Aug 25, 2011

Foundation vs. Publishing Navigation Controls

When making a branding solution for SharePoint 2010, there are a couple things to mind with the OOB navigation controls. Although the same navigation used on publishing pages (and provided in Randy Drisgills starter masterpage for publishing sites) works in foundation sites - eg. team sites - too, the proper functionality is still gained only by using the navigation controls used in eg. v4.master. And in the foundation starter master provided by Drisgill.

Left navigation is the more obvious one. Using the pubslishing left navigation does not provide the adequate nav links for team sites, document libraries etc. in any circumstances. And for this reason only, it is pretty much obligatory to include a foundation master page in each branding solution to be used as the system master, even if team sites etc. are not used in the site collection. The document library views use it! And the settings pages as well, if this has not been turned off in the Web Application settings.

As for the main (global) navigation, it is easier to pass without notice. If a foundation master uses the same global navigation as the publishing master, everything will look just fine as long as the foundation site has been set to use the same navigation as the parent (publishing) site. But if you create, say, a team site not using the parent navigation, you might end up with an empty navigation bar, depending on the navigation setting made in the master page.

So, assuming you use the publishing starter master for the branded publishing masters and foundation starter master for the branded foundation masters, the issue should not even exist. But as the branding work goes, at least I like to create the main masterpage from the scratch and then replicate the master page in order to most efficiently get the page structure copied and then do the alterations for the different purposes, eg. add left navigations to them.

So, if you do it like I do, remember to change the main navigation control as well - or atleast change the foundation master navigation settings to show the current node and display 2 static levels - if there is any probability that the team sites might be used without the full main navigation.

[And be sure to insert the references missing from the publishing starter master to the copied foundation master, see Ribbon disabled with Wiki Pages]

[Edit May 8, 2012: A slight special character problem detected with the publishing navigation, see That Darn Navigation!]

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