Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First looks at SharePoint on SBS 2008

So I have spent a little time fiddling with Sharepoint (a la Companyweb) on SBS 2008 and have the following observations:

 

1. During the default installation it appears that Sharepoint data and programs get installed onto the C: partition. This seems to be the case with all the applications. You need a minimum partition size of around 65GB to complete the install. You maybe able to change this if you use the answer file method of installation. If you have a lot of existing Comapnyweb data or plan to then it is probably a good idea to relocate the Sharepoint data before you get too much further along the implementation.

 

2. It appears Companyweb is installed using the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition. This means that there is no database size limit but it also means that the Sharepoint farm can't be expanded and the Embedded Edition of SQL can't be upgraded. It also means by default that the Sharepoint data is on the C: drive under the Windows directory.

 

3. The move Sharepoint data wizard works really well. Running this wizard will allow you to move your Sharepoint data to another drive on your system. When you do move the data it simply replicates the same directory structure on the new drive. By default this means you will end up with a Windows directory on the drive under which will be the Sharepoint data (maybe confusing later on?). Interestingly, the wizard is smart enough to actually move the current content database rather than just the file. In my case because I had done a migration to a new content database I was afraid that it wouldn't relocate it because it was a different name. But nope, it moved it. The wizards appears to move the data file, config file and search files by detaching the SQL databases, relocating them and reattaching. Pretty neat I'll admit.

 

4. The default Companyweb installation has an item 'Fax Center' clearly the intended destination for faxes. Under this it has a number of sub-folders for incoming, outgoing faxes etc. Since my Companyweb migration was going to cream this I saved it as a template and then added it back to Companyweb after the migration, with exactly the same name and the fax configuration wizard picked it up. So it appears that if you delete 'Fax Center' in Sharepoint you can recreate it provided you use the name 'Fax Center' and the Fax configuration wizard will pick it up as a destination to route faxes. I'd like to know a bit more about how this actually works and how I could direct faxes to different document libraries I admit.

 

5. I noticed that Companyweb has a item 'Archive emails'. I wonder what that is for? I wonder whether Exchange 2007 can archive old emails into this? That would be pretty cool if it could. Something worth further investigation when I get a chance. Anyone out there know?

 

6. Companyweb is obviously now 64 bit (since SBS 2008 is 64 bit) combined with the addition of more memory and better disk speeds the performance is much quicker than it was before. Admittedly, this was only a test machine but I get the impression that Companyweb will perform pretty well in new SBS 2008 installation. This will hopefully mean that more people will use it!

 

7. I am not sure whether Companyweb will forgo inbound emails because it is on the same box as an Exchange server. This was the case previously in SBS 2003 but maybe different in SBS 2008, I'll need to look into that. If you go for SBS 2008 Premium you can always install Sharepoint on the second server and configure inbound emails there I suppose. I have the feeling that Companyweb still won't support inbound emails but I can't say definitely until I do some more research.

 

8. The migration of Companyweb from SBS 2003 appears to migrate the data to a new site called Oldcompanyweb on the SBS 2008 server. As I have said previously, I haven't fully tested this but it is going to mean a bit of work for people who have invested a lot of information in the old Companyweb. Don't forget all those people who have implemented Sharepoint v3 on SBS 2003 as well, there doesn't appear to be anything in the migration notes about that. I think there are probably easier ways to migrate the old Companyweb data but I need to understand what Microsoft recommends before I make any assumptions. So another thing to the 'to do' list.

 

So there you have it. A few quick impressions of what I see of Companyweb on SBS 2008. There is still plenty of testing to do but from what I see so far I think Sharepoint v3 on SBS 2008 will work pretty well.