No this blog is not dead… i must admit I was involved with wide variety of things and honestly speaking didn't had any spare time to Blog…. its a lame excuse .. I know :-). However, I did explore a lot of stuff and learnt a lot as well.. i will be posting those shortly (nothing to do with 2010 though).

Anyway, its time to play around with SharePoint 2010 at last!!

First, its not WSS any more.. its now called SharePoint Foundation 2010.

If you have TechNet or MSDN subscription, you can download the Beta builds that was posted yesterday at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx?pv=42:393 

For this post will be talking about the first look at SharePoint Foundation 2010, the simple installation on Windows  Server 2008 R2 and I am using Hyper-V to test this. Also note, all SharePoint builds are now 64 bit only. Read the system, requirement at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc288751(office.14).aspx .

Note: this beta requires Windows Server 2008 SP2 as the OS. You can install it on R2 but few features will not work and it is not recommended to install Windows SharePoint Foundation on R2 at the time of this blog post.

Remember, this is Beta. What you see below may or may not make it to RTM. Things will break, there will be a lot of unanswered questions, that what Beta is for.

  • Extract the files and fire up spash.hta (if you start setup.exe, you miss the fun). For this post i just have windows installed without any Roles or Features.I will rely on the prerequisite installer to do the rest.

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  • Click on Install software prerequisites

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  • This will install everything you need. Accept the EULA and click next.

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  • This will take a few minutes to complete. make sure you have a running internet connection so that the prerequisite installer can download the files it needs. After a while you will see a screen which say all prerequisites have been installed (if you don't, don't complain.. its Beta :))

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  • Time to start the SharePoint Foundation Installation. I will create a simple farm here that is not connecting to a full blown SQL Server, rather I will just use whatever comes with the installer. You need a restart before you can install Foundation. Next (from the splash.hta >> install SharePoint Foundation) accept the EULA and click continue.

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  • As i said before, we will do a stand alone install here. Note, in 2007 there was no supported upgrade path from Stand alone to a server farm installation. it was technically possible, but not supported and needed a lot of manual steps. i am guessing things are same in 2010 as well. So the question is why do we have the Stand Alone option? It’s primarily for testing and to be used in lab or dev environment. if you want to troubleshoot a simple thing, or just want to install SharePoint Foundation to play around and learn, why bother connecting it with SQL Server Std or Ent?

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  • In a few minutes, the installation will be completed and you are ready to run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard (psconfig). Click Close.

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  • Click next on the psconfig screen

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  • Since this is a simple install, it wont ask you any other questions and start creating the config DB and all associated databases and the web application. In a few minutes the configuration will be successful and you can close the psconfig screen.

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  • This will bring up the home page of your site, but before we do that lets take a peek on what the PSCONFIG did at the backend on SQL.
    • To do this first we need to install SQL Management Studio and you can download if from http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/download/ >> Select Management Tools to download it. This will first install the Web Platform 2.0 installer which will help you install SQL 2008 Express Management Studio.
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      Note you will also have to install SP1 for SQL 2008 for to make it runs in Win 08. Fire up SQL Server Management studio and connect to the names instance of WSS DB >> <ServerName>\SharePoint. You will see 6 databases created.

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    • Lets now get a brief understanding of what these DBs are:
      • WSS_Content – Content DB for your main web application
      • SharePoint_Config_<GUID> – Configuration DB. Like 2007 version, if you want custom name for your Config DB, you have to install it from command prompt.
      • SharePoint_AdminContent_<GUID> – Central Admin Content DB
      • BDC_Service_DB_<GUID> – Yes!! SharePoint now includes Business Connectivity Services or BCS (formerly BDC). Read more about BCS in SharePoint Foundation here - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee557646(office.14).aspx . However, you do not get everything of BCS in Foundation, for that you need a full blown SharePoint 2010. For a list of features in SharePoint 2010 BCS refer to - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee557936(office.14).aspx. In a nutshell what you get is the BCS Service, the connectors and the Pluggable Framework, External Lists and External Columns.
      • WSS_Logging – This is the new Logging database for SharePoint. This is a awesome feature where SharePoint logs all events. I cant even explain how important and handy this DB will be for finding out error events and reporting on them. A little example below:

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        I the above screenshot I can easily find the SP that is listed in the BlockingQueries table. similarly this has a bunch of useful tables like NTEventLog and ULSTraceLog.
      • WSS_Search_<MachineName> – This is the SharePoint Foundation Search DB.

Enough for today and I am running out of time. I will come back soon and we will explore the new features together. Till then download the bits and start playing around with it.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.