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In SharePoint 2010 Essential Training, author Simon Allardice demonstrates the full feature set in SharePoint 2010 and the necessary skills to be a SharePoint site administrator. The course shows how to use SharePoint, create sites and site collections, and plan and design sites and portals. It also covers Office integration, security and permissions, and advanced features such as document management and business intelligence.
Creating a site collection is actually a very simple task, but you typically don't have access to it. I am in a very limited location called SharePoint Central Administration. This is a website for managing the SharePoint farm itself and typically you only have access to this if you're what's called a farm administrator. If you do have access to this site, that's terrific. But if not, I just want to take you through the process so you understand what it is someone would have to do to make a new site collection.
I am in the section called Application Management. There is a whole bunch of options here, but I have, as you might see here, this Site Collections area where I have an option to create a site collection. Now, creating a site collection itself is kind of a bit of an anticlimax. To create a site collection, you really just have to tell it what is the top level site in that site collection. In this case, I'm double-checking that I'm going to create this site collection in the right place, the same place I have been doing anything else, under my server name, which is ldcsharepoint.com.
I'm going to give my new top level site a title. This is not the title of the site collection. It is the title for the top level site. I am just going to call it My Top Level Site. I could always change this later. Description is optional. Then however, I do have to give it a URL. It has given me a couple of choices. Either ldcsharepoint.com/my/personal, which doesn't seem right, or ldcsharepoint.com/sites/something. A lot of this will be down to how your administrators have installed SharePoint.
The idea of the server name/ sites is very, very common. In fact, SharePoint is installed with this out of the box, and it means that I'm going to create the address of my new top level site at something underneath. It could be /sites/ABC, /sites/ TLS, /sites/interesting project. I don't use spaces in my URLs here, because that would make the address part look very annoying. It doesn't matter what you put. Sometimes what people want to do here is have the option to have /teams/sales or /projects or /regions, and you can do that.
This section that says /sites is what's called a managed path and that just means that SharePoint says, "okay, I own anything under the URL, ldcsharepoint.com/sites. Anything under that URL is mine." If you want to define your own, over here I've got this ability to define a managed path. This is very quickly done. It's actually saying right now, we've got sites is a wildcard inclusion. SharePoint owns anything under the sites name. But if I wanted to have say teams, I could also say I want to claim that path for myself as well.
Or regions, I could claim that path, or even projects. Now, what does that mean? Well, what it actually means is if I go back now to the ability to create a new site collection, I have the ability to create that top level site under any of these URLs. I still have to give it a name after the fact. I still have to call it, for example, ldcsharepoint.com/teams/operations, but I can choose a bit more of my name, if this makes sense.
Again, we are creating a site collection by creating the top level site and what we have to do is name where is that top level site. So after giving it a URL, we then select the template. What kind of site goes there? Is it a team site? This is why a team site is the default one that most people explore, because it's the default site template. Is it a blank site? Is it a Document Workspace, a blog? Is it a Meeting Workspace? Is it one of the Enterprise ones? We are going to cover these a little later in the course.
I'm going to go back over here and say I am just going to make a blank site, as simple as it gets. Now, what you do have to name here is you have to name one or two people as being the site collection administrator. These can't be groups here. They have to be individuals. The reason for that is somebody has to be in charge, somebody has to be able to get emails that say hey, there's a problem with this site collection. So in this case, I'm going to name myself. As a shortcut, I can press Ctrl+K, just to make sure that it can look up that name.
Yes, it can. I don't have to name a secondary person, but again, that again can be changed later. Here's where, if I wanted to, I could specify a quota template, which is how big is this site collection allowed to grow. I am just going to leave it, which means there is no actual size limit, and click OK. Oops! I guess I missed the site title. I must have hit Escape out of that. I think when I was doing my managed paths. What did I call it? My Top Level Site. Come back down again. Click OK. Thinks about it for a minute, creates a new site collection and a new top level site at the top of it.
Now, you might be singularly unimpressed when you see the results. So it says, okay, it's been created. I click this. It opens up a new window, and there I go to my new top level site at the address ldcsharepoint.com/team/operations. I now have a site collection with one site in it. This site collection may end up only ever having one site init or I could put in a thousand sites, two thousand. The official limit for Microsoft is somewhere along the level of half a million sites. You'd never get that far, because you'd run out of space in your database if you started putting at least a modicum of data in there, but the limit is pretty much theoretical.
Now, the reason why I talk so much about site collections at this point is when we get into things like security, we have to understand site collections to do it. So one of the chief benefits of doing a site collection is that by making this new site collection, I could create the security on this site as being totally different from the security on the other sites I have been working with. By doing it within a site collection, I can allow that security to filter down from the top level site to its sub- sites, making it very easy to maintain.
This site collection has its own security. It has its own resources. It has its own recycle bin. It can be moved to its own database, if it needs to. So they are a very useful piece, and while you can't typically create a site collection without going through SharePoint Central Administration, it may be something that you ask of your farm administrator. And now you've seen how simple it is. At least you shouldn't be too intimidated. It doesn't take an awful lot of work on their part to create a new site collection.
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