Enables SharePoint Products and Technologies to determine where site collections can be created, and to help the system interpret URLs to determine site paths.
Real World Example
You need to create a set of site collections in a new path named teams. A custom managed wildcard path for teams provides the creation capability for the new location for site collections.
SharePoint Products and Technologies use managed paths to determine if a given URL should be handled by the system. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 allow single path or wildcard inclusions, which as the names imply allow the creation of a single site collection in a single path or multiple site collections in parallel under a wildcard path.
The default managed paths in Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 installations are a single path inclusion at the top-level site of the Web application to host the top-level site collection, and a sites wildcard path to host additional site collections.
Following is an example of the STSADM command used to add a new wildcard managed path for the creation of site collections:
STSADM -o addpath –url http://localhost/projects -type wildcardinclusion
In earlier versions of SharePoint Products and Technologies, custom excluded managed paths were required to support new applications not based on SharePoint Products and Technologies but that were hosted in the same Web application as SharePoint sites. However, this is no longer a requirement or even possible in Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Server 3.0. Instead, any path that is not included under a specific wildcard or single managed path is considered excluded. Typically, excluded managed paths were created to host a new virtual directory under a given virtual server so that non–SharePoint ASP.NET code in earlier versions of SharePoint Products and Technologies could be hosted. The current process would require you to define a virtual or physical directory in Internet Information Services (IIS) under the Web application, with the appropriate web.config file specifying the necessary ASP.NET handlers and components in the directory. In Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Server 3.0 processing, if the new directory does not overlap with a managed path, then it is considered excluded.
Addition of new managed paths directly leads to new site collections being scattered over a variety of locations and makes the hosted environment more complex to support. Therefore, add new wildcard managed paths only in exceptional circumstances.
If you create a managed path to host a site collection, and the path is deleted at a later time, the existing content of the site collection becomes unavailable to users and STSADM operations can fail to work on the site collection. To make it available again, you would have to recreate the managed path.
Each additional configured managed path can reduce the performance of site collection determination. If you add an excessive number of managed paths, you can experience a severe reduction in performance.