I have to create a site definition for a client that must contain pre-defined web part pages. I can create the web part pages but am at a loss when it comes to attaching them to the site on creation.

I know web part pages created through SharePoint are stored in a Document Library. Do I need to pre-populate a "Web Part Pages" document library and add the needed navigation to these files? If so, how do I go about adding the needed aspx files?

Finally, are there any caveats that I should be aware of for configuring the custom web part page in onet?

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You can follow this methodology which uses Feature Stapling. I used this to automatically add web parts to My Sites when they are created:


You can provision the page in ONET.XML.

First add a web part page template to your site definition.

Then provision an instance of the page (with the web parted added) in your ONET.XML.

This stuff is described fully in Ted Pattison's book Inside Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


<%@ Assembly Name="Microsoft.SharePoint,Version=,Culture=neutral,PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %> <%@ Register Tagprefix="SharePoint" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %> <%@ Register Tagprefix="Utilities" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %> <%@ Import Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint" %> <%@ Register Tagprefix="WebPartPages" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>

<%@ Page language="C#" MasterPageFile="~masterurl/default.master"    
          Inherits="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.WebPartPage" %>

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderMain" runat="server">
    <table cellspacing="0" border="0" width="100%">
       <td class="ms-pagebreadcrumb">
            <asp:SiteMapPath SiteMapProvider="SPContentMapProvider" id="ContentMap" SkipLinkText="" NodeStyle-CssClass="ms-sitemapdirectional" runat="server"/>
         <table width="100%" cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0 style="padding: 5px 10px 10px 10px;">
           <td valign="top" width="70%">
               <WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" ID="Left" Title="loc:Left" />
           <td valign="top" width="30%">
               <WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" ID="Right" Title="loc:Right" />

<asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderPageTitle" runat="server">
    <SharePoint:ProjectProperty ID="ProjectProperty1" Property="Title" runat="server"/>

<asp:Content ID="Content2" ContentPlaceHolderId="PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea" runat="server">
         <label class="ms-hidden"><SharePoint:ProjectProperty ID="ProjectProperty2" Property="Title" runat="server"/></label>

ONET.xml snippet

<Module Name="Default" Url="" >
  <File Url="default.aspx" Type="Ghostable">
    <!-- Add a Web Part to left zone -->
    <AllUsersWebPart WebPartZoneID="Left" WebPartOrder="0">
         <Assembly>Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c</Assembly>
         <Title>Working with Site Definitions</Title>
           This Web Part was added through declarative logic in ONET.XML
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