SharePoint – Creating a document URL handler – dynamic and static

I wrote a post about adding the built in document id to the document file name. Now I will show you another way to use the built in document id when referring to the documents.

Lets say we are in a big project with several baselines . And every baseline requires it’s own version of a document, but the same document. It could be that new requirements have been added along the way or maybe the architecture has changed from one to another. This might cause the document name to change for some reason and that will break the link from a previous baseline.

What if you had a link that:

  • Will never break as long as the document or version is not deleted.
  • Can point to the current version.
  • Can point to a specific version.
  • Can point to the latest major version.

Lets say that link would look something like this

Latest version -> Dynamic

Specific version -> Static, kind of

Latest major version -> Dynamic

Microsoft has provided some great functions from the Office API that we can use when we search for the document via the document id.

Creating the application page – URL handler

First of we need to create an application page that can handle the query-strings from the URL. This can be done quite easy, just map the SharePoint layouts folder to you project (I also added a new folder called customapplicationpages) and add an Application Page. In our case I added a page called getdocbyid.aspx. We don’t have to create any markup for this application page, just code behind. So basically, what we need to do is capture the id and the version and find the right document and redirect to the URL. This is how I implemented it, note that the current version of a document is not a part of the document version history.

From this code we can see that we use tow different method when getting the document. FindUrlsById is used first because FindUrlById requires a version parameter which will not include the current version.

The URL isn’t that pretty, especially with the _layouts and application folder. There are several ways to make it look better, I prefer a solution where you don’t have to call a page in the URL. You can do this the hard way by creating a new redirect website in the IIS or you can do like I did and create a subsite called getdocument with only one purpose, redirect to the application page, You can redirect via JavaScript or server, I will leave that  to you. But the outcome will be a new URL which that would look like this.

Latest version

Specific version

Latest major version

If you check out this post, you will find a way to build the URL’s via the SharePoint GUI.

About Tobias Eriksson