Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) is a product in the Microsoft SharePoint family of products, it runs on top of Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). MOSS builds on WSS by adding both core features as well as end user web parts. Its main strengths in enabling an organization’s information to be organized and aggregated in one central, web-based application and it provides a taxonomy for corporate data. MOSS integrates closely with applications in the Microsoft Office suite and adds various features like hierarchical organization of content areas, enhanced navigation, Single Sign On, personalization features, indexed search, the Business Data Catalog, in-browser rendering and, in certain cases, editing of Microsoft Office documents. It can also be used for creating specialized document-specific libraries, such as Microsoft PowerPoint slide libraries, which can be used to share not only specific slides from a presentation but also their design as well.[1] The latest version, MOSS 2007, improves over its predecessor, SPS 2003, in integrating with Microsoft Office applications, enterprise content management (with the integration of Microsoft Content Management Server into MOSS), enterprise search, web content management, more specialized document management, records management, Web 2.0 collaboration functionality like blogs and wikis, delivery of information stored in SharePoint via RSS, and the ability to take content and lists offline with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Access. A MOSS application can abstract multiple WSS sites under the covers.


The architecture is composed of web server front ends running the WSS application with MOSS plug-in functionality where required, generally a search service which crawls the data store creating an index, a number of other services, and the database back-end, a standard enterprise architecture. As such it can be built out by load balancing more web servers on the front end and building larger clusters of SQL Server machines on the back-end.

SharePoint allows administrators to create web applications each on its own port. A separate web application on a separate port can contain site collections, each having its own database in SQL Server. Site collections can have sites which can contain subsites. A web server can contain hundreds of site collections.

MOSS 2007 also allows content types and document libraries to have information management policies, which allows the triggering of workflow or deletion of information after a certain fixed event or time period, helping to reduce many of the size-growth problems of earlier versions.


Office 2007 integration

MOSS integrates closely with Microsoft Office applications. It can render Microsoft Office documents in web pages. In addition, with the proper server side infrastructure, it can allow the documents to be edited from within the browser as well. For other document types in a document library, Microsoft Office applications can directly edit the document in the document library. This feature is available for Microsoft Excel and Microsoft InfoPath. Using Excel Services, MOSS can allow Excel 2007 workbooks to be loaded, edited, and displayed in a SharePoint page. All calculations happen on the MOSS server. MOSS can also host and render Microsoft InfoPath forms using the Infopath Forms Services to have it viewed and filled out using a browser.

Microsoft Office Outlook can also be used for accessing and synchronizing SharePoint document libraries.[2] On connecting a document library with Outlook, the library will be listed in the navigation pane, and the files in it will be listed along with certain metadata such as author. Compatible Microsoft Office documents will be previewed in the preview pane and Microsoft Office Outlook search bars can be used for searching the libraries as well. The search entered using the Outlook bar will be federated to the SharePoint server, and the results will be displayed in Outlook itself. By synchronizing a document library, Outlook can make the files available offline, which can be opened and edited using other Microsoft Office 2007 applications; the changes will be synchronized back to the SharePoint library by Outlook.

While it is not necessary to use Microsoft Office 2007 to take advantage of the integration with the Microsoft Office suite, it offers the most integration with MOSS 2007. A few examples of the improved integration with Office 2007 include:

  • 2-way synchronization of Outlook Calendar and SharePoint Calendar.
  • Overlaying a SharePoint Calendar on top of user's Outlook 2007 Calendar.
  • SharePoint Task-Assignment Synchronization into user's Outlook Task List.
  • Offline Synchronization of SharePoint Documents
  • Viewing SharePoint RSS feeds through Microsoft Office Outlook
  • Display of meta-data values for a given document type in the Ribbon interface as a user is editing a document from a document library.

Enterprise search

MOSS 2007 can be used for enterprise search, to search across the document libraries and user groups.[3] MOSS 2007 fully indexes all the documents stored in its library, in addition, it also indexes data stored in external databases which are exposed via ADO.NET or web services with a well-defined WSDL schema. Any search from the portal interface or client applications can use the MOSS search capabilities to search over this index. SharePoint servers, Web sites, file shares, Exchange Public Folders, and databases can be set as data sources which it will then index. The indexing system is a tuned version of the one used in Windows Desktop Search. The indexing engine uses specified crawling rules to decide what is to be indexed. The index engine uses continuous propagation, which allows even a partial index to be queried against. It also exposes a UI for visual administration of the search capabilities. MOSS 2007 also includes suggestion capability, which suggests search terms in case of typographical errors.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Standard, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise also includes a people search functionality, which can search for people, based on their affiliation and expertise, provided the enterprise infrastructure makes the information available. It can search from SharePoint user groups, as well as Active Directory and other LDAP directories provided the information has been imported into MOSS.

Business Data Catalog

The Business Data Catalog (BDC),[4] introduced in MOSS 2007 - Enterprise Version, enables presenting business data from back-end server applications such as SAP or Siebel 2007 or databases to be viewed by the web-based interface of SharePoint without writing any code. It comprises a metadata repository and an object model. It provides a unified and simple way to invoke operations. It presents a consistent, object-oriented interface to the business logic that is embedded in typical business applications. The Business Data Catalog provides homogeneous access to the underlying data sources by using a declarative metadata model that simplifies the client object model. The Business Data Catalog Definition Editor is now included in the MOSS SDK.[5] The BDC Editor can connect to a database or a web service provided by a LOB system and then generate the Application Definition File for it. The task of maintaining the catalog is divided among four roles: business analyst who identifies the data to be presented, metadata author who creates the tags to identify the data to SharePoint, administrator, and developer.


MySite is an important feature in MOSS 2007 that enables users to obtain access to a personalized view of the information that's relevant to them. MySite has a Public view and a Private view. Users are able to determine the permissions on various pieces of information that are in a MySite and select whether their colleagues, manager, or everyone in the organization can see each piece of information. The Private view of a user's MySite enables them to see the following types of information:

  • Workspace - Users can see and access the workspaces to which they have access, saving wasted navigation time.
  • My Links - A list of personal links that are important to the user. As users are browsing the SharePoint site, they can quickly add a link for a given page to the My Links list by selecting Add Link from a menu in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Personalization Sites - Special SharePoint sites that personalize content based on a user's role in the organization can be pinned to the appropriate user's My Site based on their organization role (HR, Facilities, Finance, etc.). Microsoft has released several role-based personalization templates to help people get started with this feature.
  • Colleague Tracker - Enables users to track the changes that they have permission to see in their colleague's MySites.
  • Outlook e-mail - Web Parts are available for users' MySites that display their e-mail and calendar information from Exchange.
  • Distribution Groups - In the public version of MySite, you can see the distribution groups that you're a member of and, when looking at other users' MySites, can see the distribution groups that you have in common with them.
  • Standard WSS Site Features - Since a MySite is a WSS site at its core, users' MySites have all of the typical functionality that comes with Windows SharePoint Services (Document Libraries and Lists, Recycle Bin, Version Control, Workflow, etc)

If the system has the appropriate multi-language packs and templates installed, users can be given the option of creating their MySite in one of the languages available on the system instead of being forced to use the language that governs the more public areas of the SharePoint system. This might be useful in a scenario where a global enterprise is enabling their users in China and Spain to create their MySite in Chinese or Spanish.


Although MOSS 2007 accessibility has improved since SharePoint Portal Server 2003,[6] it is still difficult to get a Sharepoint web site to adhere to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 1.0 specification.[7] Sharepoint relies extensively on table-based layouts, especially in the Web Parts Framework, and XHTML is also problematic as Sharepoint's built-in controls produce markup that does not validate under XHTML doctypes.[8] Substantial custom development is therefore essential in order to comply with these standards.[9] This has proven to be a key stumbling block to the adoption of Sharepoint solutions in situations where strict adherence to accessibility standards is of particular importance, such as the public sector.[6]


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