Creating Web Applications, Site Collections and Sites in SharePoint 2010
Written By: Arshad Ali -- 8/24/2010 --
(4) comments --
Categories: Configurations, IIS, Infrastructure, SharePoint 2010, System Administration
In a recent tip, I discussed installing the Windows
SharePoint service and SharePoint Foundation 2010. Once you have
completed the installation, you need to understand the steps to create a
application, site collections and sites. In this tip, we cover the steps
required to complete your SharePoint installation.
In this tip I am going to use SharePoint 2010 Central Administration
to create a web application, site collections and sites. The same can be
done programmatically by using PowerShell using the
SharePoint libraries or object model / SharePoint APIs. In future articles, I will talk
about how setup can be done programmatically.
In the SharePoint
hierarchy, a web application is the top tier. It is nothing but an IIS (Internet Information Services) website which is
specifically configured to run as a SharePoint site and contains at
least one or more site collections. While creating a web application you can
either associate it with an existing application pool or you can create a new
application to be associated with it. While creating your SharePoint web
application you also need to specify a content database and details like
authentication method used to connect to the content database. It is
possible to have multiple content databases for different site
collections for the web application. Using multiple databases makes it easier
for content database
management, backup, restore, etc...
As I mentioned above, a web application
needs to have one or more site collections. A site
collection is a logical container for grouping sites and allows hierarchical
arrangement of sites within it. A site collection has exactly one default top
level site and may have many child sites. By default all sites of a site collection
share navigation, security/permissions, templates and content types so you
should plan to include all sites in single site collection if they all need
to share these things. If needed, you can specifically change settings for a
particular site if required.
A site collection
has at least one parent site which is created by default when you create a
site collection and may have many other sites within its
hierarchy. A site allows us to organize and store all content in
SharePoint, the content can be Lists, Libraries (Document Library,
Picture Library, Report Library, Form Library etc...) Web pages, Web parts,
Sites and Workspaces. Further a site can have child sites in its hierarchy.
concepts, let's go through some examples:
Go to START -> All Programs ->
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products and click on SharePoint 2010 Central
Administration, this will open the Central Administration site UI as shown
below. Click on Manage web applications under Application Management in
Central Administration page or under Web Applications in the Application
On the web applications page, in
the right pane you will notice all the web applications created so far. On
top you will see an Office style ribbon which is a new feature of SharePoint
2010. Because we intend to create a new web application, simply click on
the New option in left most side of the ribbon.
This will open up a Create New Web
Application page, you need to specify different settings/parameters for your
new web application to be created. Some of these settings/parameters are described below:
allows you to define the authentication method for SharePoint users. In
classical mode, users are authenticated to access the web
application using Windows authentication. The
claim based authentication is new with SharePoint 2010 and
allows users to be authenticated by Windows authentication or form
based authentication (FBA) or a trusted identity provider (SAML) so
that users from heterogeneous systems can access the web application.
IIS Web Site
setting you specify whether you want to create a new IIS website or
use an existing IIS website for your web application. Next you
specify the port number for your new IIS website or this will be
the same as the existing IIS website if you are re-using it. Host Header
is an optional setting and is used in case you want to share the same port
number across multiple IIS websites. If you specify anything here you
also need to configure DNS to route requests to the appropriate server.
Path is the physical location where files for the web application will be
setting you specify the authentication provider to be used by this
web application, it could be either Negotiate (Kerberos) or NTLM.
Select Allow Anonymous to Yes if you want your web application to be
enabled for anonymous access, it uses the computer-specific
anonymous access account i.e. IIS_IUSRS. Next you can enable SSL for
your web application, but you also need to install and configure an SSL
certificate in IIS.
associates an application pool with your web application; you can
either choose to use an existing application pool or create a
new one for your web application. If you are creating a new
application pool for your web application you also need to specify
the security credential either predefined or configurable.
allows you to define the database server where the content database for
your web application will be created (or will be reused from); next
you need to specify the content database name and authentication
mechanism to connect to the database server. Windows authentication
is recommended as is SQL authentication, note that passwords are sent
unencrypted to SQL Server by default.
If you have
configured database mirroring for the content database then you can
specify the name of the failover server here.
You can use
either Default or Custom, if you choose Default the web application
will be connected to the default set of service applications or
you can use Custom to individually select the service applications
on which this web application will be connected to.
Experience Improvement Program
If you select
Yes, SharePoint sends program errors and information to Microsoft for
improving the product.
Once you have specified all of the
required/optional parameters on the Create New Web Application page, simply
click on the OK button and wait for the web application to be created.
Once the web application is created you will see a screen like below. Click on
Create Site Collection link to create a site collection as the web application is
not usable unless you create at least one site collection.
On the Create Site Collection page,
first you need to specify the Title and Description for your new site
Next you need to specify the URL for your site collection in the Web
Site Address section.
Then you need to select one of the several
available custom created templates which will be used as a blue-print to
create your site collection.
Next you need to specify the Primary
Site Collection Administrator, specifying the Secondary Site Collection
Administrator is an optional setting, but recommended as it allows secondary
administrator to take charge of administration if the primary administrator
is not available.
Next if required, you can use the Quota template to restrict
growth of your site collection to a certain limit.
Click on the OK button and you are done
with the creation of the SharePoint web application. Click on the link and you
will see your web application like this.
We normally create a site for each
division/department/project. To create more sites, click on Site Action on
left corner and you will see several options like this (this is another
change from last SharePoint version where it used to be on top right side):
Click on New Site and specify different parameters (Title and URL) for your
new site as shown below.
You can create as many sites as you
want, for example I have created a couple of different sites for each
department of the organization as you can see below.
You need to
have appropriate permissions in order to create a web application, site
collections and sites.
When you create
a web application, you also need to create a site collection to make
your web application usable. When you create a site collection a
parent/top level site is created by default which you can use for common
information, news, announcements etc.
If you want
your web application to be available to extranet users you can extend
your existing web application to have separate IIS websites that expose
the same content to the extranet users.