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Professional SharePoint® 2007 Development by Tom Rizzo, Adam Buenz, J. Dan Attis, Matt Ranlett, Brendon Schwartz, Eli Robillard, Jeff Julian, John Alexander, John Holliday

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A.3. Using VSeWSS to Build Site Definitions and Custom Modules

The VseWSS Site Definition Project Wizard enables you to build and deploy custom site templates for reuse within your SharePoint environment. This is a convenient way to produce a "starter kit" for your SharePoint community. For instance, if your company publishes books, you could define a site template that an acquisition editor could apply at the start of each new book project. The site could contain a document library to hold the chapters as they are submitted by various authors, a Wiki page for authors to share interesting information that they uncover during their research, a contact list specifying the book's team members, and a Task list used to create assignments for team members. Creating Site Definitions is the preferred way to create standardized, reusable site templates, as opposed to .stp files, for two major reasons. With Site Definitions, changes to the source files that build the template can be propagated through multiple sites that use the template, reflecting modifications throughout an environment with little effort. Furthermore, using Site Definitions saves server space and increases the performance of sites, since the pages of the site are not "customized" or "ghosted" and stored in the database; instead, they are served off the file system, decreasing database queries and increasing caching effectiveness.

With the introduction of Features into the MOSS framework, Site Definitions have become ...

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