WSS3.0 Adm: Farms, WebApps, SiteCollections and Sites

When you have to choose scope for your feature you have to choose between:

  1. Farm
  2. WebApplication
  3. Site (SiteCollection)
  4. Web (Site)

This post links those words with the visual presentation of sites.
First a look at sites in a browser and secondly a look at how to create them.

Review server and site architechture of WSS:

Server ArchitectureSite Architecture

Map scope to browser images

1. Farm:

You will not see in a browser if a site is served by one or many web front end (WFE) servers, but from ASP.NET2.0 you could know that session handling is dependant of where to store session info. If there are several WFE’s then central storage is needed. WSS handles this without you have to change in Web.config manually. Use Operations in Central Administration for that.

2. WebApplication

A webapp is a top level address into your WFE. It does not have to have any sites in it like here:

If you want several WebApps in your farm, you distinguish them by using different ip addresses, ports or host headers. This is normal IIS Web site operation, but you must use Application Management in Central Administration for that.
First after creating a SiteCollection in the WepApplication you will have a visual site page.
The Application pages are available, but in most cases they are dependant of the context of a site, which makes most of them useless without being in that context.

3. SiteCollection

Bingo – there is a hit, when you have created a SiteCollection. In a SiteCollection there will be a viewable site called the TopLevel site or the RootWeb.
Notice: The page shown is reached from pressing Sites from the left menu – the quicklaunch menu.

The most important part here is the breadcrumb menu (saying “Team Site > All Site Content). This shows the path from the SiteCollection (called Team Site) down to the current page (called “All Site Content”).
From the breadcrumb menu you can then map with the address:

  • RootWeb: Team Site = //spvm
  • Current Page: All Site Content = /_layouts/viewlsts.aspx

Notice: In many cases you see the RootWeb will have the address //mywebapp/sites/myrootweb. With that naming rule it is also easy to see that you can have many sitecollections (= rootwebs) under each webapp.
This URL to your RootWeb is configurable:

If you are in doubt press the root (left) of the breadcrumb menu and see what the URL is.

When you choose the SiteCollection scope, then all sites below are included.

4. Site

Well, the site above in the SiteColletion is also a site, but a special one called the RootWeb or the TopLevel site. So here is shown a child site to the rootweb above. The Site scope is only comprising this site alone and not any sites below or beside.

Again: From the breadcrumb menu you can then map with the address:

  • RootWeb: Team Site = //spvm
  • Site: Child site1 = /chld1
  • Current Page: All Site Content = /_layouts/viewlsts.aspx

Notice: In this case, when the site is a child of the root, the Site is also on the toplink bar (to the right of Home)!

Yet a child site (grand child)


Again: From the breadcrumb menu you can then map with the address:

  • RootWeb: Team Site = //spvm
  • Site: Child site1 = /chld1
  • Site: Grand Child site11 = /gchld11
  • Current Page: All Site Content = /_layouts/viewlsts.aspx

Notice: In this case, when the site is a grandchild, the Site is not on the toplink bar, but it can be on the quicklaunch menu of the parent site!

Map scope to creating sites

1. Farm

To be added. I think the farm is created, when WSS is installed.

You must use Operations in Central Administration (or STSADM) for modifying a Farm.

2. WebApplicaion

You must use Application Management in Central Administration (or STSADM) for creating a WebApplication.

Click Create or extend Web application:

Create WebApp 1/2

Two things should be kept in mind here:

  • One reason to make yet a WebApp can be because the size of the DB is getting too big. The size of a DB shoud be max 100 GB due to the time it takes to restore a DB.
  • Make a naming convention for the DB: WSS_Content_<webappname>_<port>_<Prod|Test|Dev>

STSADM operations:

Response:

Tip: If you already have a WebApp running internal for your intranet, you can extend it for the extranet. Click Create or Extend once more and select extend:

3. SiteCollection

As above you must use Application Management in Central Administration (or STSADM) for creating a SiteCollection.

Click Create site collection:

 Select first the WebApp you want to add a SiteCollection to. A popup window appears:

 

If you want more SiteCollections under the chosen WebApp then you could add sub SiteCollections blow a path:

If the path /sites/ don’t suite you, then define another path by clicking on Define Managed Paths.

Click OK to create the SiteCollection and the RootWeb. Response:

Click on the link to see your RootWeb in your SiteCollection:

4. Site

Now when you have a RootWeb you can close SP Central Administration.

The work for creating Child Sites and Pages in the SiteCollection is now handed over to whoever you added as SiteCollection Administrator.

Here the entrypoint is Site Actions – Create:

Click Site and Workspaces.

Now you can enter your new site and create a subsite to that site:

Notice: You don’t get the choise to add a link on the toplink bar, when you are using the toplink bar from the parent, when you are making a grand child site, but child sites do get this option!

The End.

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