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SPS Areas VS WSS Sites (and SharePoint V3)

  Asked By: Bridget    Date: Sep 10    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1187

Anyone getting into SharePoint struggles at first to understand the
overlap between the two MS products, something that the Microsoft
documentation and the admin screens do a lot to confuse.

I got simplest guidance: Use WSS for
collaboration and SPS for aggregation.

However, I tend to want to use SPS Areas/Topics for two reasons:
1. I prefer the SPS user management
2. I prefer the SPS search
3. I like the listings feature of SPS and have developed
a "RichListings" webpart that makes it even better.

Reasons to use WSS Sites include:
1. WSS Sites allow you to set security on individual webparts,
whereas in Areas you can only set this at the site level.
2. Allowing users to create sites in the portal would cause it to
grow out of control so having this WSS sublayer for team/individual
sites is nice from an admin and policy perspective.
3. There might be some similar management benefits related to search
(i.e. don't clutter up your results with irrelevant sites)

I sure there are other issues out there, and **I'd be interested in
hearing anyone's views so that I can get a full understanding of the

Finally, when I read recently the V3 feature list I got the
impression that MS might be encouraging a move towards areas. (It
sounds like they are enabling webpart-level security, the main reason
for me to use WSS)

**So my second question is**:
Do the experts out there familiar with V3 believe MS is moving users
who have bought SPS towards areas vs. WSS sites? I am about to setup
several hierarchies that will either be Topics/Areas in SPS or top-
level site collections in our WSS site directory.

One specific example is a set of sites for collaboration around my
company's competitors. I do not want anyone to have to "publish up
to" the portal. A single site for a single competitor is sufficient
for anyone who wants to contribute or find content. It might be nice
to have the single UI and administration offered by the portal, esp
if V3 is going to plug the big security gap in Areas. So **what is
the compelling reason to use WSS Sites?**



3 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Christop Mcfadden     Answered On: Sep 10

I wanted to clarify “Web Part Security”… There is no such animal in V2. There is list  level security  in WSS in V2. This effectively controls the ListViewWebPart’s ability to show information but because the underlying data isn’t visible not because of web part security.

Re: Sites/Areas – There are really more considerations here than can be quickly summarized but a few things to think about are: a) Performance – Areas scales to about 10K and sites  to 250K – per the numbers MS has published. b) Licensing – Licensing Portal, particularly with the external connector is expensive. WSS sites can be spread across a larger number of servers than portal  – reducing your overall licensing costs. c) Integration points – Although the integration with Office apps is supposed to be seamless between WSS and SPS, there are a few things that seem to always work in WSS and require tweaking to make work in SPS. (I can’t remember the details at the moment.)

Answer #2    Answered By: Cory Brooks     Answered On: Sep 10

Yes, I mispoke by mentioning "webpart-level security"
I did mean "list-level security" as you suggested.

The licensing issues  are a good point (though have budgeted for the
external connector as part of the extranet follow-on project)

The scalability issues are a good point (I don't see us having more
than a couple thousand sites  though I'm sure with self-service it
would happen)

If I get other comments from people I'll compile and put them up as a
single sheet for future reference.

Answer #3    Answered By: Ruth George     Answered On: Sep 10

There is always a way. But, in this case, I think that the cost
may be greater than the reward.

You could certainly write a custom application to crawl thru the farm's
API looking for situations that you want to message for and then keep
track of which have been messaged for and sending a message for those
that haven't.

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