Adding Templates for Top-Level Sites

ToTheSharePoint Newsletter
March 25, 2008

By Dan Holme
Office & SharePoint Pro
Community Manager

On the Road with SharePoint Pro Live!

As you know from previous newsletters, last week began our SharePoint Pro Live! event, which is visiting 10 cities across the United States through April. Last week in San Diego, I was lucky enough to meet several hundred enthusiastic, knowledgeable IT pros who were ravenous for great, independent expertise about SharePoint. I'd like to share with you some of their reviews:

"I look forward to the next event. I have tools to use immediately. TIME WELL SPENT!".

"Great presentation; better than MSFT hosted events because presenters are very honest about features and launch."

"It not only provided me insights to SharePoint but ideas I can implement in my environment easily. Very great event! I will definitely recommend this event to others."

And about some of our speakers last week:

"Mike Noel Rocks!"


"Dan Holme was one of the best presenters I have seen. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful." (Thanks! Your check is in the mail )

Our attendees had positive things to say and some great suggestions for future topics and cities.  I'll do my best to help bring those future events and topics to life!  And my apologies to the dozen or so attendees in Atlanta who were disappointed not to meet President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center .

Come join us in a city near you! San Francisco tomorrow; Dallas Thursday; NYC and Boston next week. Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle and Denver in April! Register now.

Adding Templates for Top-Level Sites
In San Diego, we were discussing application templates, including custom templates and the "Fantastic 40" templates you can download from Microsoft (if you have not looked at these, GO LOOK NOW!!!) The Fantastic 40 install in such a way that you can select one of the templates when you create a new site collection and top-level site. The question was asked and yes, you can save your own custom templates for new site collections as well.

If you want to add a custom template to the list of templates offered by Central Administration, simply follow these steps:

1. Create a custom template (.stp).
2. From the command prompt, use STSADM -O ADDTEMPLATE:

stsadm.exe -o addtemplate -filename filename -title "friendly name" -description "description"

3. Type stsadm -help addtemplate for details.
4. Then restart IIS by typing iisreset.

Pimp up your Libraries with Forms--on the Cheap
You don't need InfoPath Services to start getting value out of SharePoint as a business forms tool. You can use document libraries and document templates (Excel or Word documents, for example) as forms. In fact, Microsoft has a very slick set of examples here. One example creates an "Invoices" library, which populates fields in the document library from content in the Word document. These examples aren't necessarily going to be 'perfect fits' for your needs, but they illustrate how to get a lot of additional value out of document libraries.

Of course, if you do shell out for InfoPath (either the client on every desktop or InfoPath Services in the Enterprise CAL of MOSS), you'll have the "cream of the crop" and you can do a lot of pretty spectacular business process automation.


Until next week, all the best!

Dan Holme

danh at intelliem dot (top level commercial domain)


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