To successfully manage your Windows SharePoint Server 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 installation, you need to become thoroughly familiar with the Central Administration interface. This chapter provides an overview of the Central Administration Web interface, with detailed information on the seemingly disconnected, yet essential administrative tasks that are not specifically covered elsewhere in this book. Many items, such as e-mail settings, logging, reporting, server topology, and document conversion settings, are defined and configured in Central Administration. This chapter is a methodical, easy-to-follow guide, with corresponding command-line tools for scripting and quick administration.
The Central Administration interface can be started from Start Menu > Administrative Tools > SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration. For SharePoint Server installations, the interface can also be started from Start Menu > Microsoft Office Server > SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration. Either choice takes you to the same Web page, and you may also bookmark the site in your browser for future reference. When you open Central Administration, you see three main areas of administration in tabbed format for easy navigation:
Home The Home area, by default, shows all outstanding tasks and a quick launch menu for application and operations management. The Administrator task list contains all of the required tasks for a correctly installed server farm, and the tasks have direct links to the administration URL for a particular task. In large organizations that require input from multiple groups, it is possible and is, in fact, a good idea to create additional tasks here. In addition to the task list, a quick view of the Farm Topology and links to manage the services running in your farm are shown in the Home area. Central Administration can only be enabled on one server in your farm, and it is initially enabled on the first server in the farm. The topology view also allows you to remove servers from the farm (configuration database) when needed.
The Recycle Bin in Central Administration is useful for list items, but does not retain deleted security items, such as groups and accounts.
Operations The Operations tab allows you to navigate to the farm operations Web page containing the majority of the administrative tasks relating to the farm operations. Unlike previous versions, all farm-related tasks are at the same level in the hierarchy, making it easy to navigate. From the Operations screen you can manage your farm topology, services, security, logging, reporting, and disaster recovery.
Application Management The Application Management page provides a quick and easy interface to configure and manage Web applications and site collections. You can manage content databases, Web application e-mail integration, security, self-service site creation, workflow, and much more.