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What Is the Structure of SharePoint?

SharePoint is a server-based application designed to regroup and organize information. SharePoint is composed of two products: Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and SharePoint Portal Server (SPS whose 2007 version is called MOSS). WSS is a free add-on to Windows Server and offers basic intranet functionalities (creation of team sites and project sub-sites, etc.); whereas, SPS is a more advanced service, built on WSS, which offers complete classification and collaboration capabilities. WSS, SPS and MOSS can be indexed by the Coveo Platform using the provided structures described in the SharePoint references sets (Configuration > SharePoint).

SharePoint contains Web-like and database-like features called items. The following table summarizes the properties or these features into item types which are indexed differently.

Item type Description


Identifies the root of SPS. Portals provide unified access to all other content (areas, lists, etc.).


Identifies sub-sites of the portal. Areas regroup entries on a specific subject (ex.: news).


Identifies entries of an area. Area listings are frequently used to link to other content inside or outside the portal.

Example: A specific news article constitutes an area listing of the News area.


Identifies the root of WSS. If SPS is used, sites are accessible through the portal.

Note: Sites created by users to present themselves and their tasks are called personal sites.


Identifies binary (i.e. unstructured) documents contained in a site (ex.: .pdf or .docx documents).


Identifies containers of structured information. Lists are located within areas or sites. A list is similar to a table, with lines representing different entries (ex.: tasks to accomplish) and columns representing information concerning each entry (ex.: the person responsible for a task and the date it was assigned). More than fifty list types (Task, Agenda, etc.) are recognized by CES.

Note: Some types of lists, such as document libraries, can contain binary (i.e. unstructured) documents in addition to structured information. This unstructured content is included as list item attachments.


Identifies entries in a list (ex.: a task to accomplish). List items have the same type as their parent list (Task, Agenda, etc.).


Identifies binary (i.e. unstructured) documents linked to a list item (ex.: a .pdf document in a document library).

UserProfile Identifies a SharePoint profile. It contains many user properties such as its name, work title, etc.
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