Sunday, November 18, 2007

Argh-- WSS will no longer be a server role for Server 2008

Argh. Well, it's official. I knew, as of the release of the most recent build for 2008 (beta), that WSS 3.0 wasn't there as a server role, but I'd hoped it was something internal-- that it would come back.

Well, no. It seems that Server 2008 will not have SharePoint as a server role like it is for Server 2003 R2. This means that, when Server 2008 is released, WSS 3.0 will require a download and manual install, with all of the prep that would require.

Here's one of many blogs about it:

and a tiny peek at what you'll have to do to install WSS 3.0 on 2008:

It worries me for several reason. One is it implies that WSS is going to go through a version change soon, rendering my book somewhat obsolete months after it prints. Also, it implies that my existing implementations will soon require extensive upgrades as well-- so much work it boggles the mind. And it doesn't make me feel as if Microsoft is particularly confident about WSS as a product if they aren't willing to add it as a role to their new server product. What are they doing? Is it possible that there may no longer be a free, server role version of sharepoint in the future? (yes I know the blog seems pretty positive about offering WSS for free, but these are early days, and what exactly do they expect to have happen as part of the "development process"?) Is this a sign that MS regrets having both WSS and MOSS at one time and would like to eliminate WSS as a standalone product?

Man I hope not. However, I felt it necessary to give you the heads up. More on how to install WSS 3.0 on 2008 in detail soon, as well as ongoing information about what to expect when using it on server 2008.

Friday, November 16, 2007

IIS 7-- the adventure continues....

So I've done some more research about trying to backup sharepoint in IIS 7, and I am becoming more frustrated. Everywhere I look I am reassured that backups can be done using APPCMD, but that's just the metabase!! Sharepoint has to be able to backup the configuration files for the web sites because metabases are server specific, they cannot be restored to other servers. If sharepoint could only backup the metabase data for its web applications, then how is it possible to restore sharepoint to a different server? It's not. Therefore either it can't be restored to different servers (because it has to backup the metabase, not the configuration files), or it can be restored to a different server, and therefore, somehow, sharepoint is backing up the configuration files.

So which will it be?

Again, how do I backup individual configuration files in IIS 7?

Further, for those of you (like me) want to be able to do backup/restore in the GUI, someone has created a "module" (because IIS 7 has become "modularized") that adds backup-restore to the console. Here are a few links to get you started:

The blog post I prefer to help me set it up:

THe entry that backs it up and gives you the download:

Hmmm, so how's IIS 7 with WSS 3.0?

So the WSS 3.0 book has stalled, and I find myself sitting around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the production staff to do things. So while I wait I have accepted an offer to write some courseware. This courseware will be about WSS 3.0 on Server 2008. Thus, while I have some spare time, I installed Release Candidate Zero (RC0) of server 2008 to see what has changed (Back when I had to stop beta testing what was then called Longhorn, WSS wasn't working as a role yet). This is a public beta, and available here WSS 3.0 seems to work normally without much change (but I'll keep you posted if something bad happens). There is something different under the covers though. Significantly different. IIS 7.0.

IIS 7.0 has been released with Vista. IIS 7.0 is going to be used by Server 2008 (which stands to reason). In order for WSS 3.0 to work on Server 2008, IIS 7.0 has to have IIS 6.0 backwards compatibility enabled-- particularly the IIS 6.0 metabase support.

So, when you use IIS 7.0, expect a very, very different console, full of all kinds of icons, several sections of repetitive links, and less capabilities. There is no backing up in the GUI. You cannot right click a Web Site or application pool and back it up. There is also no way to right click and back up (or check the backups) of the metabase.

Now, the backups happen and they work. And you can still do SharePoint backups no problem-- so the configuration data for the web sites has to work. However, the problem for me occurs when I try to backup IIS 7 on my own, just to be thorough with my backups.

Like Exchange 2007, the GUI for IIS 7 isn't where all the work goes on. IIS uses the command line tool: APPCMD.exe.

So far, I am only able (as you will see when you try out the public Release Candidate) to backup the full metabase for the server (APPCMD add backup "backupname"), but there doesn't seem to be a way to backup individual web site configuration files.

If you know something I don't, namely, how to backup the configuration file for web sites (and restore them) in IIS 7, please let me know. And if I figure it out in the meantime, I'll let you know here.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

PartlyReduced-- It sounds good but what does it DO?

So I am editing chapter 13, a chapter I didn't write, about STSADM.

Now this chapter was written in a manner that I wouldn't have done, but still, it does a good job conveying how to use the command line tool to do stuff in SharePoint. Because if this I have trusted the author and have let him do his own edits up to this point.

But, due to the sake of time, I had to look it over before the book gets any more stale.

To that end I am looking at the brief section called "Search Managment". In it is a brief blurb about using search to control indexing. To that end there is really only a few things you can do, like change the index files location, or modify the performance level. He then shows the syntax of the spsearch -farmperformancelevel command, using PartlyReduced, and then moved on.

But, but, what does partly reduced do? What does Maximum do? Or Reduced (assuming it is more reduced than partly reduced, but still...)?

So I looked and looked and looked, and now know why he mentions it and moves on (and I did tell him to cover the needful stuff and move on). Because no one is able to tell me what the heck setting my index to partly reduce its performance actually does to the performance.

So, as soon as I get done with these edits, expect me to explore exactly what partlyreduced really, really does.

And here's another question: If you can do everything using STSADM that you can use in the GUI, what is the command to change the indexing schedule using STSADM? I can't find it anywhere.

These things and more coming up as your intrepid servergrrl pokes a stick in every corner of WSS she can find until there are no more corners to poke...