we're just starting with developing a new intranet site for our company, using SP2010. I'm trying to get my head around how to best structure/tackle the following scenario:

Users across the company can submit news items to be published on the portal home page. I'd like a content rollup with image thumb on the home page and click-through to the full article.

Users will specify - title for rollup on home page - teaser text for rollup on home page - image for rollup on home page

  • title for full article
  • body text for full article (prefereably rich text)
  • image for full article

Then there will need to be some parameters like - publication date (for news item to appear in rollup) - unpublish date (for news item to be removed from rollup) - approval status

The idea is that the user's manager will approve the article, then the editor of the home page will provide final approval. This means that the whole thing will need some kind of workflow.

When the teaser on the home page is clicked, the user is presented with a new page that has the full article in an appealing layout, without any SP ribbons. How do I get started with this using only out of the box components? A custom list? Can I start from an existing list? If so, which one?

When I use a list, I can create columns for images, but the user needs to provide the image URL. This, in turn, requires that the image needs to be uploaded to an image library or similar, then they need to copy and paste the URL. This is too complicated. I'd like something simpler, but I don't seem to find a suitable content type. Can this be done at all? In other areas of SharePoint, I can insert an image, browse to it and it will automatically be loaded into the site assets. Is there a list field (content type) that supports that?

Our goal is to create the site with Out Of the Box tools and SharePoint Designer. We do not want to do any complex development with Visual Studio.

I've only just started with the SP2010 environment and don't yet know what's available. Googling is very unhelpful, since most results are about advanced development with Visual Studio, something I don't want.

All tips appreciated.

cheers, teylyn

x-posted here

2 Answers 2


Most, if not all of your requirements can be met using the out-of-the-box publishing infrastructure and workflows. Obviously you will need to add customized page layouts and probably you will base these on content types you have extended with additional fields. All of this can be accomplished using SharePoint Designer, and from what you have described I think you will find a lot of what you require is already in the base article page layouts.

For the content rollup you can use the Content Query Web Part, or you could also achieve this using the search components, depending on where the articles are located and other factors. You can configure permissions so that your visitors will not see the ribbon and other chrome on pages.

I would start by reading a SharePoint Designer book. Some suggestions:

Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design

Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010

  • Thanks. "Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010" proved to be just my ticket. There's an excellent chapter explaining how to achieve exactly what I want to do. We're currently running WSS3 in production, and I'm overawed at what's possible with 2010 Server. WOW!
    – teylyn
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 8:55

As SPDoctor said, the SharePoint Standard Edition publishing infrastructure will let you do most of what you want; the only part that might require some deeper thought is the second level of approval/home page editing function. Not 100% sure what the idiomatically best way to do this would be; but I'm guessing that you can put some XML logic in the ItemStyles.xsl file to return only stories that fit certain parameters to the front page.

You'd typically activate the Publishing Feature and add a Page document library to your site collection. There are numerous standard templates for publishing; the "Image on left"/"Image on right" content types give you pretty much what you want. The main article image and rollup images need to be uploaded to a document library, but other images can be uploaded directly by using the insert image function.

On the front page you'd place the Content Query Web Part, which needs some configuration to display what you want. There are basically two XML files you need to do some work. One is to configure the web part in order to expose the content type fields you want to display on the front page (typically the byline, which isn't available straight away); the other (ItemStyle.xsl) will be located in another document library and defines the formatting of the news items on the front page. For instance, you'll want to add fixed dimensions to the thumbnail image. Once you've done this, you can select your new formatting rules form the drop-down list in the CQWP.



Once you master the basics and discover the limitations, you'll want to create a custom Page template that includes your publish/unpublish dates. I don't think it'll require a lot of modification above what's available directly.

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