SharePoint Application and Site Pages - Part 2 of 2
page 1 of 5
Published: 02 Sep 2008
As the second article in a two part series, Steven examines the attributes and details of a SharePoint 2007 application page, including the construction and feature deployment of the same page based project. Since this is a WSS level objective, as opposed to MOSS, you will not need MOSS to work with the code included in this project. Windows Server 2003, WSS, and Visual Studio 2005 are all that is needed, with no additional add-ons. He provides a detailed analysis of each step involved in the creation and deployment of the project.
by Steven Barden
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A recap of Part 1

As it was previously described in part one of this two part series, there are two primary types of pages found in a WSS application, Application Pages and Site Pages. The first type of SharePoint pages (they can go in either order by description really) are Application pages, and are generally aspx pages that you will find used across multiple sites. This is due to the fact that any SharePoint site, by default, uses the same various virtual directories that point to the 12 directory (usually "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12" in a standard windows and SharePoint install). Since all SharePoint sites use the same directories, they all use the same pages, which are commonly "behind the scenes" type administrative type pages. The other type of page, site pages are those pages that are used inside an individual site for direct user interaction. These are basically, user level pages that make up the site, for example the default.aspx page. When you enter a site as a user you will probably be viewing Site pages. As a user, you will rarely see Application pages, with a few exceptions… certain login and error pages may be examples of Application pages of a site that users may see. Ironically, these are also the types of pages that managers may complain about "not looking like the rest of the site". The reason for this and possible solutions (but not all possible solutions) were discussed in Part 1 or this article.

Beginning the new project

This article and project are designed to cover building and deploying an Application page in a way that builds upon the previous part of this writing. It is assumed at this point that you have very likely used the SharePoint Designer at some time to build a SharePoint website. This is a pretty straight forward process, whether the site has built in page templates or not. It is not too difficult to add a new ASPX page to the existing site and customize it according to your needs. This author is likely to detail more about this in a later article, or you can certainly find more examples of this objective on the internet. But because building and deploying Application pages is more involved, this will be our objective.

So with that said, let's get started building and deploying this project. To give you a basic heads up of what to expect, the following are some highlights of what will take place with this project as we move forward…

1.    Begin the project with Visual Studio 2005.

2.    Open and make use of all components that are needed, including building ASPX and code-beside pages by hand.

3.    Deploying the application.

In all, it is basically that simple, so let's begin…

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User Comments

Title: Using an application page as the home page for a team sire   
Name: Shilpa
Date: 2010-04-13 6:05:40 AM

I am very new to Sharepoint programming.
I have a requirement where a SP list should be populated on loading the team site home page. I understand his is not possible with site pages. But can I create an application page that will populate the list on page load and make the application page the default page for the site?

Your response to this question will be much appreciated

Title: VS.NET 2008   
Name: Jagan
Date: 2008-10-09 12:01:54 PM
Does that work with VS.NET 2008 + MOSS 2007 ?
Title: Re. E.G.   
Name: T.Holm
Date: 2008-10-03 8:51:14 AM
Remarks retracted, didn't see the downloads :)
Title: E.G.   
Name: T.Holm
Date: 2008-10-03 7:22:34 AM
It would have been great, if you had made an example (screenshot or literal of the aspx page, including the reference to a code-behind file). Anyway it got me started (in the process of writing an application page to the central adm)
Title: Great   
Name: Abdulla Abdelhaq
Date: 2008-09-22 5:30:29 PM
Thank you .. well done :)

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