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How SQL Server 2008 components impact SharePoint implementations

SQL Server 2008 components such as the Database Engine or SSIS directly affect SharePoint implementations, but not all administrators understand how.

An increasing number of organizations are deploying SQL Server 2008 to support their Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) implementations. In this circumstance, only the SQL Server components necessary for a SharePoint implementation should be installed in order to increase security and reduce surface attacks. However, many administrators do not understand the components in SQL Server and how they impact a SharePoint implementation.

SQL Server 2008 components

SQL Server 2008 is made up of the following components:

  • SQL Server Database Engine
  • SQL Server Analysis Services
  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • SQL Server Integration Services

SQL Server Database Engine
The Database Engine is considered the foundation of SQL Server 2008, and it is the core service for storing, processing and securing data in SharePoint implementations.

SharePoint related databases, like the content, admin, and search databases, get installed in the Database Engine component. Furthermore, the Database Engine provides the groundwork for high availability, scalability, security and document management as well as rapid access to SharePoint data.

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)
Analysis Services provides a foundation for business intelligence (BI) applications though online analytical processing (OLAP) and data-mining functionality.

BI is one of the six pillars of SharePoint, and it is attracting a lot of interest from both businesses and end users. This is because organizations are trying to use BI to gain an advantage in today's competitive business climate. SharePoint can publish BI data that is in SSAS, enabling knowledge workers to analyze data from disparate systems, view Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and improve business performance on a SharePoint site.

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
Integration Services delivers a high performance platform for building data integration and transformation packages for extracting, transforming and loading data between source and destination databases and data platforms.

SharePoint developers and administrators can use SSIS to extract, move and load data between SharePoint databases and SharePoint lists, and in addition, Integration Services can populate BI systems.

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
Reporting Services provides an enterprise class reporting infrastructure and development platform for creating, managing and distributing reports.

More on Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint

Achieving HA and DR with SharePoint databases 

How does SQL Server affect SharePoint performance?

SQL Server recovery models and your SharePoint databases

 The easy-to-use tools allow developers to generate interactive, graphical and free form reports via relational data in the Database Engine or multi-dimensional data in Analysis Services. Integrating SharePoint with SSRS gives information workers access to reports through SharePoint, and it allows them to analyze mission critical data and make better informed decisions.

Reporting Services offers new deployments modes for tighter integration between Reporting Services and SharePoint. The SharePoint Integrated Mode provides front-end access to a report server and associated operations, which creates tight integration because the report server runs in a SharePoint server farm. Another deployment method is Native Mode with SharePoint Web Parts. Reporting Services reports can be viewed in SharePoint by adding the Report Explorer and Report Viewer web part in SharePoint.

Overall, when installing SQL Server to support the back-end functionality for a SharePoint implementation, it is a best practice to keep the SQL Server installation slim and efficient.


 Part 1: How SQL Server recovery models impact MOSS
 Part 2: Achieving high availability and disaster recovery
 Part 3: The effects of SQL Server components on MOSS


Ross Mistry is a principal consultant at Convergent Computing, bestselling author and SQL Server MVP. He focuses on implementing SQL Server, Active Directory and Exchange solutions for fortune 500 organizations residing in the Silicon Valley. Ross' SQL Server specialties include high availability, security, migrations and virtualization. His recent books include SQL Server 2008 Management and Administration and Windows Server 2008 Unleashed. Ross frequently writes for and speaks at international technology conferences around the world. His Twitter handle is @RossMistry.

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