First looks at SharePoint on SBS 2008


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An overview of the capabilities and features of SharePoint v3 on SBS 2008 which is accessed via companyweb.

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First looks at SharePoint on SBS 2008

  1. 1. First looks at Sharepoint on Small Business Server 2008 By Robert Crane 11 June 2008 In this article I’ll take a look at Sharepoint (a la Companyweb) on Small Business Server 2008 Release Candidate 0. There are no guarantees that this will be exactly what we’ll see when the final product launches but I think that it will certainly be a good indication. I will also say up front that I have not extensively tested all the options available yet but as I do I will make them available in updates to this document. Once Small Business Server 2008 RC0 is installed you can open a web browser and type http://companyweb and you should now see the following page displayed: The first major change from Small Business Server 2003 is that Companyweb is now in Sharepoint v3 rather than Sharepoint v2. This has a completely different look and feel to the old version. One of the major improvements in Sharepoint v3 is the recycle bin located in the lower left of the screen. This 1 © 2008
  2. 2. allows users to recover deleted items if required which was something not available by default in Sharepoint v2. If you delve deeper you’ll find that Companyweb on SBS 2008 has been installed to use SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition, which is located in the C: drive. This means that by default, Companyweb data, will be located in C:windowsSYSMSISSEEMSQL.2005MSSQLdata as shown above. There are some positive and negative points of using SQL 2005 Embedded Edition. Firstly, unlike some other versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 there is no limit to the size of a database but the Embedded Edition cannot be upgraded to another version of SQL Server. Also, the Sharepoint farm, by default, can’t be expanded beyond this single server. For most SBS 2008 installations this shouldn’t be a problem, however if there is need to house lots of data or grow Sharepoint beyond a single server then you may need to consider an alternate Sharepoint installation. Even though the Companyweb data is stored on the C: drive by default, SBS 2008 now includes a wizard that allows you to relocate the data. To do this you simply open the Windows SBS Console, select the Backup and Server Storage, then select the Server Storage tab. Over on the right you’ll see an option called Move Windows Sharepoint Services Data as shown below: 2 © 2008
  3. 3. When you run the wizard you’ll be prompted for a new drive to place the Companyweb data (there must be an additional drive available first). The wizard will then move Companyweb data, indexing and configuration databases to the selected drive in the same directory structure. This means that on the new drive the data will be located in <new_drive>:windowsSYSMSISSEEMSQL.2005MSSQLdata. Hopefully this won’t cause confusion in the future, because after you have moved the data you will have two drives with a windows directory. As with the SBS 2003 version, Companyweb can also be the location in which faxes are saved. For SBS 2008 Companyweb this location is called Fax Center and looks like: 3 © 2008
  4. 4. Inside the Fax Center document library you’ll find a number of sub-folders making locating faxes much easier. Another interesting feature about Companyweb on SBS 2008 is the Archived E-Mail sub-site. It appears that the role this is destined to play is to hold emails that are sent to an SBS 2008 security group (doesn’t work with an email distribution group). The screen below shows you where you can set that option. 4 © 2008
  5. 5. Again, as yet I have not fully tested this but it may be a very hand feature for those businesses that need to have multiple eyes across a certain email address. The other big benefit I see here is the ability to have all these email indexed and searchable within Companyweb. There is currently a Microsoft recommended method of Companyweb migration from SBS 2003 but it appears to be a manual process of copying the old Companyweb databases across and creating a new Sharepoint v3 site on the SBS 2008 called Oldcompanyweb which is separate from Companyweb. From here, the expectation appears to be simply copying the data between the sites. This won’t be too hard for documents but other data such as lists and surveys may prove quite difficult for users. It is my understanding that this Companyweb migration process has gone through a number of iterations and may indeed change again before the product is released. At this stage, however, the process appears be a migration to a “backup” Sharepoint site, rather than directly to Companyweb on SBS 2008. So, as with previous versions of Small Business Server, Companyweb is an integral component. As with most other features of SBS 2008 it has been updated to the latest technology which will provide a lot of benefits to users. Apart from the standard Sharepoint v3 improvements SBS 2008 also includes wizards to allow the relocation of Companyweb data to alternate drives. There remain some questions around the migration process of Companyweb data from SBS 2003 but it is important to remember that the version reviewed here is Release Candidate 0. It is therefore possible that this process could change and we will only know for sure when the product is released. I believe that Sharepoint v3 on Small Business 5 © 2008
  6. 6. Server 2008 represents a fantastic opportunity for users to obtain productivity benefits when linked with standard desktop software such as Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Company - Saturn Alliance Is a Microsoft Certified Partner located in Sydney, Australia. Being created after the merger of two independent businesses in 2006, Saturn Alliance has grown to service the technology needs of a wide variety of clients. Saturn Alliance is also a Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist and Sharepoint Specialist as well as holding a number of other industry qualifications. You can find more information about Saturn Alliance at Author - Robert Crane BE MBA MCP Robert has a degree in Electrical Engineering as well as Masters of Business Administration. He is also a Small Business Specialist and Microsoft Certified Sharepoint Professional. Robert has over 15 years of IT experience in a variety of fields and positions, including working on Wall St in New York. He is the co-founder and director of Saturn Alliance. Apart from resolving client technical issues, Robert continues to present at seminars as well as write on a number for topics for Saturn Alliance. He can be contacted via 6 © 2008