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Explanation of protocol handlers sts3 and sps3

    Question

  • Can anyone explain what the sps3 and sts3 protocol handlers do and how they work?  It would appear that sps3 handles user profiles for people search while sts3 might be for WSS/SPS sites.  However, my "local sharepoint sharepoint sites" content source contains HTTP as the protocol for the sharepoint sites along with a SPS3 entry.  I would have expected STS3.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Jim

     

    Thursday, May 31, 2007 8:20 PM

All replies

  • The difference is explained in Chapter 9 Advanced Search Engine Topics (pages 526 to 527) in the Microsoft Press Book:   
                            Inside the Index and Search Enginges:  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007   
                            Partick Tisseghem and Lars Fastrup  
                            Microsoft Press
                            ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2535-8             
                            ISBN-10:  0-7356-2535-2

    A quick overview in reply to your question:

    The SPS3 Protocol
      The SPS3 protocol is used for crawling people profiles (e.g., those defined in the SSP) to support the "People Search" functionality in the MOSS Enterprise Search.

      This protocol is used to index WSS 3.0 server farms (which MOSS 2007 is layered on top of )

      "People Profiles" are at the SSP level:
      • This profile spans multiple Site Collections (all those web applications/site collections within the SSP)
      • The "My Site" commonly exposes the ability for people to edit their own information through the "My Profile" tab
      • Note that the WSS profile is not the same as the SSP profile information
        • The WSS profile information is the information that you can edit from the


    The SSP3 protocol commonly shows up when you define the content sources for the SSP

    Some examples:

            sps3://mysite.yourdomain.com/         
                
            sps3://www.yourdomain.com/mysite/

            sps3://my.yourdomain.com/


    Note, that if you are using SSL on your My Site host headers, the SPS3 protocol should not be used, and you should change your content source to use the SPS3S protocol instead.

    The protocol handlers (that ship out-of-the-box with MOSS 2007) translate the content source url from sps3:// into a web service call
            sps3://mysite.yourdomain.com         
            
            is actually crawled on the web front end by the indexer using a SOAP call to the web service 

                    http://mysite.yourdomain.com/_vti_bin/spscrawl.asmx

    ( the SPS3 SOAP call is made using HTTP protocol on TCP Port 56737 )

    The SPS3S Protocol

    The SPS3S protocol is used when you have enabled SSL for the My Sites, and is used for crawling people profiles (e.g., those defined in the SSP) to support the "People Search" functionality in the MOSS Enterprise Search.

    This protocol is used to index WSS 3.0 server farms using SSL (which MOSS 2007 is layered on top of )

    Some examples:

            sps3s://www.yourdomain.com/    

            sps3s://www.yourdomain.com/mysite/
     
            sps3s://my.yourdomain.com/


    The protocol handlers (that ship out-of-the-box with MOSS 2007) translate the content source url from sps3s:// into a web service call

            sps3s://mysite.yourdomain.com        
             
            is actually crawled on the web front end by the indexer using a SOAP call to the web service 

                    https://mysite.yourdomain.com/_vti_bin/spscrawl.asmx 

    ( the SPS3S SOAP call is made using HTTP protocol on TCP Port 56738 with SSL encryption )

    The STS3 Protocol

    The STS3 protocol is used for crawling SharePoint content without having to have URL links that lead to every possible content item in the web site.   

    This protocol is used to index WSS 3.0 server farms (which MOSS 2007 is layered on top of )

    STS3 protocol achieves this by using the Site Data Web service to determine all the content in your SharePoint site.

    Some examples:

            sts3://www.yourdomain.com/    

            sts3://www.yourdomain.com/teamsites/
     
            sts3://portal.yourdomain.com/


    The protocol handlers (that ship out-of-the-box with MOSS 2007) translate the content source url from sts3:// into a web service call
            sts3://www.yourdomain.com        
             
            is actually crawled on the web front end by using the web service 

                    http://mysite.yourdomain.com/_vti_bin/sitedata.asmx

    ( the STS3 SOAP call is made using HTTP protocol on TCP Port 56737 )


    Note, that if you are using SSL on your Site host headers, and you do not expose the pages through non-SSL URLs, the STS3 protocol should not be used, and you should change your content source to use the STS3S protocol instead.

    The STS3S Protocol

    The STS3S protocol is used for crawling SharePoint content that is exposed using SSL, without having to have URL links that lead to every possible content item in the web site.   

    This protocol is used to index WSS 3.0 server farms using SSL (which MOSS 2007 is layered on top of )

    STS3S protocol achieves this by using the Site Data Web service to determine all the content in your SharePoint site.

    Some examples:

            sts3s://www.yourdomain.com/    

            sts3s://www.yourdomain.com/teamsites/
     
            sts3s://portal.yourdomain.com/


    The protocol handlers (that ship out-of-the-box with MOSS 2007) translate the content source url from sts3s:// into a web service call

            sts3s://www.yourdomain.com        
             
            is actually crawled on the web front end by the indexer using a SOAP call to the web service 

                    https://mysite.yourdomain.com/_vti_bin/spscrawl.asmx 

    ( the STS3S SOAP call is made using HTTP protocol on TCP Port 56738 with SSL encryption )

    By the way:

    Have you seen sites that have a hidden web page that lists individual links to every row in a list, just so the search indexer can index every row as a display form? 

    This is because the person who setup the searching content sources didn't understand that SharePoint's built-in procotol handlers can access SharePoint site content without having to follow a direct URL link on the site.

    Other protocols such as the following are also explained in the Microsoft Press book mentioned above:

    BDC protocol        BDC://          Used for Business Data Catalog URLs   
                                                    { available only in the Enterprise edition of MOSS 2007 }

    BDC2 protocol      BDC2://        Used for Business Data Catalog URLs (an internal protocol)
                                                     { available only in the Enterprise edition of MOSS 2007 }

    File protocol         File://            Used to index file shares

    RB protocol            RB://            Used to index Exchange Server public folders

    RBS protocol        RBS://            Used to index Exchange Server public folders over SSL

    SPS protocol        SPS://            Used to index people profiles from WSS 2.0 server farms

    SPSS protocol      SPSS://          Used to index people profiles from WSS 2.0 server farms over SSL

    STS2 protocol      STS2://          Used to index SharePoint content from WSS 2.0 sites

    STS2S protocol    STS2S://        Used to index SharePoint content from WSS 2.0 sites over SSL

    Notes protocol    NOTES://        Used to index Lotus Notes databases, 
                                                     and include this content in the MOSS Enterprise Search indexes
     
    Again, I highly encourage you to purchase and read the book:

                            Inside the Index and Search Enginges:  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007   
                            Partick Tisseghem and Lars Fastrup  
                            Microsoft Press
                            ISBN-13: 978-0-7356-2535-8             
                            ISBN-10:  0-7356-2535-2


    Consultant, Microsoft Services (Canada)
    • Proposed as answer by Jordie Duce Friday, September 12, 2008 1:40 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, September 12, 2008 4:56 AM
    • Proposed as answer by nl-kevinv Friday, November 14, 2008 1:28 PM
    • Edited by Jordie Duce Wednesday, February 04, 2009 5:37 AM Fixed a few typos
    • Marked as answer by Mike Walsh FIN Tuesday, February 10, 2009 6:35 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, February 12, 2010 12:39 PM
    Friday, September 12, 2008 1:05 AM
  • If this is a *very long* direct quote from this book which is what it looks like, it is far too long a quote to fall within the "reasonable use" clauses and is thus a breach of copyright.

    By all means suggest a book as a source of good information, but then do not quote extensively from the book but give instead a brief explanation in your own words. (This reply doesn't look like a quick reply you have just written - it's far too well organised for that. However if it is, how do you find the time?)
    Friday, September 12, 2008 5:01 AM
  • If you just would like to get the properties indexed of a MOSS site is it then enough using the STS3 protocol....

    My problem is that crawling the pages take to much times and seems to be meaningless as we have set on the sitecollection don't index ASP pages 

    Regards
    Magnus Salgo
    Sweden
    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 11:44 PM
  • Actually, Jordie's post was much more informational about what STS3 is doing than that book is.  I have that book, and info about the different protocol handlers are listed on pages 526 and 527.  But all of the stuff that Jordie said is not there. 

    In fact, that stuff is the info I came looking for (despite having that book).
    Monday, February 09, 2009 7:14 PM
  • Thanks for that. I stand corrected.

    It certainly looked like a long direct quote from a book.

    As for his comment on marking my post as abuse

    >Note: Attempt to discredit Microsoft employee (of Microsoft Consulting Services) by implying that the answer is a >direct quote from a book, and that the author of the post is breaching copyrights of authors who obtained the >information from Microsoft..

    some people are just too sensitive. I didn't even notice he was a Microsoft employee so that part is total nonsense and since when is it abuse to ask people to abide by official rules when quoting from published material under copyright?

    P.S. and as the book is from Microsoft Press, there was no anti-Microsoft bias in attempting to protect the copyright. (Even if it turned out not to be necessary to protect it as the text which looked liked a massive quote, wasn't).


    Much Later P.P.S: I was doing a Moderator run-through of all posts in several SP forums that were marked as abusive and as part of that action unmarked the post earlier marked as abusive.

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    • Edited by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, February 12, 2010 12:43 PM Much later P.P.S. added - needed to make the earlier text in the post clear
    Tuesday, February 10, 2009 6:33 AM
  • Hi Jordie,

    I was wondering, since you said that if I was using ssl on the main portal I should need to point it to sts3s instead of sts3. May I know how can this be done?
    My configuration is as below:
    2 Web Front End.  1xSearch and Index Server (A) 1xFront End (B)
    1 Database Server

    URL (default) : http://server.com (hosted on WFE A)
    URL (internet) : https://server.com
    URL (custom) : http://portal.com (extended from http://server.com) (hosted on WFE B)
    URL (others) : https://portal.com

    both http://server.com and http://portal.com require ssl for access. This is done under the IIS

    recently, i have errors on the event viewer log saying it cannot access sts3://server.com to crawl. Access Denied. I tried to disable loopback but it still doesn't work. Do i need to set the sts3 to sts3s to resolve the problem? and how?
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 6:59 AM