While a SharePoint farm gives you the ability to create many separate web applications, there are several services that you will not necessarily want to recreate for each new web application. The most obvious example of such a service is the Search Service. In many scenarios, it makes sense to set up the Search Service one time and then share it across several web applications. This is the concept behind the Shared Services Provider (SSP) in SharePoint.
KeywordsUser Profile Share Service Content Source Portable Document Format Data Connection
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