This is the first in a series of posts about using Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010. To get started, I thought it prudent to introduce the topic to those who have not used Custom Actions in SharePoint before. Custom Actions are not a new concept to SharePoint 2010, much of this information also applies to SharePoint 2007.

In a nutshell, Custom Actions allow developers to make references to custom pages, actions, outside resources, etc. to the SharePoint interface. These can be added to:

  • The ribbon as a button:

     
  • The Site Actions menu as a menu item:

     
  • The Site Settings screen as a link item:

     

These custom actions can be added to many other areas of the interface, including List / Library Settings, Central Administration, the Document menu, and so forth.

Custom Actions are defined using an XML file that is part of a SharePoint solution. For example, the following XML would add a link to the Site Actions menu to take a user to Bing:

In the next article: A Step-By-Step guide to create a Custom Action using Visual Studio 2010.


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