SharePoint Community Road Trip – Day 15

Yesterday’s tour of the Deleted Items Document Library Custom List Template was a great little side trip while we are camped out at Mindsharp. Today we head over and take a quick look at another interesting free tool from the Mindsharp group. Today we take a look at “Todd’s Subwebs on the Quick Launch Web Part

The Quick Launch Navigation Bar is located on the left side of the default Team Site WSS Template and displays links to lists and libraries that were marked to show on the Quick Launch bar. The Quick Launch Navigation Bar allows single-click access to the list and libraries – essentially allow users to move around the site quickly. But one thing is obviously missing from the Quick Launch – sub sites. Sub sites are “children” sites located “under” the parent site.

Here is my Community Road Trip site’s Quick Launch Navigation Bar:

Default Quick Link Navigation Bar

The Community Road Trip site does have sub sites below the top-level site. The problems with creating and using sub sites in a WSS design – and they do have their place in design – is that there is no way to easily display the existence of sub-sites. The user has more than a few clicks to even get to a list of sub sites. The navigation of sub sites is not intuitive.

The request to surface a list of available sub sites on the default page site is prevalent enough that I demonstrated in my book how to do this with a Web Part and the WSS object model. Today’s guided tour of the Todd’s Subwebs on the QuickLaunch Web Part download will actually do this without a custom Web Part ( though you should still take a look at my book, that’s not the only demo:)!) and integrate it with the Quick Launch Navigation Bar.

Tour Guide Note: You might notice the inconsistent verbiage around the use of sub site and sub web or Quick Launch Navigation Bar and Quick Launch Web Part. The differences is based around sub webs being a developer’s term and sub site a user interface term. Also I believe the Quick Launch is not a Web Part but instead a collection of built up web controls. So ignore the minor differences between the terms. In the end, you will see your sub webs or sub sites show up in the Quick Launch Web Part or Quick Launch Navigation Bar.

With Todd’s Subwebs on the Quick Launch Web Part you can easily and seamlessly add your sub sites to the Quick Launch Navigation Bar . This download contains a single .dwp file which contains specific configuration information for a Content Editor Web Part (CEWP) that when added to the site page will then add the sub sites to the Quick Launch Navigation Bar. If you look closely enough you will even see the different icons for the different sub site types: Team Site, Document Workspace and Meeting Workspace. This little gem is also context sensitive – only sub webs that the current user has privileges will display. Take a look at our Quick Launch Navigation Bar now:

Quick Link Navigation Bar displaying three sub sites Quick Link Navigation Bar displaying one sub site

User 1 – access to three sub sites. User 2 – access only to the Road Trip Planning Committee

This free download from Mindsharp has got to be the simplest install to date. Simply import the dwp file and you have dramatically improved your users navigation and surfaced a whole new level of content to the user.