Building Web Portals

Building Web Portals

Customization is a big topic in application development. Users like to be able to change the layout, appearance, and behavior of their applicationsfine-tuning them to better suit their business practices and working preferences. However, while this customization capability has become common in mainstream applications such as Microsoft Office and Windows itself, Web sites that support this type of feature are still quite rare, although sites such as MSN and the Microsoft Live site ( are using customization heavily.

But all that changes in ASP.NET 2.0, as you've seen with the personalization features in the previous chapter. In this chapter, you'll see even more ways that users can customize their views of your Web applications and Web pages, using the Microsoft Portal Framework and the technology underlying it, WebParts. We'll be looking at:

  • The portal framework that is now a fundamental part of ASP.NET 2.0

  • What WebParts are and how you can use them in your pages

  • How you can control the WebParts

  • How you can allow the user to customize WebParts

  • How you can connect WebParts together

We start with a look at what WebParts and the portal framework actually are and how they relate to building portal-style applications with ASP.NET 2.0 (and on different software platforms as well).

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