Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sharepoint Ghosting and Unghosting

Ghosted page - A page which has its contents not stored in the content database but are read from a site definition file (File System). (Default/Uncustomized page)

Un-ghosted page - A page that has been modified from the site definition file, has its contents stored in the content database. (Customized pages)

Any ghosted page modified/edited is considered unghosted.

As a Sharepoint user, I am going to assume all of us know everything in Sharepoint is stored in the database (SQL Server).So for each document there is a row in docs table. The actual file is stored in Content Column. This applies for all files. But there is an exception. Not all .aspx page content is stored in the database. These pages refer files that exist on the servers' file system. These pages are called as ghosted pages.

From a technical standpoint, ghosted pages are those rows in the docs table which have null values for the Content column and a non-null value for the SetupPath column which points to a file on the file system .The referenced file in actual serves as a template and content source. The default home page is a ghosted page. Any web part pages created using the New Web Part Page user interface is also ghosted.
If a document doesn't refer a template on the file system or the Content column actually contains data, those pages are unghosted.

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