In August, 2005 the Microsoft Technet site added the following note to its library: About Web Parts (Windows SharePoint Services 2.0). This note includes the following definition of a web part: “[a] Web Part is a Microsoft ASP.NET server control that serves a particular purpose, such as displaying data from a spreadsheet or streaming stock quotations from an online Web service.” We were unable to locate a clear definition of a “server control” on any of Microsoft’s websites; however, we did locate the following definition on the W3Schools website: “[s]erver controls are tags that are understood by the server”. Microsoft’s support website does include the following example of asp.net server controls: [t]he ASP.NET page framework includes a number of built-in server controls that are designed to provide a more structured programming model for the Web. These controls provide the following features:
- Automatic state management.
- Simple access to object values without having to use the Request object.
- Ability to react to events in server-side code to create applications that are better structured.
- Common approach to building user interfaces for Web pages.
- Output is automatically customized based on the capabilities of the browser.
In addition to the built-in controls, the ASP.NET page framework also provides the ability to create user controls and custom controls. User controls and custom controls can enhance and extend existing controls to build a much richer user interface.”
From the above we can deduce that web part pages are web pages constructed with specific server controls to facilitate quickly adding content with assurance that browser differences (for example) with regards to web page mark up will be seamlessly handled by the asp.net server controls included on the page.
Our tutorial on adding content to SharePoint 2010 sites, “Creating a Web Part Page with Custom Text, Lists and Web Parts,” which is included in our set of video tutorials on the fundamentals of using SharePoint Designer 2010 includes a note from the series author, Asif Rehmani notes that when a “new type of page” is added to expand on content already included on another page of a SharePoint 2010 site, the type of page will be a “web part page,” which “will be able to carry your web parts, your lists, your libraries and also your custom text content.” Asif demonstrates how to build a web part page with SharePoint Designer 2010, which is the easiest and the most powerful way to put together this type of site page.
Through a series of mouse clicks, starting with a click on the icon for “Site Pages” on the Quick Launch and, subsequently, a click on the option displayed on the ribbon for a Web Part Page our instructor shows us the ease with which we can set up the right type of page with SharePoint Designer, 2010. Further, we are shown how to correctly edit the right sections of this web part page, meaning the web part zones at the header, the body and the right column.
The instruction included in this tutorial is entirely indicative of the rich video tutorial instruction included in our set of video tutorials on SharePoint Designer 2010. If your organization can benefit from a controlled, but pervasive use of SharePoint Designer 2010, you ought to speak with us. Please contact us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us to further a discussion about our video training content.
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