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Is it possible to have web parts on application pages. In other words having a web parts page in the _layouts catalog? Have tried inheriting from webpartpage, no errors but nothing happens when clicking add web part to zone.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can certainly have a web part statically in an application page. After all, it is just a control with extra behaviour to support browser-based customization.

Whether you can have a web part zone is another matter. The application pages don't support customization (in the sense of un-ghosting), so I don't think they will have the wiring to persist your web part configuration either.

You need to have an SPWebPartManager in your page - this will usually come from the master page. But I don't think it will be able to do anything.

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I don't think that setting web part properties unghosts a page - they have their own storage mechanism outsite the virtual file system (hence why they don't have versioning, and how they can support personalisation). However, I think you're right that they don't have the wiring to persist the web part config. –  Andy Burns Jun 6 '11 at 12:04
    
The web part properties are stored in the content database, but separately and independently from un-ghosted pages. I just meant that the two things probably go hand-in-hand. I will edit to make clearer. Thanks. –  SPDoctor Jun 6 '11 at 12:12
    
Yes the masterpage has a webpart manager. It is used for normal web parts pages as well. The zone shows up in edit mode, the issue is that when you click add webpart nothing happens. The web part gallery is not shown as for a normal web part page. –  HaavardMeling Jun 6 '11 at 12:16
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Application Pages don't support "Edit" mode, so you wouldn't be able to add web parts to a Zone anyway. You can freely add static web parts, however, as @SPDoctor said, they are just Controls.

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