Developer: 12 hive folder structure in sharepoint 2007

Few things about 12 hive folder structure and how well it is mapped with the wsp
SharePoint 2007 have a 12 hive structure which basically contains
various files and folders that make SharePoint Interface. The files under 12
hive are mostly Uncustomized, that means they stay on the file system rather
than in SharePoint database and perform better while rendering the

You would normally, deploy your Custom files like Custom
Pages\layouts, webparts, css or javascript files under 12 hive, so that they can
well interact with SharePoint site.

12 hive in SharePoint 2007 has
various folders that make up a virtual path for the resources they contain. For
e.g to access a CSS file deployed under styles folder we can use a path

The most commonly used
folders are :

\ISAPI\HELP\[LCID] - SharePoint help files. Deploy your own
.chm files to this folder (or a localized subfolder)

\CONFIG - Web.config

\ISAPI - SharePoint web services (deploy your custom web
services here); this maps to /_vti_bin.

\Resources Global .resx - Files
accessed from custom features and site

\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES - deploy .ascx user controls here;
maps to /_controltemplates

\TEMPLATE\FEATURES - Features contain folder
and related file for each feature.

\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS - Common site pages;
maps to /_layouts

\TEMPLATE\IMAGES - Common site image files; maps to

\TEMPLATE\SiteTemplates - All SharePoint site
definitions; create a \xml to deploy your onet.xml custom site

\TEMPLATE\THEMES - All UI elements used in themes; clone an
existing theme folder to create your own

Webtemp.xml files to define available site definitions; add an xml file here for
your custom site definition

\TEMPLATE\ADMIN Pages - Used by Central
Admin; maps to /_admin

\ADMISAPI Administration web services; maps to

Now lets discuss the most commonly used Folder in SharePoint

TEMPLATE Folder - The most commonly used folder in 12 hive
is the template folder or 12\TEMPLATE\. This is where developers deploy all of
there custom files like Custom css, javascript file, Image file, Usercontrol,
Custom aspx page, layouts page etc. etc.. These Custom files then run under
SharePoint context and can well interact with Out-of-Box sharePoint

Now, lets talk about how a wsp (or solution package)
interacts with the 12 hive - When you deploy a Solution using stsadm or Visual
Studio( using VseWss), SharePoint copies various files from the WSP to the hive.
The file responsible in wsp to perform various deployments\copying is the
"manifest file".The manifest.xml file specifies how the WSP file is put
So, when the deployment starts the sharepoint compiler looks for
the first tag i.e the <solution >
tag. This tag tells sharepoint about the
solution id that uniquely identifies your solution.

Next it looks for the
<FeatureManifest> tag. This location however, is
virtually mapped to the root of the FEATURES folder at 12 hive i.e to
12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES. So, the SharePoint compiler reads this location and
creates a Cutsom Folder usually specified in <FeatureManifest>
tag and places the feature.xml file
into that folder.

Next it looks for <TemplateFile> tag. This location is virtually
mapped to the root of the TEMPLATE folder i.e. at 12\TEMPLATE. This tells
compiler to deploy the files specified under this tag, into one or more folder under
template directory.
For e.g. if <TemplateFile> tag has location as
Location="Layouts\CustomPage.aspx", the installer will drop the file
CustomPage.aspx under the Layouts folder, since it is already pointing to the
root of the Layouts folder Tempalte folder.

Finally, the installer looks
at the <Assemblygt; tag which specifies where the DLL
is located. The root for this element is the web application bin file if you
specify DeploymentTarget="WebApplication", and the GAC if you specify

While the manifest determines
what's in the WSP file, you still have to create a diamond definition file also
known as .ddf file which is an instruction file for building WSP files. However,
if you are using VseWSS you will not create all the deployment files manually.
The extentions take care of that.