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Web Part Concepts

Office 2007

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

A Web Part is a modular unit of information that has a single purpose and is a basic building block of a Web Part Page. Project Web Access uses many Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Web Parts and can be easily extended with custom Web Parts.

Web Parts in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 improve upon earlier versions of Web Parts technologies. You can use Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 Web Parts as well as Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts. You can also use Web Parts in shared Web Part Page documents in a project workspace or team site. The shared documents are stored and managed on a computer running Windows SharePoint Services that is provisioned by Project Server.

In essence, a Web Part is a Microsoft .NET Framework Web custom control assembly that uses a Web Part description file in either the Windows SharePoint Services format (.dwp) or the ASP.NET 2.0 format (.webpart). The Web Part description file can be stored on and referenced from any computer, and contains XML metadata that describes an instance of the Web Part. The Web Part .NET assembly is a DLL that must be installed and registered on each Windows SharePoint Services computer that uses the Web Part.

You can customize Web Parts in several ways. If you have permission to modify a Web Part page in any Windows SharePoint Services site, you can create a simple customized Web Part as follows:

  • Configure a basic Web Part using the Web Part tool pane. For example, you can easily modify a Content Editor Web Part by adding HTML or rich text, or modify a Page Viewer Web Part to display a specific URL.

  • Export the .dwp file for a Windows SharePoint Services Web Part. Because the .dwp file is an XML description of a Web Part instance, you can use any text editor to modify the file.

  • Import the modified Web Part description file to a Web Part Page in a document library or to a Web Part gallery.

The modified view of the Web Part derives from the .dwp description. The Web Part code (the Web Part class in the DLL) does not travel with the Web Part description.

You can use Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to import Web Parts to Web pages, but not to create new Web Parts. To develop a custom Web Part assembly, you need to use a development tool such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. With Visual Studio 2005, you benefit from a rich development environment and debugging features.

Web Part Basics shows how to create and import a simple Web Part based on the Content Editor Web Part in Windows SharePoint Services.

Scenarios for Custom Web Parts describes the ways you can use custom Web Parts to extend and integrate Project Server 2007. The topic also shows how to use the SimpleUI URL option.

Using the Default Project Server Web Parts shows how to configure the standard Project Server Web Parts.

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