Excel 2007 offers integration features similar to those outlined in the previous section for Word 2007. Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise Edition provides a very powerful new set of tools. Excel Services makes it easy to share, secure, and manage Excel 2007 workbooks (in .xslx and .xslb formats) as interactive reports throughout the enterprise. After a spreadsheet is created in Excel 2007, it is published to a SharePoint document library supported by Excel Services (or a file share or web folder that is supported by Excel Services) in the Shared Services Provider component of the Central Administrator console. When published, the Excel Web Access web part allows users to view and interact to a limited degree (as defined during the publishing process) without changing the source data.
Customizing SharePoint Content with SharePoint Designer 2007
"SharePoint 2007 Unleashed" learn more
Create, open, edit, back up, and restore SharePoint sites
Create SharePoint master pages and web part pages
Building SharePoint no-code applications
Create lists, views, and forms
Create and aggregate data views and forms on a variety of data sources (SharePoint lists and document libraries, SQL databases, XML files, web services)
Add business logic with no-code workflows
Render accurate, high quality WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), and ASP.NET pages
Create integrated code and split view standards-based pages (XHTML, CSS, XSLT [XSL Transformations])
Support deep CSS formatting and layout
Manage and apply styles
Administering and Monitoring SharePoint 2007
Administration of a SharePoint 2007 environment is greatly simplified and improved over the 2003 version of the product line. It is no longer necessary to hunt around for administrative tools and commands because a distinct, centralized set of tools contains them all. The SharePoint Central Administration tool, accessed from the server console or remotely from a web browser, contains the bulk of all administration of the farm. It contains operations tasks, application management tasks, and shared settings administration. In addition, SharePoint 2007 provides the capability to give site administrators customized permissions to specific areas, with site administration taking place from the Site Settings link within each site. Chapter 14, Managing and Administering SharePoint Infrastructure, covers the administration of a SharePoint environment in detail.
Backing Up and Restoring SharePoint
SharePoint 2007 is a mission-critical application environment that requires a robust and reliable backup-and-restore infrastructure. Fortunately, SharePoint 2007 dramatically improves restore functionality with the addition of a two-stage recycle bin, shown in Figure 1.20. This enables end users to recover their own documents that have been deleted, and enables site administrators to recover files that have already been emptied from the site Recycle Bin.
In addition to Recycle Bin functionality, SharePoint 2007 includes a built-in farm backup tool. This backup tool allows the entire farm, or individual farm components, to be backed up and restored.
SharePoint also includes powerful site backup functionality with the STSADM command-line tool. This simplifies using a combination approach to backups and restores. Chapter 17, Backing Up and Restoring a SharePoint Environment, offers more information about all these approaches to backing up and restoring.
Using the SharePoint Best Practices Analyzer
Microsoft has released a Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. (That link takes you to the page to download it.)
After installation, the Best Practices Analyzer can evaluate the existing Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 implementation. Figure 1.22 shows a portion of the report, which discovered two errors and six warnings in a test configuration. As with any automated analysis, review the errors to see whether they do in fact have to be rectified, or they simply do not agree with Microsoft best practices. For example, one of the errors identified indicates A dedicated front-end Web server is configured for crawling, which is part of a design that includes only one front-end server! The second error that appears states No trusted locations have been defined for Excel Services within SSP SharedServices1, which is a valid error, and Excel Services would not work in this configuration.
Monitoring a SharePoint Environment with the SharePoint Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005
SharePoint 2007 by itself does not include an integrated monitoring application or service. Instead, it provides for application hooks into monitoring platforms, providing for especially tight integration with the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 application, shown in Figure 1.23, or its new successor, System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr) 2007.
The SharePoint Management Packs available for MOM 2005 and OpsMgr 2007 give unprecedented levels of monitoring capabilities at the application level because the SharePoint 2007 team wrote the management packs. If an individual service within SharePoint were to fail, the management pack would trigger an alert within MOM, detailing specifics about the failure and giving an administrator a list of next steps and knowledge base articles to help solve the issue. Chapter 16, Maintaining and Monitoring SharePoint 2007 Environments and Databases, supplies more information about using MOM 2005 to monitor SharePoint 2007.