SharePoint Designer

Global Navigation – Pros and Cons

Posted by Jim on April 20, 2011
SharePoint, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Designer / 4 Comments

Global Navigation ………… what is missing and what can you do to make changes.


First let me tell you a story about a customer that really needed support in this area. Despite constant consultation with them on the topic of SharePoint navigation in an enterprise environment they demanded a single navigation bar through all there site collections. Well 25 site collections is not a simple task and yes this is a large company with significant data storage needs so what to do.


1)     You can recommend the use of customer providers to embed into custom navigation system and thus provide automated global navigation control. However what you gain in control using this method you will also lose in the automated functionality of the OOTB Navigation bar.

2)     So when you lock down navigation you will loose the ability to have SharePoint manage navigation through its’ standard deployment method.

3)     If you chose to give up automation here is a simple fix that actually is a fall-over from MOSS 2007 methods of addressing this same issue.

4)     Remember your giving up automation and that my friends is not what SharePoint is all about?


STEPS for Installing Global Navigation Provider’s SharePoint 2010.


1)      Build out your custom XML provider we will call ours.

CustomTopNavMenu.sitemap ….example :


<siteMapNode title=”Home” url=”/” >
    <siteMapNode title=”Departments” url=”/Departments”>
        <siteMapNode title=”Corporate Services” url=”~/dept/CorporateServices”/>
        <siteMapNode title=”Finance” url=”~/dept/Finance”/>

        <siteMapNode title=”Engineering” url=”/dept/Engineering”/>

        <siteMapNode title=”Business Development” url=”/dept/BD”/>


    <siteMapNode title=”Services” url=”~/Services”>

        <siteMapNode title=”Human Resources” url=”/sites/HR”/>

        <siteMapNode title=”IT” url=”/sites/IT”/>


  <siteMapNode title=”Resources” url=”~/Resources”>

     <siteMapNode title=”Training” url=”/Training”/>

     <siteMapNode title=”Forms” url=”/Docs/Forms/”/>





2)     Put “CustomTopNavMenu.sitemap” into the layout bin of both WFE servers. //14/TEMPLATES/LAYOUTS/

3)     Add to all Site Collection Web Config files throught the IIS web path on both servers.

Edit Web Config to include the new XML sitemap provider …. Search for sitemap.
<add name=”MyCustomSiteMapProvider” siteMapFile=”_layouts/CustomTopNavMenu.sitemap ” type=”Microsoft.SharePoint.Navigation.SPXmlContentMapProvider, Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c” />

4)     Open Master page for that site collection up in designer and add the following
a. Open SharePoint Designer (SPD) and open the master page for your site

b. Look for the line <SharePoint:AspMenu and add the following right above it:

<asp:SiteMapDataSource ShowStartingNode=”True” runat=”server”
       SiteMapProvider=”MyCustomSiteMapProvider” />

5)     Change data providers in the Master Page.


And BAM it’s done!