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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shared Service Providers Part 1

Shared Service Providers

I hear a lot of questions and comments about shared service providers which I hope to address in this 3 part blog. In this “mini series” we will cover everything you need to know to get started using the functionality provided by SSP (Shared service providers)

Today I will introduce you to SSP and the functionality they offer. Tomorrow I will cover the installation process and on Friday we will cover some common pit falls that might come up and how to fix them.

So what is a SSP?

Basically SSP hosts a combination of services that we would want to share across the server farm(s).

SSP itself is a independent component of MOSS 2007. It does not get installed automatically when you first install MOSS as it needs special planning and configuration. Each farm should have at least one SSP but can have many if the situation calls for it. In my 5 years of Sharepoint development I have never had the need to create more than one SSP for my installation but I have heard stories and situations where you would need multiple ones. (A good example of this is a global installation with many farms).

The services that SSP handles includes

· Search

· My Sites

· User profiles

· Audiences

· Excel Services

· Business data catalog

· Advanced usage analyst reports

You will need an SSP Installed and configured to take advantage of any of these services

In all honestly if you have MOSS and don’t Have a SSP installed: you might as well be using SharePoint services 3.0 for your installation because you are really missing out on the meat and potatoes of MOSS

I had a client a few months back that was using MOSS2007 and was not utilizing a SSP infact they did not know what an SSP was. They called me in to figure out why when they typed in a serach term, SharePoint would return errors. The simple answer was you cannot use search without an SSP.

Once I explained to their developers what a SSP was and how they could use it they really stared to take advantage of all the services MOSS can provide.

That just about does it for part one. Please see below a list of references regarding SSP.

Please feel free to email me at any time with any questions or comments on Sharepoint,

McCann Out

Using Nested Master Pages in SharePoint

I had a hard time finding info on this one but someone pointed out the article that shows you how to do it:

If you have any tips, tricks or resources you think the guild would find useful please email them to Susan Fischer at