Plan overall design

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

This Office product will reach end of support on October 10, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see , Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

The articles in this chapter include:

In this article:

  • How to use this Planning Guide

  • What is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007?

  • Examples of solutions based on Office SharePoint Server 2007

  • Establishing the planning team

  • Planning for governance

How to use this Planning Guide

The content in this planning guide is designed to lead a team through the steps of planning and deploying a new solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The audiences for this guide are business application specialists, line of business specialists, information architects, IT generalists, program managers, and infrastructure specialists who are planning a solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007. Before using this guide, we recommend that you:

  • Review the Product evaluation for Office SharePoint Server 2007 to learn about the features of Office SharePoint Server 2007. This will help ensure that Office SharePoint Server 2007 meets your functional and IT needs, and it will help you envision and plan your solution.

  • Define the organizational goals you want to achieve with a solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007.

  • Define the vision and scope of the solution.

This planning guide has been organized into two stages. The first stage guides you in determining the types of Web sites your organization needs, the features of each site, and the interactions among the sites that meet your enterprise goals. Out of this stage of planning, you will develop a set of worksheets that will help determine the details of your site and feature needs. These worksheets will help you record information such as:

  • Sites and site hierarchies

  • Relationships between sites

  • Features of sites

  • Site customizations

Along with filling in the worksheets that accompany this document, we recommend that you incorporate your site and feature planning decisions into a conceptual design document that:

  • Defines the purpose of the solution you are planning

  • Describes the implementation of the solution

  • Provides data, flowcharts, illustrations, and other information needed to plan the solution deployment

After you have determined how your solution will work, the second planning stage guides you in making a series of deployment planning decisions. In this stage, you will develop a set of worksheets that will help determine the implementation of your deployment. These worksheets will help you record information such as:

  • Deployment design

  • Physical topologies

  • Database design

  • Security design

  • Service-level agreements

Along with filling in the worksheets that accompany this document, we recommend that you incorporate your deployment planning decisions into a design specification document that:

  • Defines hardware requirements

  • Describes the physical system design

  • Provides data, diagrams, and other information useful to the team implementing the deployment

After you plan your sites and features and plan the deployment, the Deployment for Office SharePoint Server 2007 guide will guide you in implementing your Office SharePoint Server 2007 deployment. The process is illustrated below:

The planning process

This guide includes a companion set of worksheets for recording information related to your planning and deployment activities. To best achieve your solution planning and deployment goals, use the supplied worksheets to record the results of your planning decisions as you use this guide.


For a description of the steps needed to plan the migration and deployment of an existing solution to Office SharePoint Server 2007, see Upgrading to Office SharePoint Server 2007.

What is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007?

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a rich server application for the enterprise that facilitates collaboration, provides full content management features, implements business processes, and provides access to information essential to organizational goals and processes. It provides an integrated platform to plan, deploy, and manage intranet, extranet, and Internet applications across and beyond the enterprise.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 facilitates the creation and deployment of feature-rich and content-rich Web sites, including organizational portal sites, Internet presence sites, team collaboration sites, and specialized sites such as content repositories or meeting workspaces. Although Office SharePoint Server 2007 is customizable and has a rich object model, it comes with a full set of features, such as ready-to-use Web site and portal templates, Web Parts, lists, libraries, workflows, and site variations to tailor content to different cultures, markets, and geographic regions.

By using Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can plan and implement business processes that integrate with existing systems by means of XML-based electronic forms and the Business Data Catalog. Workflows included in Office SharePoint Server 2007 automate common business processes such as document review and approval, issue tracking, and signature collection. Office SharePoint Server 2007 workflows are based on the Windows Workflow Foundation, and Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports developing and deploying custom workflows to implement enterprise-specific business processes.

Solutions based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 can provide organization-wide access to business intelligence and other information stored in Office SharePoint Server 2007 or in line-of-business systems such as SAP. The Business Data Catalog enables you to include data from back-end systems in lists, Web Parts, pages, and search results. Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides access to real-time, interactive Office Excel 2007 spreadsheets from a Web browser. You can plan to integrate reports, key performance indicators, and business dashboards into your solution. Office SharePoint Server 2007 search provides access to information, people, and expertise.

You can plan and implement content management solutions based on Office SharePoint Server 2007. Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 functionality has been integrated into Office SharePoint Server 2007 and enhanced to support authoring, staging, and publishing custom Web sites. Office SharePoint Server 2007 document management features support each stage of documents' life cycles, from template creation to document authoring, reviewing, sharing, auditing, and ultimately archiving or destroying. Records management capabilities built into Office SharePoint Server 2007 help your enterprise collect, manage, and dispose of corporate records in a consistent and uniform manner based on your company's policies.

Because Office SharePoint Server 2007 is built on and includes the full features of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, it is an ideal tool for collaboration. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides a consistent, familiar framework for lists and document libraries, site administration, and site customization. The extensible Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 framework facilitates building custom solutions that span multiple sites and complex architectures.

For a full Office SharePoint Server 2007 product and feature overview, see the Product evaluation for Office SharePoint Server 2007 guide.

Examples of solutions based on Office SharePoint Server 2007

Here are examples of typical solutions that can be built using Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007:

  • Online news magazine   A publishing organization uses Office SharePoint Server 2007 to build their branded online magazine site. Article submissions come from inside and outside the organization to be reviewed and accepted by staff editors. This Internet site has a strong community presence because users can log on for personalized information, and it has an extensive search component.

    The Internet site includes subsites for current news and editorials; blogs; and regular columns about politics, business, health, people, personal finance, and science and technology. The site also enables users to sign in to interact with each other and to comment on articles published on the site.

  • Controlled distribution of financial data to clients and business partners   A bank deploys a solution based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 to take advantage of Excel Services. The solution enables bank managers to communicate efficiently with clients by providing controlled access to specified workbooks that can be rendered with view-only permissions in a Web browser. The workbooks are accessible in document libraries on a portal; this enables the bank to restrict the availability of financial data to clients who have authenticated access to the portal.

  • Online permit application   A local government agency uses Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 to provide permit application and approval to contractors over the Internet. Contractors use the Web site to apply for permits using an online service. Data entered into the permit application Web form is submitted to a database in the government's Department of Building Inspections network.

    After the application data is submitted, a new permit request (a multi-part Office InfoPath 2007 form) is automatically populated to a workspace. When the form is opened, the requesting contractor's company and permit application data is populated into the form's fields. If the request is approved, an electrical permit (also populated with the requestor's contact data and relevant information) is rendered in HTML and posted to the Department of Building Inspections permit site, where the contractor can view and print the permit for posting at the construction site.

  • Departmental portal site   A product development department within a medium-sized company uses Office SharePoint Server 2007 to take advantage of its search, content aggregation, business application integration, collaboration, and personalization features. The department develops a portal site that becomes an essential part of the product development process, hosting their knowledge base, product specifications, an organization chart, individual My Sites for team members, and a home page that broadcasts schedule information, product success stories, and other important news. The installation grows from an isolated small server farm into a well-developed medium server farm implementation that uses a combination of intra-farm and inter-farm shared services within a larger deployment across the entire company.

  • Equity research   A large investment bank uses Office SharePoint Server 2007 to develop a set of Web sites that facilitate quickly developing, reviewing, and publishing equities research notes, reports, and models in a variety of formats. Using the integrated Office SharePoint Server 2007 platform, the solution designers implement a portal site for authoring and reviewing research notes and models; an Internet site for presenting the content to customers; a staging site to test the Internet site; and a records repository site for retaining models and research notes to meet regulatory requirements. Using custom features, the set of sites (distributed over multiple server farms) supports the rapid and automated flow of content from site to site and from team member to team member as content moves through its stages toward publication.

  • Records management   An appliance manufacturer's legal division implements a records management solution using the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Record Repository site template. Based on their file plan, the division implements and configures policies, content types, and document libraries to retain each type of record the division manages. The records managers adjust easily to the record repository site's familiar SharePoint interface while taking advantage of its built-in records management features. These features support properly storing incoming records, retaining each type of record for the legally mandated period, putting records on hold, and approving of their disposition. The records management programmable interface let teams in the organization integrate their document management and e-mail systems with the record repository site using the Web service APIs.

  • Corporate Internet presence site   An international automobile manufacturer has headquarters in Germany; a major subsidiary in Michigan serving the North American market; and regional offices throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The products are sold internationally, and distinct manufacturing operations serve each regional market. The company's Internet presence Web site is built, administered, and authored using Office SharePoint Server 2007. It is the focal point for the corporate marketing efforts, and it includes subsites for each product line along with areas for press releases, investment information, company information, and career opportunities.

    Each corporate brand has its own marketing department with individuals responsible for writing that brand's content and updating it on the Web site. The corporate communication department controls the look and feel of the site to make sure the branding and messaging are consistent. The site includes site variations that tailor its content to different languages, cultures, markets, and geographic regions.

    Using Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web sites, the writers for each brand author the site's content and route it for review and approval while managing the creation of multilingual content versions. Using scheduled workflows, the approved and localized content is copied to staging sites where it is tested and ultimately deployed to the public site.

Establishing the planning team

A well-planned solution based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 will promote better collaboration, content management, knowledge discovery, and business processes across your organization while being secure, cost-effective, and manageable for your IT department. To satisfy this broad set of goals, it is important to identify key stakeholders across all relevant disciplines and include them in your planning team. They include:

  • Managers and other organizational leaders who understand the requirements of the business processes that Office SharePoint Server 2007 will be used to implement.

  • IT professionals and business unit IT specialists who will be tasked with proposing a solution that implements the desired business processes, and with deploying and maintaining the solution across one or more server farms.

  • Site designers to plan the user experience and visual design of the sites and the templates that will comprise the solution.

  • Developers to determine the scope and design of required custom features, such as workflows, forms, and Web Parts.

  • Testers who will ensure that the site's features are correct and that site deployment and administration function as specified.

Planning for governance

Governance is the set of policies, roles, responsibilities, and processes that you establish in your enterprise to guide, direct, and control how it uses technologies to accomplish business goals. Deploying Office SharePoint Server 2007 in your enterprise provides rich new capabilities such as online collaboration, document management, business intelligence, and Web publishing. To strike the right balance between the needs of the users of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the IT professionals who deploy and operate it, we recommend that you form a governing body that includes representatives of all stakeholders in the Office SharePoint Server deployment. This body can then create and enforce rules that govern the use of Office SharePoint Server in the enterprise.

To help you determine the aspects of your Office SharePoint Server 2007 deployment to govern and for descriptions of governance techniques, see Plan governance.

For additional information to help your governance planning and implementation, we provide a Web page, Governance Information for SharePoint Server 2007 (, that provides a rich set of SharePoint Products and Technologies governance resources, including:

  • Feature articles and white papers about governance

  • Content about governance for IT pros

  • Content about governance for developers

  • Links to governance-related tools

  • Links to partner organizations with governance-related services and products

  • Links to governance-related community resources

The Governance Information for SharePoint Server 2007 page will be updated frequently with new feature articles and other resources.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.