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Mobile Development Overview

Windows SharePoint Services 3

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Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides an architecture and feature set to support mobile access to SharePoint list data. Mobile devices access a site through URL that simply adds an "m" folder to the regular URL. So the URL is in the format http(s)://Server/[sites/][Site/]m/. Users of mobile devices are redirected to a mobile home page. From there, they can navigate to a view page through which to read or write to a SharePoint list, as long as the list has a mobile view. A mobile view is simply a standard SharePoint view marked for additional use as a mobile list view.


You can access a mobile page of a site through an ordinary web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, by appending "m/" as the last folder in the URL of the page.

The framework for mobile view and form rendering in Windows SharePoint Services is based on the native SharePoint form rendering architecture, but it uses different controls. Unlike server controls of the Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls namespace which are typically used in Web site pages displayed in the browser, Windows SharePoint Services mobile controls of the Microsoft.SharePoint.MobileControls namespace used in mobile pages inherit from Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 controls of the System.Web.UI.MobileControls namespace.

SharePoint list schemas drive the primary rendering of mobile pages and controls, such as in the following ways:

  • Sections in a list schema determine the sort order, filters, and view fields in a mobile list view.

  • Boolean attributes in a view schema specify whether the view is a mobile view and whether it is the default mobile view.

  • Field order in a form schema determines the field order in a mobile list item form page.

  • Boolean attributes in a field schema determine whether a given field is shown in a new form, an edit form, or a display form or whether the field is hidden.

Windows SharePoint Services mobile features use a template rendering mechanism that is similar to the one implemented for pages displayed in the browser. The MobileDefaultTemplates.ascx file in the Local_Drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES directory contains all the default rendering template definitions used in mobile pages.

Caution noteCaution

Modifying the contents of the MobileDefaultTemplates.ascx file is not supported and can break mobile features in Windows SharePoint Services.

You can customize the rendering of any mobile page (for example, home, view, form pages, and so on) by creating user control templates (.ascx files) within the \CONTROLTEMPLATES folder. You can define specific rendering of controls according to site type, list type, or field type.

Windows SharePoint Services implements a bilevel mobile home page redirection feature. When users access a standard SharePoint Web site, for example, http://Server/sites/SiteCollection/Site/m/, with "m" appended to the regular Web site URL, they are redirected to a mobile default.aspx page, which then redirects them to the actual mobile home page (mbllists.aspx) to display the list of lists: http://Server/sites/SiteCollection/Site/_layouts/mobile/mbllists.aspx.

By default, the redirect feature is supported for any Web site that is based on either the standard STS site definition or the BLOG site definition. Blog users are redirected to bloghome.aspx, instead of to mbllists.aspx, because a blog is based on a different site definition type.

The Feature for redirecting users to the mobile home page is located in the following directory:

Local_Drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\MobilityRedirect

Windows SharePoint Services support for mobile blogging includes support for all the other SharePoint mobile features, such as pagination, list field customization, mobile view customization, mobile home page redirection, and so on. To build your own mobile blog solution, you can customize SharePoint mobile blog pages and mobile controls similarly to the way you customize other mobile Features.

You can modify the Windows SharePoint Services browser definition file at \\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\80\App_Browsers\compat.browser to add support for new mobile devices. For information about modifying the browser definition file, see Browser Definition File Schema (browsers Element).