The SharePoint presentation layer is delivered using a virtual path provider that forwards requests to the SharePoint server object model for processing. As part of the processing pipeline, content is either retrieved from an appropriate database or loaded from disk. Often, the final output is a combination of the two. Bearing this processing model in mind, we can broadly group the content delivered by the SharePoint presentation layer into two groups: application pages and site pages.
Application pages are loaded from disk and usually provide common user interface functionality such as site administration and configuration tools. Application pages can be found in the file system at %SPRoot%\Template\Layouts. To facilitate the sharing of application pages among sites,this folder is mounted on every web site as http://<web site url>/_layouts.
Site pages are often loaded from a content database and include all other pages that are not included in the application pages group. All user-generated content is delivered using site pages. Although site pages are often loaded from a content database,when sites are created from a site definition or pages are added to a site by feature activation, the default version of the page is usually loaded from the file system. A common example of this is the default master page that is provisioned for each site. In reality, this page exists in the file system as v4.master, but the provisioning process mounts the file as default.master in the master pages gallery for each site. Within the site pages group are a few types of site pages: web part pages,standard pages, master pages, and page templates.
Web Part Pages
The functionality and user interface delivered via web part pages predominantly comprise web part zones that users can populate with web parts. A web part is a server control that users can add to a web part page using a browser-based interface. Web parts allow users to customize and configure a page without having to resort to developer tools such as Visual
Studio. Keep in mind that although site pages are loaded from a database, web parts and their user interfaces are not.Only the configuration of the web part is stored in the database. Commonly, a web part is installed on each web server and is loaded in much the same way as any server control. Much of the user interface functionality of the SharePoint platform is implemented via web parts, and as a result, most of the pages that are provided out of the box fall into the web part page category.
All other types of web pages delivered by the SharePoint platform can be considered standard pages. For all intents and purposes, a standard page is equivalent to a page that could be created using any web design tool. Commonly,standard pages use SharePoint master pages to include common user interface elements such as navigation, but this is not a requirement.
Essentially, the master pages that are used by SharePoint 2010 are the same as any other ASP.NET master pages—except to support some of the built-in functionality, SharePoint master pages must include a number of specific placeholders.
Page templates are an essential part of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) functionality of SharePoint 2010. You construct content pages by using a page template to define the positioning and presentation of data that is retrieved from individual fields in a document library.
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Share Point 2010 Tutorial
The Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 Platform
Developing With Sharepoint 2010
Presentation Layer Overview
Client Object Model
Infopath Forms Services
Enterprise Content Management
User Interface Customization
Application Services Overview
Service Application Framework
Word Automation Services
Data Access Overview
Linq To Sharepoint And Spmetal
Business Connectivity Services
User Profiles And Social Data
Packaging And Deployment Model
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