No more SSP’s in Sharepoint 2010

In SharePoint 2010 Shared Service Providers (SSP’s) are replaced by Service Applications. Services are no longer combined into a SSP. Services are running independent as a service application.

Why not SSP??

SSPs were pretty handy in Office SharePoint Server 2007. They allowed us to create a configuration of profiles, audiences, Excel Services, BDC and search that we could share between two Web applications. But what if we wanted one Web application to simply use the same search configuration in one SSP but have a totally different profile / BDC configuration? The only option was to create a new SSP and duplicate the search. But these two SSPs were totally independent.

Another trick was the scalability of SSPs. Nor was it easy to share an SSP across SharePoint farms.


Here comes the Service Applications.

Microsoft took a sledge hammer to the SSP architecture and broke it into pieces. Think of service applications as little programs, but don’t think in terms of an individual EXE or DLL. Instead, think of it more like a complete application that may be comprised of multiple assemblies, databases, timer jobs, Win32 services, external systems, etc.

SSP in Sharepoint 2007 and Sharepoint 2010

From the above diagram, you can see many of the benefits the new Service Model provides. Some of them I have mentioned below

  • A more effective targeting of services to the Web apps you’ve created (Web apps consume services on an individual basis)
  • Each Web app can use any combination of the available Service Apps
  • You can deploy multiple instances of the same Service Apps – giving each one a unique name
  • This model also allows Cross-Farm Service Apps
  • You can also write your own services that take advantage of the SharePoint infrastructure!


With this new Service model, comes some new terms

  • Service: A set of bits installed on a SharePoint 2010 farm that’s capable of providing some functionality
  • Service Application: A specific farm-level configuration of the Service in SharePoint. For example, the specific configuration of Office Web apps Service in your new SharePoint 2010 farm.
  • Service Machine Instance: A machine-level instance of the Service running on an app server
  • Service App Proxy: A pointer to a Service App that exists on the WFE
  • Service Consumer: A SharePoint feature, such as a web-part, that talks with the service and makes its functionality available to an end user


What Service apps are NEW and what actually they do?

You’ve seen from the above that the architecture has been modified and they are lots of NEW Services available in SharePoint 2010. I’ve provided a brief list of some of the new Services and what they do below:

  • Access Services – Allows viewing, editing, and interacting with Access databases in a browser.
  • Managed Metadata Service – Provides access to managed taxonomy hierarchies, keywords, social tags and Content Type publishing across site collections.
  • Secure Store Service –Provides capability to store data (e.g. credential set) securely and associate it to a specific identity or group of identities.
  • State Service – Provides temporary storage of user session data for Office SharePoint Server components.
  • Usage and Health data collection – This service collects farm wide usage and health data and provides the ability to view various usage and health reports.
  • Visio Graphics Service – Enables viewing and refreshing of published Visio diagrams in a web browser.
  • Web Analytics Service Application – Enable rich insights into web usage patterns by processing and analyzing web analytics data .
  • Word Conversion Service Application – Provides a framework for performing automated document conversions

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