Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Create custom site definitions which include CEWPS and using resource files for their content

Maybe my longest title for a post ever but I think it covers everything what I wanted to share with you..  In a previous post I mentioned a solution for a problem when a site template was being used with activated features that didn't provision very well. This post is about that solution ;)

It's not really difficult to create a new site definition (a lot of bloggers already paved the way for me there) but I had some difficulties adding a Content Editor WebPart (CEWP) with HTML into my definition. Since you have to replace the < and > symbols with &tl; and &gt; and you will have to put CDATA brackets around the whole thing as well. After several attempts to encode my HTML the proper way (and failing miserably), I decided to check how Microsoft put CEWP's in their site templates.. and this is how it looks:

<WebPart xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns=""> <Title>$Resources:spscore,ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Title;</Title> <FrameType>TitleBarOnly</FrameType> .. <Assembly>Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c</Assembly> <TypeName>Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.ContentEditorWebPart</TypeName> <ContentLink xmlns="" /> <Content xmlns="">$Resources:spscore,ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Content;</Content> <PartStorage xmlns="" /> </WebPart>

"$Resources:spcore, ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Content", that's all the content they put in there! No encoded HTML with CDATA brackets at all! So what does it mean then? Well.. i'll tell you!

  • $Resources : here they are referring to the fact that the content is placed in the Resources folder (/12 hive/Resources)
  • spcore : here they are referring to which file the content is placed in
  • ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Content : here they are referring to which value in the file must be used

So when we open up the spcore.xml file and find look for the "ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Content" value, it looks like this :

<Data Name="ReportCenterOnet_CEWP_Content"> <Value>&lt;DIV class="ms-vb"&gt; &lt;SPAN class="ms-announcementtitle"&gt;Report Center features include:&lt;/SPAN&gt; &lt;UL&gt; &lt;LI&gt;&lt;A title="" href="../Lists/Sample KPIs/KPIListViewPage.aspx" target=""&gt;Key Performance Indicators&lt;/A&gt; (KPIs) enable you to communicate goals, trends and track progress.&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;LI&gt;&lt;A title="" href="../ReportsLibrary/sample dashboard.aspx" target=""&gt;Dashboards&lt;/A&gt; enable you to give a more detailed explanation of your information using Excel workbooks and KPIs. Dashboard filters make it easy to select a range of information to view. To create your own dashboard go to the &lt;A title="" href="../ReportsLibrary/Forms/scsummpg.aspx" target=""&gt;Dashboards&lt;/A&gt; view of the Reports library and click 'New'.&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;LI&gt;The &lt;A title="" href="../ReportsLibrary/forms/current.aspx" target=""&gt;Reports&lt;/A&gt; library is designed to store files containing reports and dashboards and allow easy access to information from previous time periods.&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;/UL&gt; &lt;SPAN class="ms-announcementtitle"&gt;To prepare this Report Center for use, the following actions are suggested:&lt;/SPAN&gt; &lt;UL&gt; &lt;LI&gt;View the sample &lt;A href="../ReportsLibrary/sample dashboard.aspx"&gt;dashboard&lt;/A&gt; and &lt;A title="" href="../ReportsLibrary/sampleworkbook.xlsx" target=""&gt;workbook&lt;/A&gt; to understand some of the capabilities of this Report Center&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;LI&gt;If the samples do not work correctly ask an administrator to ensure that Excel Services are enabled and that this Report Center is a Trusted Location&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;LI&gt;If you plan to use Excel to analyze information from existing data servers, create and upload data connection (ODC) files to the &lt;A title="" href="../Data Connections" target=""&gt;Data Connection Library&lt;/A&gt;. If you want users to create new KPI Lists then add them to the "Owners" group. Users in the "Members" group can edit pages but can not create KPI Lists.&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;LI&gt;Update or remove sample content&lt;/LI&gt; &lt;/UL&gt; &lt;/DIV&gt;</Value> </Data>

So it seems you still have to encode your HTML but you don't have to worry about CDATA stuff :) The question is, why should you use the same technique as Microsoft does ?

  • Makes the ONET.XML more 'readible' and thus easier to maintain
  • No more messing around where to put the CDATA stuff
  • One place to maintain the content of your CEWPs

Hope this gives you more insight about creating and defining site definitions as it did to me ;)


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Muhanad said...

Nice post Robin. I actually went through a similar situation where I had to dig into the spscore resource files. And due to my horrible experience lol, I'm blogging about it as well to save other people from going through what I did.

Anyway, keep it up, I love your posts!

Mike said...

Thanks for the information. I followed the tip but I wasn't able to get it to work. The following is what I'm using for the value.

<strong>BEFORE YOU BEGIN! </strong><br>
Please <a href="">read instructions</a> to design this page.
Before publishing, REMEMBER to DELETE this web part.

Do you have any suggestions for me? The problem is that it returns a web part error.
Thanks doesn't show up in the comment section of where I used < and > but they all are set correctly. Any ideas?

vsi said...

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sbobet said...

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sbobet said...

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