Thursday, August 23, 2007

What is a Shared Service Provider (SSP) ?

Shared Service Providers (SSPs) are a new innovation created for MOSS that represents a critical piece of the fundamental system architecture. An SSP represents a set of services that can be configured a single time and shared across many different MOSS portal sites and WSS sites. Your understanding of SSPs is critical to being able to take advantage of MOSS features and services. After you have finished installing MOSS in a farm, you must explicitly create and configure one or more SSPs in order to take advantage of MOSS features such as user profiles, audiences, personal sites, Excel Services, the Business Data Catalog and search. After you have created initially created an SSP through the WSS Central Administration pages, you can then configure the individual MOSS services you need from the main SSP administration page. This new SSP architecture was designed to replace the Shared Services infrastructure of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to provide greater flexibility in deployment and configuration. For example, it’s possible to create two different SSPs within the same farm and configure them differently, as shown in Figure 2-3. Each Web application in an Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm along with its Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal sites and Windows oSharePoint Services sites is assciated with exactly one SSP. One Web application can be associated with one SSP while a different Web application can be associated with a second SSP. The search results from within one portal site might be very different from the search results within another portal site if they are associated with different SSPs that have been configured to have different content sources.

This new SSP architecture was designed to replace the Shared Services infrastructure of SPS 2003 in order to provide greater flexibility with respect to deployment and configuration. For example, it's possible to create two different SSPs within the same farm and configure them differently. Each Web application in a MOSS farm along with its MOSS portal sites and WSS sites is associated with exactly one SSP. One Web application can be associated with one SSP while a different Web application can be associated with a second SSP. The search results for within one portal sites might be very different from the search results within another portal site if they are associated with different SSPs that have been configured to have different content sources.

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