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Single MySite over disconnected portals

  Asked By: Enrique    Date: Nov 07    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1058

I would like to investigate the possibility of establishing a single MySite for users within a large enterprise.

Due to "political pressures" we have implemented several SPS/WSS infrastructures across the WAN covering a number of Business Units. We do however see quite a lot of cross portal usage, but due to the shortcomings of Shared Services (10Mb required) we end up with more than one MySite.

We think that this is not optimal of the users or for the organisation. Does anyone have any experience of how this could be best achieved (simple redirect based on domain\username + field in userprofile?)



16 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Blake Marshall     Answered On: Nov 07

Can you explain the shortcomings of running Shared Services? I have never read about any of that so I was just wondering what you were referring to?

Answer #2    Answered By: Dwayne Jensen     Answered On: Nov 07

There are some hard-coded limitations in the software, such as an inability to rename after an object has more than 500 MB of information contained within it.

However, a global My Site = global WSS site, IMHO.

Answer #3    Answered By: Jose Baker     Answered On: Nov 07

I recommend using:

1. one "headless" portal  site to host all of the My Sites
2. store the My Site URL for each person in Active Directory
3. set the My Site portal server setting to the URL of the headless site

(I think there is one more step but I can't recollect what it is.)

Also, checkout the following MS IT Showcase white papers for more information on shared  Services.

Microsoft Web Enterprise Portal
February 2004. Discussion of how Microsoft's Knowledge Network Group updated the MSWeb intranet home page to use the centrally hosted portal infrastructure provided by Microsoft IT.

Deploying SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Shared services  at Microsoft
February 2004. Detailed discussion about how the Knowledge Network Group and Microsoft IT deployed the portal shared services that ship with SharePoint Portal Server 2003.


Answer #4    Answered By: Cornelius Guerrero     Answered On: Nov 07

Just curious – how does a “headless” site differ from a shared  services my site portal?

Answer #5    Answered By: Roderick Wolfe     Answered On: Nov 07

Headless portal  site = regular portal site where you don't use the portal home page.

The headless portal site is used to provide a portal environment for things like My Sites or Search but you don't want/need anyone to use the portal site's home page.

Answer #6    Answered By: Johnny Cruz     Answered On: Nov 07

OK – I’ll show my ignorance here. How do you create a portal  without a Home area? Or does the portal home page exist, but we just don’t access it or use it? How does this differ from shared  services? We don’t use the home page in a search or my site shared services  portal either.

Answer #7    Answered By: Norman Santos     Answered On: Nov 07

Re: Or does the portal  home page exist, but we just don’t access it or use it?


We've also tried to fool around with having the headless portal home page redirect  to the current user's My Site (i.e. when a person tries to access the headless My Site portal home page, they get redirected to their personal My Site on the headless portal site).

This would certainly round out the solution nicely ...and make redirection to a person's My Site easy to implement ...i.e. just goto http://mysite.foo.com (the URL for the headless portal site).

If someone figures out how this redirection, please post your solution.

Answer #8    Answered By: Walter Stone     Answered On: Nov 07

In a shared  services environment, you can create a portal  for a sole purpose of hosting all “My Sites" rather than the parent portal (which is the default) of the shared environment. There’s an admin setting in which you can specify the URL of the hosting portal. So, this shared service is now being off-loaded to a different portal that is still a child of the environment. There are few issues for this arrangement:

The “Up to Portal” link in the My Site points to the child portal hosting MySites which you don’t want users  to access as there is no content (sole purpose = hosting My Sites).
For any My Site existed before a dedicated hosting portal is setup, you will have to manually move them across.

Some solutions for (1)

- Site Definition editing?? (I haven’t try it)

- Add a skin to the hosting portal to apply a redirection to the parent portal rather than hosting portal (tried it successfully)

Some solutions for (2)

Plan before you implement

Answer #9    Answered By: Jamar Yates     Answered On: Nov 07

Re: Add a skin to the hosting portal  to apply a redirection to the parent portal rather than hosting portal (tried it successfully)

How did you do this?

Answer #10    Answered By: Aaron Lopez     Answered On: Nov 07

Serge van den Oever (http://weblogs.asp.net/soever) wrote an HttpModule called MacawSharePointSkinner for non-intrusive modifications to the visual and functional design of SharePoint (or any asp.net app for that matter).

Answer #11    Answered By: Terry Webb     Answered On: Nov 07

The "parent" portal  is the My Site shared  services portal, right?

I don't get what's new here.

Answer #12    Answered By: Earl Craig     Answered On: Nov 07

The parent portal  is not the My Site shared  services portal if the parent delegates the service to another portal. If the question is about who owns the service then IMHO it is the parent because the parent has the overriding ability to delegate the service to any portal or even back to itself at any time. But once delegated to a different provider, the management of My Sites will be the responsibility of that portal. That is, you have to manage the My Sites from that portal. You no longer be able to manage them from the parent. I have delegated this service to different child portals  purely for experimentation but I haven’t delegated back to the parent. I’ll do that next.

you’re right nothing new here.

Answer #13    Answered By: Ross Watkins     Answered On: Nov 07

I think my confusion with your comments is a matter of semantics. I call the shared  services portals  the “parent” portal(s) and the non-shared services  portals the child portal(s).

Hence, in a shared services environment, you can really have only two parent portals – the search shared services portal  and the my site shared services portal.

In the absence of shared services, there is no portal hierarchy unless it is purely logical, one that is created by the customer for their own purposes. But the portal structure in SPS03 is flat, very flat.

Answer #14    Answered By: Jeremiah Wallace     Answered On: Nov 07

To avoid confusion, in a Shared Services environment, there is one and only one Parent portal  site (see attached slide from my Shared Services TechEd talk @ http://www.parallelspace.net/knowledge/). All of the other portal sites in a Shared Services enabled portal farm are Child portal sites. This is consistent with the SPS formal documentation. Checkout the About Shared Services topic in the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 Administrator's Guide (mk:@MSITStore:C:\SharepointPSAdmin.chm::/html/AboutSharedServices.htm assuming C:\SharepointPSAdmin.chm is the path to your online help file).

If you want to be more precise, you can refer to the Shared Server Parent portal site as the Shared Services Provider portal site and the Child portal sites as Shared Services Consumer portal sites.

Formally, My Sites is not a Shared Service. It is best to think of My Sites as an ITB (in-the-box) portal feature or portal application (like News, for example).

Answer #15    Answered By: Tony Freeman     Answered On: Nov 07

Just to clarify – if I make the personal portals  shared services portal  a different portal that the search shared  services portal, then I would have two parent portals?

Answer #16    Answered By: Danny Shaw     Answered On: Nov 07

In any particular shared  Services deployment (infra-farm or inter-farm), this is only one portal  site that is the Parent portal. It is set using Central Administration->Manage Shared Services->Shared services  Provider server setting (and once set cannot be changed/undone).

I'm not sure of your intended meaning for:

1. search shared services portal ...possibly, your SPS search server in a medium or large  SPS server farm configuration? It's still shouldn't be called a Parent portal.
2. personal portals  shared services portal ...

Wrt to the latter, I'm less clear on the difference between the following two SPS settings (we've only used the first):

a) Central Administration->Manage Shared Services-> Personal Site Services server setting

b) Site Settings->Manager Personal Sites->Personal Site Location server setting

(and appreciate that the Res Kit tries to explain this).

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