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The Structure of the SharePoint 2010 Hierarchy

by on August 19, 2010

Farm – The base of the SharePoint tree applications, servers, the installation itself

–> Web Applications – Central Administration is a web app. Each web application has a web.config like any other web app, includes databases, dlls, code, virtual directories, a content database, etc. – content databases are managed from Central Administration > Application Management

—–> Content Database – contains all documents, Site Pages (.aspx) and content within a SharePoint web application. A SharePoint app can have more than one content database. Has one or more Site Collections, which are the smallest entity you can put in a content database. For important site collections, you may want to have each with a separate content database & server.

———-> Site Collections – Can be created in Central Administration > Application Management > create new site collection. To add a site collection to a specific database, you need to use the SharePoint object model or PowerShell. You can add a site collection in any app from Central Administration. Site collections can be individually customized in Site Settings > Site Collection Features and with SharePoint Designer, custom code, etc. You can assign Quota Templates to manage size allocation, etc. You can set the specific URL of the Site Collection upon creation, however it will begin with the name of the web app followed by a dropdown. To add paths to the dropdown, go to Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Web Applications(see Add a Managed Path to a Web Application in SharePoint 2010). By default, a root Site container is added to each Site Collection when it is created in Central Administration, but you must actually create the top-level site (the first site you create). Site Collections exist independently of one another, and can be moved in and out of Web Applications without affecting other Site Collections. They do not inherit attributes from root or top-level site collections, such as users and permissions: This is one of the most important features of SharePoint – security and permissions.

Ex. http://mywebapplication/mynewmanagedpath/mysitecollection

———————–>Various Sites – Each Site Collection has at least one top-level Site created automatically.

——————————>Lists & Libraries – the meat of your SharePoint site where content and data is managed.

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