Sharepoint URLs

Carrying on with the tech theme this week, a small salutary lesson on sharepoint URLs. I am currently the Sharepoint 2003 administrator for my work – it’s a small pilot project for around 200 people at present, but it could get bigger.

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff "they" don’t tell you when you’re setting it all up; one of those things involves the URLs of subareas that you create. A small example:

  •  Top level page
    • Sub area 1
    • Sub area 2
    • etc.

Sharepoint will kindly create friendly URLs based upon these, so these will appear as:

    • etc.

Not so long ago, Sharepoint started putting ugly URLs like etc. in. It turns there’s a reason that Sharepoint adds in C1, C2, C3… to the URL after a certain amount of time.

Each site can only have a certain number of WSS sites (each subarea is fundamentally one of these, only with fancy wrapping). To get around this, Sharepoint uses so called "bucket sites" – each of the C1, C2 parts is a bucket.

After you create 20 sub areas (doesn’t matter in what hierarchy though), Sharepoint will then move onto the next bucket, C1 and so on.

If you want to preserve your friendly URLs without the bucket site addition (for example, a top level hierarchy in a company), create an admin only accessible area with 20 (less any that you’re using) subareas to reserve the top level URLs. When you need to use them, delete one of the place holder area in your admin area and then immediately create your new "top level" area. Sharepoint will happily reuse any free URLs from the lowest available bucket.

My lesson here – do this before you open Sharepoint to the world, there’s no going back!