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We are new to SharePoint and have built out a few sites for departments, projects and teams. So far things are going well. Our lists and libraries are staring to grow and become useful. One complaint I keep getting though is that people have to go into multiple sites to check for updates and get the content they need.

For example, Joe, the IS Manager, has to go to the IS Department team page to view the project update web part and then has to go to the Budgeting Team Site to see the budget status web part.

What are some strategies for presenting information to individuals when the information comes from various sites. Ideally there would be multiple web parts dispalying a variety of content from different areas.

I know I could setup alerts and push the information in discrete pieces, but we would much rather have the content all in one location to view and act on. Any suggestions?

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If the sites are in the same Site Collection you can use the Content By Query web part if not then you should use Search

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+1 @PB Just a note that the CQWP is available only on SharePoint Server and not on SharePoint Foundation. So before going ahead, you should probably check first which version of SP are you using. – Vardhaman Deshpande Nov 1 '12 at 14:07

The usual suspects (CQWP) and Search Service Application (with a pre-configured core search result webpart) like Per Jakobsen said but I also configured massive roll-up in SharePoint 2007 with RSS (list were broadcasting last x items through RSS and I roll-up all of them using the XML viewer webpart or a custom one (aggregating several sources through xslt).

Finally, if a custom "home made" webpart is a viable solution, allowing you to specify which list(s) to query and in the backend, you would do the relevant site data query, assuming the current user has access to the other site collection (or elevating to the app pool account or impersonating as required).

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