Difference between WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007

SharePoint is one of the buzzwords that are used almost in every office. When a newbie enters in the world of the SharePoint technologies, one of the first questions  is: “What is the difference between the available distributions?” Generally there are two main distributions: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). This article compares the WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 and outlines the differences between them.

The long story short: WSS comes as a free download if you have Windows Server 2003 or 2008. MOSS is build on top of WSS and must be purchased separately. Depending on the version (Standard, Enterprise, etc.) the license can be a significant financial investment. For details about difference licensing scenarios, you should contact your local Microsoft representative, because the licensing can vary if your server serves internet users or only intranet requests.

Bellow I will summarize some of the most important features of both distributions.

Features of WSS

WSS is a collaboration platform, primary used for sharing and managing information and documents via a web site. The following are the most essential features:

  • Site provisioning – WSS acts as a site provisioning engine that simplifies the process of creating new web sites. These sites can be provisioned via site templates or site definitions. Figure 1 shows sample WSS site:Figure 1 Sample WSS site
  • Document management – WSS provides support for document checkout before editing, the ability to view revisions to documents and restore to previous versions. Figure 1 shows sample document library.
  • Figure 2 Documents library

  • Web Parts Infrastructure – web parts are special controls which can be added to certain areas of a web page (Web Part Zones). These controls enable end users to modify the content, appearance, and behavior of Web pages directly from a browser.
  • Integration with Word, Excel, Access, Outlook –  users can directly open a document from the server, without the need to download it first.
  • Wikis, Blogs – wikis are supported as a site template, which allows you to create new pages quickly and easily, provides automatic linking and WYSIWYG editor. Blogs are supported as a site template as well, which provides features for article posting, reader comments and RSS feeds.
  • Email integration  – document libraries, discussion boards, calendars, and announcements can be configured to send emails upon new postings.
  • Limited search support – WSS is is limited to showing results from the site and all of its subsites.
  • Basic workflows support – you can create workflows, but you will need external tools like Visual Studio to do so. WSS is just a container that executes your workflow.
  • Mobile devices support – the information is rendered using simplified text format.
  • Server Farm – if you need high scalability, you can install WSS in a server farm mode which means that several machines will run the stateless presentation layer and all of them will be connected to the same SQL Server database.

Features of MOSS

MOSS installs on top of the WSS and extends the provided features. The major additions are :

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