Jay Nathan's Weblog
Thursday, June 03, 2004
SharePoint Terminology (does it confuse you sometimes, too?)
As I have learned to work with SharPoint a little over the past couple of months, I have learned rather quickly to take its terminology with a grain of salt. Some of the terms used for SharePoint can be very confusing at best, so here are some common terms and their meanings. I'll try to post more of these as I run across them in my day-to-day work. Here are some fundamental ones to start with, though:

STS - SharePoint Team Services: This term describes the first version of SharePoint that was built using ASP, IIS 5.0 and an ISAPI extension. This technology was meant to fill the same space that WSS (next term) is currently filling in version 2.0 of SharePoint, which is essentially list and document collaboration.

WSS - Windows SharePoint Services: Describes the second generation (v2.0) of SharePoint. WSS is based on ASP.NET and IIS 6.0 running on Windows 2003 Server. WSS provides end users with list and document management, but the data completely stored in a SQL Server database, and as such is much more flexible than v1. WSS also provides a rich framework for extending the functionality and including external data into SharePoint.

SPS - SharePoint Portal Server: SPS is a super set of Windows SharePoint Services. SPS provides aggregation and organization to a relatively unorganized set of WSS web sites. Portal Server installs on top of WSS and provides other services such as indexing and search services, personal web sites and user profiles. SPS would be used to aggregate large numbers of web sites that are created across an enterprise.

In my opinion, the terminology used in SharePoint development often gets in the way in much the same way as the term "Microsoft .NET" made life very confusing for some. But hey, once we get past some of the terminology difficulties, it's mostly down hill from there, right?

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