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What is best practice for creating a custom List/View/Edit/New page for OOB SharePoint lists in 2010?

We have a site that wants to surface many OOB SharePoint 2010 lists (think Announcements, Events, etc) with custom UI. SharePoint Designer is not an option as this needs to be repeatable and provisionable (i.e. API, CAML, feature activation, site defintion).

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We have publishing features available to us.

So far, we have taken the approach of building a custom .ascx, hosting in a "Smart Part" Web Part, and having the web part expose a property to define the "list" to pull it's data from. Then hosting these web parts withing Web Part zones on publising pages. Downside is that navigation between actions (like delete an item) must be hard coded (for for example to a particular custom page for rendering the custom list view for the list). This also doesn't work well from a Search standpoint (search still wants to take the user to the OOB view item page).

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Also asked here: social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/… –  Brian Sep 13 '10 at 12:48
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1 Answer 1

Not sure I fully understand your situation. If you want to provision lists with custom New/Edit/Display forms and custom list views, then custom List Definitions would be the standard response, and would be deployed and provisioned from Visual Studio with Features and a WSP.

Every list and library has properties from registering the location of the default forms for that list. These can be changed programmatically, so if you want to customize existing out-of-box lists to direct their forms to a custom ASPX page, you can do that too. You could actually configure all the lists to use the same custom pages deployed under _layouts for example.

Here is a blog post showing how to programatically set a custom list form page. By properly setting the default form settings on the list, it will resolve your issue with users not getting the correct UI when clicking item links, etc.

http://blog.symprogress.com/2011/04/sharepoint-2010-add-custom-list-form-to-existing-list/

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