Evolve and Empower your Generic Web Parts

Evolve and Empower your Generic Web Parts

Adding a web part to a page by code can be very helpful. Adding a web part to 10,000 pages can give you back your life!It is particularly helpful if you need a customized web part based on a portion of meta data on a large number of pages, especially in an enterprise environment. By adding a web part by code you can examine characteristics of the SharePoint site or page and adjust the properties of the web part accordingly.

On the other hand, you might have a web part which needs to be added to multiple sites that do not need organization; it just needs to be added as is. In that case the easiest approach is to add the web part to a single page, configure its properties as desired, and then export the web part to a .DWP (WSS 2.0 format) or .WEBPART (WSS 3.0 format) web part definition file. You can then create a program to read in the definition file and add the web part by using the definition by code.

Another advantage to this approach is that you do not need to include a reference to custom web part assemblies as you did with the object model approach. Not having to include reference could be helpful if it is difficult to access the assembly .DLL.

Useful customized web parts would be a SQL web part and a connectible page viewer web part. It would behoove any developer to have a custom SQL web part in their ‘toolbox’ since it would be very handy, especially when dealing with scenarios where formatting external SQL data sources is required. As for customized connectible web parts, imagine what it would be like to have web parts that can talk to each other. The ability to pass data between web parts is a huge advantage over the out-of-the-box web parts that come with MOSS 2007 Enterprise. You will essentially have web parts that are capable of functioning in much more complex scenarios than were originally designed.

So get out there and ‘customize’ away!

Check out an older development book by Nikander Bruggeman and Margriet Bruggeman released November 19, 2007 entitled Pro SharePoint Development Techniques at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-SharePoint-2007-Development-Techniques/dp/1590599136/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222354750&sr=1-7

Check out the new development book by Mark Gerow released July 24, 2008 entitled SharePoint 2007 Development Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/SharePoint-2007-Development-Recipes-Problem-Solution/dp/1430209615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222354750&sr=1-1

Check out the new Silverlight book by Laurence Moroney released June 21, 2008 entitled Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 2 Second Edition at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Introducing-Microsoft-Silverlight-2-0-2nd/dp/073562528X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222352702&sr=8-1

Check out the new Silverlight book by Matthew MacDonald released July 28, 2008 entitled Silverlight 2 Visual Essentials at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Silverlight-2-Visual-Essentials-Firstpress/dp/1430215828/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222352702&sr=8-2

If you did not know, VMware ESXi is FREE! Check it out at www.vmware.com/download

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I am a technologist with a strong background in software engineering. I have many interests. My current distractions are 70s-80s-90s music [it's a very eclectic collection], ontology, information architecture, mobile device technology, medical bioinformatics, artificial intelligence, and nanorobotics.

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