Jumpstart Branding for SP 2010
By Eric Overfield
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Jumpstart Branding for SharePoint 2010
I created Jumpstart Branding (JB) for SharePoint 2010 because I noticed a growing need for a more complete branding solution than were already available. You can find other solutions, packages and open source projects that contain components of JB, and I
have used many myself over the last few years. The problem for me was threefold. First, I haven’t found an encompassing solution that brought everything together, second, many other attempts to provide samples or code didn’t come with enough documentation
for the average user (or so people have told me, and thus asked for my help), and third, well, I didn’t like how some other projects were put together or implemented.
So what is Jumpstart Branding for SP 2010 then? I designed this as a beginning to end shell for your next SharePoint Branding project. Hopefully you will learn a thing or two about SharePoint branding along the way as well.
First I include my take on a basic Master Page without extra code or much of the fluff that Microsoft added, as well as commented so that you know what each line or block is doing. I also wanted to remove all backwards compatible (v3) code blocks as they
are almost never needed moving forward. There have been many attempts at this already, in fact I include two of the better ones that I know of in my resources section, but I look at the need for a basic, simple Master Page in a slightly different way. I wanted
a starting place for all of my projects that has extra SharePoint code removed, with extra, yet required code hidden, with nothing “Added”, and finally one replacement for the v4.master Master Page for both foundation and server based sites.
Second, there are two Visual Studio 2010 projects that you can use to package your Branding files, i.e. Master Pages, Page Layouts, Stylesheets, Script files, Image Files, Web Parts, etc, so that this can all be deployed as a feature in SharePoint. There
are many design decisions and caveats that I made when I built these two solutions, including the reason why I created two when many might argue you should only have one. Later in this document I will explain how to install the solutions and how to customize
them. There are many great resources on how to create Branding features, but I have yet to find one that includes all of the pieces to not only activate your branding feature correctly, but to also handle housekeeping when you deactivate the feature or properly
handing published files for Sandbox branding features. These two solutions attempt to bring many different theories and examples into one code block.
In the documentation provided in this package you will find many references as well as in the solution code. I would like to thank all of those in the SharePoint community that came before me and provided such excellent ideas, code and support.