SharePoint 4 Developers

Additional reference guide in .NET / SharePoint Development

Rebranding branded SharePoint Publishing Sites - Dilemmas

If you are going to Rebrand a branded SharePoint site, and if the budget allows you to go further, plan for an upgrade before rebranding. This will minimize rework and hence costs in the future.

Hi folks,

Due to a recent project I worked on I have decided to write something about facing dilemmas, about to do or not to do? That is the question.

When you face situations that you don’t have an immediate answer for that, you need to put some thought on it.

dilemma

Rebranding branded sites

When a client comes to you telling they want to rebrand an existing SharePoint site, the first thing that comes to my mind... is this an upgrade?

It turns out that because I have always worked on the development of Custom Branded Sites, I used to think about that.

In general, rebranding a branded site comes after upgrading the environment, but this is not a rule.

To upgrade, or not to upgrade?

If you are going to Rebrand a branded SharePoint site, and if the budget allows you to go further, plan for an upgrade before rebranding. This will minimize rework and hence costs in the future.

But if the budget does not comprise an upgrade, it is up to you to tell the client that not upgrading the environment can lead to expensive costs in the future, especially if you need to jump platforms.  e.g. from MOSS 2007 to SP2013. These costs involve:

  • Infrastructure – New architecture, resources, hardware.
  • Solutions – Compatibility of customizations.

But it is up to the client to decide where to put the money. The client needs to be guided to what is best for its business.

In my case a client decided not to upgrade the environment, so my job was to rebrand branded sites in the same environment. Although it seems pretty straightforward, it is not, you need to consider:

  • Design / Look and Feel – Changes on site definitions, master pages and page layouts.
  • Content Types – New fields available in page layouts.
  • Web parts – Mapping existing x new.
  • Navigation – Top and left navigation changes.
  • Reusable content – Header and Footer sections.

To be, or not to be guided by mock-ups?

Before the mock-ups are created, talk to the business users about content, ask how the pages are going to display information created by content editors.

Don’t let yourself be driven by mock-ups, in general design agencies don’t have a clue about SharePoint, so the design they create probably will have some incompatibilities with SharePoint.

To update, or not to update site definitions?

Don’t ever touch the site definition schemas after site collections/sites were already provisioned. This is not supported! Here is the proof: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/898631

Instead use the object model to apply changes to the site definition. If you are provisioning the sub-sites add some code to the Feature Receiver (Activation or Deactivation) to modify the site definition.

Note: You could create a new site definition if you want a fresh start, but you would need to adapt existing code and migrate existing site collections that uses the old version of site definition. I personally don’t recommend this approach.

To create, or not to create a new master page?

It depends. I say yes if you need to keep the old version, but if you do that you will need to modify the feature receiver to assign the new master page programmatically when provisioning a site collection/site. Remember the old master page is bound to the site definition schema!

But if you don’t need to keep the master page I say no, update the existing master page. This is my recommended approach.

To create, or not to create new page layouts?

Probably there will be layout / field changes as a result of the new mock-ups provided.

You are free to modify or create new page layouts, what you cannot do is to delete existing page layouts. They can be referenced by the site definition schema, so in this case you need to keep them available.

I don’t mean available for users to select when creating pages (you can hide them), but just as part of the code as a legacy.

Note: Content types can be bound to page layouts, so when you create pages, fields from content types are displayed on pages.

To preserve, or not to preserve webparts?

Do whatever you want with them. You can delete a web part descriptor from the Web part gallery and still have a reference to a page, so it means you can modify or delete them.

It all depends on the look and feel / functionalities required by the Rebranding of the web site. If it fits to the purpose of the new Rebranding, keep them, otherwise remove them.

To create, or not to create custom navigations?

It is up to you to decide what goes on the top bar or quick launch. Obviously you don’t want users to see Lists/Libraries displayed on Custom Navigation. So you can modify it to not to display these objects by default.

There are best practices when creating custom navigations. You don’t want to iterate manually through sites and sub-sites for that.

Use the objects under the namespace Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Navigation as they provide much better performance when handling navigation items.

In MOSS 2007 and SP2010 the PortalSiteMapProvider class should be used to iterate through nodes (that represent sites, pages, links), while in SP2013 the TaxonomySiteMapProvider class should be used as it comes from the Metadata Services Application.

To use, or not to use reusable content?

Of course you can use reusable content. This is totally recommended in publishing sites!

By using the Reusable Content List you can either create reusable HTML or reusable Text.

In most of sites you have the Header and Footer sections that are shared and displayed in all pages, so why not to use this feature?

To go, or not to go for it?

It is not rare to find yourself stuck with dilemmas when customizing SharePoint. Based on my experience, my recommendation is to stick to the SharePoint best practices and recommendations from the field.

Preferably look for Microsoft articles that show how to do it. If you don’t find anything specific, talk to other professionals about the problem you have.

I hope it helps. In case you have different point of view, please share it.

Cheers,

Marcel

References:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/898631
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.publishing.navigation.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-nz/sharepoint-server-help/use-reusable-content-HA010163838.aspx

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SharePoint 2013 Web Templates

List of Web templates supported in SharePoint 2013. Powershell script helps you to identify Web Templates supported in SharePoint 2013. The column Compatibility Level identifies the version of SharePoint supported.

Hi folks,

If you need to know what the web templates supported in SharePoint 2013 are, have a look at this list:

ID

Name

Title

Compatibility Level

0

GLOBAL#0

Global template

14/15

1

STS#0 Team Site 14/15

1

STS#1 Blank Site 14/15

1

STS#2 Document Workspace 14/15

2

MPS#0 Basic Meeting Workspace 14/15

2

MPS#1 Blank Meeting Workspace 14/15

2

MPS#2 Decision Meeting Workspace 14/15

2

MPS#3 Social Meeting Workspace 14/15

2

MPS#4 Multipage Meeting Workspace 14/15

3

CENTRALADMIN#0 Central Admin Site 14/15

4

WIKI#0 Wiki Site 14/15

9

BLOG#0 Blog 14/15

15

SGS#0 Group Work Site 14/15

16

TENANTADMIN#0 Tenant Admin Site 14/15

17

APP#0 App Template 15

18

APPCATALOG#0 App Catalog Site 15

2764

ACCSRV#0 Access Services Site 14/15

N/A

ACCSRV#1 Assets Web Database 14

N/A

ACCSRV#3 Charitable Contributions Web Database 14

N/A

ACCSRV#4 Contacts Web Database 14

N/A

ACCSRV#5 Projects Web Database 14

N/A

ACCSRV#6 Issues Web Database 14

2757

ACCSVC#0 Access Services Site Internal 15

2757

ACCSVC#1 Access Services Site 15

7

BDR#0 Document Center 14/15

95

DEV#0 Developer Site 15

10000

DOCMARKETPLACESITE#0 Academic Library 15

3300

EDISC#0 eDiscovery Center 15

3300

EDISC#1 eDiscovery Case 15

14483

OFFILE#0 (obsolete) Records Center 14/15

14483

OFFILE#1 Records Center 14/15

40

OSRV#0 Shared Services Administration Site 14/15

3100

PPSMASite#0 PerformancePoint 14/15

3200

BICenterSite#0 Business Intelligence Center 14/15

20

SPS#0 SharePoint Portal Server Site 14/15

21

SPSPERS#0 SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space 14/15

21

SPSPERS#2 Storage And Social SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space 15

21

SPSPERS#3 Storage Only SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space 15

21

SPSPERS#4 Social Only SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space 15

21

SPSPERS#5 Empty SharePoint Portal Server Personal Space 15

22

SPSMSITE#0 Personalization Site 14/15

30

SPSTOC#0 Contents area Template 14/15

31

SPSTOPIC#0 Topic area template 14/15

32

SPSNEWS#0 News Site 14/15

39

CMSPUBLISHING#0 Publishing Site 14/15

53

BLANKINTERNET#0 Publishing Site 14/15

53

BLANKINTERNET#1 Press Releases Site 14/15

53

BLANKINTERNET#2 Publishing Site with Workflow 14/15

33

SPSNHOME#0 News Site 14/15

34

SPSSITES#0 Site Directory 14/15

36

SPSCOMMU#0 Community area template 14/15

38

SPSREPORTCENTER#0 Report Center 14/15

47

SPSPORTAL#0 Collaboration Portal 14/15

50

SRCHCEN#0 Enterprise Search Center 14/15

51

PROFILES#0 Profiles 14/15

52

BLANKINTERNETCONTAINER#0 Publishing Portal 14/15

54

SPSMSITEHOST#0 My Site Host 14/15

56

ENTERWIKI#0 Enterprise Wiki 14/15

6115

PROJECTSITE#0 Project Site 15

59

PRODUCTCATALOG#0 Product Catalog 15

62

COMMUNITY#0 Community Site 15

63

COMMUNITYPORTAL#0 Community Portal 15

90

SRCHCENTERLITE#0 Basic Search Center 14/15

90

SRCHCENTERLITE#1 Basic Search Center 14/15

N/A

SRCHCENTERFAST#0 FAST Search Center 14

61

visprus#0 Visio Process Repository 15

Where:

14 – SharePoint 2010

15 – SharePoint 2013

 

The list above can be obtained by merging the results from this Powershell script:

Code Snippet
  1. $site = Get-SPSite "http://yoursitecollection"
  2. $templateCol = $site.GetWebTemplates(1033)
  3. foreach($template in $templateCol)
  4. {
  5.     Write-Host $template.ID,$template.Name,$template.Title
  6. }
  7.  
  8. $site.Dispose()

With the Commandlet:

Code Snippet
  1. Get-SPWebTemplate

 

If you are creating Custom Web Templates, you’re gonna need this reference.

I hope it helps.

Cheers,

Marcel Medina

Click here to read the same content in Portuguese.

MCT Summit Brazil 2012 - Feedback

MCT Summit Brazil 2012 - The event was awesome, all presentations were top-notch. It was really nice meeting other MCTs, to share information and experiences

Hi folks,

The event was awesome, all presentations were top-notch. It was really nice meeting other MCTs, to share information and experiences.

Events like this allow us to be in touch with people that do the same thing you do. This is valuable, because based on their experiences, it helps you to think how to do things better on daily basis.

I would like to share some pictures of the event:

All

Marcel Medina

Presentation

Sao Paulo

All

All Pictures can be found here.

I really enjoyed this event, hopefully I'll be present in the next edition. Let's see.

Below is a Microsoft video created that contains my feedback about the event:

MCT Summit Brazil 2012 from Marcel Medina on Vimeo.

Cheers,

Marcel Medina

Click here to read the same content in Portuguese.