This chapter will cover the following three fundamental areas of architecting and designing your Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 deployment:
Taxonomy Refers to how you structure and categorize your content, and how users will find information throughout the sites.
Personalization Refers to how you can effectively target information to the right users throughout your sites; configure My Sites, or personal sites, for users; and integrate Office SharePoint Server 2007 with directory sources, such as Active Directory, to include user profiles or user-specific information throughout your sites. By effectively using personalization you can enhance searches for people and your organization's ability to connect people with particular knowledge to people looking for that expertise.
Social networking Enables your users to find other users throughout your organization with similar experience or interests and to connect with them. Social networking also dynamically connects users with their colleagues by leveraging personalization Web Parts, such as when one person is seeking other users who share the same distribution lists or SharePoint sites.
This chapter also introduces Knowledge Network (KN), an extension to the core social networking features of SharePoint Server 2007 that is being offered as an add-on to SharePoint Server 2007. KN will greatly enhance and extend the social networking aspects of your SharePoint Server 2007 deployment by tapping into key user resources, such as e-mail, to disseminate user interest, knowledge, and skills throughout your organization.
For instance, suppose you are researching a particular product within your organization and you want to locate other users in the organization involved in the same research. This is where KN will help. It enables you to perform custom and personalized searches on that information indexed throughout your SharePoint Server 2007 deployment so that you can narrow down users with expertise in that area or involved in similar discussions. Just as with the default social networking aspects of SharePoint Server 2007, users will also have the added advantage of choosing which information, such as certain e-mail folders, they want to have included in the KN indexing. This chapter shows you some key configuration and design considerations in deploying KN.
Key to configuring and administering personalization in SharePoint Server 2007 is the Shared Services Provider (SSP). SSP allows you to centrally manage all facets of personalization features, such as your users' My Sites, configure and import user profiles from a configured directory service, such as Active Directory, and create and configure custom audiences for content targeting throughout your SharePoint Sites. If you previously worked with SharePoint Portal Server 2003, you might already be familiar with the concept of Shared Services. The main difference between the Shared Services model of SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and SharePoint Server 2007 is flexibility. In SharePoint Server 2007, Web applications can easily be associated with any SSP configured in your farm and bound to personalization tasks, such as My Sites and alerts, configured in that SSP. In SharePoint Portal Server 2003, once you configured Shared Services, you could not change the parent portal or promote one of the child portals to become the new provider of personalization services. This chapter will show you the ease of centrally configuring the personalization and audience settings for Web applications using the SharePoint Server 2007 SSP model.