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Custom menus...options?

  Asked By: Cyrus    Date: Oct 23    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1017

At the risk of being
repetitive, I thought I'd rewrite my request with a few more specifics
and see what others think about the pros/cons of each method.

GOAL:

I'm building our intranet portal. The top level site will mainly be a
directory and include pages such as:

Gateway page 1 (bunch of links)
Gateway page 2
Gateway page 3
Gateway page 4
Gateway page 5
Other page 1
Other page 2
Other page 3
Other page 4...

I need to create a menu on the left side of the masterpage that includes
ONLY the 'gateway' pages.

I also need this menu to appear on every single sub-site's masterpage.

Ideally, this would be a menu that non-tech folks could update via the
SharePoint Interface.

Ideally, this would be a menu that can understand state and know to
highlight 'gateway page 4' if I happen to be on gateway page 4.

Given all of the above, what are my options?

This is what I've figured out thus far:

Option 1: Use a Server Side Include. Old fashioned, perhaps, but simple.
I was going to upload an HTML file to a library then include it. It
doesn't work and Paul has confirmed the reason for that (you just can't
include a file from a library in the DB). The solution would be to place
it on the file server.

Option 2: Use a custom site map provider for the built-in menu control.
Seems viable. Still requires files to be stored on the file server. I'm
also not sure how easy/viable it is to customize the HTML output of the
menu control that is used.

Option 3: Use the content query web part. I'm about to try this next.
Will report on how it works.

Option 4: 3rd party stuff? Build my own custom web part? Thoughts?

The main drawback of options 1 and 2 is that it will require files on
the filesystem, which means they have to be replicated to all servers
everytime they are updated and pretty much rules out the ability to have
a non-IT person maintain them.

The may drawback of options 1 and 3 is that I'm not sure if/how I could
maintain any sort of 'you are here' state. Ie, have a menu item
highlighted when I'm actually on that particular page.

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