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Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is a free add-on to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2008 providing a fully functional web portal with the following features:

  • Content Management system.
  • Collaboration tools
  • Shared calendars and contact lists
  • Alerts (including e-mail alerts)
  • Discussion boards
  • Blogs and Wikis
  • Document Management providing a central repository for shared documents
  • Web-based collaboration, collaborative editing of shared documents, and document workspaces
  • Content Publishing including publishing workflows
  • Access control and revision control for documents in a library
  • Browser-based management and administration.
  • Help desk and bug tracking
  • Room and Equipment Reservations
  • Physical Asset Tracking
  • Sales Pipeline
  • Customizable web pages using dashboards, web parts, and navigation tools
  • Network load balancing and web farm support
  • Firewall and DMZ support

In addition to its portal functionality, installation of WSS on a server makes available the complete object model and APIs underpinning Microsoft SharePoint technology. This includes a collection of web parts that can be embedded into web pages to provide SharePoint functionality such as dashboards, document workspaces, lists, alerts, calendaring, contact lists, discussion boards, and wikis in a custom web site.

WSS is provided as a free download from Microsoft for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later and is added to the Microsoft .NET Framework. WSS is only provided for Microsoft servers and cannot be deployed on any other OS. WSS 3 downloads includes the core package and a set of "Application Templates" to add functionality to the basic installation.

WSS technologies are at the core of several of Microsoft's commercial portal technologies. Specifically, WSS 3 underlies Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), and WSS 2 was the framework beneath SharePoint Portal Server 2003.


Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) includes several major components:

  • An underlying framework including an object model, persistent storage of content and configuration in SQL server databases, and ASP.NET controls for presenting the content
  • A management web site for managing a "web farm" consisting of one or more servers hosting one or more web sites
  • Built in template sites and pages that can be used to quickly create your own sites and add pages and libraries to existing sites
  • Site editing web controls that allow you to edit the structure of your web site, modify the layout and contents of individual pages, create new workspaces and lists, and edit the schema of existing objects
  • An indexer that crawls content databases indexing their contents for fast searching
  • A collection of additional template sites and pages, including additional logic in code, known as "Application Templates"
  • A configuration wizard that helps you get an initial site set up within minutes

SharePoint serves content via IIS Web Sites. They can use either Microsoft SQL Server or the Windows Internal Database to store their data. The web sites can be configured to return separate content for Intranet, Extranet and Internet locations. In WSS website deployments have no licensing implications since the WSS software is free, but licenses are required to run Microsoft's commercial portal products.

Multiple WSS servers can be configured as part of a "server farm", which allows them to share configuration and content databases. Server farms can consist of a single server or span hundreds or thousands of servers. Each server in the farm's entire content - for load balancing scenarios - or just selected portions of the content. The data in the farm can be spread into up to 9,900 "content databases." Replication of farm data is handled using SQL Server's replication and clustering abilities.

SharePoint uses a similar LDAP permissions model to Microsoft Windows, via groups of users. This can be provided via Active Directory. Alternatively, other authentication providers can be added through or even HTML Forms authentication.

Downloads and Installation

WSS 3 can be downloaded for free from Microsoft and installed on a Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 or later [1] In May 2008, Bamboo Solutions published a way to install WSS 3 on Vista. [2] Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Templates is a separate download on the Microsoft web site that installs additional templates. [3]

WSS 2 can still be downloaded for free from Microsoft and installed on a Windows Server 2003 or later. [4]

Special installation note for Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 or SBS 2003 R2: There is a bug such that upgrading from WSS 2 to WSS 3 on these operating systems may cause some SharePoint features to fail. Microsoft only supports installing via a "side by side" installation on SBS 2003; this means creating a new SharePoint website and migrating the content across. Neither SBS 2008 nor any version of Windows Server is affected by this bug.


The first version, called SharePoint Team Services (usually abbreviated to STS), was released at the same time as Office XP and was available as part of Microsoft FrontPage. STS could run on Windows 2000 Server or Windows XP.

Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 was marketed as an upgrade to SharePoint Team Services, but was in fact a completely redesigned application[5]. SharePoint Team Services stored documents in ordinary file storage, keeping document metadata in a database. Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 on the other hand, stores both the document and the metadata in a database, and supports basic document versioning for items in Document Libraries. Service Pack 2 for WSS added support for SQL Server 2005 and the use of the .NET Framework 2.0.

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 was released on November 16, 2006 as part of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite and Windows Server 2003. WSS 3.0 is built using .NET Framework 2.0 and .NET Framework 3.0 Windows Workflow Foundation to add workflow capabilities to the basic suite. By the beginning of 2007 WSS 3.0 was made available to the public. Windows 2000 Server is not supported by WSS 3.0.

WSS version 3 marked a significant maturation of the product. Version 3 supported more features commonly used in Web 2.0 solutions like Blogs, Wikis and RSS feeds.

Microsoft has changed the name beginning with version 4.0 to SharePoint Foundation 2010. [6] [7]


A default WSS 3 farm contains the following features:

  • Sites and Workspaces
  • Document Libraries
  • Document Workspaces
  • Collaborative editing with Microsoft Office integration
  • Calendars
  • Contact Lists
  • Task Lists
  • Alerts
  • Discussion Boards
  • Blogs
  • Wikis, including RSS feeds and an WYSIWYG editor
  • Announcements
  • Image Libraries
  • Form Libraries
  • Project Tracking (Gantt Charts)
  • Issue Tracking
  • Link Lists
  • Workflows
  • Revision Control
  • Access Control
  • Custom Pages
  • Web Part Pages
  • Dashboard
  • Search
  • Site Navigation
  • Backup and Restore
  • User Management
  • Central Administration web site

After installing the packages from the separately downloaded Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Templates the following additional features are also available:

  • Absence Request and Vacation Schedule Management
  • Help Desk
  • Budgeting and Tracking Multiple Projects
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Bug Database
  • IT Team Workspace
  • Call Center
  • Job Requisition and Interview Management
  • Change Request Management
  • Knowledge Base
  • Compliance Process Support Site
  • Lending Library
  • Contacts Management
  • Physical Asset Tracking and Management
  • Document Library and Review
  • Project Tracking Workspace
  • Event Planning
  • Room and Equipment Reservations
  • Expense Reimbursement and Approval Site
  • Sales Lead Pipeline
  • Board of Directors
  • Employee Training Scheduling and Materials
  • Business Performance Rating
  • Equity Research
  • Case Management for Government Agencies
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign Tracking
  • Classroom Management
  • Manufacturing Process Management
  • Clinical Trial Initiation and Management
  • New Store Opening
  • Competitive Analysis Site
  • Product and Marketing Requirements Planning
  • Discussion Database
  • Request for Proposal
  • Disputed Invoice Management
  • Sports League
  • Employee Activities Site
  • Team Work Site
  • Employee Self-Service Benefits
  • Timecard Management

Technical Details

Use of ASP.NET web parts within SharePoint

A SharePoint page is built by combining the web parts into a web page, to be accessed using a browser. Any web editor supporting ASP.NET can be used for this purpose, even though Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer is the preferred editor. The extent of customization of the page depends on its design.

WSS pages are ASP.NET applications, and SharePoint web parts use the ASP.NET web parts infrastructure, and using the ASP.NET APIs, web parts can be written to extend the functionality of WSS. In terms of programmability, WSS exposes an API and object model to programmatically create and manage portals, workspaces and users. In contrast, the MOSS API is more geared towards automation of tasks and integration with other applications.[8] Both WSS and MOSS can use the web parts API to enhance the end user functionality. In addition, WSS document libraries can be exposed over ADO.NET connections to programmatically access the files and revisions in them.

How web requests are handled in WSS 3

At the web server level, WSS configures IIS to forward all requests, regardless of file and content types, to the ASP.NET session hosting the WSS web application, which either makes a certain revision of a certain file available from the database or takes other actions. Unlike regular ASP.NET applications, the .aspx which contains the WSS (and MOSS) application code, resides in SQL Server databases instead of the filesystem. As such, the regular ASP.NET runtime cannot process the file. Instead, WSS plugs a custom Virtual Path Provider component[9] into the ASP.NET pipeline, which fetches the .aspx files from the database for processing. With this feature, introduced with WSS 3.0, both the WSS application as well as the data it generates and manages, could be stored in a database.

SharePoint API overview

Windows SharePoint Services includes an object model that allows programs to manipulate the structure of SharePoint Sites. The main hierarchy of API object classes is:

  • SPWebApplication is an entire Web Application
  • SPContentDatabase is a Content Database used within a web application and stored in a separate SQL database
  • SPSite is a Site Collection that includes multiple sites, similar to an IIS virtual directory
  • SPWeb is a Web Site or a web page, typically an .aspx file
  • SPList is a List on a web site
  • SPListItem is an item in a list
  • SPField is a field of an item in a list

All of these classes are found in the Microsoft.SharePoint namespace in the assembly Microsoft.SharePoint.dll, which is located in the Global Assembly Cache.

SharePoint is built on top of ASP.NET, so it uses many familiar ASP.NET concepts such as .aspx files, master pages, and web parts. Within a .aspx page, the SharePoint objects can be accessed using the SPContext.Current object, for example:

== 的SPWeb currentWeb = SPContext.Current.Web;↵的foreach(子網站的SPWeb在currentWeb.Webs)↵的foreach(在subWeb.Lists SPList列表)↵↵... == Understanding SharePoint lists (SPList objects) is central to understanding how SharePoint manages information. Essentially everything that is managed by SharePoint will be in a list at some level. For example, the Quick Launch of a Windows SharePoint Services site presents a hierarchy of sites, subsites, and lists (including lists of lists), instead of pages as such. If you add a page to such a site, the new page appears in the Quick Launch as a new item in a list of shared documents, not as a child node under the home page or some other page[10]

Third-party packages for Windows SharePoint Services

SharePoint提供一種方式,公司發布的軟件包和模板可以加載到Windows SharePoint Services和用於添加自定義功能。許多這樣的套餐可供選擇,例如社區工具包的SharePoint ↵ ☃☃ ,包括增強了SharePoint的維基和博客的特點。


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