Provisioning Portal Sites
In Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, you can use the functionality from Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to provision single sites, but you can also provision multiple sites.
This section does not address using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Features to provision sites.
Provisioning a Single Site
In Windows SharePoint Services you create a site template that contains the details of the site to create, and then make it available for users to choose for provisioning through a Web-based provisioning dialog box.
In Office SharePoint Server 2007, instead of a site template from which you create a single site in Windows SharePoint Services, you create a portal site definition file that contains the complete hierarchy of sites to provision. The portal site definition file lists the site definition files for each site to create.
When you open the provisioning dialog box, Office SharePoint Server 2007 reads the webtemp*.xml files in the path
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\1033\XML. The webtemp*.xml files contain site definitions and portal site definitions that refer to site template and portal site definition files. Portal site definition files contain the hierarchy of site definitions that refer back to the webtemp*.xml file. From this information, the dialog box displays a list of available site templates and portal site templates to choose from.
The following figure shows how the provisioning dialog box retrieves the available site templates and portal site definition files.
Provisioning Multiple Sites
You can provision multiple sites in Office SharePoint Server 2007. Just as you do when creating a single site, you create a site template that contains the details of the site to create, and then make it available to users to choose through a Web-based provisioning dialog box.
When provisioning multiple sites, instead of a site template, you create a portal site template, which contains the hierarchy of sites to provision. The portal site template lists the site definition files for each site to create. For more information, see Provisioning Portal Sites.