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Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Infrastructure Update Released!

The Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Infrastructure Update has been officially released. The update includes both improvements in core functional scenarios such as Office SharePoint Server Search with the introduction of S2 in addition to management enhancements resolving core customer issues such as scalability and performance improvements to support search incremental crawl (WSS), patch and upgrade of WSS server farms where a large number of host header-based site collections are implemented, support for Kerberos authentication to access SSP Web services, and more…


Download


Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007


x86 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=256CE3C3-6A42-4953-8E1B-E0BF27FD465B&displaylang=en


x64 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6E4F31AB-AF25-47DF-9BF1-423E248FA6FC&displaylang=en


Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


x86 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3811C371-0E83-47C8-976B-0B7F26A3B3C4&displaylang=en


x64 – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3A74E566-CB4A-4DB9-851C-E3FBBE5E6D6E&displaylang=en

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SELECT FullUrl [Please Don’t] from dbo.Webs

I was just browsing Mike Fitzmaurice’s blog and I’m glad to see he continues to dissuade direct database access with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies.  All too often I’ve seen what was conceptually a good idea, result in performance, scalability, and manageability problems long term.  While initially an otherwise simple SELECT statement, yes, even read, may be perceived as non-intrusive, problems later down the road may be compounded by what was offered as a “simple means” to getting a particular task accomplished.


Most often instances of directly reading and/or writing to SharePoint Products and Technologies databases occur in what I call a dotted-line deployment, where there is little or no separation of those who are responsible for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies and those responsible for hosting and maintaining the database servers.  The problem is less frequent where there are distinct groups of individuals responsible for their respective technologies, a more physically separated deployment and management approach.  But in either case, the possibility exists.


So what’s the problem:


Consider dirty reads, while SQL servers’ default behavior is Read Committed Isolation Model, in this scenario while SQL server will not allow transactions to read data written to a table by an uncommitted transaction, phantom and non-readable reads are fair game.  And then we have record locking, so in the event the individuals actions result in concurrent collisions, SQL server will do its best to protect itself from the individual or otherwise you from yourself, but this comes with a measurable performance penalty.  Since this post is intended to promote a programmatic approach to accessing data stored in Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies databases, we won’t discuss the last set of statements with using SELECT and disabling record locking.  😉


With that said, I am equally pleased to see both the Microsoft Asset Inventory Tool and Nintex Reporting 2008 offer a robust reporting solution that avoid directly accessing the database(s), using SOAP, WMI, and other providers to extrapolate the data and provide a presentation layer for the end-user or IT Pro.  Not only are these great reporting applications, but serve as an example of how a well thought solution can be implemented without compromising the integrity of the environment.


In conclusion, use the Object Model when and wherever possible to replace directly accessing Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies databases, it provides protection in the form of supportability, reduces operational complexity, and enables an upgrade path for your solutions when the time arises and can manage database schema changes, all of which are not guaranteed when manipulating databases directly with Transact-SQL and/or other methods.


Resources


SharePoint Database Access


http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb861829.aspx


Office Development (Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies)


http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb931739.aspx

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Announcing the SharePoint Administration Toolkit

The Microsoft SharePoint Administration Toolkit contains functionality to help administrateer (good catch A Mondale) and manage Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services version 3.0. This toolkit contains two new functions – the ability to perform bulk operations on site collections and a Stsadm operation to update alert emails after a Web application has changed URLs.


 Download x86 | x64

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Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Products and Technologies

I’ve spent the past several days in Portland, Oregon speaking at a SharePoint Products and Technologies governance event and completely neglected to post any information on the now released Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 1.  For more information visit:  http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/12/11/announcing-the-release-of-wss-3-0-sp1-and-office-sharepoint-server-2007-sp1.aspx.

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Slipstream, not a phenomenon in Physics

Slipstream is a common term used at Microsoft to define the merging of patches or updates into the original installation sources of a program.

What are the benefits of slipstreaming….

Creating a slipstream image reduces the operational overhead required to introduce a specific build of software to include Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and/or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 into an environment.  For example, if an organization has standardized on a specific set of updates and/or patches that will be applied in a given configuration, these updates and/or patches can be included in the original installation sources and subsequently installed with the source application.  Slipstreaming a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and/or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a simple process providing you have access to the original and update sources…

Example (Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 + KB941422):

To install a specific Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 build such as 12.0.6039 which is the build number associated with KB941422:

  1. Download Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to C:TEMP on a Web front-end server
  2. Open a Command Prompt and navigate to C:TEMP
  3. Enter C:TEMPSharePoint.exe /extract:C:WSS and depress Enter

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  4. The contents of SharePoint.exe will be extracted to C:WSS

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  1. Download Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 KB941422 to C:TEMP on a Web front-end server
  2. Open a Command Prompt and navigate to C:TEMP
  3. Enter C:TEMPwss-kb941422-fullfile-x64-glb.exe /extract:C:WSSUpdates and depress Enter

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  4. The contents of wss-kb941422-fullfile-x64-glb.exe will be extracted to C:WSSUpdates

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When setup.exe is executed from C:WSS, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (RTM – build 12.0.4518) will be installed and KB941422 applied during the installation process.  The end result is an installation of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 build 12.0.6039 without the requirement of installing KB941422 separately and the requirement of running the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard to upgrade binaries on each server machine in the server farm.

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