This chapter began by reviewing important concepts and terminology used in IIS and ASP.NET. As you begin to learn how WSS works internally, it is critical that you have a firm grasp of these topics. You have seen that WSS converts an IIS Web site into a Web application by replacing several components within the HTTP Request Pipeline. You have also seen that the SPVirtualPathProvider component plays an essential role in the overall WSS architecture because it provides the foundation for page customization.
This chapter also discussed the difference between site pages and application pages. While application pages do not support customization, they have a few key advantages over site pages. Namely, they perform better and can contain in-line code or code-behind. In this chapter, you have observed an approach for creating custom application pages and integrating them into the menus of a site by using CustomAction elements.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what can be done with custom application pages, it’s time to turn our attention back to site pages. The next chapter examines the processing model for site pages in greater depth and discusses the creation of custom page templates, as well as how to provision them into page instances within a site.