While creating custom branding for SharePoint it is not only important that it looks all right, but also that it’s fully functional and that users don’t loose any of the standard functionality provided with the platform. While most elements can be easily positioned within Master Page and Page Layout some are positioned more “indirectly”. Knowing how SharePoint does the positioning can help you deliver a great User Experience.
A few weeks ago I presented you a solution for creating dynamic layouts with nothing more than some CSS definitions and a dynamic body id. Using exactly the same HTML markup you can create a different layout of your page elements what makes it an extremely efficient and easy to maintain solution. While the concept is pretty straight-forward, applying it in practice to a real-life SharePoint Server Web Content Management solution has one drawback that you should keep in mind.
One of the challenges while developing Internet-facing websites built on the SharePoint platform was rendering semantic breadcrumbs. Out of the box Office SharePoint Server 2007 was using for that purpose the ASP.NET SiteMapPath control. And while it looked okay visually, internally the whole control was rendered as non-semantic spans. SharePoint 2010 ships with a new control for rendering breadcrumbs called ListSiteMapPath. And while this control uses semantic markup and renders the breadcrumbs as an unordered list, the markup is too complex if all that you need is a simple list with some links. In such situation the Mavention Simple SiteMapPath can become very useful.
Mavention Export Page is a custom extension for the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools that allows you to export preconfigured Publishing Pages to XML which can be then used for provisioning pages with Site Definitions.
Do you still remember how many clicks did you need in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to create a new Publishing Page? First you had to pick the New Page option from the Site Actions menu. Then you had to provide some information about the page and then finally, after pressing the OK button, you were redirected to the newly created page. SharePoint Server 2010 simplifies that process, but did you know that you can push it even further, and create new Publishing Pages with a single mouse click?