In chapter 7, you learned about the personalization feature of ASP.NET version 2.0. Web Parts, internally known as the Page Personalization feature, are based on similar ideas. The framework behind this feature will enable users to adapt a single page of your web site individually according to their needs.
Similarly to how portals such as MSN.com work, users can choose their relevant information with Web Parts and adapt it in various ways (see Figure 8-1). Additionally, they have the option to define the position of elements on the page. Web Parts are based on the personalization system and therefore get stored individually for each user.
At first glance and even a second, Web Parts seem to be very similar to the homonymous feature of SharePoint Portal Server 2.0. The similarities, however, exist only from a visual point of view. Under the hood, these technologies have nothing to do with each other.
There are many situations in which you'll want to apply Web Parts. From a user point of view, they cover among other things the following features:
Visual movement of displayed content
Minimization and hiding of content
Adding content from a catalog
Editing form and content
Connecting two Web Parts with each other