2.6. Uncustomized Versus Customized Files

So far, this chapter has alluded to the customization of uncustomized files a few times. Now it is time for a deeper explanation of the topic, as it is a recurring point of discussion throughout this book. SharePoint developers should be intimately familiar with the difference between these two file types. Unfortunately, most developers don't realize there is actually a difference, or the implications of that difference, until they have progressed quite far into their project. Although a project is not stuck with the approach originally taken, moving from one implementation to the other can become quite a daunting and time-intensive task.

When a new SharePoint site is provisioned, either when it is created as the top-level site within a new site collection or as a subsite within an existing site collection, most files start off in an uncustomized state. This means that while the file lives within the logical structure of a SharePoint site and is seen from within SharePoint Designer (and thus, is in the content database), the entry in the content database simply points to the file it is based off of on the file system. This file is sometimes referred to as a template file or file definition because by itself it is not very usable. However, when creating a new file based on it within a SharePoint site, also referred to as provisioning the file, the file now acts as the source to the one within the content database. The file remains in an ...

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