Today, while working on a brand new SharePoint Web Content Management (WCM) solution, I’ve faced quite a challenge: I needed to provision a Content Query Web Part (CQWP) which would query subsites of the current site using a custom Site Definition. Each time user would create a site using that Site Definition, he would get on the home page an aggregation of the content from all underlying sites. It’s more challenging than it sounds and you won’t know it unless you had to do it yourself once.
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Stsadm is highly extensible and Gary Lapointe is one of the guys who could tell you everything about it. In order to support the deployment and administration of SharePoint solutions, Gary has created more than 130 custom STSADM commands. One of them – setwebpartstate has recently took my attention. I kept getting errors while importing a subclassed Content Query Web Part (CQWP) – until now…
It’s great to know that the Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is there whenever you need to provide a roll up of some content. Delivering a solution of similar experience, possibilities and flexibility would be really time consuming. Unfortunately there are still some things inside the CQWP which could be improved. Let’s take for example localizing the XSL used for data presentation: do we really have to create a different template for every language or is there a better way?
Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is a great solution for content aggregation: not only thanks to its high performance but to the XSLT-based output rendering as well. And while XSLT is very powerful, many beginning SharePoint developers experience it as an obstacle and are more likely to provide custom aggregation solutions instead of using the standard components provided with SharePoint. In this article you will find out how you can alter the standard display order of the aggregated content using nothing more than the standard Content Query Web Part and a little bit of XSLT.