I know that SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint Services 3.0 are out since some time... but I never had the occasion to work with them yet. However in a recent project I’m evaluating it can fit well some of the needs of the customer, so I need to play with it a bit and setup a machine for testing.
My Italian user-group (DotNetMarche) organized a workshop on SharePoint and SharePoint Services some time ago, so I started checking again the slides and documentation the speakers proposed.
The major problems I want to address are:
1- how to setup a good development machine for WSS 3.0
2- how to put remote debugging to work (it can be very useful if you can’t install Visual Studio on the development or testing machine)
3- how to handle SharePoint security and how to integrate (if it’s possible) a series of site built upon WSS 3.0 with a preexisting ASP.NET web application providing Single Sign-on between the two.
The first thing to do is gather some documentation, I’ve spent the last two days reading and watching tutorials; the idea is to gather as many infos as possible and try to solve the problems before they hit you, so here are some links:
I will put myself in the worst case in a windows network for a developer: the machines aren’t member of a Domain, no Active Directory, no administration policies; that means we have to create all the users we need locally on each machine and grant them the right permissions.
I recommend reading carefully the ‘Installation WSS 3.0’ post on www.sharepointforum.com cause it will lead you step by step in what you have to do to successfully setup a machine with WSS 3.0.
The fist steps before installing WSS 3.0 are to setup a Virtual Machine (use a physical machine) with Windows Server 2003 or 2008; make sure it’s configured as a web server (enable/install IIS and configure it) and finally install a SQL Server (even express is good, I recommend an Advanced Edition so you can take advantage of the full-text indexing capabilities too) and define a database on it to hold SharePoint data.
It’s also recommended to create a Windows account that will be used by SharePoint to connect to the configuration database and one further account for each web application you are going to define (they will be used to specify under which user the application pool will run and will connect to the website specific database); if you don’t have a domain a local account will be good; the user must be granted with sysadmin and db_owner rights in SQL Server in order to be correctly used by SharePoint.
If you want to avoid having all your SharePoint files and applications spread around various directory in your system, I suggest to create a SharePoint folder with this structure and use it as your main SharePoint repository for applications and databases:
If you use that directory structure you will have to create the databases in advance (to avoid them being placed in the default SQL server data directory), if you do so remember to use ‘Latin1_General_CI_AS_WS_KS’ as your collation rule; plus you have to grant to the Windows Accounts that SharePoint uses db_owner rights to each database.
So I started by creating 2 user accounts like the ones suggested in the installation guide:
- SharePointDB - used to access the main configuration database.
- SharePointAppPool - will be used by the WebApplication application pool and to connect to the website specific content database.
Then I manually created 2 empty database inside X:/SharePoint/Database: the first named ‘SharePoint’ that will be used to hold the general administrative settings, and another one named ‘SharePointTestContent’ that will be used later by the test WebApplication created inside the SharePoint environment.
From SQL Management Studio set the right permissions for the users: SharePointDB should have the role of ‘sysadmin’ and ‘db_owner’ right for ‘SharePoint’ database, SharePointAppPool must have ‘db_owner’ right over ‘SharePointTestContent’ database.
We are now ready to perform the WSS 3.0 installation.
Since I’ve done all the preliminary steps by myself, for this test I’m not performing a Basic or Stand Alone installation, I’ll rather try to setup a ‘Farm’ with WSS 3.0; so when I’m asked to choose which installation type to perform I will go for ‘Advanced’ and then ‘Web Front End’; it’s now just a matter to follow the wizard steps and when you are asked to specify which database to use just use the one you have previously prepared.
When the installation process finishes you’ll be able to see the SharePoint Central Administration console.
To be Continued...