Export (0) Print
Expand All
5 out of 6 rated this helpful - Rate this topic

Plan for personalized Web Parts

SharePoint 2007

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

In this article:

When planning personalization and site structure across the Shared Services Provider (SSP) and within each site collection, it is helpful to understand how Web Parts are used to personalize sites.

The three templates used by My Sites each have a set of default Web Parts and a gallery of additional Web Parts that can be added to each site. It is also possible to use many of these same personalized Web Parts on other pages. You can also develop custom Web Parts that extend the personalization features that are available in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

About personalized Web Parts

SharePoint sites are composed of Web Parts. Personalized Web Parts are those Web Parts that filter or display information based on the user profile and related properties of the user viewing the site, or a particular user in the organization. The typical template for site collections contains a My Site link that can be used by every user who uses the site collection to view, share, and collaborate by using personalized information.

Web Parts can be added by administrators and site designers, or anyone else who has the correct permissions. When these users select Edit Page on the Site Actions menu, the current page opens in design mode. Designers can add Web Parts by clicking Add a Web Part tool in the zone where they want to add the Web Part, and then selecting a Web Part from the gallery that appears.

Although it is not necessary to plan a personalized Web Part for every site in the organization, it is a good idea to plan for the Web Parts that you want to include in the My Site templates, and for any personalized Web Parts that you want to add to key sites in each site collection, such as the Report Center site.

Worksheet action

Use the Site creation worksheet (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73138&clcid=0x409) to record the personalized Web Parts for each site. If there are settings that need to be detailed for any Web Part, record that information as well, so that it can be used as a reference during initial deployment.

Plan for public profile Web Parts

Although many of the administration settings for public profiles are managed by SSP administrators, the Web Parts for public profiles are managed by the administrator of the site collection that hosts My Sites.

Default Web Parts for public profiles

The default Web Parts for the public profile page template are:

  • In the top zone: A Web control that includes the user's name, title, and department.

  • In the left zone:

    • User Properties Web control   This custom Web control is used only in the public profile. It provides information about each user, including a description if one has been provided. Details based on user-provided profile properties that link to related searches on the People tab of the Search Center site include contact information, availability based on meetings scheduled in Microsoft Outlook, and organization hierarchy.

    • Documents Web Part   This Web Part is available only in the public profile, but is similar to the SharePoint Sites Web Part in personal sites. All of the shared documents for the user are grouped in tabs by site, including My Site and every site or subsite in any site collection where that user is a member. Within the My Site tab, there is a link that opens a page of search results that contains every document authored by the user. Within each tab is a list with a link to every document and document location for that particular site, and a link to the site's home page.

    • Links Web Part   This Web Part is a list of links shared by the user. Two actions that are visible to site administrators and users viewing their own public profiles are shown in the following table.

      Action Description

      Add Link

      Add a link to the list in this Web Part and the drop-down list on the top menu bar, organized into groups.

      Manage Links

      Edit settings for this link.

  • In the right zone:

    • In Common with [user] Web Part   This Web Part is used only in the public profile. It contains the nearest manager, colleagues, and memberships held in common between one user and other users viewing the public profile, based on the visibility policy. If a user is viewing his or her own public profile, it explains what other users see.

    • Memberships Web Part   Memberships are displayed to users based on the visibility policy. Memberships include sites, SharePoint groups, audiences, and distribution lists. Administrators and users viewing their own public profile (depending on policy) have a Manage Memberships action in this Web Part.

    • Colleagues Web Part   Colleagues are displayed to users based on the visibility policy. Administrators and users viewing their own public profile (depending on policy) have the following actions: Manage Colleagues, Add Colleagues.

All of these Web Parts are customized for My Site. These Web Parts are not available in galleries unless they are exported from galleries available in other pages. A different version of the Colleagues Web Part is available for other pages in galleries as the Colleague Tracker Web Part.

Additional Web Parts for public profiles

Site collection administrators can add or remove Web Parts from the public profile. The design mode of the public profile page includes Add a Web Part Web Parts in each zone on the page. These parts do not appear in the site, but are used to add other parts to each zone. For more information about adding Web Parts to public profiles, see Plan additional Web Parts for My Sites later in this article.

Plan for personal site Web Parts

Personal sites are managed by each user, but site collection administrators can make changes to the personal site template to add or remove Web Parts and promote different personalization, business intelligence, and collaboration features of Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Default Web Parts for personal sites

The default Web Parts for the personal site template are:

  • In the top zone: A Web Part that includes the user's name, title, and department.

  • In the left zone:

    • Getting Started with My Site Web Part   This part, based on the Content Editor Web Part, contains links to important tasks to get users started using My Site, and can be removed by the user when it is no longer needed. Actions linked here include editing the public profile and adding colleagues.

    • SharePoint Sites Web Part   This Web Part is only available in the personal site, but is similar to the Documents Web Part in public profiles. All of the documents and tasks for the user are grouped in tabs by site, including My Site and every site or subsite in any site collection where that user is a member. Within the My Site tab is a link that opens a page of search results containing every document authored by the user. Within each tab is a list with a link to every document and task, its location, as well as a link to the site's home page.

  • In the right zone:

    • My Calendar Web Part   This contains tasks and meetings for the user.

    • Colleagues Web Part   Colleagues are displayed, along with the following actions: Show all colleagues, Modify alert settings.

    • Memberships Web Part   Memberships are displayed, along with a Manage Memberships action.

All of these Web Parts except the My Calendar Web Parts are customized for My Site, and do not appear in any Web Part galleries. The Memberships Web Part is only available for other sites if it is exported. A version of the Colleagues Web Part is available for other pages in galleries as the Colleague Tracker Web Part, and a different version of the SharePoint Sites Web Part is also available. The My Calendar Web Part is also available in galleries for other sites.

Additional Web Parts for personal sites

Each user can add or remove Web Parts from the home page of the personal site. The personal sites Web Part galleries include all of the Web Parts available in the gallery for public profiles except for the Document Library Web Part, and several additional Web Parts for personalizing e-mail, lists, and business data presentation. For more information about adding Web Parts to the personal site, see Plan additional Web Parts for My Sites later in this article.

Plan for personalization site Web Parts

A personalization site is a site created by using a template that filters and targets the information displayed on the page based on the identity of the current user viewing the site. Personalization sites can use many of the Web Parts provided in Office SharePoint Server 2007, along with any other Web Parts you might create or import from galleries of Web Parts created by others. Some Web Parts are used more often, or provide functionality that is specific to the personalization experience.

Default Web Parts for personalization sites

The default Web Parts for the personalization site template are:

  • In the top zone:

    • Current User Filter Web Part   This Web Part enables the author to pass the current user's login name to connected Web Parts.

    • Profile Property Filter Web Part   This Web Part enables the author to pass the current user's preferred name to connected Web Parts.

    Both Web Parts are provided by default and are visible to personalization site authors.

No other Web Parts are provided by default. Each personalization page uses different Web Parts that are connected to the existing filters so that the information on the page is personalized.

Additional Web Parts for personalization sites

The owner and administrator of each personalization site can add Web Parts to the page. Personalization sites can use all of the Web Parts available in the gallery for personal sites except for the Shared Documents, Shared Pictures, and My Pictures Web Parts.

Personalization pages are built upon the Current User Filter Web Part and the Profile Property Filter Web Part. The main Web Parts added to personalization sites will be parts that are connected to the filters so that whatever content they display is filtered based on either the user name or the preferred name of the current user.

Connected Web Parts are often business data Web Parts, key performance indicator (KPI) Web Parts, and lists and libraries Web Parts. The decision about which parts to include depends on the business needs of your organization, the purpose of the site collection containing the personalization site, and the information most needed by the members of the personalization site.

Personalization sites for initial deployment will be more effective if they are focused narrowly towards a single purpose. When you plan for each site collection, some will contain personalization sites. Each personalization site should be focused around a shared set of business processes and information that reflects a central purpose of the site collection.

For example, a human resources site that exists to provide information about employee benefits, time reporting, and company policies will have a personalization site that provides Web Parts that personalize that information. A call center personalization site might present Web Parts linked to the customer service database, personalized so that users can see their own open issues, customer service statistics, and so on. A site collection used for authoring Web site content might contain lists and libraries of content for each of a writer's current projects, along with core personalization parts, such as e-mail and calendar Web Parts.

You can categorize personalized content in the following three ways, and most personalization sites will focus on one type.

  • Content personalization   Content is managed by users on another team and published to a site that has a personalized view for each member.

  • Data personalization   There is an underlying business application associated with a key business process, allowing each user to see a personalized view of the data at any time.

  • Personalized views of group project content   Users within the same group or team work together to produce content, and they have a common personalization site to display the work and relevant content for each user.

For complex site collections, personalization might include all of these categories, but it is a good idea to start with a simplified set of personalization sites and extend the sites over time as needs evolve.

Beyond the initial filter Web Parts on personalization pages, you might want to add additional filter Web Parts to further filter data and content on personalization sites. For more information about these filters, see Plan additional Web Parts for My Sites later in this article. The same parts are available as are available in public profiles and dashboard sites.

The administrator of each site collection that has a personalization site should make a note of the content they want to personalize for that site based on the purpose of the site collection, and then identify the Web Parts and filters they will need to deploy each site.

Plan additional Web Parts for My Sites

The additional Web Parts available to add to the pages and templates for My Sites fall into several groups:

  • Suggested Web Parts

  • List and libraries Web Parts

  • Business data Web Parts

  • KPI Web Parts

  • Filter Web Parts

Each of these groups of Web Parts raises different questions during public profile planning.

Because personal sites are designed and administered by each user, there are not as many considerations for planning them as there are for personalization sites and public profiles. However, there are some factors you should consider to plan for added functionality in personal sites according to the needs of your organization.

Plan for suggested Web Parts on My Sites

Some Web Parts are specifically suggested for specific zones in the personal site and personalization sites when users add Web Parts to a page in design mode. Personalization is built into most of these Web Parts, which are intended to be used in pages to provide personalized information that users need to accomplish their tasks. They involve e-mail, workspaces, and commonly used lists, libraries, and pages. Other Web Parts can be personalized by using filters or audiences, but suggested Web Parts are inherently personalized.

Note that the public profile does not include any of these suggested Web Parts, because it is not intended to be a place where users learn information about themselves and their work, but a place for other people to learn information about them.

The suggested Web Parts for personal sites are:

  • Colleague Tracker Web Part (This is the same as the default Colleagues Web Part.)

  • Content Editor Web Part (For example, the Getting Started with My Site Web Part.)

  • Page Viewer Web Part

  • Image Web Part

  • My Pictures Web Part

  • My Links Web Part

  • My Workspace Sites Web Part

  • Outlook Web Access Web Parts, including:

    • My Calendar (This is one of the default Web Parts for personal sites.)

    • My Inbox

    • My Mail Folder

    • My Tasks

The suggested Web Parts for personalization sites include all of these Web Parts except the Content Editor Web Part, the Page Viewer Web Part, the Image Web Part, and the My Pictures Web Part. Each of these Web Parts (except for My Pictures) is available in the gallery but not suggested.

To encourage the use of Outlook Web Access Web Parts in personal sites, you can add more of those parts or add mail server information before deployment so the parts will be fully functional from the start without any additional steps required for each user. These Web Parts can also be useful in personalization sites based around collaboration or business data. The distinction is that in personal sites, these parts are central to its purpose as the personalized page for each user, while personalization sites use these parts in a more secondary role to supplement other parts.

You can add the Content Editor Web Part to the personal site template to provide text and links that suggest ways for users to develop their personal sites by adding new Web Parts or by using the existing Web Parts. This is already done by default in the Getting Started Web Part, but you can customize this and even add Content Editor Web Parts focused on different ways to improve personal sites. You can link to personalization sites, business-critical lists, and other resources that can be used in personal sites that users might otherwise not find as easily. If information is particularly critical, you can use the Page Viewer Web Part to display the page within a Web Part of each personal site.

Personalization sites are less likely to use Content Editor Web Parts or Page Viewer Web Parts because they are designed as single pages that provide personalized views for every member, and content in those parts cannot be filtered by the current user. However, it can still be useful for some personalization sites to use Content Editor Web Parts to provide important information for users. Similarly, if the purpose of the site is collaboration, a Page Viewer Web Part for a page central to that collaboration can be helpful.

The My Workspace Sites Web Part displays a list of all workspaces and sites within the personal site or personalization site. In the case of personalization sites, if the purpose of the personalization site involves collaboration or viewing other sites related to the personalized view, you can create those sites and include links here so that users can quickly and easily move from personalization information to related content and tasks. The My Links Web Part can be used to provide links to other relevant content other than subsites of the personalization site. Although users can add their own links to this Web Part, administrators might decide to add and target important links during initial deployment.

As with any Web Part, the core personalization parts can be targeted to audiences, so you can use one personalization site that has some parts targeted to different groups of users. This is useful when the personalization site has the same broad purpose, but different groups of users have different related links, or only some of them need to see workspace sites.

Plan for lists and libraries Web Parts on My Sites

Lists and libraries Web Parts are used by all three My Site templates to include links for relevant lists and libraries. Each template has a different set of available list and libraries Web Parts.

The one Web Part of this kind for the public profile is the Document Library Web Part. This Web Part can be used to associate a library with the public profile. That document library appears on every public profile for every user, and is visible to all users who view the page. The documents in this library are typically documents of general interest for users who view public profiles, such as a frequently asked questions list.

The lists and libraries Web Parts for personal sites are:

  • Cache Profiles Web Part

  • Reports List Web Part

  • Reusable Content Web Part

  • Shared Documents Web Part

  • Shared Pictures Web Part

  • Site Collection Documents Web Part

  • Site Collection Images Web Part

  • Style Library Web Part

Users can also add Web Parts to their personal sites based on lists created in the personal site. Those are the only lists and libraries Web Parts available by default in the galleries for personalization sites. You can add additional lists and libraries Web Parts to the personalization site galleries by exporting them from sites and galleries where they are available. Some Web Parts are associated with certain features of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and are only available when the related feature is enabled. For example, the business data Web Parts appear when the Office Server Enterprise feature is activated.

You can add parts for important lists to the default template of the personal site. For example, you can add key documents and pictures to Shared Documents and Shared Pictures Web Parts, which encourages users to add more documents and pictures to those shared lists over time. You can also add Web Parts for KPI lists that are already linked to real business processes that provide meaningful status indicators as part of the initial personal site experience, and add some lists as default personal site content so they can be added by users as Web Parts later on.

These parts are even more useful in personalization sites to add lists for important content that is relevant to the purpose of the site. A list Web Part can be added that is linked to the Current User Filter Web Part so that it displays performance information that is personalized for each user who uses the site.

Plan for business data Web Parts on My Sites

The business data Web Parts available in the gallery for all three templates of My Site are:

  • Business Data Actions Web Part

  • Business Data Related List Web Part

  • Business Data Item Web Part

  • Business Data List Web Part

  • Business Data Item Filter Web Part

  • IView Web Part

  • WSRP Consumer Web Part

The first four business data Web Parts are used to display information based on the properties of applications registered in the Business Data Catalog. The Business Data Item Filter Web Part filters the other Web Parts within the page based on values found in the Business Data Catalog. The IView and WSRP Web Parts support the presentation of data from SAP and WSRP subsites, respectively.

Additional business data Web Parts available for the personal site and personalization sites, but not public profiles, include:

  • Excel Web Access Web Part (listed in the Default gallery category)

  • SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Part

The Excel Web Access Web Part is used to provide information from a specific worksheet directly within the Web Part by using Excel Calculation Services. The SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Web Part is available for personal sites and personalization sites for rendering data directly from SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services.

Business data Web Parts provide a way to present information from data sources, such as business applications registered in the Business Data Catalog, to provide key information about users in sites. In the context of public profiles, you might want to provide business data relevant to the user profile that is being viewed, and the person who is viewing the user profile. Depending on the part used, this can include lists of business data, key properties of business data, and important business actions. For personalization sites, you can add business data Web Parts for business applications that are central to the purpose of the site, and connect those parts to the Current User Filter Web Part so they provide information personalized for each user. The Business Data Associations Web Part, Business Data Details Web Part, and Business Data List Web Parts each provide distinct views of business data.

You use the Business Data Actions Web Part to include links to perform custom business actions that the administrator of the Business Data Catalog has planned and created based on the common tasks associated with core business applications. Business actions provide a particularly useful possibility for public profiles. For example, you can create a custom action that returns business data for the user profile that is being viewed. Employees viewing public profiles in a call center site collection might be able to click View Customer Service Records for this Person. Anyone could click someone's name anywhere in the site collection, and then click this action, and be provided with a page linked to the customer service database that would display a list of customer service records for that user.

This is also useful for personalization sites. In the same call center site collection example, a personalization site could use Business Data Actions Web Parts to provide actions to resolve customer service records, open existing records, or transfer cases to other service departments, all without having to start a separate application or find another page.

You can also add business data Web Parts to the personal site template to encourage individual users to use those Web Parts. By providing links to personalization sites that also use that Web Part, you can demonstrate the possibilities for viewing business data Web Parts so that users are more likely to add the Web Parts in their personal sites.

When planning My Sites, you can easily go overboard by adding too many actions and other business data. As always during initial planning, only include the most important business data for each site.

For more information about business data Web Parts, see Plan business data Web Parts.

For more information about business data actions, see Plan business data actions.

Plan for dashboard Web Parts on My Sites

Because KPI Web Parts are commonly used in dashboards, they are also called dashboard Web Parts in My Site Web Part galleries. Dashboards, also known as multi-report summary pages, contain one or more business intelligence Web Parts, such as business data Web Parts, Excel Web Access Web Parts, or KPIs that can be filtered at the page level by various properties to get a unified view of data and content from several sources.

The dashboard Web Parts are:

  • KPI Details Web Part

  • KPI List Web Part

These Web Parts are available in the Web Part galleries for all three My Site templates.

KPI Web Parts can be useful for presenting personalized performance information for key business goals. For public profiles and personalization sites, these might be status indicators that apply to individuals and not entire groups or organizations. For example, you could create a KPI (by using either a KPI List Web Part along with other KPIs, or as a KPI Details Web Part) that is based on an Excel workbook of sales reports for all employees. When you add that Web Part to a personalization site, the current user filter will only calculate the KPI for the current user. The same KPI on another page without the same filter would calculate the KPI for all users whose sales are documented in the source Excel workbook.

If the KPI is of interest only to some users, such as users within the same workgroup, you can target the Web Part to an audience defined to include only the users in the workgroup. For example, if the sales KPI is based on a spreadsheet from the New York sales office, you can target the KPI Web Part to only show results for users working in that office, and use another targeted KPI Web Part for users in another office.

You can use the KPI List Web Part to display several status indicators within one Web Part, such as number of sales, the dollar value of sales, improvement over the last quarter, and customer satisfaction. The KPI Details Web Part only shows a single KPI, such as number of sales.

You can also add a KPI, possibly targeted by team, that shows results at the team level and is not connected to the current user filter. This information might still be useful in a personalization site because it provides information that relates to other Web Parts that are personalized. This is a common scenario for KPI Web Parts on personalized sites because KPIs tend to indicate performance information calculated across groups rather than for individuals.

As with any site planning, before you add a KPI Web Part you should consider the purpose of the site collection that contains the public profile or personalization site. If the site collection is a team site for a sales team, sales data KPIs make sense. If it is a site collection intended for collaboration across a larger organization, the KPI will have to match the breadth of that collaboration or be targeted if it is included at all. If it is a site for human resources information, which is not used by any group in the organization to meet its goals but instead simply provides policies and business applications, you probably will not use a KPI Web Part.

After deciding whether to use KPIs, make decisions about who should see what data, and use audiences and Current User Filter Web Parts to tailor KPIs to your organization.

Consider whether particular KPIs are more appropriate in public profiles or within personalization sites. Users are more likely to look for information about a particular business process in the Report Center site or a personalization site designed for that purpose, rather than in their own or someone else's public profile page. Only include KPIs in public profiles to reinforce the most important indicators for your organization, or when the information is something that is central to the role of each user who views the public profile.

Remember to plan for the data sources that provide information for KPIs. For more information, see Plan key performance indicators.

Plan for filter Web Parts on My Sites

Filter Web Parts are available for all three My Site templates. The default filter Web Parts available are:

  • Authored List Filter Web Part

  • Business Data Catalog Filter Web Part

  • Current User Filter Web Part

  • Filter Actions Web Part

  • Page Field Filter Web Part

  • Query String (URL) Filter Web Part

  • SharePoint List Filter Web Part

  • SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Filter Web Part

  • Text Filter Web Part

Plan for miscellaneous and custom Web Parts on My Sites

Personal sites can select the following miscellaneous Web Parts:

  • Contact Details Web Part

  • Form Web Part

  • XML Web Part

Personalization sites can use those Web Parts, and can also use the following additional Web Parts:

  • From the Default group in the Web Part gallery:

    • Advanced Search Box Web Part

    • Category Results Web Part

    • Category Web Part

    • People Search Core Results Web Part

    • Search Box Web Part

    • Search Paging Web Part

    • Search Statistics Web Part

    • Search Summary Web Part

    • Search Core Results Web Part

    • Search High Confidence Web Part

    • Site and Documents Web Part

    • Tasks and Tools Web Part

    • This Week in Pictures Web Part

    • Top Sites Web Part Web Part

  • From the Miscellaneous group in the Web Part gallery:

    • Content Query Web Part

    • Summary Link Web Part

    • Table of Contents Web Part

The Form Web Part is used to connect a simple form to other Web Parts on the page. Along with the XML Web Part form, you can add significant interactivity to a personalization page.

Most of the other miscellaneous Web Parts enable you to add search functionality right into the personalization site. When you plan for search, consider how you want personalization sites to work with the content sources and search scopes you have created for the site collection and SSP as a whole.

In addition to the Web Parts that are available in galleries for the My Site templates, you can create custom Web Parts. For more information about designing custom Web Parts, see the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit (SDK) (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=71218&clcid=0x409).

Plan for personalized Web Parts on other sites

You can personalize Web Parts on other pages in several ways, including:

  • Using the Current User Filter Web Part on a dashboard or any other site to filter data from other Web Parts based on the identity of the current user.

  • Using the Business Data Catalog Filter Web Part to filter business data Web Parts based on properties of business data types in applications registered in the Business Data Catalog, such as people in SAP.

  • Using the IView Web Part specifically with SAP to present personalized data from IView in SAP.

  • Adding one or more audiences to the Target Audiences text box in the Advanced section of the Web Part tool pane.

Worksheet

Use the following worksheet to plan for personalized Web Parts:

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007 .

Did you find this helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.