SharePoint 2007 hard limitations

These are hard limits and cannot be changed (except for the SQL timeout – and who’s sticking around for 5 minutes for a page to load).

We (livePoint) hit the Site URL limit while doing a migration from 03 to 07 – when you upgrade sites, it assumes (correctly) that you do not want to keep the URL numbering system (sometimes referred to as site buckets) implemented by SPS and replaces it (that part of the URL) with the site name.

If you have a deep tree or long site names in an upgrade that results in a URL longer than 255 characters, this will make some functionality crap out (e.g. "Open Document" works, but "Open in Word" does not from the website JavaScript menu).

From Harsh’s blog – SharePoint 2007 Maximum Limitations

Max permissible size
Site Name    
128 characters
Site URL          
255 characters
Display name
128 characters
Connection string
384 characters
Email address
128 characters
Version numbers
064 characters
Virtual Server Friendly Name
064 characters
SQL Database Name 
123 characters
SQL Database Column
128 characters
SQL Database Table Name

128 characters

SQL Role Name

128 characters

Server Name

128 characters

Windows User Name

300 characters

Windows Password

300 characters

Dependencies per object

032 objects

Zone enumeration value 

004 zones

Default SQL command timeout

300 seconds

Number of simultaneous
workflows that can be run


There are also the following limitations where performance degrades after reaching these numbers (From Technet)…

Site object

Guidelines for acceptable performance


Scope of impact when performance degrades

Site collection

50,000 per Web application

Total farm throughput degrades as the number of site collections increases.


Web site

250,000 per site collection

You can create a very large total number of Web sites by nesting the subsites. For example, 100 sites, each with 1000 subsites, is 100,000 Web sites. The maximum recommended number of sites and subsites is 125 sites with 2,000 subsites each, for a total of 250,000 sites.

Site collection


2,000 per Web site

The interface for enumerating subsites of a given Web site does not perform well as the number of subsites surpasses 2,000.

Site view


5 million per library

You can create very large document libraries by nesting folders, using standard views and site hierarchy. This value may vary depending on how documents and folders are organized, and by the type and size of documents stored.



2,000 per view

Testing indicates a reduction in performance beyond two thousand items. Using indexing on a flat folder view can improve performance.

List view

Document file size

50MB (2GB max*)

File save performance is proportional to the size of the file. The default maximum is 50 MB. This maximum is enforced by the system, but you can change it to any value up to 2 GB.

Library, file save performance


2,000 per Web site

Testing indicates a reduction in list view performance beyond two thousand entries.

List view

Field type

256 per list

This is not a hard limit, but you might experience list view performance degradation as the number of field types in a list increases.

List view


2,000 per document library

4,096 per list

This is not a hard limit, but you might experience library and list view performance degradation as the number of columns in a document library or list increases.

Library and list view

Web Part

50 per page

This figure is an estimate based on simple Web Parts. The complexity of the Web Parts dictates how many Web Parts can be used on a page before performance is affected.


The following table lists the recommended guidelines for people objects.

People object

Guidelines for acceptable performance


Users in groups

2 million per Web site

You can add millions of people to your Web site by using Microsoft Windows security groups to manage security instead of using individual users.

User profile

5 million per farm

This number represents the number of profiles which can be imported from a directory service, such as Active Directory, into the people profile store.

Security principal

2,000 per Web site

The size of the access control list is limited to a few thousand security principals (users and groups in the Web site).

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for search objects.

Search object

Guidelines for acceptable performance


Search indexes

One per SSP

Maximum of 20 per farm

Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports one content index per SSP. Given that we recommend a maximum of 20 SSPs per farm, a maximum of 20 content indexes is supported.

Note that an SSP can be associated with only one index server and one content index. However, an index server can be associated with multiple SSPs and have a content index for each SSP.

Indexed documents

50,000,000 per content index

Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports 50 million documents per index server. This could be divided up into multiple content indexes based on the number of SSPs associated with an index server.

Content sources

500 per SSP*

This is a hard limit enforced by the system.

Start Addresses

500 per content source*

This is a hard limit enforced by the system.


1,000,000 per SSP

This is the tested limit.


200 per site

This is a recommended limit per site. We recommend a maximum of 100 scope rules per scope.

Display groups

25 per site

These are used for a grouped display of scopes through the user interface.

Crawl rules

10,000 per SSP

We recommend a maximum 10,000 crawl rules irrespective of type.


15,000 per site

We recommend a maximum of 10 Best Bets and five synonyms per keyword.

Crawled properties

500,000 per SSP

These are properties that are discovered during a crawl.

Managed properties

100,000 per SSP

These are properties used by the search system in queries. Crawled properties are mapped to managed properties. We recommend a maximum of 100 mappings per managed property.

Authoritative pages

200 per relevance level

This is the maximum number of sites in each of the four relevance levels.

Results removal


This is the maximum recommended number of URLs that should be removed from the system in one operation.

Crawl logs


Number of individual log entries in the crawl log.

The following table lists the recommended guidelines for logical architecture objects.

Logical architecture object

Guidelines for acceptable performance


Shared Services Provider (SSP)

3 per farm (20 per farm maximum)



5* per farm

The number of zones defined for a farm is hard coded to 5.

Web application

99 per SSP

This limit includes the number of Web applications on child farms consuming resources on this SSP.

Internet Information Services (IIS) application pool

8 per Web server

Maximum number is determined by hardware capabilities.

Site collection

50,000 per Web application


Content database

100 per Web application


Site collection

50,000 per database


The following table lists the recommended guidelines for physical objects.

Physical object

Guidelines for acceptable performance


Index servers

1 per SSP*


Application servers running Excel Calculation Services

No limit


Query servers

No limit

Because 100 content databases are supported for each query server, the number of query servers required per farm is based on the number of content databases in the farm. For example, if there are 500 content databases in your farm, you will need at least 5 query servers.

Web server/database server ratio

8 Web servers per database server

The scale out factor is dependent upon the mix of operations.

Web server/domain controller ratio

3 Web servers per domain controller

Depending on how much authentication traffic is generated, your environment may support a greater number of Web servers per domain controller.


About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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6 Responses to SharePoint 2007 hard limitations

  1. Unknown says:

    What does a 2000 security principals limitation mean exactly?
    What does "Web Site Scope" mean? Is it at the web application level, site colleciton level, or individual web site level?
    How does the limitation apply? I am able to add more than 3000+ users to SharePoint without any errors or hard limits imposed by SP?
    These limits really need to be explained in detail.

  2. Brad says:

    The security principles are stored in a list – so like all lists, if there are more than 2000 items in the list, you will start seeing performance issues. This can be overcome by setting an index on the list (not sure how you\’d do this on a security list without touching the DB)Not sure about the web site scope – maybe check with MS on that one? I imagine it\’s a site collection, as that\’s where all security sits.Users in an AD group = 1 security principal (the group).Again, Speak to MS who can assist translating these limitations into what they mean for you and your situation.

  3. Pingback: List performance issue – Project Task List in SharePoint 2007 « Pratik's SharePoint Blog

  4. Pingback: Performance issue with Project Task List in SharePoint 2007 « Pratik's SharePoint Blog

  5. shashank says:

    i have a queation…
    in sharepoint 2007 Advanced search, we have something called “add property restriction”…in that when i use “title ‘contains’ xxx”, it is not showing up the result because xxx comes at a very later part in the title…my question is that, is there any character limit upto which the property ‘contains’ recognizes words and displays…i would be really grateful to u if u help me.
    thanks in advance

    • Brad Saide says:

      Hi Shashank. I’m assuming you have tried with a title that has xxx after the first few characters, and it does work? If so, then you may be right – I know there were restrictions on how far into a string the queries would look, but I can’t find anything (i just remember seeing it in action once).

      Try creating objects that are titled:
      ghi xxxjkl
      mnoxxx pqr
      stu (xxx) vwy

      etc – a few different combinations of a title with xxx in it might reveal a pattern of search behaviour.

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