Internet presence scenario: Plan solution management

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14


This article is one of a series of articles that describes an end-to-end scenario that outlines how to plan, design, build, and maintain an enterprise's Internet presence Web site based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

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Plan the site

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Determine governance

Beginning of scenario

Internet presence scenario

The solution architect, solution developer, and content manager plan how the solution will be managed. Solution management includes the following:

  • Identifying elements of the solution to manage

  • Identifying the environments: the server farms that the Infrastructure team needs to develop, author, and publish the solution.

  • The processes that the Solutions team will need to build the solution and propagate the solution from one server farm to another.

Determining solution elements to manage


The planning team first determines the types of solution elements that Web authors, site designers, and developers will create.


Authored site elements include the following:

  • Master pages

  • Layout pages

  • Content types

  • Style sheet definitions

  • Graphic files

  • Articles and other content

Software elements:

  • A custom navigation control that expands and collapses to help users navigate the product catalog

  • A custom field control to display animations

  • A custom business data catalog solution and Web part to connect to the Career Opportunities database and enable users to interact with it

Determining solution management environments


The planning team determines the environments that they need to manage the various elements and processes in the solution.


  • An authoring environment in which site content will be authored and approved for publication. This will also be the environment that site designers use to create layouts, master pages, and other site artifacts. This environment includes an Office SharePoint Server 2007 farm along with the workstations that site designers, authors, and editors use.

  • A development environment in which custom site elements will be developed. This includes developer server workstations, a source control system, and a small Office SharePoint Server 2007 integration farm for integrating the various coded elements and testing them by using sample content.

  • A production environment in which the Internet presence site is available to site visitors. This includes two server farms:

    • The primary publishing farm

    • A parallel but smaller farm that provides failover in case the primary farm becomes unavailable, and that also will be used to pilot new site features.


Determining solution management processes

Next, the Solutions team determines the set of processes for propagating content and solutions through the various environments.

Reviewing and approving content


Content authoring and approval will take place in the authoring farm. This is the primary purpose of that farm. To help assure that all content has been reviewed and approved before it is published, authored content will have major/minor versioning enabled, check-ins and check-outs will be required, and the default Approval workflow will be required to approve content.


Propagating the site design


Completed and approved site artifacts —master pages, layout pages, style sheets, and other design elements — must be propagated to the other farms on which the site will be made available.

  • The integration farm The design team will use content deployment to copy the artifacts and sample content to the integration farm where the artifacts will provide a framework for testing developed site elements.

  • The publishing farm The site design elements will be automatically propagated to the staging site collection in the publishing farm by the Office SharePoint Server 2007 content deployment feature. The same elements will then be propagated to the publishing site collection by also using the content deployment feature.

  • The failover farm SQL Server mirroring is used to constantly copy content from the production farm to the failover farm. If a failover occurs, the SQL Server client alias on all front-end Web servers in the authoring, production and failover farms is updated to point to the failover database server. The content deployment jobs on the authoring farm now deploy to the failover farm.


Publishing content

Publishing a Web site based on Office SharePoint Server 2007 uses the content deployment feature, which copies a source site collection to a destination site collection. For each Web page that is deployed, all items in the content database that the page depends on — such as images, style sheets, or layout pages — are also deployed. Content deployment can either be run automatically, based on a schedule, or it can be run manually.


The planning team decides on a two-tier content deployment method for publishing content:

  • Staging First content will be deployed automatically, on a weekly schedule, from the authoring site collection to a staging site collection in the production farm. The staging site collection will be in the production farm to more closely match the conditions under which the site is used by site visitors. When a successful content deployment job is completed, a tester will be notified to start the testing and approval process on the staging site collection.

  • ProductionAfter review and approval of the staging site collection, a manager on the testing team will run a manual content deployment job to copy the contents in the staging site collection to the production site collection.

  • Failover During failover, mirroring and SQL Server aliasing will switch content deployment jobs to deploy the site content to the failover farm from the authoring farm.


Developing and deploying code


Coded site elements, such as a custom data connection, custom Web part, and custom navigation control, will be developed in the development environment. Developers will create and test custom site elements on workstations hosting Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. The development team will use Visual Studio 2005 Team System as a source control and configuration management system.

Using the integration farm, developers and testers will test the coded elements in the context of sample site content. Testers will also use this farm to verify that all site elements work together as expected.

Tested coded site elements that are completed and tested in the integration environment will be deployed to each front end server on every Office SharePoint Server farm on which they will be used. To do this, a software configuration management administrator will package the customizations as one or more SharePoint solution packages. These solution packages will then be installed on all front end servers in:

  • The authoring farm

  • The production farm

  • The failover farm


Solution management architecture

The following graphic illustrates the solution management architecture designed by the solution architect, solution developer, and content manager:

Solution architecture for Internet presence site


  1. Developers check in and out of Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

  2. Developers deploy completed site elements for debugging and testing with data.

  3. Designers create master pages, layout pages, and cascading style sheets for the Internet site. Files are managed by using document management and workflow.

  4. Designers deploy layouts and sample content to supply data for testing.

  5. Developers bundle site elements as solution packages and deploy them to the authoring, production, and failover farms.

  6. Administrators deploy the site to a staging site collection for quality control.

  7. Approved content is deployed to publishing site and failover site collection.

Content migration

The planning team investigates how to migrate the initial content from the current Web site solution to the site. The team considers using the SharePoint content migration APIs to build a custom tool. Consulting the Migration and Upgrade Resource Center for SharePoint Server 2007 (, the team learns about a product that is certified by Microsoft and that migrates content and metadata to Office SharePoint Server 2007. The team decides to use this product rather than its internal resources to develop a custom solution for migrating content.


The team plans to migrate its current content after the initial site has been developed and copied to the integration farm. The team will use the certified product to configure content migration to the integration farm, to test and verify it there. After verifying the implementation in the integration farm, the team will run content migration in the authoring farm to import all the content from their current solution.


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