Updated: November 5, 2009
Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007
Variations enable site owners to create multiple versions of publishing sites or pages. This can be useful for any situation in which you want multiple versions of a site for example, when you want to publish a site in multiple languages, or for different types of devices. By creating a series of site variations, and then marking one as the primary, or source, variation, you enable content to be created or updated on the source site, and ensure that those changes are then made to all subsequent site variations. For information about planning variations, including variations and content approval, planning target variation sites, site navigation, and content deployment, see Plan variations.
After creating your site variations, you create variation labels to associate with the variations. Labels can be anything that helps identify what the target variation is, for example, language names or mobile devices. These labels then help direct users to the appropriate pages based on their Web browser’s language preferences, or their mobile device settings. For example, if you create a label called “French”, the URL for the corresponding site would be similar to http://<sitename>/sites/<portalname>/French/Pages/default.aspx.
Depending on your customers' needs, you may want to use a different page layout for every variation label. A variation label might differ because of issues such as right-to-left languages, branding, and format constraints as with handheld devices. You can map a page layout to a variation label by specifying a preferred layout.
Variations can be used only on publishing pages in the Pages library of a publishing site. If you want to add nonpublishing pages to the Pages library of a site that uses variations, you must first create the new variation labels and then create the hierarchies before you add nonpublishing pages to the Pages library. To use variations, you must have created a site using one of the Publishing templates, or you must have activated the Publishing feature for your site.
For more information about site variations, see Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development by Andrew Connell. For more information about this book, see Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development: Building Publishing Sites with Office SharePoint Server 2007 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=127715&clcid=0x409).
For information about:
Customizing variation landing pages and using variation label control logic, see Variations and Multiple Language Sites (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121414&clcid=0x409).
Using site variations, Customizing and Branding Web Content Management-Enabled SharePoint Sites (Part 3 of 3): Creating and Configuring WCM-Enabled Sites (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121415&clcid=0x409).
Managing multilingual scenarios, see White paper: Plan for building multilingual solutions.