lori neff senior consultant inetium 6 14 2008
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Tips and Tricks for a Public-Facing Site in MOSS

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Lori Neff Senior Consultant, Inetium 6/14/2008. Tips and Tricks for a Public-Facing Site in MOSS. Topics. Considerations for Architecture Navigation Reusable Content Master pages Styling Login Pages Page Layouts & Content Types Custom Styles in Rich HTML Fields Style Search Results

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Presentation Transcript
  • Considerations for Architecture
  • Navigation
  • Reusable Content
  • Master pages
  • Styling Login Pages
  • Page Layouts & Content Types
  • Custom Styles in Rich HTML Fields
  • Style Search Results
  • Hide Controls With Security Trimming
  • Create Print Page Link
  • Content maintenance scenarios
  • Planning Your Implementation
  • Surveys
  • Customize List Form
  • Accessibility Toolkit
publishing feature
Publishing Feature
  • Today we’ll be covering sites with the publishing feature enabled
    • Create a standard site and then enable the publishing feature
    • Or, when creating your site collection, begin with the Collaboration Portal (if you want surveys or discussion groups or blogs later on, then you’ll want the Collaboration Portal; the Publishing Portal doesn’t even allow you to enable these OOB features later on)
considerations for architecture
Considerations for Architecture
  • Consider the users involved:
    • Who will be visiting your site
      • Browsers involved (impacts CSS, navigation)
      • Level of interaction (navigation, media, web parts, RSS feeds, surveys, discussion forums)
      • Experience (simplicity of site, layout)
    • Who are your Content Editors
      • Power users – Can edit in SharePoint Designer, know HTML, etc. Can do some interesting things in CEWP (good/bad?)
      • New users – Don’t know HTML; HTML editors need to be restricted and built out to provide a consistent user experience. Impacts page layouts required, CSS, navigation, permissions
    • Who’s going to Implement Design
      • Need to be Familiar with SharePoint BEFORE they go to the SharePoint Designer classes; architecture impacts design decisions
    • Who will be your Site Administrators
      • What level of participation do you want to have in the ongoing maintenance of the site
    • Where is the content coming from?
      • Migrating information? from SQL? XML? Metadata?
out of box navigation
Out-of-Box Navigation
  • Pros: Easy, quick, leaves power in hands of users
  • Cons: It’s not lightweight; customization in Master Page
  • Architect the site to leverage the OOB navigation best – create a site for each item that has sub-topics that will need to appear on the navigation
  • Note that this architecture will provide a structure for logical breadcrumbs, and use of the OOB site map
  • To customize:
    • You can do a lot with the assigned CSS classes
    • Width, number of levels deep, text wrapping are all set in the control; override settings in the master page
      • Example: change navigation to allow text wrapping
        • Select top navigation control; in Tag Properties panel, for ItemWrap, change from “False” to “True”
  • Issue with using Headings in Local Navigation (left nav)
    • If you inherit the top-level site’s Local Navigation, headings (and the links underneath them) disappear on the sub-site
    • You can find a fix at http://makingoffice2007work.blogspot.com/2007/12/sharepoint-how-to-make-navigation.html
reusable content
Reusable Content
  • Pro: Easy to maintain, flexible
  • Con: Only available in Rich HTML publishing fields (NOT the CEWP)
  • To add a new Reusable Content item:
    • Select the text / html code that you’d like to repeat
    • From the top-level site, View All Site Content
    • Find the Reusable Content List
    • Add a new item to the list
      • Enter a name, description (if desired)
      • Click to enter content
      • To paste in HTML, click “Edit HTML” button
      • Click OK
  • To insert a Reusable Content item in page:
    • Enter Edit Mode for page
    • Click to Edit Content in page content field
    • In Rich HTML toolbar, click “Insert Reusable Content” button
    • Choose the desired Reusable Content Item from the list
master pages
Master pages
  • Tip: Consider what you’ll need to style
    • If your readers will never see the lists, consider only styling the Custom Master Page
  • If you customize the Master Page, Plan how you’ll deploy updates (features are your friends)
styling login pages
Styling login pages
  • Login pages (and all other pages that reside in the _layouts folder) live on the file system in the 12 hive
  • Method A:
    • You can edit these files on the file system, but be careful; it will affect all the web apps on that file system
  • Method B:
    • Create a local copy of the contents of the _layouts folder (put it in the root of your site collection)
    • Style the simple.master and other pages in the local_layouts folder as desired; necessary when you have multiple sites on one server with different designs
add fields to page layout
Add fields to Page Layout
  • You get only one page content field in the OOB page content type.
  • Scenario: Product page; content with “callout box”
    • Go to top level Site Settings, Site Content Types Gallery
    • Create new content type that inherits from Article Page
    • Create new site column with a type of Publishing HTML
    • From SPD, create a new Page Layout using the new content type you just created
    • In the Toolbox panel, under the list of Content Fields, you should see your new site column.
  • Plan for maintenance and scalability
    • Create a structure that will require no updating (or as little as possible)
    • Refer to implementation notes later
custom styles in rich html fields
Custom Styles in Rich HTML Fields
  • CSS files that contain the OOB Rich HTML editor styles:
    • HtmlEditorCustomStyles.css
    • HtmlEditorTableFormats.css
  • To override these styles:
    • Make a copy with the exact same file name
    • Store it in your site (say, in your Style Library)
    • Make the desired changes (i.e., remove a style altogether)
    • Register it in your master page
  • To add to these styles
    • Add a new class and prefix the name with “ms-rte-Custom”, e.g., .ms-rteCustom-FabrikamTitle
style search results 1
Style Search Results - 1
  • Create a search results page
  • Edit search results web part; Modify XSLT – copy existing and save for later
  • Replace xslt with this to show the raw xml results:

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"


<xsl:output method="xml" version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" indent="yes"/>

<xsl:template match="/">

<xmp><xsl:copy-of select="*"/></xmp>



  • Save and then run the search.
  • You\'ll see the raw xml results.
  • Save these xml results in a little xml page.
style search results 2
Style Search Results - 2
  • Go into SharePoint Designer, create a blank aspx page.
  • Go to the Data View menu and click "Manage Data sources“
  • In the Data Source Library pane, upload the xml file you saved a moment ago:
  • Expand the xml files node and click "Add an XML file“
  • Browse to the file on the Source tab, click ok
  • Now you\'ll see your file listed in the Data Source Details pane
  • Click on the file\'s dropdown menu and show the data.
  • Select the nodes you want and drag them onto the page.
  • SharePoint Designer will render the data.
style search results 3
Style Search Results - 3
  • Click on the Common Data View Tasks (chevron at top right of control)
    • Here you can define paging, columns, grouping, sort, layout, etc.
  • When you have the data (at least in HTML view), you can change aspects of the field result;
    • Change an image hyperlink to show its picture instead.
    • Change the title to be clickable (and its target should be {url} instead of {title}, but display is still {title})
    • Format the date time of the creation date
  • Now just copy the xsl from the code view (everything within the XSL tag)
  • When you go back to your page, there\'s a small problem that the search results web part is too big to be edited.
    • So just go into the web part management view (add "?contents=1" to the end of the page url) and remove that web part.
    • Now go back to edit the page and add that web part back in again.
    • Paste your xslt into the editor.
hide controls with security trimming
Hide Controls with Security Trimming
  • Simple way to hide controls using security trimming:

<Sharepoint:SPSecurityTrimmedControlrunat="server" Permissions="ManageLists">

Insert control here


  • The left nav (quick launch) is wrapped in a security trimming control
create print page link 1
Create Print page link - 1
  • Create a file called print.css
  • Create definitions in css to hide necessary classes/tags/ids
    • Example:
      • .topNav { display: none; }
  • Add css link to master page:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/style library/print.css" media="print" />

  • Save Master page and return to browser; test new css – go to print preview to see how the print.css changes the page
  • To add a button that will do a print preview for you, then add the following (see next slide for more):

<a onclick="javascript:PrintPreview();">

<img alt="Print this page" src="/Style%20Library/images/print.gif" border="0">


create print page link 2
Create Print page link - 2
  • Now add the following script to the head tag in master page:

<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

function PrintPreview(){

varsUrl = window.location.href + "&PrintPreview=true";

if(window.location.href.indexOf("?") == -1)

{sUrl = window.location.href + "?PrintPreview=true";}

window.open(sUrl, "_blank", "width=950,height=700,resizable=1,toolbar=1", true);


if(window.location.href.indexOf("PrintPreview=true") >-1)


function SetPrinterFriendlyCSS() {

document.write(\'<style> @import url("<asp:Literalrunat="server" id="lit5" Text="<% $SPUrl:~sitecollection/Style Library/print.css %>"></asp:Literal>");</style>\');



content maintenance scenarios
Content maintenance scenarios
  • Publishing on production
    • SharePoint’s publishing feature allows content to go through an approval process, and to publish at scheduled times
  • Content Deployment
    • Good in a situation where you have a read-only site, with your web apps on two different farms
    • Difficulties when custom content types are added to the equation
planning your implementation
Planning Your Implementation
  • Tip: Create the initial design in a development environment, then implement it with features/solutions
    • Create your CSS, master pages and basic page layouts via the browser and SPD on a dev site
    • Create content types and lists via features, then implement them on the dev site
    • Since you might have page layouts that are built on a custom content type, plan accordingly
  • Pros:
    • Actual version control in TFS or equivalent
    • Streamlined implementation through different environments
  • Cons:
    • Investment of time and planning, and setup
    • Deactivating a feature leaves artifacts (i.e., a content type that is still being used in the site will remain)
set up aam properly
Set up AAM properly
  • Make sure you have a fully qualified DNS entry for Alternate Access Mappings
  • Telltale signs:
    • Can’t check files in
    • Wrong CSS loaded
    • Mysterious permissions errors in SharePoint Designer
surveys anonymous
Surveys - Anonymous
  • To allow anonymous users to access a survey, but not allow them to edit the survey contents:
    • First, anonymous access has to be set up on the site collection
    • Go to the survey, go to survey settings. 
    • Click on “Title, description and navigation.” 
    • Go to “Advanced settings.” 
      • Under “Read access”, allow users to read All responses. 
      • Leave the Edit access at “Only their own.” 
      • Click OK. 
    • You should be back at the settings page for the survey. 
    • Now click “Permissions for this survey.” 
    • Under the Settings menu, choose “Anonymous Access.” 
    • Check “Add Items” and “View Items” (you need to keep view items because you can’t let them add without also letting them view). 
    • Click OK. 
edit list form
Edit List Form
  • Create a Customized List Form:
    • In SPD, open the NewItem.aspx page, and do a File, Save As, and give the form a new name, such as NewItemForm.aspx
    • Delete the default List Form Web part from the page.
    • Go to Insert > SharePoint Controls > Custom List Form
    • Select the appropriate list, content type and form type
    • This will insert a Data Form Web Part that you can customize as you like.
  • If you want a survey to go to a different page than overview.aspx:
    • Remove the existing OK buttons.
    • Add a Form Action Button (from the Data View Controls section of the Toolbox)
    • Add an action to Commit and then add an action to direct to a new page. It adds the javascript for you.
accessibility toolkit
Accessibility Toolkit
  • December of last year, HiSoftware created an Accessibility toolkit
  • Contains:
    • CSS files (all relative sizing)
    • A size utility (to change absolute sizes to relative)
    • Master pages (essentially copies of existing OOB master pages with adjustments for sizing, etc.)
    • Control adapters (accessible wrappers for current web parts, such as Excel, Search, lists and documents)
    • A Feature install