SharePoint 2010 Service Architecture

With changing times and technologies, there have been a lot of changes to both the logical and physical topologies of SharePoint 2010. Thus, it’s very important for any developers to know the architecture of the new Windows SharePoint 2010 services.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 builds on the operating system and database services to add additional features, such as team sites and collaboration features. Specifically, WSS 3.0 provides the following platform capabilities:

* Storage: Through content databases, which are literally SQL databases managed by SharePoint to accommodate the pages, data, and documents stored in the various portals, team sites, and workspaces
* Management: Administration pages with deep configuration options
* Deployment: Web farms, physical servers, and roles
* Site Model: Web application, site collection, and sites
* Extensibility: Features, Web parts, and templates

A well architected logical and physical SharePoint environment tends to revolve around Search. Search drives much of the logical and physical architectures for SharePoint 2007. SharePoint 2010 has not changed from a Tier perspective. There are Web, Application and Database tiers. What’s important is it to understand how to architect those tiers. For SharePoint 2010, the Application tier has changed significantly as it is more sophisticated than what was available in SharePoint 2007. Some things that we will get into within this series are creating service farms and partitioned services.

Architectural changes in SharePoint 2010 services

* Shared Service Providers (SSP) which was used to host services in SharePoint 2007 have been completely removed from SharePoint 2010. Thus, the services are run independently in SharePoint2010
* Some services in SharePoint 2010 will be referred to as Service Applications. Not all services in Central Administration are Service Applications. Service Applications tend to map to major features of SharePoint rather than services which could be considered part of the infrastructure of SharePoint
* Service Groups have been introduced to logically manage Service Applications. When Service Applications are added they will be included in a Default Group. Web Applications can use that Default Group or use a Custom Group of Service Applications
* SharePoint 2010 services can be reused within and across farms. This was not available in SharePoint 2007 and provides a significant amount of scalability options.
* SharePoint 2010 supports Service Partitioning. If you are familiar with database partitioning, think of it is horizontal partitioning of data within a SharePoint service. Not all services support service partitioning; partitioning is only used in services that are data driven. A typical scenario is that a centrally managed/cross farm service with data that should not be exposed to all subscribing farms. If that is the case, a farm would subscribe to a partition of centrally managed service. In SharePoint lingo each partition is referred to as a “tenant”.

Thus, having a glance at these changes before diving deep into SharePoint 2010 would be really helpful!

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