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Page Templates and Master Pages RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi Folks,

    I'm a SharePoint newbie, and I'm trying to figure out how SharePoint builds the final pages I see.
    For example, the default.aspx I get with a team site - in detail, how is that page created?

    I'm going through the book "Inside WSS 3.0", and I understand all the pieces I've read about so far,
    but there seems to be one piece I'm still missing. I completely understand the concept of ghosted and
    unghosted pages, and I understand that site pages are ghostable(or customizable) while application pages
    are not. I also read through the section on Master Pages and those make perfect sense too.

    What I don't understand, and have been unable to find any documentation on, is how page templates and
    master pages interact.

    My understanding of master pages is that they are templates in a sense. They have some common elements
    that you might want to share amongst some set of pages. Everything I've read about master pages presents
    the idea that a content page uses a master page by specifying what is specific about the page we're trying to
    build, and it puts that instance specific data into the placeholders of the master page. Makes perfect sense.

    But then there seems to be one more level of templatization in WSS - page templates. My question is:
    "What is it that's in a page template that is common to all the page instances that are built using it?
    It sounds to me like master pages provide some basic layout, and some common elements that will
    appear on every default.aspx page I get as the home page for any team site I create. If that's the case,
    then what common elements are the page template providing. Clearly, each final default.aspx team site page
    will have different data, but what are the common elements that the template is providing that the master
    page is not?

    I'm going to try to take an example of a master page and a page template and slog my way through,
    but any help on the concepts here would be greatly appreciated. Or if anyone knows of any links or books
    that get into this level of detail, I'd love to hear about them. I've searched many times for info on this topic,
    and have come up with nothing.

    Thanks,
    Greg
    Thursday, April 9, 2009 10:01 PM

Answers

  • http://www.heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/sp2007.aspx

    Those articles should carry you through the entire process, with the occasional question here.  :)  I came into the branding process without knowing anything about CSS, master pages, or anything else.
    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:35 PM
  • -you can define page template  with several web part zones n some specific locationson the page + some controls .
    From this page template you can create several instances; on each instance (instance 1, instance 2, insatnce n) you can put different web parts in each , web part zone. Each page is created from the same template, but the content will be different, because the web parts may be differents.
    -you cannot do this with master pages : they cannot host web part zones.


    serge Luca



    Serge Luca; blog: www.redwood.be
    Friday, April 10, 2009 4:57 PM

All replies

  • http://www.heathersolomon.com/blog/articles/sp2007.aspx

    Those articles should carry you through the entire process, with the occasional question here.  :)  I came into the branding process without knowing anything about CSS, master pages, or anything else.
    Friday, April 10, 2009 2:35 PM
  • -you can define page template  with several web part zones n some specific locationson the page + some controls .
    From this page template you can create several instances; on each instance (instance 1, instance 2, insatnce n) you can put different web parts in each , web part zone. Each page is created from the same template, but the content will be different, because the web parts may be differents.
    -you cannot do this with master pages : they cannot host web part zones.


    serge Luca



    Serge Luca; blog: www.redwood.be
    Friday, April 10, 2009 4:57 PM
  • Thanks very much for the responses ceejamon and Serge. I got distracted by another problem, and
    I'm just returning to this one.

    I read through Heather's article called MOSS 2007 Design Component Relationships and Diagrams 
    and with the info Serge provided, was able to start understanding how templates and master pages
    interact.

    I also forced myself to press on in the "Inside WSS 3.0" book and it is now answering many of the
    questions I had. If anyone is struggling with the interaction between Page Templates and Master Pages
    after finishing just the first 2 chapters of that book, keep reading. It seemed like they stopped just
    short of explaining everything at the end of Chapter 2, and it looked like they were going off in a
    different direction(explaining how to create custom templates rather than explaining how templates
    in general interact with master pages), but in Chapter 3 it is now becoming more clear how this all works.

    By the way, for those who don't know, Chapters 2 and 3 of "Inside WSS 3.0" are included in the MSDN
    docs for SharePoint. Click here. It's not light reading by any stretch. I had to go back and read a few sections
    more than once, and take notes to keep things straight, but it's well worth the effort. I couldn't find that level
    of detail anywhere else, and I've been looking for weeks now.

    Thanks,
    Greg

    • Proposed as answer by Bob Manjoney Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:32 PM
    Thursday, April 16, 2009 7:41 PM