As promised I’m doing a series of SharePoint Tidbits on things I have learned about SharePoint 2013 during my classes. And the first I thought I would discuss was device channels.
Device Channels is a feature under Web Content Management, and this feature is to improve the way we deal with pages. In WSSv3 and MOSS 2007 you got one mobile page, it was the same no matter what kind of mobile device you were using. Which meant there where two ways to view the Site Collection the regular page and the mobile page.
So in SharePoint 2013 we have created a way that designers can design a site once, and then based on that design we will render it using different Style Sheets and Master Pages, multiple times. We can have these different sheets and Master Pages for one single device or a group of multiple devices together, it all depends on what experience you want to provide you users.
But hold it….how do we recognize which client goes to which Channel. Good question and we base the channels primarily on the User Agent String but if you want you can also use Query Strings, Cookies, or Custom Code. The User Agent String as I’m sure we all know identifies which browser you are using to connect with it is sent from the Client to the Server within the initial headers and contains certain tokens like Operating System, Browser, etc.
Finally how to set it up
Here are some of the browsers I would expect us to support
Remember that you do not necessarily need the device to test your channel as there some great emulators out there, I have included links to them below
NOTE: I do not endorse or recommend any of these tools
Articles you may find useful
List of User Agent Strings
Understanding User-Agent Strings
Overview of mobile devices and SharePoint Server 2013
What's new for mobile devices in SharePoint Server 2013
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