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Sunday, September 25, 2011

SharePoint Architecture

Before reading this you can also check out some SharePoint articles here. SharePoint uses web applications to host site collections.

A web application in SharePoint 2010 is an IIS web application that has its own application pool. An application pool is a worker process that runs to receive requests from IIS and process responses.

During installation SharePoint creates two IIS web applications. The first one hosts the default site collection and the second one hosts the SharePoint Central Administration web site.
The Central web application will available through URL http://serverURL:PortNumber
And the default site collection will be available through http://ServerURL.

If you want to create additional site collections you always need to tell SharePoint which existing web application will host the new site collection (since a web application can host multiple site collections), or you need to create a new web application to host the site collection.

What's the need to create multiple web application?
1. Every time a new web application is created, SharePoint creates a new content database. All the data in the  sites associated with the web application is stored in this content database. If site collections grow really fast and the content database approaches the size limit, administrators can move one site collection to a new content database while continuing to use the same web application. This is called splitting the content database.

2. 2nd reason is security. All the execution of all the site collections associated with a web application occurs in the application pool. If you want to ensure that certain code from one site collection is never allowed to run in the same process as the code from another site collection, you can use a different web application to host the second site collection. This ensures that different application pools are used for the two site collections. For each site collection you can you can create unique set of users, administrators etc.
Subsites that are created within the site collection inherit the permissions and navigation structure from the parent site.
A web application can contain multiple site collections and a site collection can contain multiple sites. A site can contain multiple sub sites.

About Pages:
There are 3 types of pages associated with SharePoint environment and they are Masterpages, Site Pages & application pages.
Master Pages are pages in SharePoint that define the look and feel of multiple pages in SharePoint.
Site Pages are pages that support user customization through the SharePoint user interface and tools such as SharePoint Designer. These pages are stored in content database. If every page was customized then all the pages requested would need to be retrieved from the content database and loaded into memory. This has an impact on performance and scalability.
But Application pages does not support customization. They are deployed once per web server to the file system (not to the content database). All application pages are stored in the SharePoint hive at the location {SharePointRoot}\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS. Application pages are accessible from any site in the farm.
Example is Settings.aspx page.

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