SharePoint Saturday Boston Presentation

Today’s SharePoint Saturday here in Boston (Microsoft’s office in Waltham, actually) was a great success by my measure.  I’m not sure how many people were there, but every session I went to was packed, the crowd was truly engaged, and the discussions were rich.

Thanks to all who came to my session: Developing with SharePoint Designer – The Middle Tier, Focus on Data View Web Parts (DVWPs).  I’ve posted my presentation at the preceding link; let me know if you have any problems accessing it.  I appreciated all of the questions in my session.  I always find it gratifying when there is a good, lively dialog.  If I didn’t get to your questions or if anything occurred to you later in the day or since, don’t hesitate to post a comment to this post or drop me an email at marc.anderson [at]

One thing that I didn’t get to because I ran out of time was to show the A. W. Chesterton site.  This is a site that I did a lot of work on, from the branding, to the layout, to the DVWPs.  If you drill into the products, every page is made up of DVWPs, and that includes the Quick Launch and breadcrumbs (note how they don’t behave “normally”).  All of the content is coming from lists.  Also note the language selector at the top of the page on the global links.  This site contains all of the bits and pieces that I talked about in my session, and of course a lot more.  It’s still a work in progress (as most sites ought to be!), so you may see some things that don’t look quite right.  If you do, please let me know.

Thanks also to all of the organizers.  Organizing events like this are a challenge I know that I couldn’t undertake successfully, and everything was arranged well and went off without a hitch.  Cheers to the gangs from SharePoint Saturday and the the International SharePoint Professionals Association (“ISPA”) as well as all of the sponsors and other speakers!


  1. Marc,
    Again, too bad we presented on SharePoint Designer at the same time slot at Boston. I would have loved to watch yours and get your feedback on mine.
    I’m curious about the A. W. Chesterton Site. The dataviews for the quick launch and breadcrumbs are awesome! How did you pull that off? It’s very interesting to see the mix of WCM Page Layouts and Data View WebParts. I haven’t seen a lot of that.

    • Hey, Tom. Next time I hope to see you present!

      The DVWPs for the Quick Launches and the breadcrumbs basically override the Content Placeholders from the Master Page. (When you tell SharePoint Designer to do this, all that happens is that a new Content Placeholder container is added at the bottom of the page. If there’s a container in the page, it overrides the Master Page.)

      The trickiest part (if you’re good with DVWPs!) is to get the right HTML wrappers around the content in your DVWPs so that it matches the automagic stuff. My rule is to mimic SharePoint output as exactly as possible so that the same CSS applies, making the rendering consistent.

      As for the content for all of those DVWPs, it comes from a set of lists stored at the root of the Site Collection or, where there is no list-based content, just as simple HTML.

      • Thanks for the reply. I especially like the tip on mimicing the SharePoint output. I can see how that would help with styling.
        If I understand your dvwp breadcrumbs, you are hard-coding one branch, for example Products. If that is the case, do you have a different page layout for each breadcrumb branch?
        This is good stuff. Too bad I won’t see you at SharePoint Saturday DC.

        • If you look at the pages in the Products branch, you’ll see that it’s basically made up of 6 or 7 different pages which are all parameter driven. Each one of those pages have customized Quick Launch and breadcrumbs. Depending on how “deep” into the branch you go, the breadcrumbs are either simply hard-wired HTML or DVWP-driven.

          You may not have noticed, but if you select the other languages at the upper right, you’ll see that most (but not all) of the breadcrumb and Quick Launch text is translated, too. This is done with logic in the DVWPs as well, based on the current language, and therefore URL, for the variation: ENU, ES, or GER.


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