Archive

Archive for October, 2008

Custom Web Part Pages in WSS (Part 1)

October 29, 2008 3 comments

Okay, so WSS 3.0 doesn’t have the nice publishing features available with MOSS 2007.  However, there are a few things that we can do to improve upon the Web Part Page available out-of-the-box with WSS.

This series of posts will guide you through the process of creating a content type for an enhanced Web Part Page that can be versioned within a document library, searched using WSS Search and takes advantage of the Telerik RadEditor Lite content editor.

Background

To place these posts within context, I’d recommend reading this blog article by Tuen Duynstee.  Tuen’s article was really my starting point for creating an internet-facing WSS 3.0 site.

Now to the fun stuff…

Problems with WSS Web Part Pages and the Content Editor Web Part

The most obvious way to provide users with a Web Content Management system using WSS is to drop the Content Editor Web Part onto a Web Part Page.

Unfortunately there are several serious issues with this approach:

  1. Content Editor Web Part content isn’t versioned.  You can create as many versions the web part page as you like, the actual content – which is contained within the Content Editor Web Part – isn’t versioned.  This is a wider problem with web parts in general, but especially of note when attempting to provide web content management.
  2. Content Editor Web Part content can’t be searched.  Yes, this is as bad as it seems.  Add your content to the Content Editor Web Part and it can’t be seen by the WSS Search.

 

There is another issue with the Content Editor Web Part; whenever you re-open the web part to update content it turns all server-relative URLs into absolute URLs.  Therefore if you have your content accessible from different addresses (when you have an extranet and an intranet for example) any linked content will be broken for one of them as soon as anyone updates the content.  The only way around this is to edit the HTML directly.  Hardly suitable for non-technical users.

Solution

In a nutshell: create a Content Type to contain the web content within the page itself and make use of the superior Telerik RadEditor Lite content editor.

Stay tuned for the step-by-step guide on how to do this in Part 2.

Microsoft DevSta Winners announced

October 23, 2008 1 comment

Congratulations to the winners of the Microsoft DevSta 2008 competition: Michael Minutillo and Jarred Sargent.

Their prize-winning entry was a mobile device version of tag using GPS information to provide a map of the postions of players – an ingenious reworking of an old childhood game using the latest technologies from the Microsoft stable.

I’m lucky enough to work with both of them. 🙂