Tuesday, September 9, 2008

EXACTLY where SharePoint documents are stored

Ever wonder EXACTLY where SharePoint stores documents? This isn't going to be news to developers or others that have followed SharePoint for a good while, but if you are relatively new to SharePoint it might be somewhat eye-opening.

Every time you hit "Save" on a Microsoft Office document and the path for the save is a SharePoint document library on a SharePoint site, the entire contents of the document is saved in binary format in a single image-type field in the SharePoint database. That's right, the entire document, up to 2 GB in size, is stuffed completely into a single field in the SQL Server database that SharePoint uses.

Want to know by the letter of the law that this is true? If you keep following the trail in the official documentation here is where you find it (click on the image to see it more clearly):

Here is the exact link to this page of the documentation on the Microsoft Developer Network:

(Note: the description of the Docs table on this page says that its function is to store metadata for the document. That's true, but it also stores the full contents of the document as well.)

The documentation is definitely not an exciting read, but it does tell the truth (in this case at least :) )

So, are you thinking "how can this possibly work in environments that have any kind of volume at all?". Well, as they say, that's a deep subject - especially depending on how far you want to delve down into it. In this short post, all I can say is that it indeed DOES work, if the environment is properly architected, and performs very well at incredibly high volumes.

Managing Web Parts in WSS and MOSS 2007 without using the Site Actions Menu

I keep forgetting how to do this so I'm blogging it to help me remember.

Back in the days of WSS v2 and SPS 2003, one could use some handy URL parameter passing to edit web pages and browse for or search web parts.

My three favorite parameters for WSS v2 and SPS2003 were:

To Correct or Remove Misbehaving Web Parts

To Open the Page in Web Part Design Mode

To Open the Search Web Part Zone

Now in WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 we have the much more practical approach of switching views. Enter the Site Actions Menu, using the menu options we can edit the page, browse to site settings, etc.. But what happens if the Site Actions menu is not visible on the page. Maybe it was missed in the look and feel or has been removed deliberately like I had to do recently for a client.
Here are my favorite parameters to date for WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007:

To open the Design Bar - Useful for pages in the Pages Library

To turn on Web Part Zone Editing

Note: The Site Actions Menu is rights trimmed and that means not all users can see or use it. Users with limited access or read rights will not be able to make use of the URL\Query String parameters. The parameters are just an alternative to get to the editing\design controls rather then a security bypass.


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