People working with SharePoint come from a .NET background, and for most of them when first introduced to SharePoint, they have no idea of the monster they are about to confront.
Specially because they are put in SharePoint projects without a previous training, the result: they end hating SharePoint, and I don’t blame them (I hated SharePoint for a long time, but it’s a fine line between love and hate ).
So here comes a little explanation of the SharePoint Architecture and how it integrates with IIS and ASP.NET.
SharePoint Services are the heart of any SharePoint implementation. It has 3 components:
- One and ONLY one configuration Database.
- One or more Content Databases
- One or more Web Servers.
The configuration Database is the heart of any SharePoint farm, it contains the majority of the farm configuration, including web applications configuration, logging and reporting, farm topology, services on servers, antivirus, content databases, authentication and much more.
The content database stores all the content of the site, including documents in libraries, data in lists, user names and privileges, etc.
There is one content database per Web Application. The web server will be responsible to receive the user requests, the web server will connect to a database in order to get the data that will be returned and displayed in the client page.
SharePoint Integrates with Internet Information Services (IIS) and ASP.NET. It is designed and implemented on top of IIS and extends the ASP.NET framework:
When SharePoint is implemented, two virtual servers are created in the IIS. On of them is for SharePoint Administration and the other one for the final user.
For every new Windows SharePoint Services Web application created, one new virtual server will be created in the IIS, it also involves some changes to the file system and the IIS metabase on each front-end Web server. In a Web farm environment, these changes are automatically mirrored across each front-end Web server in the farm by the Windows SharePoint Services runtime.
Once a Web application is created, it is no longer necessary to touch the file system or IIS metabase of the front-end Web server when creating, updating, and deleting sites or site collections. The Windows SharePoint Services architecture makes it possible to provision new sites and site collections simply by adding entries to the configuration database and a content database. It is this aspect of the Windows SharePoint Services architecture that gives it significant management and provisioning advantages over ASP.NET.
For an extended explanation of IIS and ASP.NET concepts related with SharePoint click here:
For an extended explanation of the SharePoint Databases click here.
Conclusion: SharePoint Services expands and diversifies itself as a Web development platform through integration with. NET Framework on its own functionality. Understanding this architecture will help you determine how to develop applications on the SharePoint.