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"Services on Server" - what to look out for

This post will provide a description of each of the SharePoint Services in the “Services on Server” section of Central Administration, describing what it is for and anything you need to look out for.

Note that some of these also have a corresponding Service Application that you will need to create in order to use them.




Access Database Service 2010

Enables SharePoint 2010 Access Services functionality


Access Services

Enables SharePoint 2013 Access Services functionality

Required for “Access Apps”

App Management Service

Manages SharePoint App licenses and permissions

Required for Apps to work

Application Discovery and Load Balancer Service

Determines which server to send Service Application requests to .. this is how SharePoint automatically balances load.

Fundamental SharePoint Service, defaults to “Round Robin”Can be extended with custom load balancing code if you are brave enough!

Business Data Connectivity Service

Enables BCS which provides External Content Types and External Lists.

Required if you want to sync external LOB systems with User Profiles.

Central Administration

Hosts the Central Admin Web Application

The default URL is set to the server-name of the first server SharePoint is installed on.If you want to run this on multiple servers you should consider Alternate Access Mappings with a DNS entry

Claims to Windows Token Service (C2WTS)

Used to convert SharePoint Claims back into Windows Tokens for Kerberos delegation.

Required for Kerberos when used with BI Tools. Requires some manual steps:

Distributed Cache


Heavily used in SharePoint. Requires ICMP ports open between SharePoint Servers.

Numerous Gotchas:


Document Conversions Launcher Service

Enables an extension point to configure conversion from one document format to another.


Document Conversions Load Balancer Service

Enables an extension point to configure conversion from one document format to another.


Excel Calculation Services

Enables the Excel Services BI functionality

Significant RAM overhead (recommended 32GB) If you want to use “PowerView” in Excel then you also need to configure the SQL PowerPivot add-on.

Kerberos will require C2WTS.

Lotus Notes Connector

Allows you to connect Search to a Lotus Notes database to enable indexing and crawling of Lotus content.


Machine Translation Service

Allows an API for developers to submit content to be translated into another language.


Managed Metadata Web Service

Enables “Managed Metadata” taxonomies and term sets

Required for default navigation settings in SP2013 (navigation stored in Term Store)Required for User Profiles

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Incoming E-Mail

Enables inbound emails to be stored in Document Libraries.

Requires significant configuration including AD and DNS settings:

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Outgoing E-Mail

Enables outbound emails from the server

Needs to be configured in Central Admin

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service

Allows Sandbox Solutions to be used and executed.

Required for SharePoint Hosted Apps, Design Manager and “Save as Template” functions (SharePoint Hosted Apps use the Sandbox Code Service to provision features and content in the “App Web”).

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service

Manages subscriptions between Sites and Apps.

Required for Apps to work

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Web Application

 Hosts the Content Web Applications

If this is enabled, all of the Web Applications (except for Central Admin) will be deployed. Also determines which servers are deployed to when deploying a WSP which is Web Application Targeted.

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Workflow Timer Service

Runs any SharePoint 2010 style Workflows


PerformancePoint Service

Runs the PerformancePoint BI component.

Significant RAM overhead (recommended 32GB) Kerberos will require C2WTS.

PowerPoint Conversion Service

Enables an API for developers to convert PowerPoint Presentations to various different formats (e.g. PPTX / PDF / JPG / PNG)


Request Management

Allows custom routing rules for requests made to Service Applications. e.g. to route Excel traffic from one Site to a specific server

If you turn this on without defining any routing configurations then everything breaks!

Search Administration Web Service

Servers that run search components

This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.

Search Host Controller Service

Servers that run search components

This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.

Search Query and Site Settings Service

Servers that run the query processing component

This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components.

Secure Store Service

Allows storage of credentials and other secure information.

Database is encrypted using a “Master Key” configured when the service is setup. Required for the BI Unattended Service Account configuration

SharePoint Server Search

Crawls content for the search index

This service is automatically started on all servers that run search topology components. Note – Cannot be stopped or started from the Services on Server page

User Profile Service

Manages the user profiles, creation of My Sites and SharePoint Social Features (and associated permissions and properties).

Required for “High Trust” Provider Hosted Apps to work

User Profile Synchronization Service

Used to synchronise data from AD (and other data sources) into the Profile Database.

Not necessarily required for User Profiles!If you are just doing the “Directory Import” option then this service is not required.

The definitive “how-to” guide:

Visio Graphics Service

Allows Visio diagrams to be deployed to SharePoint so they can be displayed in the browser.


Word Automation Services

Enables an API for developers to convert Word Documents to various different formats (e.g. DOCX / PDF)


Work Management Service

Allows task aggregation, particular bringing together Tasks from Exchange, Project Server and SharePoint.

Requires Search and My Sites. Tasks are stored in a hidden list in the user’s My Site.

Any additional suggestions, comments or errors you’ve spotted please let me know and I’ll try and keep this updated.

Note – this list only includes the Vanilla SharePoint 2013 services and does not include services added through other installs like SQL Server: {PowerView, Reporting Services, PowerPivot}

For more detail, including some great technical detail you can also check this TechNet article out: Plan service deployment in SharePoint 2013

By Martin Hatch, Associate Principal SharePoint Consultant

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Ballard Chalmers is one of the UK’s leading enterprise software engineering companies, specialising in development for the Microsoft Enterprise Application Platform. We are principally dedicated to software development and integration for the Microsoft Cloud, as well as on-premises and hybrid systems. Our expertise is in Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server.

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