Manage inter-farm shared services (Office SharePoint Server)

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2015-03-09

You can configure a single Shared Services Provider (SSP) to provide services — for example, Search and User Profiles — to multiple Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 farms. An SSP that is used across farms provides centralized administration of services and reduces duplicate services. This can reduce the amount of hardware and other resources that are required to provide these shared services.

Inter-farm shared services enable Web applications from one farm to use shared services from another farm.


Inter-farm shared services should not be confused with intra-farm shared services. Intra-farm shared services mean that the server farm uses the shared services of an SSP hosted within the farm.

Inter-farm shared services are provided by a parent farm to one or more child farms. To take advantage of inter-farm shared services, a parent farm must be configured to provide shared services to child farms while child farms must be configured to use shared services from a parent farm.

The following considerations and limitations apply to inter-farm shared services:

  • A farm cannot be both a parent farm and a child farm.

  • Only one SSP per farm can participate in inter-farm shared services.

    • Parent farms can use only one SSP to provide services to child farms. However, a parent farm can include more than one SSP for its own use.

    • Child farms can only use services from one parent SSP. However, a child farm can provide one or more SSPs for its own use.

  • Inter-farm SSPs are not supported across a wide-area network (WAN). A child farm cannot be associated with an SSP of a parent farm if the two farms are separated by WAN links.

  • Excel Services cannot be provided by an SSP of a parent farm. The SSP that provides Excel Services must be provided by an SSP on the child farm. A Web application can be configured to use all other services from a parent farm while using Excel Services provided by a local SSP. This is the only circumstance in which a Web application can use services from two different SSPs.

Task Requirements

The following are required to perform the procedure for this task:

  • When one farm provides services to another farm, the SSP in the farm that is providing the services and the SSP in the farm that is using the shared services provided by the other farm’s SSP both must be configured in their respective farms.

  • Parent farms must have all the Office server products installed that are used by the child farms. For example, if a child farm includes Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, Office Project Server 2007 must be installed on the parent farm for shared services to work correctly. If a child farm uses the Enterprise edition of the Client Access License (CAL), then the parent farm must also use the Enterprise edition CAL (instead of the Standard edition). The one exception to this design requirement is the Excel Services service.

  • If the parent and child farms reside in different domains or forests, there must be a trust relationship configured between the domains or the forests. Additionally, if the two farms reside in different forests, Active Directory replication between the separate and trusted forest must be working correctly.


Membership in the Farm Administrators SharePoint group is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

Manage inter-farm shared services

Use this procedure to manage inter-farm shared services. After this procedure is completed, the farm provides shared services to or uses shared services provided by another farm, or does not participate in inter-farm shared services.

Manage inter-farm shared services

  1. On the SharePoint Central Administration home page, on the top link bar, click Application Management.

  2. On the Application Management page, in the Office SharePoint Server Shared Services section, click Grant or configure shared services between farms.

  3. On the Manage Shared Services between Farms page, select one of the options in the following table.

Option Action

This farm does not participate in shared services between farms

Click OK.

This farm will provide shared services to other farms

  1. In the Provide Shared Services section, on the SSP Name menu, click the SSP that will provide the shared services.

  2. In the Users box, type user names that will be used for SSP process accounts.

  3. Click OK.


    To configure a child farm, you need the following information:

    • Database server of the parent farm

    • Configuration database name of the parent farm

    In SQL Server, you must add the child farm administrator account to the db_datareader role on the configuration database of the parent farm.After the child farm has been configured to consume shared services from the parent farm, the parent farm administrator must be granted Full Read permissions on each Web application of the child farm (by using the Policy for Web Application page).

This farm will consume shared services from another farm

  1. In the Consume Shared Services section, in the Database Server box, type the name of the database server for the configuration database of the farm that will provide the shared services.

  2. In the Database Name box, type the name of the configuration database.

  3. In the Database Authentication section, select one of the following:

    • Windows authentication (recommended)

    • SQL authentication. If you select this option, type the account in the form domain\user name and password in the corresponding boxes.

  4. In the Local Excel Services section, on the SSP Name menu, click the local SSP that will provide resources to Excel Services.

  5. Click OK.

See Also


Plan Shared Services Providers
Plan SSP architecture