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In SharePoint 2010 Essential Training, author Simon Allardice demonstrates the full feature set in SharePoint 2010 and the necessary skills to be a SharePoint site administrator. The course shows how to use SharePoint, create sites and site collections, and plan and design sites and portals. It also covers Office integration, security and permissions, and advanced features such as document management and business intelligence.
If you have SharePoint Server, either the Standard or the Enterprise Edition, one of the things that you have that's not in SharePoint Foundation is something called the publishing feature. Now, you'll hear this referred to as Web Content Management or WCM or even Enterprise Content Management. In fact, there is a lot of jargon surrounding this idea. Even the word publishing isn't all that helpful, because in SharePoint we have something called a publishing Feature, we have something called a Publishing Portal, we have something called a publishing site. Now, all of this actually makes sense after you understand what publishing is, but it's not that helpful when learning it.
Really to understand what this very idea is this thing that's known by many names, we have to step back a few years. Go back to 2002. Microsoft had a product called Content Management Server. This was a Microsoft technology that you could use if you wanted to manage a large-scale website. By large-scale I mean thousands or even tens of thousands of web pages where you might have dozens of people creating content and writing web pages, having a few moderators able to approve or reject that content, a couple of designers who would handle the layout of pages and navigation, and control all of this, have workflow, have the structure for when pages go live and when they disappear, when things are published.
This was a separate product. It was one of the several competing products you could use at that time. Now, what happened is a few years after this, when SharePoint 2007 came along, Microsoft decided to take Content Management Server, this entire product, and roll it into SharePoint. That's still the case with SharePoint 2010, that what was a completely separate product for managing large-scale public websites is now a little piece of SharePoint that you can turn on or off. By turning on or off, I mean this is actually a feature, that the publishing feature can be activated or deactivated on a particular site if we want to use it.
You could turn it on on a team site. You don't have to, and that would really introduce a lot of drag on your system, because you don't need that level of control over the pages. But you could. In fact, some of the sites that you can create actually have this publishing feature enabled. I'm looking at a Publishing Portal here. Well, the Publishing Portal straight out of the box has the publishing feature already activated. What does that mean? One of the first things you'll notice is you get a few more options in your Site Actions menu, things like Manage Content and Structure and Show Ribbon.
That's because some of the things that you're going to want to do are just a little bit more complex, and we want a bit more ability to get to them easily. Now, that's not everything. If I decide to say View All Site Content, I'll see that this site seems to be created with quite a lot of document libraries. I've got a few lists here. I've even got two sub-sites underneath it. That's all standard stuff. This is lists and libraries like any SharePoint site. If I go and take a look at my Site Permissions, without changing anything I can still instantly see that I seem to have a bunch more groups, not just the usual suspects of Visitors, Owners, and Members, but I also have Approvers, and Designers, and Hierarchy Managers.
These are security groups for the idea of managing a large-scale web site, that we might want a bunch of people in the Approvers group that aren't necessarily people that would otherwise need full control. They don't need to be in the Owners group, but they have that eye. Maybe they are approving content for legal reasons or for style reasons. In fact, that's a pretty useful group in publishing. So, I'm going to go and put myself in the Approvers group here. I can choose to even send myself a welcome email. But what am I approving? Well, I'm going to go back to the homepage of this site.
The idea is I'm not approving just documents and document libraries. I'm approving what this site itself is made of, and we're taking a much more webpage-focused view with this kind of site. So, I'm going to do a couple of simple changes here. I don't have the usual section of the Ribbon here. In fact, I can get to it by saying Show Ribbon. But otherwise, I could find my Edit Page option under the Site Actions menu itself. I'm going to hit Edit Page. It does make the graphical Ribbon turn up. It's a little different from it would be on say a normal collaboration site like a team site or Document Workspace.
One of the obvious differences is this yellow bar. This is a status bar that says that this page apparently is checked out and editable. Well, I can go ahead and make a couple of changes to it. Let's delete the stock image there. Perhaps, I'll change my title from Home to Home Page, just to make a couple of simple changes that are obvious. Well, then what? Well, I do have the Save & Close version here, so I'm going to save this. This is showing me this page is still checked out. Okay, well, we seem to be taking a bit more of a document library kind of view on this.
In fact, that's exactly what we're doing. I'm going to say well, maybe I need to check it in to make other people see it. So, I'm going to go to my Page section of the Ribbon and check it in. I don't have any comments right now. Now, it says it's checked in and viewable by authorized users. What's happening here is very similar to what we've talked about with the idea of a document library with versioning turned on, where you can have the idea of major and minor versions. And minor versions are considered draft and they can be hidden from people, so that only approved people can see documents while they are in Draft Mode.
It's the same idea here. What its meaning is is only Contributors and Approvers and Owners of this site could see the changes I just made, until I say well, I think I'm done, I'd like to approve this. I have to publish this page to make it available to people who are just readers. Right now, if a reader came to this site, they'd see the old version of the homepage with the stock image and the title Home. I'm going to click on the Publish section. The way that I request approval is to start a workflow.
It's the same workflow concept we get on document libraries. That's exactly what's happening here. I'm going to start this one. It's called Page Approval. This workflow is predefined when you have the Publishing Portal or a site with the publishing feature enabled. I can put in a request here, please approve my page changes, and click Start. That will be sent to anyone who's in the Approvers group, which conveniently right now is me. But you can imagine that in a more enterprise setup, you're going to have multiple people or contributors who could edit pages and only very few people who would be in that Approvers group.
This has now a status waiting for approval. Well, because I do know I have pretty high-level permissions, I can go to this section here and approve it myself. Again, I can see here it's a workflow task, that I've got the formalized structure of it. "Please approve my page changes," yeah, looks okay, I'm going to click Approve. Now, those changes are actually live and viewable even by people who are readers. Now, obviously, I've made some pretty simplistic changes to this homepage, but there are a couple of things to take from it.
One is that we appear to have been taking this idea of document versioning and check-in, check-out, and even workflow, same things we've been using in document libraries, and applying it to our web pages. In fact, it's not like that. That is exactly what's happening. If I go to my Site Actions menu here and go to View All Site Content, I can see that I have a document library called Pages. This document library has this page in what's called default.
That's actually my homepage. SharePoint is using its own idea of lists and libraries to manage the website itself. In fact, if I look at the settings of this library-- Click on the Library button, go to Library Settings, just to show you here. If I look at Versioning Settings, it's the same versioning settings we've been playing with for document libraries with Word documents in them. Require content approval? Yes. Create major and minor draft versions? Yes. Who should see the draft versions? Only users who can edit items.
Do you require them to be checked out before they can be edited? Yes, I do. This is all turned on, on the Publishing Portal. So, if you want that level of structure over page changes, this is how you get it. I'm going back to the homepage here. Two other things to talk about. One is that the idea of page changes on a publishing sites is much more controlled. When I decide to edit this page, I don't have a generic area that I can drop into. I have a very formalized layout. Here is where I put the title.
Here is where I put the page image. Here is where I put some links. That's because when Publishing is turned on, rather than just having one column or two columns, you have something called the idea of a page layout, which out of the box, SharePoint gives you a few examples. Body only, Image on the left, Image on the right, Summary links. The idea is your own web designers could define your own page layout. So, you could have product pages, and catalog pages, and event pages. Then when you have multiple people able to change those pages, they get this very structured way of doing it.
Here is where you put the title. Here is where you can put in page image. Here is where you can put a link. The other benefit that you're getting from turning on this feature is that under Site Actions we have a new option here called Manage Content and Structure. Now, this is a great way to look at a site collection. It gives us a tree view of the site collection itself. We're seeing the top-level site, Two Trees Internet Site, a subsite underneath it called Press Releases, which itself can be expanded into its lists and libraries, and then a whole bunch of other lists and libraries.
In fact, when Publishing is turned on, you get several libraries including things like a Style Library, and Site Collection Images, Site Collection Documents, great places for you to put resources that you might be using for a large-scale website. Now, the idea of how we do significant visual customization of these sites is a little bit beyond the scope of this course. But know that when publishing is turned on, you have a lot more ability to give your own look and feel. What we're seeing here is just an example logo and an example layout, but the publishing feature, also known as Web Content Management, is really taking that idea of significant control over our own content: workflow, versioning, check-in, check-out, and actually applying it to potentially thousands or tens of thousands of web pages on a large-scale site.
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