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Design document conversions topology

SharePoint 2007

Updated: April 23, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-04-23

In this article:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports installing document converters on the server that let users transform documents from one format to another. Conversions can be run either from the user interface or programmatically, such as from a custom workflow. The relationship between a source document and its transformed counterpart is maintained.

Along with providing the infrastructure on the server to install and run document converters, Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes a Document Conversions Load Balancer Service that you can configure to optimize the use of your server resources. Deploying document conversions includes tuning your server farm to optimally balance the load as documents are transformed.

About document conversions

A document converter is a program that takes a document of one file type and generates a copy of that file in another file type. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes converters for transforming documents into Web pages. For example, Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes the From Word Document to Web Page converter that transforms documents based on Microsoft Office Word 2007 into Web pages. Office SharePoint Server 2007 also includes an extensible framework for you to enable your own custom document converters. For details about creating and deploying custom converters, see the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit.

You can make a document converter available to users in two ways:

  • Make it available from all document libraries on the server.

  • Associate it with a content type and then associate that content type with a document library. Users can then convert documents of that content type by using the Convert Document command. For more information about content types, see Plan content types (Office SharePoint Server).

Document conversions can be resource-intensive. Because of this, two services are included in Office SharePoint Server 2007 to help manage document conversion performance:

  • Document Conversions Launcher Service schedules and initiates the document conversions on a server. When Office SharePoint Server 2007 passes it a document conversion request, the Document Conversions Launcher Service calls the appropriate document converter. In most server farm configurations, the Document Conversions Launcher Service and the converter programs that it starts should be installed on an application server. Each application server can only have a single Document Conversions Launcher Service enabled.

  • Document Conversions Load Balancer Service balances document conversion requests from across the server farm. When it receives a converter request from Office SharePoint Server 2007, the Document Conversions Load Balancer Service returns a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) pointing to the appropriate Document Conversions Launcher Service. An application server can only have a single Document Conversions Load Balancer Service enabled.

The following graphic illustrates how these two services work:

Document conversion topology example
  1. A user or service requests a conversion of type "A." The Web application asks the Document Conversions Load Balancer Service for an available launcher.

  2. The Document Conversions Load Balancer Service returns a URI for the most available Document Conversions Launcher Service.

  3. The Web application sends the conversion request to the available Document Conversions Launcher Service.

  4. The Document Conversions Launcher Service runs Converter A and notifies the Web application when the conversion is done.

  5. The Web application notifies the Document Conversions Load Balancer Service that the conversion is complete, making it available for new requests.

Typical document conversion topologies

In the most basic document conversions topology, a single application server contains both the Document Conversions Launcher Service and the Document Conversions Load Balancer Service, along with the document conversion programs:

Design document conversion topology - basic

If the performance limits of a single application server are exceeded, better performance can be achieved by using multiple application servers to host identically configured instances of the Launcher Service and its associated document converter programs. A Load Balancer Service can be configured to balance document conversions across multiple application servers, each running the Document Conversions Launcher Service, if each of the application servers running the Document Conversions Launcher Service has the same set of document conversion programs installed:

Adding lanuchers and converters diagram

Each Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web application can only point to one Document Conversions Load Balancer Service. If two Web applications require separate document converters, then two application servers will be required, one for each Document Conversions Load Balancer Service. In the following example, each Web application has a dedicated pair of application servers, one running the Load Balancer Service and the other running the Launcher Service and document conversion programs:

Desogm document conversion - load balancers

Configuring document conversions in a server farm

Configuring the document conversions services on a server farm requires manual steps described in this section.

  1. On each application server running the Load Balancer Service, determine the port on which the Load Balancer Service is running. To do this, use the regedit command on the application server running the Load Balancer Service, and search for the following key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\12.0\LoadBalancerSettings]

  2. Configure the Document Conversions Launcher Service by using the registry. Search for the following key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\12.0\LauncherSettings]

    1. On each application server running the Document Conversions Launcher Service, set the value of the entry LoadBalancerUrl to the URL of the relevant Load Balancer Service by using the following syntax: http://[Load Balancer Server]:[Load Balancer port]/HTMLTrLoadBalancer. For example, "http://SampleServer:8093/HTMLTrLoadBalancer" sets the URL of the Load Balancer Service running on the server Http://sampleserver.

      NoteNote:

      The Load Balancer Service port number is the value you determined in the previous step. If your farm has multiple application servers running the Load Balancer Service, make sure that you use the port number of the correct Load Balancer Service.

    2. Set the value of the entry Port to the port number that the Launcher Service will open for incoming conversion requests. The default port is 8082.

  3. If the application server running the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service has multiple IP addresses (for example, if the server has two or more network cards), specify the correct IP address for document conversion communications.

    NoteNote:

    If a server with multiple IP addresses is running the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service, you may see an error message in the Unified Logging Service (ULS) log with the value 6062 or 0000, the event category "Load Balancer Service" or "Launcher Service," and the description string "Found n valid ip addresses for this machine. Choosing this one: nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn"

    To specify the correct IP address for document conversion communications, edit the .config file of the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service executable program, and provide an IP address mask to exclude all IP addresses except the one used by the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service:

    1. Use the PING command-line utility from a server running the Launcher Service to determine the IP address of the server running the Load Balancer Service. For example:

      Ping servername

      Similarly, use the PING utility to determine the IP address of a server running the Launcher Service.

    2. Open the .config file for the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service executable program; it is located in the same folder as the service's executable program. For example, if the Launcher Service executable program is in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Server\12.0\Bin\Microsoft.Office.Server.Conversions.Launcher.exe, then the .config file would be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Server\12.0\Bin\Microsoft.Office.Server.Conversions.Launcher.exe.config.

    3. In the .config file, update the value of the keyIPExclude entry. The value of this entry is a regular expression that is compared against all IP addresses. Any values that match the key are excluded as the IP address to use to communicate with the Load Balancer Service or the Launcher Service. You should set an IP address mask that filters out all others except the correct one. For instance, if your server had 1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.2, and 1.1.1.3 as valid IP addresses and you wanted to use 1.1.1.3, you would use the following:

      keyIPExclude value= (1\.1\.1\.1)|(1\.1\.1\.2)

      Note that the keyIPExclude key works for IPv4 and IPv6. For information on creating regular expressions, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=79218&clcid=0x409.

    4. After changing the .config file for the Launcher Service or the Load Balancer Service, restart the service. On the Start menu, click Administrative Tools, and then click Services. Locate the Office Document Conversions Launcher Service or the Office Document Conversions Load Balancer Service and, from the shortcut menu, stop and then restart the service.

Planning topologies for document conversions

Use the Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 Document Conversions Topology Worksheet to record your document conversions topology decisions:

In the Load Balancer Service section of the worksheet, for each application server that will run the Load Balancer Service:

  1. Record the URL of the application server.

  2. Record the IP address of the application server.

  3. Record the port number on which the Load Balancer Service is running.

In the Launcher Service section of the worksheet, for each application server that will run the Launcher Service:

  1. Record the URL of the application server.

  2. Record the names of the document conversion programs that will run on the server.

  3. Record the URL of the application server running the Load Balancer Service for this Launcher application server.

  4. Record the IP address of the application server.

  5. Record the port number on which the Launcher Service is running.

Worksheet

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Document Conversions Topology Worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=79713&clcid=0x409)

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

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