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I am thinking about using SmartParts ( to directly Host ASP.NET user controls in sharepoint.

This needs however that I manually copy all user controls to all WFE servers and place them in a special folder in the Web application root folder.

Do you see any problems with this approach? How about its effect on performance? Anyone faced issued with it? or liked it?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've never used SmartPart so can't comment on it exactly. However there should be no need to manually copy anything if you are using a packaging solution such as WSPBuilder which can handle all this for you.

There's some pretty good doco on the non-SmartPart route:

Either way there should be no or negligible perf issues as it's all the same bits in the end.

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Just to point out, the SharePoint Guidance article linked to is now marked as 'Retired' -- this seems to be the current version for WSS/MOSS 2007: – ngm Sep 27 '10 at 15:28
@ngm: Thank you! Now updated. – Alex Angas Sep 28 '10 at 7:41

Here's a nice pro/con article.. commented on by Jan himself.

I never use it. It's a pain to debug and deploy and, something like WSPBuilder makes it unnecessary.

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SmartParts are web parts like any other web part. The user controls are just another artifact, that you drop into CONTROLTEMPLATES in a subdirectory. Both should be packaged and provisioned in solutions and using features (if you want the web part added to web part gallery).

When you deploy your solution and activate your feature content is automagically added to safe controls, bin/gac, web part gallery, controltemplates etc on all Web Front End servers.

I havent heard of performance overhead on loading a user control in contrast to adding controls in CreateChildControls.

some links: Solutions and Web Part Packages

Using Solution Packages to Deploy Features and Content in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

How to: Create a Simple Feature

Working with Features

hth Anders Rask

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