Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Custom Web Part Pages Template Woes

Seems to have been plenty of people that have tried to extend the list Web Part Page templates made available on the spcf.aspx page. And it seems that the approach outlined in the Microsoft article "Creating Custom Web Part Page Templates for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies" just doesn't work with SharePoint v3.

The approach of adding an additional option to the list of templates in a custom custspcf.aspx page seems to fail (with the "Invalid URL Parameter" message) for the following reason: according to the WSS SDK, the NewWebPage RPC method accepts a value for the WebPartPageTemplate of between 1 and 8.

That must explain why adding a ninth template to the list fails - the call to the NewWebPage method OWSSVR.DLL doesn't expect a number above 8. For the background, here is a discussion on OWSSVR by Joel Oleson.

So I guess the options if different Web Part Page templates are required are to either
  • Replace the standard ones that are located in 12\TEMPLATE\1033\STS\DOCTEMP\SMARTPGS, or to
  • Create a completely custom template selection page - but I am finding that there are some real oddities in the names of pages that appear in search results when web part pages are created in a custom manner.

Another area that needs attention in vNext!

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