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In Depth Information
This version of SharePoint does come with some additional services that, when enabled and
configured, require their own databases. Their default names are as follows:
WSS_Logging This database is used by SharePoint’s diagnostic logging and usage to store
logging and usage data.
Bdc_Ser vice_DB_( GUID ) This is the database used by SharePoint to store Business Data
Connectivity data. If you use external data sources to have external lists and list fields in
SharePoint, this database is critical for storing the information SharePoint needs to make
those connections happen.
Subscription Settings Service Database This database doesn’t necessarily have a default
name like the others do, because it has to be configured by hand in PowerShell (so you explicitly
have to name it). It is not enabled in a Standalone server installation by default. However, if it
is enabled in your environment, chances are good the person who did so will give the database
a name related to the service. The Subscription Settings service can be enabled to offer
multitenant, subscription-based hosting on the SharePoint server to separate customers,
departments, whatever group or organization that requires isolated administration, authentication
(if configured), and feature management. For more information about it, see Chapter 16.
Although each web application gets its own content database initially, you can add more
content databases to a web application if necessary. Web applications can contain more than one
site collection, and each site collection can contain multiple sites that can contain lists and
libraries that can get really big (I’m not guaranteeing anything; I’m just saying that they can ). Frankly,
using a single database to contain large sites full of data can be an invitation for that database
to become really slow and unwieldy. There is always a reasonable limit to how much any one
database can hold, and it’s surprising how quickly that limit can be reached. Don’t think of it as
a bad thing; it just means that people are using the sites.
To help you cope, SharePoint allows you to add extra content databases to web applications
to keep up with the ever-increasing data load. This is why it is possible to have several content
databases for one web application. In addition, you can configure database capacity settings (by
limiting the number of site collections per database) so that you can be warned when a database
is getting too big and be prepared to add a new database. Site collections themselves can have
quotas that limit their size in megabytes to give you further control. This is particularly
important should you be using a Standalone installation.
Overall, this means that SharePoint uses IIS Web Sites to drive the web applications that hold
site collections. Those site collections can each contain a lot of data. Additionally, a SharePoint
server farm can have a number of web applications, each with several content databases. This
means your SharePoint implementation can contain numerous content databases. However,
there can only be one configuration database for each server farm. The configuration database
specifies the configuration for the whole farm and, therefore, must be the only one. It is shared
by each of the SharePoint servers in a farm configuration. That’s why, during installation, if you
choose to do a Complete installation and you specify you’d like to add the server to an existing
farm, you just indicate the SQL server and the configuration database, and you’re basically done.