In MOSS 2007 there is this new concept of Shared Services Providers(SSP). The idea being that there are certain services that really make sense to centrally manage and share. A good example being profiles. With a SSP we can import all of the profile information from AD once and then our various web applications can consume the data.
Maybe we have http://finance and http://operations it doesn't make sense for each one to maintain identical profile information, they should share.
The major services that are handled by the SSP are:
- Profiles and Audiences
- My Sites
- All of Excel Services
- All of the BDC (Business Data Catalog)