SQL and WSS in SBS 2003

TGIF! Today is Friday and I am posting up a few pages from my Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices book for your public consumption! I plan to post up until SBS 2008 ships!

The topic today is integrsating SQL Server with Windows SharePoint Srevices (WSS) in SBS.

enjoy…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation, www.smbnation.com

Micosoft Small Business Specialist (SBSC), MBA and other stuff!

PS – we are holding an amazing Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) and Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS) party in Seattle over the weekend of Oct 4-6…help us LAUNCH!

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SharePoint and SQL Server 2000

And you thought I’d wait until the final section of the book to delve into SBS 2003 premium edition matters (fooled ya). There is a little bit of horse and cart going on here. I can’t really wait until the SQL Server 2000 chapter to address WSS and SQL Server, so here goes.

The Big Advantage

There is a building consensus in the SBS community that WSS will sell a helluva lot of SBS 2003 premium edition. Why? Because SQL Server 2000 is contained with the SBS 2003 premium edition. And with SQL Server 2000, you can do more stuff with WSS. The big advantage of using SQL Server 2000 with WSS relates to the searching capabilities.

BEST PRATICE: In other words, and I stress, the searching capabilities ARE NOT available if WSS is deployed with WMSDE/MSDE (which is the configuration in SBS 2003 standard edition). WSS without the

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searching capability could be considered a half-baked Alaska without the flame!

There is little debate that the SBS premium edition is the better fit for organizations serious about WSS. Think about it. How enthusiastically would WSS be embraced if users hit a limitation on searching the document corpus? It would be a show stopper!

BEST PRACTICE: So you’re now completely sold on the SBS 2003 premium edition. But what if you purchased the SBS standard edition first and are just now coming to appreciate the mystical powers of SQL Server 2000? How can you get from point A (standard edition) to point B (premium edition) without raiding the piggy bank and spending the lunch money? Simple. Use Microsoft’s step-up vehicle that basically charges you the delta difference between the standard and premium prices (as of this writing that would be $900 USD). Full how-to-buy details at the Microsoft SBS site: http://www.microsoft.com/sbs.

As a journalist, I’m honor bound to share a few limitations of WSS. There is limited file type search support out of the box (assuming you are using SQL Server 2000 that provides searching capabilities). Search will only be natively performed against the following file types.

                      .doc

                      .xls

                      .ppt

                      .txt

                      .htm

 

In a moment, I point you to some iFilters to extend WSS’s document support. Another limitation is that you can’t search sub-site content from a top-level site. And only one language per database is supported. The language issue is

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

especially important to SBSer as the majority of SBS sales are overseas (where mulitiple languages are often spoken in a single country).

SQL Server 2000 Configuration

To use SQL Server 2000 with WSS, you’ll first need to install it using the installation guidance provided to you from the How to Install link (which launches a document titled “Completing Setup for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Premium Technologies”) on the SBS 2000 premium edition fifth Disc splash screen. (Chapter 13 of this book is also an ally of yours installing this database application.) You’ll perform the actual installation by clicking the Install Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Install SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a on said fifth Disc splash screen.

If you have the SBS 2003 premium edition, you’re welcome to install SQL Server 2000 at this time or wait until you’ve read this book and return to this page to implement WSS with SQL Server (remember to dog ear this page – get the SPRINGERS pun!?!?).

After SQL Server 2000 has been installed, you need to configure it for WSS. This is also documented, starting on page four, of the “Completing Setup for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Premium Technologies” document. Specifically, you will complete the steps to:

                      Upgrade the instance of MSDE used for Windows SharePoint Services (page 4). See Figure 7-25 for a key configuration page in this configu­ration process.

                      Install SP3a to the SHAREPOINT instance of SQL Server (page 5). Be sure to catch the note at the bottom of page 5 for stopping the MSSQL$SHAREPOINT service when you upgrade the instance (you really have to do this). Don’t forget to restart this service (and the MSSQLSERVER service) after you complete this configuration step.

                      Review the SQL Server Collation Settings discussion (page 9).

 

Notes:

Figure 7-25

Selecting the Full-Text Search option is critical to invoking the advanced search capabilities in WSS when combined with SQL Server 2000. Please don’t miss this step.

So how about a before-and-after view (like weight loss ads in general interest magazines). Before you installed SQL Server 2000, if you went to SharePoint Central Administration on the SPRINGERS1 server machine and tried to configure full-text searching, you received the message seen in Figure 7-26. But as you can see in Figure 7-27, after SQL Server 2000 was installed configured, SQL Server 2000 is now providing the default engine for WSS, Full search capabilities are now enabled. Right on!

Notes:

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Figure 7-26

Before. Look at the message on the far right column.

Figure 7-27

After. It’s SQL Server 2000-based search time, baby! When you click OK here, you will get a progress screen as the change is made.

Advanced Searching Topics

So now that you’re using the search capabilities of SQL Server 2000 with WSS, you might be interested in more factoids.

                      Mechanics. WSS allows SBS users to search all Web site content on a virtual server basis. In SBS 2003, the WSS virtual server is titled “CompanyWeb.” Subwebs inherit the search settings from parent sites.

                      Home page search field. When you integrate SQL Server 2000 with WSS, a new search field appears on the Home page in the upper right. This search field is not present prior to integrating SQL Server 2000 with WSS.

                      IFilters. Did you notice a few pages back that the document search capabilities were Microsoft-centric (e.g., a Word document with the .doc extension). What would you do if you needed to search a third-party document such as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file? You would go to http://www.sharepointknowledge.com (a resource I discuss in the next major section) and click the IFilters link on the left. You would then see the IFilters and Protocols page (Figure 7-28) where numerous IFilters for Abode, AutoCad, WordPerfect, and lots of other file formats are listed (even ZIP files).

 

Notes:

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Figure 7-28

This is your “go to resource” for IFilters that allows different document types to be searched in WSS when SQL Server 2000 is installed and configured.

The Case for SharePoint Portal Server

Microsoft’s SharePoint site is a great resource to compare WSS versus its big brother product, SharePoint Portal Server (SPS). There is an excellent white paper that allows you to decide when to deploy either of the SharePoint offerings. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/evaluationoverview.asp and download and read SharePointEvaluate.doc.

BEST PRACTICE: Time for a tad of plain Texas talk. WSS is going to be the best fit for SBSers in 99 percent of the cases. Why? Because SPS is really more oriented toward the enterprise with multiple sites, etc. SPS costs a lot of money ($5,619 USD) which is several times the cost of SBS 2003.

There was a time, in the spring of 2003, where it looked like the

cool stuff (like searching and robust document management) was

 Visit http://www.smbnation.com for additional SMB and SBS book, newsletter and conference resources.

only going to be available with SPS. But Microsoft changed its mind

and put much of the cool stuff, the stuff important to SBSers, down

into the WSS product. Amen!

Current Topic: SharePoint versus Content Management Server

During the Spring 2003 GTM hands-on labs, students asked what some of the differences were between SharePoint and Content Management Server. Aside from pointing out feature and user interface differences, I replied that the difference was philosophical. SharePoint (WSS, SPS) can be viewed as an internal tool (although as you’ll see in Chapter 8, it can be accessed externally with Remote Web Workplace) and Content Management Server is focused externally to rapidly post content to public sites.

In mid-October 2003, CRN published an article that discusses the Content Management Server team joining the SPS group. If you’d like to read it, visit http://crn.channelsupersearch.com/news/crn/45155.asp. Synergy between the two products is another key point in that article.

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