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What do SharePoint 2010 Service Apps mean to administrators?
This article is part of the SharePoint Insider issue of February 2010
One of the biggest changes in SharePoint 2010 is the introduction of Service Applications. Like the functions bound up in the SharePoint 2007concept of Shared Services, Service Applications provide cross-farm functionality and give organizations flexibility in their deployments of critical services. But, unlike SharePoint 2007, you can deploy Service Applications in a range of configurations, and they are a whole lot more numerous than their predecessors. SharePoint 2007’s Shared Services represented a modification in the way SharePoint farms were managed. Certain key functionality, like search, was separated from the base server and deployed in a manner that allowed it to be shared across more than one farm. In SharePoint 2010, Microsoft created the idea of Service Applications and Service Proxies. A Service Application is a more basic approach to creating a shared service. There are separate Service Applications for each of the historical components of the Shared Services Provider, also called SSP. These include profiles, ...
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The new Service Applications model offers big scalability improvements but more complexity.