Divisional Portal (Single vs. Multiple Site Collections)

What is Divisional Portal?

A divisional portal is a SharePoint Server 2010 deployment where teams mainly do collaborative activities and some content publishing; for example it can be used for hosting an Intranet Portal with multiple Departments. In general we usual face the choice between using sites or site collections. Below we will go through each scenario in more details:


Single Site Collection Portal:

In this scenario the divisional portal will be built using a single site collection, and all the other Teams will be created using sub sites under the root portal. This approach have the following characteristics:

  • The solution has a common navigation
  • Has a single Quota template
  • Has a single content database
  • SharePoint resources can be
    shared among all subsides (like content types, workflows, design … etc.)
  • Security configuration can be inherited
  • Search is easier to configure
  • You can aggregate contents using SharePoint out of the box functionality (like Content Query Web Part, Data View Web Part … etc.)
  • Easier to administer and operate (ex: single backup & restore)

Multiple Site Collections Portal:

In the scenario the divisional portal might have a root site collection to aggregate the contents (like News) coming from other Teams. The Teams here is implemented using separate site collection each. This approach have the following characteristics:

  • Can support dedicated URLs per Team.
  • Supports multiple quota templates.
  • Can be distributed among multiple content databases.
  • Additional effort is needed to aggregate SharePoint resources (ex: create a hub to manage content types).
  • Custom navigation need to be considered.
  • Each site collection has an isolated administration configuration.
  • Each site collection must be added separately to Search.
  • Needs some customization to aggregate contents (.NET Development)
  • Requires additional administration efforts (Backup, Restore … etc.).


Before making the decision to choose one of the above approaches, you need to study and review your solution carefully and make sure that it covers the requirements. In addition you need to consider the operational & administration effort behind each approach.


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