Hold on to your hats while I step you (as best I can right now) through the anatomy of a MOSS 2007 Internet Facing WCM capable Variations based site in a light hearted and educationally confusing way …
I wanted to share this whirlwind of information the same way I seem to be learning it.
My Buzzword Bingo Version of Customizing a Variations Based, Internet Facing, WCM/Publishing site in MOSS 2007/WSS v3.
Once you have found the central administration, made your way to the application managment, figured out how to change the web application/port you can then create a site collection, of course this is no regular site, it must be an “Internet Facing, WCM capable publishing site” – keep that in mind when selecting a template.
Next we need to make it multilingual (variations) based, create our variation labels and finally create the heirarchy so that we can actually “begin”.
Content is king we are told so lets start by identifiying the unique pages in our site. These can be represented as Content Types which have Columns within them representing the actual bits of content. Again remember “publishing site” so be sure to choose “Publishing Capable” column types.
We may as well “do something” with our newly created content types so why not created Page Layouts based on them? Great Idea! We can do this via the UI in the browser, or through SharePoint Designer 2007, woo-hoo I love options!
This is great we have a multilingual internet facing wcm capable site that has content types to represent the unique pages and (publishing capable) columns within them to represent the content.
Great we have some building blocks – lets put them together and customize the look by opening SharePoint Designer 2007, connecting to our site. Once inside we need to connect to the _catalogs folder to find the masterpage folder in order to eventually figure out we’re trying to locate TopNavFlyouts.master to make some basic “layout changes” to the overall site. After checking-out of TopNavFlyouts.master, figuring out what all these silly placeholders and controls are and doing some minor customization work to pages we are ready.
So when a users security trimming still allows them to click Create Page within the Site Actions Tab, what actually transpires is:
The user selects one of the Page Layouts you created based on the Content Types based on Unique Pages which have Columns inside them to represent the Content.
The server then says thank you for selecting this page layout – let me now figure out what Master Page your Page Layout is inherting a layout from so that I can merge them together, placing the controls in the appropriate placeholders, show off your shiny new customizations, and eventually present the user with a single Page that they can then interact with by placing content on the page using the WCM features included in MOSS 2007.
Clear as mud? – Again don’t worry, I promise I will create a much needed breakdown of this process in a format you can understand.