Architectural Decisions

The Partner Portal application is a relatively complex SharePoint application. It demonstrates many SharePoint features that are used by enterprise-scale applications. These features include the following:

  • It can be used to provide an extranet for external organizations. The extranet includes collaboration sites.
  • It can be used to publish and deploy content.
  • It can be used to integrate line-of-business (LOB) information with the application and create published content that includes LOB information.
  • It can be used to aggregate and cross-link information and navigation across SharePoint sites.
  • It can be used to demonstrate best practices for performance and manageability issues.

This section explains some of the design choices that dictated the Partner Portal application's architecture. Many of the individual decisions are covered in greater depth elsewhere in the guidance, and this topic does not discuss every decision. In particular, it does not give detailed information about the design patterns that were implemented. For more information about patterns, see Design Patterns.

Instead, this topic discusses the following high-level considerations:

  • Site Design Overview. This section discusses the overall design of the Partner Portal site.
  • Security Decisions. This section discusses the decisions about the authentication and authorization processes.
  • Integration Decisions. This section discusses how the Partner Portal application was integrated with external business systems.

For more information about designing extranet sites, see Planning an Extranet Environment for Office SharePoint Server.

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