Web Content Management Overview
To use the web content management features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, turn on the Publishing feature on a site. Then brand the site so that it has your organization's look and feel. You can provide users a way to edit the site within the context of the Web, and you can deploy content through a staging server into production. On a site with the Publishing functionality turned on, you can also create a multilingual site by creating a source site and then having that site translated into other languages, which are published as separate sites.
Branding Your Site
You can build a corporate Internet site by using Office SharePoint Server 2007, and customize it to look exactly as you want it to by modifying the basic building blocks of Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web pages: master pages and page layout. First, create a master page that defines the overall look and feel, or chrome, for the site. Master pages contain controls that are shared across an entire site; these controls include navigation, search, and language preferences.
For each type of page on the site, you create a page layout, which is a template to which users can add content to create new pages.
If the page is intended to explain a particular topic in detail—for example, if it contains text, graphics, or other information about a single topic—create a page layout with field controls.
If the page is intended to convey summary information about the content in a site—for example, a Welcome page—you can use the following field controls that are included with Office SharePoint Server 2007:
Content Query Web Part
Summary Links field control and Web Part
Table of Contents Web Part
These Web Parts and field controls have a standard look and feel. You can customize the look and feel of field controls and Web parts to match the design of your Web site.
For more information, see Common Page and Site Customization Tasks.
Creating Custom Converters
Just as the Rich Client Authoring framework enables users to convert Microsoft Office Word 2007 documents into Web pages, you can create your own custom converters to change almost any type of file into a Web page. For example, you can create a converter that changes an XML file into an HTML Web page, given a specific XSL.
For details, see Page Publishing Using Document Converters.
Building Multilingual Sites
Often you must maintain many versions of a Web site, all of which derive from a common master or source site. This scenario is most common when creating multilingual Web sites (MLS). For example, global companies commonly create many different versions, or variations, of their corporate presence Web sites, one for each independent market in which they operate.
The Office SharePoint Server 2007 variation system is designed to help alleviate much of the complexity of managing related Web sites by managing the relationships between items in the source and target sites and using those relationships to create a process to synchronize the content between sites.
The variation system is a one-to-many system. You choose a source site and link it to any number of target sites. Changes you make in the source site then appear in each target site. Each set of target sites has only one source site.
The variation feature is targeted specifically at sites that are designed for publishing authoritative content. To that end, only pages and publishing sites can participate in the variations process. Other types of sites, such as team sites, cannot participate in the propagation process, nor can lists and list items. Only pages from a pages library, and documents and images that those pages reference, can be included.
To learn more about variations, see the Variations and Multiple Languages Sites section.
Creating Content Deployment Solutions
An IT professional can manage most Office SharePoint Server 2007 content deployment scenarios through a Web browser interface. For unusual cases, such as those in which the source and destination sites are not connected by a network, you may need to create a custom content deployment solution.
Content deployment is built around the idea that a single source site collection deploys content to one or more destination site collections. The destinations contain all the same content that the source site collection contains, with the same structure and organization.
A content deployment path defines the relationship between a source and a destination site collection. The source and destination can be on the same server farm or on different server farms. A site collection can have many outgoing paths. Each path has one or more jobs that define the schedule and scope of individual deployment operations, giving administrators a high degree of flexibility over how to deploy content. By default, deployment jobs operate incrementally, copying only content that has changed since the last successful deployment.
There are a few differences between the source and destination site collections:
Base URL for the site collection The source and destination may be at different levels of the URL namespace on their respective servers. For example, http://mysite may deploy to http://public/mysite. Office SharePoint Server 2007 automatically corrects links to handle this difference.
Authentication and user information The source and destination may have different security contexts. For example, the source might be on an intranet and give permissions to users in the entire organization, and the destination may use forms authentication to provide read access to the site.
To learn more about content deployment, see the Deploying Content Between Servers section.