What is a Shared Service Provider in MOSS 2007?

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
  • Search
  • All of Excel Services
  • All of the BDC (Business Data Catalog)

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