Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Questions from the August 2005 SIG Meeting

Listed below are the answers to some of the questions posed at the August SIG meeting about SharePoint 2003.

Q: For a web part that displays Outlook contacts in a SharePoint site, will it require Exchange?
A: If you use "My Inbox" and tweak it a bit to point to any mail folder in your Exchange mailbox. (e.g. https://exchange.mycompany.com/exchange/1602/contacts/) In this case,
it does require Exchange. On the other hand, there are special list types called Contacts Lists built-in to SharePoint. These are not integrated directly with Outlook. The data sits in the SharePoint SQL database. However, there is an option to "Link to Outlook". This gives you a link to the SharePoint Contacts list from your Outlook client. You can also import contacts from Outlook into the SharePoint contact list. In both cases, Exchange is probably not required, but this has not been tested.

Q: How do you deploy an application from QA to production?
A: First, build a CAB file to contain assemblies(.DLL), content files(.XML, .DWP), etc. Second, use STSADM.EXE in WSS to backup an existing site, if needed. For more information on STSADM.EXE see http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=889236. Third, unzip the CAB file to install all the required files on the SharePoint server.

Q: Are there any issues with installing VS.Net Team systems and SharePoint 2003 on the same machine?
A: As of now, VS.Net Team Systems is available only in a beta version, and anytime a beta version is installed, issues maybe encountered such as ...
VS.Net 2005 Team System requires SharePoint, and the installation notes that come with it explain how to do this. If you’re doing a clean install you will need to install SharePoint with the MSDE database, because SharePoint doesn’t work with SQL 2005 yet. The SQL 2005 DB and MSDE can coexist, because MSDE is installed to a different instance.
If you’re going to install VS.Net 2005 on an existing system with SharePoint, you need to make sure the SQL 2005 install doesn’t update the existing SQL 2000 environment.

Thanks to Nate B. and other members of the Berbee team for helping answer some of these questions.

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