Sharepoint Pages Overview

  • SharePoint pages are built on the foundation of ASP.NET. As a SharePoint developer, you must be aware of two different types of SharePoint pages.
  • These are Application pages and Site pages. Application pages, such as Settings.aspx, are used for all Windows SharePoint Services sites. Therefore, if you modify or extend the functionality in this type of page, your changes will apply to all SharePoint sites. Application pages are stored in the file system of the front-end Web server. They are located in the TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS folder in the Web Server Extensions path. Each SharePoint Web includes a virtual directory, named _layouts, that points to this physical location. So, for example, the Settings page is accessible by using the relative URL of /_layouts/Settings.aspx.
  • In contrast, Site pages, such as Default.aspx, can be customized on a site-by-site basis.
  • Newly-created sites start with site pages based on page templates on the front-end Web server. For example, sites based on the Team Site template contain a Default.aspx page from the TEMPLATE\SiteTemplate\sts folder. These pages are known as uncustomized pages.
  • When a site designer or developer customizes a site page for a specific site, the customized copy is stored in the site database and served from there when requested.
  • SharePoint pages are built on the foundation of ASP.NET 2 master and content pages.
  • Windows SharePoint Services uses master pages and content pages to achieve a rich level of page-templating and manageability.
  • Master pages typically contain layouts, graphics, and functionality, such as standard navigation controls, which can be re-used on multiple pages.
  • Master pages also contain one or more content placeholder controls that define where content pages can add specific page content.
  • Content pages reference master pages to re-use all of these features. They also contain content controls that map to the content placeholder controls in the master page.All Windows SharePoint Services site pages are content pages.
  • They reference master pages that are stored and managed in the Master Page Gallery of the SharePoint site.Application pages are also content pages.
  • They reference a master page that is stored in the file system of the front-end Web server.For example, the Settings.aspx application page references the application.master page, which is stored in the TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS folder in the Web Server Extensions path.
  • You can customize master pages so that all content pages which reference them inherit your changes.
  • You can use the new SharePoint Designer tool to edit master pages, or you can use text editors or Visual Studio 2005 to customize master page appearance and functionality.

More to come…

Cheers…

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