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I have an internal portal in a SharePoint 2007 application containing one site collection with six subsites. The Subsites are functional areas within the portal which users may navigate to. Pages within the sites host Silverlight applications which access an external, custom database.

My users have been navigating in it with no trouble, but the URL was an obscure server name. I decided I would "fix" this by adding a DNS entry for the portal name and resolving it with Host Headers on the server. User may still navigate around with the old URL (the server name). My fix is mentioned on Server Fault here How to use Host Headers...

If they use the new portal name, they get to landing page, but all navigation afterwards is odd. They may get to the right page, but get an authentication challenge. The Silverlight applications are not working properly. I don't expect anyone here to help me with Silverlight.

What have I done, and how do I really fix it this time? Did I change the URL the proper way? Will any fix allow users to use the old url (server name) to get there?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use alternate access mapping, configurable through Central administration, application management. Since sharepoint does lots of background stuff, it is generally inadvisable to set up alternate names with anything other than aam.

If you want to go more into your silverlight issues, myself and I'm sure other on this site are capable of helping you. And it is on topic to talk about silverlight as it pertains to a SharePoint webpart application.

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That helps me get to the default page (Home for the site collection), it rewrites the URL when I land on it. What if the user wants to navigate to a subsite's page with the friendly URL? I might want to go to _http://portal/Management/Pages/MyPage.aspx instead of _http://ptsvrp01/Management/Pages/MyPage.aspx. –  Blanthor Mar 30 '12 at 14:00
    
Alternate access mapping should handle that 100%. It was the means I use to rename all SharePoint sites I manage, and have changed it many times without issue. –  Zork Mar 30 '12 at 14:03
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