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We need to create a couple of dozen forms on SharePoint 2010 and would like to use ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2010 for this task. The forms need to have the same look-and-feel. The current forms are in various versions of ASP.NET as well as classic ASP and lack a common platform and have various look-and-feel.

From what we've read, Application Pages are the way to go. In our setup, we use publishing pages for our web sites, and the pages reference a custom page layout. Can the Application Pages use the custom page layout? What about the modal dialog technique described here?

Considering the number of forms involved, we can use your advice and guidance on how to use ASP.NET effectively to build the forms and implement them in SharePoint 2010. One other note: InfoPath is not an option for us. Thank you.

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Some other options you might want to consider in addition to Application Pages are

1) Building the Forms as Web Parts. This allows you to reuse the same form for multiple lists by making the list name/url/ID available as a configurable web part property.

2) Including the form via Page Viewer Web Part. While not as native as Application Pages or Web Parts, it does allow for easier management of the forms themselves as they can now reside outside of SharePoint itself.

3) InfoPath and Forms Services. These are not as flexible as asp.net forms but are natively supported by SharePoint and will work in many situations. The biggest downside is that the UI of InfoPath and its web forms is probably not what you are looking for.

I'm not saying that any of these is better than your current approach, merely that they are additional options that may or may not work depending on your specific circumstances.

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Thanks, Dave. What we need are forms that email the form data and insert a record into a list. There are over 70 of these request forms, with different fields and logic. –  Alex C Mar 15 '12 at 8:40

When you say your site uses a custom page layout, I'm assuming you're talking about a master page. This post on StackExchange talks about applying a master page via code behind:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5549638/how-to-add-master-page-to-already-created-webform

So yes, you could apply the same branding. If you're opening the form in a modal window though, you may not want that, so keep that in mind. Using the SPContext.Current.IsPopUI property you can change this dynamically.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sharepoint.spcontext.ispopui.aspx

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Or by adding "s4-notdlg" to the class of items you don't want to render in a modal window. –  RJ Cuthbertson Mar 14 '12 at 16:46

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