormH has the Manage Lists permission. Click on Site Administration, click Go to Site Administration under Administration. Click Manage site groups under Users and Permissions. Click on Administrator under Manage Site Groups. You will now see an Administrator membership list (with Norm and Bob on the list). Then click Edit Site Permissions. Notice that in Figure 7-9, they have the Manage Lists authority.

So, one more twist. Hit the Cancel button at the bottom of the page. Then select Go Back to Manage Site Groups. Then click on Web Designer (the site group everyone else belongs to) followed by a click on Edit Site Group Permissions. Notice that the Web Designer site group also has the authority to manage lists. So everyone you added from the user list in Chapter 2 (you actually added them in Chapter 4) could have the Content Approval permission!


Figure 7-9

Administrators have the Manage Lists right.



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