Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Basic Publishing Site Definition

Andrew Connell wrote in his great SharePoint 2007 WCM book how to create a Minimal Site Definition to use for Publishing Sites. The idea is to have a clean starting point for new Projects which use Features as the main tool for customisation. The Site Definition itself is pretty basic and stripped down to its bare necessities while all the fun stuff lives in Features. A great way to start a project is to plan ahead what functionality will be living in different features, adding basic shell like features to the definition at the start and actually do the coding later. But even if you didn't plan for everything in advance and realise that there is a feature missing or a piece of code that can't be integrated into an existing feature, simple staple it on top of the Site Definition in hind sight and you're as good as gold.
Wrox Press also give you the code for that Book for download on their website. The Solution for the Minimal Site Definition you'll be lookng for lives in Chapter 5. But beware, there are a few bugs in the download. Check the Errata for Errors in Download and fix up the onet.xml and publishing layout page.
One thing that was missed totallly in this definition is the fact that all pages should live in the Pages Library. Also the homepage. In the example from Andrew, the home page lives WSS style in the Root. Not very clean. The fix is simple enough though: Change the url of the page (preferably even changing the default.aspx to actually use the layout properly!) and you're ready to go. Here is my version of the last entry in the onet.xml file:

<Module Name="Default" Url="" Path="">
<File Url="default.aspx" NavBarHome="True" Type="Ghostable" />


<Module Name="Default" Url="$Resources:cmscore,List_Pages_UrlName;" Path="">
<File Url="Default.aspx" Type="GhostableInLibrary">
<Property Name="PublishingPageLayout" Value="~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/PSATOC.aspx, ~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/PSATOC.aspx" />
<Property Name="ContentType" Value="$Resources:cmscore,contenttype_welcomepage_name;" />

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