Thursday, May 13, 2004

SharePoint: First Step to Integrating with Intranet

Due to cost and product design, most organizations will install SharePoint for employees and not the public. This will require companies to consider how to intergrate with their existing intranet. This is the first step that is fairly simple to take even for companies considering a fast migration to SharePoint from their intranet.

This idea is to use SharePoint to be the search engine for your intranet. Microsoft has done a very good job with search and it is a perfect way to introduce SharePoint to your intranet audience.

First, you need to set up a new portal. This requires a new virtual IIS server. When you set this up, make sure to go into the properties and use the security tab to allow anonymous access. Make sure to note the user name here. You'll need it in step three.

So now you have a new virtual server and you need to set up it up as a SharePoint Portal. You do this from the SharePoint Central Admin page. Obviously, this will take a few minutes.

Third, you need to set up the new portal access. Again from the Central Admin page click on -----. Set up the user name from step one for access. At this point you should now have unresticted access to the new portal. Test this.

Fourth, you now need to set up the search. Go into the Site Settings and set up SharePoint to search your intranet. [I'll do a graphic, step by step later.] You should now be able to search your intranet from within your SharePoint. Click on a link from a search result and you should see a page from your intranet.

Fifth, you probably want to delete the default areas (Topics, News and Sites) that SharePoint sets up for your new portal. This is going to depend on your intranet design and SharePoint skills. This would give you a portal just used for searching.

Finally, now you need to get to the SharePoint search from within your intranet. This is the HTML code you need to put into a page on your intranet.

[Note: ????.??? will have to be corrected later.]

Open the page where you put this form. Do the search and you should be searching using SharePoint. Great, your intranet users can now get a test of SharePoint.

Hope this works for you. Next we'll get your people to start using alerts in their searches. NOTE: A more detail document will be done when I have a test setup ready.

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