SharePoint 2010 Developer Favorites

I just got back from the SharePointPro 2010 expo held in Las Vegas from March 16-19. As always with these types of conferences I was inundated with sessions highlighting new features and demos of new coding and development techniques. So while the information was still fresh in my head, some of it escaped me mere moments after I heard it, I thought I would assemble a blog describing some of my favorite SharePoint improvements/additions.

Using Windows 7 as a Development Machine

One of my complaints about SharePoint 2007 was that you had to do all of your development work on a server operating system with SharePoint installed. This was required because all of the code you wrote had to be compiled into an assembly that was installed into the GAC of the SharePoint server. While SharePoint 2010 still wants all of your code to be compiled and deployed into the GAC you can configure the SharePoint 2010 installation to work on a Windows 7 or Vista machine.

There are a few steps you have to do before this will work. The first step is to extract the SharePoint installations files into a local folder on the machine you are going to install to.

For SharePoint Foundation 2010:

<File Path>SharePoint /extract:<File Path>

For SharePoint Server 2010:

<File Path>OfficeServer /extract:<File Path>

Once the install files have been extracted you then need to find the setup configuration file:

<File Path>filesSetupconfig.xml

Open the file with your favorite XML editor and add the following line inside the tag:

This should allow you to run the install onto Windows 7 or Vista and use it as your development machine. There are a few prerequisites you’ll need for both Windows 7 and Visa. For a complete list and more detailed instructions you should read the following MSDN article, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee554869(office.14).aspx.

You can still use a virtual machine but SharePoint 2010 only runs on a 64 bit platform so you will have to have Hyper-V to run your virtual machine which in turn requires Server 2008 as a host OS. I personally prefer the performance of developing in a native OS.

Keep in mind that this configuration is for development purposes only. Microsoft documentation recommends that you have an additional SharePoint server running on a server OS for real deployment and testing.

New SharePoint Templates for Visual Studio 2010

SharePoint 2010 comes with a whole new list of Visual Studio templates for projects and project items. In addition to the templates Visual Studio will build and deploy your SharePoint stuff for you.  No more having to run your own extra batch files at the tail end of a build process or add-on tools to deploy your assemblies to the GAC and copy the files to the SharePoint server.

Client-side Interface That Works in Silverlight

The message I got from the conference was that Microsoft is encouraging the use of code down at the client. A perfect fit is Silverlight with its rich user experience capabilities. To accommodate this Microsoft has created a client object model that mirrors what is in the server object model. This allows you to write code that would have used to have run from the server and run it instead in the client. Some of it has already made its way into the default SharePoint pages. The end result is a richer faster user experience.

These are just a few of the enhancements coming our way with SharePoint 2010. From what I have seen it looks like developing for SharePoint 2010 is going to be much easier and satisfying.

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