Installing SharePoint

Just so you know the real lay of the land out there, installing SharePoint means making your way through eight (count ’em, eight) high-level steps in order to get SharePoint set up. Not only that, to progress through these steps, you’re going to need the cooperation of many people.

Note that these steps just cover the installation of SharePoint. After you complete these steps, you have a functioning SharePoint installation - nice job! - but you can’t afford to rest on your laurels yet. You still have to implement SharePoint.

But first, here’s my list of eight high-level steps you’ll be facing:

1. Planning your installation.

The planning process requires you to identify how many users you have and how you expect them to use SharePoint. You have to think about how critical SharePoint is for your organization so you can plan how much redundancy to put into your installation.

2. Building and preparing your servers.

Microsoft recommends that you use at least two servers for SharePoint. You may find you need to use three or four servers to provide the level of redundancy and availability that your organization requires.

3. Installing SharePoint on your servers and running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard on each server.

You must install SharePoint on each server and run a wizard to configure SharePoint on the server.

4. Enabling SharePoint services on your servers.

The services you run on your server determine the server’s role in your SharePoint installation. For example, you may have one server dedicated to serving Web pages and another to running databases.

5. Creating Web applications for administrative and content sites.

You must create Web applications to store the Web pages for SharePoint’s administrative sites and for the content sites that your end users will access. You determine the number of Web applications to create based on your planning.

6. Creating the Shared Services Provider (SSP) for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS).

If you’re installing MOSS 2007, you must enable a special feature in MOSS called Shared Services Provider. The SSP makes it possible to share the SharePoint services across servers.

7. Configuring content sites and site collections.

You have to create containers - structures such as sites - to store your site’s content. A small-to-medium size company may have only one content site and site collection. A larger organization may choose to create separate site collections for each division in the company.

8. Completing post-installation steps.

A number of services must be configured and administrative tasks must be completed before your SharePoint installation is fully operational.