There are three configurable options for external connections, each of which has a unique role in the SharePoint Server 2007 environment. By default, none of the services are enabled but each can be enabled individually.
The records center is a global farm configuration setting that allows users to send documents from document libraries in all Web applications and site collections to a central official file site. For more information about configuring records management, see Chapter 9, "Document Management."
The HTML Viewer service enables an administrator to configure a server with IIS installed to render Microsoft Office system documents to users who are trying to view the documents but do not have the Microsoft Office products installed on their client machine. For example, this could occur if a user is accessing the site from the Internet by using a public Internet machine. To set up the service, you need to install the HTML Viewer service for Windows SharePoint Services, which is available from the Microsoft download center at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads. It is not advisable to have the HTML Viewer service running on the same server as the SharePoint front-end servers because of the strain that can be put on the servers' resources when rendering the Office documents into HTML.
After you have installed the server side of the HTML Viewer service, you need to configure the application management side. There are four configurable options available after enabling the service, as shown in Figure 7-21.
Figure 7-21: Configuring the HTML viewer service
The URL points to the Web server location where you installed the HTML Viewer service file, and the cache size is the amount of rendered HTML documents stored in the Web application. The maximum file size is configured in kilobytes (KB), and it defines the largest size of a file that can be rendered into HTML. The larger the file to be rendered, the more resources that are required by the Web server to render it. If the file is too large, it could time out while being rendered; setting the timeout length to a higher value enables the service to complete the process.
This service allows users to select content from their sites and then convert it to a chosen format. Document conversion takes place on a per-Web-application basis and at a scheduled interval in either minutes, hours, or days. The types of documents that can be converted are determined by the installed converters. The default converters are as follows:
Convert InfoPath Form To EMF Image
Convert InfoPath Form To PNG Image
Convert InfoPath Form To TIFF Image
Convert InfoPath Form To Web Page
Convert Word To Web Page
Convert Word With Macros To Web Page
Convert XML To Web Page
Once converted, documents can be used for many purposes, such as publishing to an external-facing site using content deployment. To help with the resources required for the conversion process, you can point the specific Web application at a load-balanced URL to spread the resource load over several front-end servers.