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I am very new to SharePoint but have a web development background. I know my way around HTML5, PHP, MYSQL etc.

I was recently introduced to sharePoint Designer and saw that I could build custom pages out of HTML that look a lot nicer than the default SharePoint Pages.

My one issue is I do not know how to incorporate a lot of the collaborative sharePoint Functionality.

I have figured out how to embed PowerPoint, Excel Word documents etc. There is an embed button which gives you some HTML to copy and paste...easy.

What I am trying to figure out how to do, is embed something like a Document library into my custom HTML page. This allow users to use my nicer looking pages and still upload, share and edit documents.

I have looked over an haven't found any tutorials that explain this. If I make custom HTML pages with my own javascript do I loose all SharePoint "functionality" except embedding documents?

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If you're simply creating an HTML page (htm or html extension), then yes - you're going to lose native SharePoint functionality. SharePoint's functionality is delivered through a combination of various ASP.Net controls: placeholders, user controls, master pages, etc. When you create an html page that doesn't have these things, you are just using SharePoint as a really expensive web server.

With all that in mind, you DO have a couple options:

  1. Embed your custom HTML pages in a SharePoint "Page" (Publishing Page, Site Page, or Wiki) through iFrames. (I personally abhor iFrames, and would never recommend this as a solution.)
  2. Implement your custom HTML/JavaScript directly in one of those SharePoint Pages. Instead of creating an HTML page in SharePoint Designer, you would create a Page in one of the Pages libraries (SitePages, Pages, or a Wiki Library), and then edit that page in SharePoint Designer. That will preserve all the functionality built into SharePoint, while still giving you access to implement customizations.

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