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There is plenty of documentation on how to install and configure SharePoint. For the novice SharePoint user there are step-by-step guides, and for the more experienced user there are checklists. During all of these instructions there is very little emphasis on the proper use of Service Accounts used to install and configure SharePoint. It is, by far, one of the ways that you can spend days in SharePoint install and uninstall. In most cases, when I visit a client to help with the installation, they insist on using less accounts, and in some cases pre-existing accounts. I highly discourage this, but sometimes my clients have to learn for themselves.

Two things we have to consider when utilizing these accounts are creating the proper collection of service accounts to perform specific SharePoint tasks and associating the required permissions for the accounts, which includes domain permissions, local permissions on each server in our farm and SQL Server permissions. There is a great chart Microsoft has put together that you can check out here.  

So now that you know what you should do, let's also discuss what you should not do.
1. Don't use existing domain accounts. Create service accounts specifically for SharePoint.
2. Don't install SharePoint using your own credentials.
3. Don't change passwords of the accounts. When you change your passwords that have no idea where these passwords were hard coded into SharePoint and all kinds of issues will happen.
3. Don't forget to use non-expiring passwords.
4. Don't use service accounts to test or administer the portal. These accounts should not be used for managing sites.
5. Don't give out the service account credentials.
6. Don't change service account associations without doing it the "right" way. Check here and here for more information.
7. Don't use cryptic naming conventions for the accounts. It is much easier to understand what SP_Search is used for as opposed to DomSpSvc01.

As much as I can emphasize these things to each and every client, there are those who still insist they can do this differently. That's okay, just know it is not going to be a one day installtion, but more like a four day installation, and eventually you may just resolve to doing it the Microsoft recommended way - why not just save yourself four days.

Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008 11:13 AM SharePoint | Back to top


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