5 SharePoint 2010 Web Parts You Should Get to Know

One of the fundamental components of a SharePoint site is a Web Part. Web Parts are “gadgets” that can be added to a page to perform a specific function. Although you may purchase or develop your own Web Parts to meet a specific need in your organization, SharePoint provides many Web Parts out of the box. In this article, I explore some of the built in Web Parts that you should get to know.

InfoPath Form Web Part

The InfoPath Form Web Part is brand new to SharePoint 2010. It is available only in the Enterprise edition of SharePoint 2010. What the Web Part allows you to do is to customize the default forms for a SharePoint list. When you create a list in SharePoint, three pages are created for you automatically: DispForm.aspx, EditForm.aspx, and NewForm.aspx. As the names suggest, these forms are used to display items, edit items and add items to a SharePoint list. If you want to use InfoPath 2010 to customize the default pages for a list rather than using SharePoint Designer 2010, all you need to do is click the InfoPath icon on the List tab of the Web page. InfoPath will open on your desktop and you can customize the form for the SharePoint list the same way that you customize an InfoPath Forms Library form. You can add images, insert tables, move fields, add validation rules, and include functions all through an easy to understand interface. One thing that you cannot do is add .NET managed code to the form, but this is a great way for power users to make a form look and function the way they need it to without writing program code.

Content Query Web Part

The Content Query Web Part is available for pages on sites in which the publishing infrastructure feature has been activated. Probably the most common use of the Web Part is to roll up information from multiple lists into a single view. You can apply filters and styles to make the content look the way you want. Imagine you have a publishing page that displays a certain article and you want to display a list of related stories next to it on the page. Using the Content Query Web Part, you can search all the lists on the site that use the same keywords as the keywords for the featured article, and display them in a list.

XSLT List View Web Part

You create an XSLT List View Web Part in SharePoint Designer 2010. The benefit of an XSLT List View Web Part is that it allows you to customize the out of the box list views. You can rearrange fields, hide them, or apply special formatting. Much of the customization can be done in the design view, but if you want to use special functions you can convert the entire view to XSL and manipulate the XSL code directly.

Chart Web Part

The Chart Web Part is also new to SharePoint 2010. It is included in the Enterprise edition of the server. The Chart Web Part allows you to build charts or graphs easily through a wizard interface – pulling data from a variety of sources. Power users are able to use it to create graphical dashboards from SharePoint lists with no knowledge of programming. Creating a chart in SharePoint with the Chart Web Part is as simple as creating a chart in Excel.

Content Editor Web Part

The Content Editor Web Part has been included in SharePoint for multiple releases. It was originally designed to be a content placeholder for text, rich text or embedded HTML on a SharePoint page. Functionality has been added to allow the Content Editor Web Part to pull in content from text files or rich text format files. A popular use for the Content Editor Web Part now is to use JavaScript (often jQuery) to customize the look and functionality of a SharePoint page. You can manipulate the style of a page, or you may perform transactions using the SharePoint REST Web Services. This has been an ideal customization approach for web designers and developers who do not have .NET development skills, and for others who use SharePoint in a hosted environment where managed code is not allowed.

TAGS:

.NET, SharePoint, Web Parts, InfoPath
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