Summary: Learn what Web Parts are and how to create them. Developers can build Web Parts as ASP.NET custom controls. Administrators can install Web Parts on any site based on Windows SharePoint Services. Users can add Web Parts to pages by dragging and dropping in a browser, and they can personalize them by setting properties. Web Parts can connect to other Web Parts using standard interfaces. (43 printed pages)
A sample Visual Studio .NET solution that contains two custom Web Parts written in C# accompanies this article. With the first Web Part, users can select a customer and view configurable information about the customer. With the second Web Part, users can view the orders for a single customer. A user can add these Web Parts to a Web Part Page and connect them to each other, so that the second Web Part displays orders for the customer selected in the first Web Part.
Note This paper introduces Web Parts to developers. This is not an introduction to Windows SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server. For more information see SharePoint Products and Technologies.
The information in this article also applies to Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which is built on the Windows SharePoint Services platform. The code samples that accompany this article should work when loaded into sites created with SharePoint Portal Server.