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February 2009

SharePoint customization best practices

SharePoint is a highly customizable platform. You can click on site actions -> edit page and actually edit the page. You can add Web parts, configure them and drag them around from zone to zone. It’s easy to download SharePoint Designer and figure out how to make dramatic changes to SharePoint’s branding by clicking, pointing, dragging and saving. It’s quite a liberating feeling, and it doesn’t stop there. SharePoint can be customized in all kinds of ways before it ever occurs to you to do things the old fashioned way—through code. Proceed with caution, however. The SharePoint platform is open and invites customization, but it’s still a software product. Careless customization can lead to poor design, unhappy users and performance problems. It can even wreck your system entirely, forcing you to test that disaster recovery plan you hoped you’d never have to pull out from the closet. You can avoid those kinds of nightmare scenarios with an appropriate governance plan that includes rules for customization. Follow these tips, and ...

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