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We currently are running moss 2007 for an enterprise internet facing site. The site's main functionality is surfaced using FAST search with MOSS 2007 used for the cms aspects. We find that the performance and development experience inside of MOSS to have been quite painful.

We are planning to migrate to MOSS 2010 but the plan is to use this as a data store only and to seperate the architecture into an MVC web application front end, with MOSS being used as a repository for the data. MOSS administration will continue to be the same but our front end rendering/logic will be a lightweight aspnet mvc site.

Would really appreciate others views on this as an idea?

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4 Answers 4

You might consider using an ASP.NET MVC Web Content Management System built for this purpose instead. Ingeniux is MVC in the UI tier and I think I read Sitefinity is supporting Razor views. Some CMS' use separated UI and Application Server tiers and may support MVC, like Ektron. You wouldn't get the benefit of their offering of web controls that automatically bind to the content, but, most MVC devs wouldn't want it anyway.

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This can of course be done, but with some changes to Sharepoint app. You can check this out that does exactly what you're intending to do and may help you lots while doing it because it has a step by step tutorial how to achieve it.

End product (www.TheMedicineCabinet.co.uk) is an Asp.net MVC application running inside Sharepoint context and using Sharepoint as the backing store. This example actually works exactly as you'd like your application to work. Administer data in Sharepoint site but have an Asp.net MVC front-end to display it to users.

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If all you want is the CMS elements, perhaps consider another CMS product. There are several .NET based products around. DotNetNuke and Umbraco are two. There's more at http://microsoft.com/web

Content authors will still be able to maintain content and the development experience should be less painful.

It will also cost you less than a SharePoint installation.

In short, I think that while SharePoint does content management, it's not a content management system. If you want its other advantages, then keep using it. Perhaps a .NET CMS plus Search Server Express would do?

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I would strongly recommend not using SharePoint at all in this scenario, because:

  • backup and restore is more challenging because you have to consider recovering the SharePoint boxes as well as SQL databases (and getting that right can be hard)

  • you have to consider SharePoint's various restrictions on list sizes, file upload sizes, site collection sizes, etc...

  • redundancy is challenging and requires good expertise to get right

  • from a disaster recovery perspective it takes longer to recover as SharePoint is not a basic web app (even more so with a multi-server farm)

  • your organisation requires both SharePoint and SQL Server expertise to maintain the solution

  • if you are already finding development painful, you are not removing that pain just isolating it to SharePoint's back end

Be very wary and consider everything if you are serious about going down this path.

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I wouldn't totally agree with this answer, because having Sharepoint admin frontend (or Designer for that matter) does make sense. Doing it all using Asp.net MVC means more work while doing something that's nicely been done. If they're already using MOSS7 I don't see any limitations on why not go with MOSS10. They won't be developing on MOSS, they'll just administer data there. –  Robert Koritnik Oct 4 '11 at 5:59
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