The new navigation features of ASP.Net 2.0 are pretty cool. If you haven’t seen them yet, check out ScottGu’s blog for more information.

seen a few blog posts on SiteMapProvider implementations for dynamic
web sites, but not a whole lot on providers for static web sites. Sure,
you could use the default implementation and manually update the
web.sitemap xml file, but what about large sites? In my opinion, its
not worth the effort.

Here are my requirements for a static SiteMapProvider:

  • Must automagically update whenever pages are added/removed.
  • Must be able to only include specified file types.
  • Must be able to exclude specified directories under the application’s virtual directory.

So I went searching and didn’t find anything. The closest I found was a macro by K. Scott Allen
that generates a web.sitemap file from a web project. A noble effort,
but I needed a bit more. So I set off to implement my own provider.
Using the SqlSiteMapProvider example as a reference, I had created my own StaticFileSiteMapProvider by lunch time.

implementation is rather straighforword. It starts at the application
path (~/) and recurses each of its sub directories. There is a FileExtensions property that defines the types of files to include (e.g. aspx, html) and there is also a DirExclusions property that defines the directory name patterns to exclude (e.g. bin, App_*). The DefaultDocuments property defines the default document names for a directory (e.g index, default).

Why do I need a DefaultDocuments
property? I can answer that with another question. What happens when
you’ve got a directory in your app that doesn’t have an index page?
Well, the provider will generate a link to that folder, but clicking on
it will result in a Directory Listing Denied error (at least I hope you
would have your site set up that way). In
parentNode, string directory), if the current node’s directory doesn’t
have a default document page, then the node’s url isn’t set, ensuring
that its not hyperlinked.

On to the code. I’ve included the main parts of the class below. For a full listing, use the link at the end of this post.

public override SiteMapNode BuildSiteMap()
    lock (this)
        if (isBuilt)
            return root;
        string physicalAppPath = HttpContext.Current.Server.MapPath("~/");
        BuildSiteMap(null, physicalAppPath);
        isBuilt = true;
        return root;

/// <summary>
/// Recursive method to build the site map.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="parentNode">The parent node.</param>
/// <param name="directory">The directory.</param>
private void BuildSiteMap(SiteMapNode parentNode, string directory)
    // create the current node
    string url = GetUrlFromPhysicalPath(directory);
    string title = parentNode == null ? "Home" : Path.GetFileName(directory);
    SiteMapNode node = new SiteMapNode(this, url, url, title);
    // set the root
    if (parentNode == null)
        root = node;
    // add a node foreach file
    string[] files = GetFiles(directory);
    foreach (string file in files)
        url = GetUrlFromPhysicalPath(file);
        SiteMapNode fileNode = new SiteMapNode(this, url, url, Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(file));
        AddNode(fileNode, node);
    // unset the url if there isn't an index file in the directory
    if (!Array.Exists(files, delegate(string match)
        foreach (string index in DefaultDocuments.Split(','))
            if (String.Compare(Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(match), index.Trim(),
                StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase) == 0)
                return true;
        return false;
        // Note: setting node.Url to null doesn't change the value, so I'm setting it to String.Empty, 
        // which is its default value
        node.Url = String.Empty;
    // recurse sub directories
    string[] directories = GetDirectories(directory);
    foreach (string dir in directories)
        BuildSiteMap(node, dir);
    // only add the current node if it has children
    // Note: node.HasChildren throws an InvalidOperationException, so I'm checking the 
    // file and directory arrays instead
    if (files.Length > 0 && directories.Length > 0)
        AddNode(node, parentNode);

web.config settings:

<siteMap defaultProvider="StaticFileSiteMapProvider">
    <add name="StaticFileSiteMapProvider" type="Providers.StaticFileSiteMapProvider"
    fileExtensions="asp, htm"
    dirExclusions="bin, obj, Properties, App_*, DMS, old" />