SharePoint Tips & Techniques

SharePoint Q&As from John Savill's FAQ for Windows

How can I install Windows Share-Point Services?

Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2) has a built-in Windows SharePoint Services component that you can install using the Add/Remove Windows Components Control Panel applet. The component simplifies installation by automatically installing the OS components that SharePoint requires (Microsoft ASP.NET, Enabled network COM+ access, and IIS). In this example, we'll install SharePoint on a pre-R2 system by following these steps:

  1. Log on to the Windows 2003 server as an Administrator.
  2. Start the Add/Remove Windows Components Control Panel applet (Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components).
  3. Select Application Server and click Details.
  4. Select ASP.NET (which automatically enables network COM+ access), select Internet Information Services (IIS), and click Details, as Figure 1 shows.
  5. Ensure that Common Files, Internet Information Services Manager, and World Wide Web Service are selected. Click OK.
  6. Click Next to begin the installation, and click Finish after the components are installed. Download the Windows SharePoint Services software at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/sharepoint/default.mspx. At the time of this writing, the latest version (stsv2.exe) includes Service Pack 2 (SP2). Execute the file to extract the SharePoint installation files. To only extract the files and not start the installation, use the /c and /t switches in the following command:
C:\stsv2.exe /c /t:c:\wsssp2 

SharePoint stores all its content in a Microsoft SQL Server database, which for Windows SharePoint Services can be Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) or, preferably, a full SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2000 installation (which uses Windows Integrated authentication mode). If you want to have SQL Server reside on a remote box, you need to initiate the installation of Windows SharePoint Services with the remotesql=yes switch. If SQL Server is installed locally, this switch isn't required. To set up Windows SharePoint Services, follow these steps:

  1. Start the installation from the extracted files by using the following command:
    C:\wsssp2\SETUPSTS.EXE remotesql=yes 
    (Some commands wrap to several lines because of space constraints; you should type the command on one line.)
  2. Check I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click Next.
  3. If SharePoint is running with the database on a single box, you can select Typical Installation; if the server will work with other SharePoint servers or with a separate server for the database (a back-end SQL database), select Server Farm, as Figure 2 shows. Click Next.
  4. The installation screen will show the components to be installed. Click Install.

After the installation finishes, the SharePoint administration Web site (http://localhost:7048/configadminvs.aspx, where localhost is the name of your IIS server) is displayed, letting you select an application pool to use. The best practice is to use a new application pool for each IIS virtual server, which ensures that each instance runs in a separate process; however, doing so does consume more memory. The Central Administration and regular SharePoint portal sites must run in separate pools. Each separate pool uses about 150MB of memory; additional portal sites in an existing pool use only an additional 15MB to 30MB. The Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/wss/2/all/adminguide/en-us/stsf20.mspx?mfr=true has information about account types to use for SharePoint application pool owners. The recommendation is to use a domain account that can access back-end SQL Server databases to simplify the process. This domain account needs to be a Security Administrator and Database Creator on the SQL Server system. To configure those roles, open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) SQL Server Enterprise Management snap-in and select Microsoft SQL Servers, SQL Server Group, (local), Security, Logins, New Login. Select the domain account and click the Server Roles tab to set the roles, as Figure 3 shows. You should also select the security (NTLM or Kerberos) authentication type to use. If you select Kerberos, you need to take additional steps, which are described on the configuration Web page. After you set all the options, click OK. You'll see a confirmation dialog box that tells you to run the iisreset command. Run iisreset, then click OK to the confirmation page.

You can now configure the database server. Enter the details for the SQL Server system (local or remote name) and a name for the database. Select Use Windows authentication and leave the default for Active Directory Account Creation, Users already have domain accounts, which will stop new accounts from being created automatically. Click OK.

At this point, the Windows SharePoint Services server will connect to the SQL Server machine and create the database and content per the supplied information. You'll now see the default Central Administration page, http://localhost:7048/default.aspx, which allows the creation of actual SharePoint sites and content for general user use.

How can I upgrade a Microsoft IIS virtual server to run Windows SharePoint Services?

After you install Windows SharePoint Services on a server, you can apply the SharePoint extensions via the Central Administration Web site, which you'll find, by default, at http://localhost:7048/default.aspx. To apply the extensions, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Central Administration Web site.
  2. Click Extend or upgrade virtual server.
  3. You'll see a list of Microsoft IIS virtual servers. Select the virtual server you want to upgrade with SharePoint information (e.g., Default Web Site).
  4. Select whether this SharePoint instance is hosting new content or should map to existing content (e.g., if you want multiple SharePoint front-end servers hosting the same content). If this is new content, select Extend and create a content database, as Figure 4 shows.
  5. In the Application Pool creation screen, create a new pool with the SharePoint service account. Enter the site owner and email address, and select Use default content database server. You can apply optional custom URLs and quota templates, in addition to the language you want to use. Click OK.
  6. When the installation is complete, a success message will be displayed. Click OK. If you now navigate to the previously empty Web site, the SharePoint template screen is displayed. Select a template. You can now begin to use Windows SharePoint Services.

How can I apply a theme to my Windows SharePoint Services site?

You can substitute the basic SharePoint theme for one of the built in themes by performing these steps:

  1. Navigate via Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to the SharePoint site whose theme you want to change. (You must be a user with Web designer privileges.)
  2. Click Site Settings.
  3. Under Customization, select the Apply theme to site option.
  4. Select the desired theme from the list to view it in the Preview window and click Apply.
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