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Modifying the Default Project Web Access Site Definition: Overview

Office 2003

You might have noticed that the default site definition used to create the Web site displayed in Microsoft® Office Project Web Access is actually a modified Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services site definition called STS. Windows SharePoint Services provides server-side schema template files to define fields and view schemas for storing or displaying list data, such as document properties and document library details. Windows SharePoint Services schema files are modified for Microsoft Office Project to add specific document properties that are useful for project management.

Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 is based on Windows SharePoint Services, which extends the SharePoint Team Services 1.0 template architecture so that multiple site definitions and templates can be used in a deployment. Site definitions consist of multiple XML files located in the file system of a front-end Web server. Custom templates are created through the user interface or through the object model and are stored in the database, providing a means for reusing customized lists and sites.

This article provides a brief overview of how to modify the default Project Web Access site definition. Note that modifying the Project Web Access site definition is no different than modifying any Windows SharePoint Services site definition. Refer to the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies SDK on MSDN if you need detailed information on working with templates and site definitions.

Site Definitions

A site definition in the context of Microsoft Office Project 2003 refers to the Project Web Access site. Note that Project Web Access is a modified SharePoint Team Services site definition, which is one the natively available types for creating sites in Windows SharePoint Services. Each site definition emerges through a combination of multiple XML files that are placed in the Local_Drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\60\TEMPLATE subdirectories on one or more front-end Web servers during installation of Windows SharePoint Services.

The following table describes prominent XML files that can be modified for a site definition and shows their locations in the file system.

File name Location Description
WEBTEMPP.XML \TEMPLATE\1033\XML Specifies configurations for site definitions.
ONET.XML \TEMPLATE\1033\PWA\XML Defines the navigation areas, specifies the list definitions available on the Create Page, specifies document templates and their files, defines the base types for lists, and defines configurations and modules for site definitions.
SCHEMA.XML \TEMPLATE\1033\PWA\LISTS\List_Definition_Name Defines the views, forms, toolbars, and special fields in a list definition. Each list definition has its own SCHEMA.XML file.

For the following reasons, it is recommended that you create a new site definition based on Project Web Access site definition rather than modify an originally installed site definition:

  • Use of repairs and service packs could revert your modifications.
  • Custom templates based on the original site definitions may not work.
  • Site definitions with references to original list definitions may not work.

It is safe, however, to mark configurations as hidden in the original WEBTEMPP.XML file by setting the Hidden attribute of the Configuration element to TRUE.