SharePoint 2010 : Operations Management with the SharePoint Central Administration Tool (part 6)

1/31/2011 4:02:21 PM

Reviewing Upgrade and Migration Settings in SPCA

The Upgrade and Migration page in SPCA, as shown in Figure 27, contains all settings related to an upgrade of SharePoint and also includes some links to useful information such as the patch status of systems in a farm.

Figure 27. Viewing the upgrade and migration options in SPCA.

Upgrade and Patch Management

Within the only category on the Upgrade and Migration page, labeled Upgrade and Patch Management, the following links are included:

  • Convert farm license type— Enables sites to input a license key to upgrade them from a standard license key to an enterprise license key, which would give them access to enterprise features in SharePoint 2010.

  • Enable enterprise features— When an enterprise key has been enabled, enterprise features can be enabled from within this area. For a farm with an enterprise key enabled from the beginning, these settings are grayed out.

  • Enable features on existing sites— For sites that were provisioned with standard edition features, the enterprise feature set can be enabled on them from within this area.

  • Check product and patch installation status— This area, shown in Figure 28, provides useful information on the exact version number of all components on individual servers.

    Figure 28. Checking patch status in SPCA.
  • Review database status— This area, useful only during a database attach upgrade, enables administrators to check on the upgrade status of individual databases.

  • Check upgrade status— This final area is only used during an upgrade and is used to monitor the status of existing upgrade sessions.

Reviewing General Application Settings in SPCA

The General Application Settings page in SPCA, as shown in Figure 29, is perhaps the most complex of the various areas within SPCA. It includes all other settings in SPCA that didn’t fit well into other categories, such as Content Deployment, Site Directory, InfoPath Forms Services, and others.

Figure 29. Viewing the general application settings in SPCA.

External Service Connections

Within the first category on the General Application Settings page, labeled External Service Connections, the following links are included:

  • Configure send to connections— Enables administrators to choose whether to allow hosted site subscriptions to set up connections to sites outside their subscription. These settings are done on a per web application basis.

  • Configure document conversions— As shown in Figure 30, enable administrators to define whether documents such as infopath forms, word documents, or XML pages can be converted to HTML pages so they can be viewed by browsers. A document conversions server must first be set up from within the services on servers area of SPCA for this to work properly.

    Figure 30. Configuring the document conversions service.
InfoPath Forms Services

Within the second category on the General Application Settings page, labeled InfoPath Forms Services, all settings related to InfoPath Forms Services, a valuable tool that allows for custom forms to be created and used in SharePoint, are discussed. This includes the following settings:

  • Manage form templates— Displays the default form templates used by InfoPath Forms Services, such as the ones shown in Figure 31.

    Figure 31. Using default form templates for InfoPath Forms Services.
  • Configure InfoPath Forms Services— Settings unique to InfoPath Forms Services can be configured from within this area of SPCA, including whether the service is enabled for use by users within the farm.

  • Upload form template— New form templates can be uploaded using this area of SPCA.

  • Manage data connection files— Data connection files used with InfoPath can be uploaded using this interface.

  • Configure InfoPath Forms Services Web Service Proxy— If a proxy is used between InfoPath Forms Services forms and web services, this functionality can be enabled in this area.

Site Directory

Within the third category on the General Application Settings page, labeled Site Directory, settings relating to the legacy site directory service are provided. The site directory was a lesser-used feature in older versions of SharePoint that would dynamically list all sites within a specific farm. If upgrading from SharePoint 2007, these settings will be relevant. If starting from scratch with SharePoint 2010, the site directory is not a recommended feature, and even though these settings show up in SPCA, you will not immediately see the site directory when creating new sites. It can be added if needed, but it is not recommended because it has been officially deprecated by Microsoft in SharePoint 2010:

  • Configure the Site Directory— Enables the Site Directory Path to be created and what type of Site Creation Metadata is required.

  • Scan Site Directory Links— Enables the legacy Site Directory to be scanned for broken links.

SharePoint Designer

Within the fourth category on the General Application Settings page, labeled SharePoint Designer, a single link is included, as follows:

  • Configure SharePoint Designer settings— This area, shown in Figure 32, allows for SharePoint Designer access to be turned on or off for an individual site collection. Because SharePoint Designer is quite powerful and can cause problems for the uninitiated, some administrators turn it off, at least initially.

    Figure 32. Enabling SharePoint Designer access within a web application.
Reporting Services

Within the fifth category on the General Application Settings page, labeled Reporting Services, settings related to running SharePoint together with a SQL Server Reporting Services instance are listed. This includes the following:

  • Reporting Services Integration— Provides for the ability to turn on Reporting Services integration and to define the settings of the Reporting Services server.

  • Add a Report Server to the Integration— Enables a specific report server to be designated within the farm.

  • Set Server Defaults— When Reporting Services has been enabled, this area enables for specific server defaults for the farm to be set.

Content Deployment

Within the sixth and final category on the General Application Settings page, labeled Content Deployment, all settings related to Microsoft’s concept of content deployment are listed. Content deployment is a one-way push of site content from one farm to another, typically done to publish content from internal farms to extranet farms or to push content out to remote locations. The settings related to content deployment in SPCA include the following:

  • Configure content deployment paths and jobs— Focuses on setting up the individual content deployment jobs and paths used by those jobs.

  • Configure content deployment— Takes administrators to a page shown in Figure 33, where content deployment can be enabled or disabled for the farm.

    Figure 33. Enabling content deployment.
  • Check deployment of specific content— Used to check on the status of content deployment jobs.

Using the Configuration Wizard’s Page in SPCA

The final page, as shown in Figure 34, has one link that takes administrators to the wizard that can be used to configure the SharePoint farm for the first time, or to enable individual service applications.

Figure 34. Viewing the SPCA launch link for the Farm Configuration Wizard.

You need to explore the various options and areas within the SharePoint Central Administration tool and understand how to perform certain administrative tasks. Combined with a good knowledge of PowerShell, SPCA is one of the most important tools available for the SharePoint administrator.

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