13 Jan 2009

Announcing: Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio 2008 extensions for SharePoint v1.3

Copied directly from Announcing- Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio 2008 extensions for SharePoint v1.3

The Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint (VSeWSS) provide project templates for developers using Visual Studio 2008 to create, debug, package and deploy SharePoint projects including Web Parts, Data Lists, Content Types, Event Receivers, Templates, Modules and other SharePoint artifacts. The v1.3 release is an incremental release of the VSeWSS including top feature requests. It is an interim release for SharePoint Developers on the roadmap until Visual Studio 2010 is released with significantly improved SharePoint development tools as outlined here.

The Community Technology Preview (CTP) release is available here on Microsoft Connect where customers can also report any feedback they have. It is anticipated that all existing VSeWSS 1.2 projects will work with the CTP. The CTP is not supported by Microsoft Customer Support Services. You are encouraged to provide feedback through the Microsoft Connect site and to discuss the extensions on the SharePoint Development MSDN Forum.

The new features in VSeWSS 1.3 are:

· Can be installed on x64 Server OS machines running SharePoint x64. Previously only x86 Server OS could be used.

· Separate build commands for package, deploy and retract are added

· Command line build, package and retract commands are included enabling continuous integration and build servers. Previously command line build of SharePoint projects was very difficult

· Refactoring support for renaming of Web Parts. Previously renaming a web part required changes in several files in the project

· WSP View improvements for consistency of deleting feature elements, merging features and adding event receivers to features

· Solution Generator can now generate solutions from publishing sites. Previously only regular sites could be generated

· Allowing partial trust BIN deployments of web parts. CAS configuration must still be provided by the developer.

· New project item template for SharePoint RootFiles items

· Deployment will now optionally remove conflicting existing features on the development server prior to redeployment. Previously any feature name conflicts would result in an error

· Ancillary assemblies such as for business logic can now be added to the SharePoint Solution WSP

· Hidden features related to Site Definition projects are now shown in WSP View. They are no longer hidden

· For advanced users a fast deploy is included to update only the compiled assembly on the SharePoint development installation

· The User Guide is now installed with the extensions instead of being a separate download

The final release of VSeWSS 1.3 is planned for the North American Spring of 2009.

07 Jan 2009

SharePoint for the Win!

Interesting article on the top 10 intranet’s of 2008 of which 5 are based SharePoint. The section on how of the 10 from 2007, they were built using 41 products while last year only 26 products. I definitely see the fact tools are getting better and better is a key factor to this and VS 2010 should improve this for SharePoint even more.

Read the article at http://www.useit.com/alertbox/intranet_design.html

Thanks to @mysharepoint for the heads up.

19 Dec 2008

Father Christmas is a SharePoint fan

It really is the season of giving, especially for the SharePoint developers/users/fanboys (yes Marc, I am looking at you). Some of the presents that are under the tree are:

WSRP Toolkit for SharePoint: http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/sharepointteamblog/~3/485910608/announcing-the-wsrp-toolkit-for-sharepoint.aspx

The WSRP Toolkit for SharePoint provides sample code for producing WSRP conformant data from SharePoint lists and libraries.  External portal platforms (e.g. BEA AquaLogic Portal, IBM WebSphere Portal, SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal etc.) can then render SharePoint data natively through their WSRP consumer portlets.

I am excited about this because it really does being more interop to SharePoint.

 The SharePoint Guidance from the patterns & practices team: http://blogs.msdn.com/francischeung/archive/2008/12/18/shipped-sharepoint-guidance.aspx

    • Architectural decisions about patterns, feature factoring, and packaging.
    • Design tradeoffs for common decisions many developers encounter, such as when to use SharePoint lists or a database to store information.
    • Implementation examples that are demonstrated in the Training Management application and in the QuickStarts.
    • How to design for testability, create unit tests, and run continuous integration.
    • How to set up different environments including the development, build, test, staging, and production environments.
    • How to manage the application life cycle through development, test, deployment, and upgrading.
    • Team-based intranet application development.

I have underlined the one that most excites me, unit testing SharePoint!

SharePoint User Interface Extender: http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2008/12/19/announcing-the-codeplex-release-of-shuie-sharepoint-user-interface-extender.aspx

ShUIE is an addition to Microsoft SharePoint that allows a developer to inject JavaScript and CSS fragments depending on the context of the page being displayed. JavaScript and CSS injected can be optionally minified, and jQuery is included to increase functionality.

This will just make things like Slide.Show integration or jQuery integration so much easier! 

SharePoint on the iPhone: http://blogs.msdn.com/ekraus/archive/2008/12/18/sharepoint-on-the-iphone.aspx

-Asynchronous – even with poor reception, the browsing experience should be “good”
-Available via iTunes App Store
-Advanced compression algorithm – faster downloads & browsing
-Uses SSL to connect

So all you buggers who went to CT for a holiday, us who remained now have something to keep us busy and give us an edge over you for next year.

11 Dec 2008

Remote only means in America

Oh well, no freebies for me. It seems the SharePoint REMOTE survey I mentioned is only for American’s. I am seriously wondering if they know how remote South Africa is compared to Redmond… maybe they thought I was in the other Johannesburg.

09 Dec 2008

Use SharePoint - Get a Gift

Microsoft is conducting a survey for people who use SharePoint daily (I am guessing each week day is enough to count for this). This survey can be done remotely which means that in SA we can take part (unless there is some other rule which prevents us) and in exchange for participation we get a Microsoft hardware or software title.

If you are interested please email itusable@microsoft.com and insert SharePoint into the subject line.

Thanks to Mark Miller for the heads up!

08 Dec 2008

SharePoint Survey Permissions: Part 2 - Allow anonymous users to vote on surveys

Part 1, which covers permissions to allow users to vote but not edit the website, can be found here

For the second post I thought I would share the most confusing issue I have personally with SharePoint survey permissions: namely on web site where anonymous users will hit it how do you let them vote? Since they are not members of the site you need to do a few extra steps to get it to work. Before I continue I recommend you read the first post since I will refer back to some parts of it.

The first thing is if you go to the permissions you need to give anonymous users permission, but there is no anonymous user option like we had with the domain group NT AUTHORITY\AUTHENTICATED USERS previously. However if you have configured anonymous access correctly you will find a menu option under settings which allow you to configure Anonymous Access.

Settings –> Anonymous Access.

You may find that it doesn’t work straight away, as in my case, because everything is set to read-only. So you can’t give the anonymous users permissions :(

Read-only settings

To solve this, you need to go to the advanced settings for your survey and set Read Access to All Responses, and click OK. Now don’t worry that you may be sharing information, you will turn this off again in a moment.

Survey advanced settings.

Now if you go back to the anonymous access settings section of the permissions those options has they are no longer read-only! You can now set up anonymous access to your survey and click OK,

Settings now available

Now, if you want to, you can go back to the advanced settings page and set the Read Access to Only their own. Note: The anonymous settings you set are not lost, they are just set to read-only and your survey is available to anonymous users.


08 Dec 2008

SharePoint Survey Permissions Part: 1 - Respond to a survey but do not edit site content

Part 2, which covers permissions for anonymous users can be found here

Survey’s are a nice feature of SharePoint, however their security is not the easiest to understand. I thought it was just me which didn’t take to it straight away, but seeing Veronique's post on Information Worker made me think it is not just me. So for this post I will answer her question which I am summarizing as: How do you enable a user to respond to a survey but NOT edit the site (the survey sits in) content?

First off we need a survey:

Creating a new survey.

On the settings you need to click the permissions for the survey:

The survey settings page.

On the list permission settings click Actions and then Edit Permissions. At which point you will be asked to confirm you want to create unique permissions for the survey, in short it will not inherit from it’s parent security permissions in the future.

Actions –> Edit Permissions on the survey permissions.

The confirmation prompt.

For my example survey, I am assuming you want to let all users who logged into the site to complete the survey. So for that you need to find the NT AUTHORITY\AUTHENTICATED USERS domain group. Now click on it and make sure you give them Contribute and click OK. Now get back to the survey settings page.

The user listing.

Managing user permissions.

Now click on advanced settings on the settings page.

The settings page.

The advanced settings page allows you to configure who can see what responses and what they can edit. Note: Edit here means changing their votes after they submit, not editing the survey or web site. The fact they have contribute means they can add (submit) votes.

Advanced survey settings.

Once you have done that your survey should be able to be completed by the users, but because we created unique permissions for the list/survey they won’t be able to edit the site which contains the survey.

27 Nov 2008

VS2010 and SharePoint

There are three sources for information which I have found valuable for VS2010:

  • First is the video from PDC about a lap around VS2010: Great high level introduction to what it will be.
  • Next is Willy’s series on VSTS 2010 which he just finished.
  • Last is for the SharePoint people, is the InfoQ article on it: http://www.infoq.com/news/2008/11/wss_vs2010 – which had some serious highlights:
    • "These tools will replace the much-derided SharePoint Designer
    • “Visual Studio will be able to building and debug SharePoint projects. "F5 Just Works!"”
    • “A new Packaging Explorer will exist that supports editing Packaging and structuring the SharePoint Features and WSP file.”

Unfortunately the VS2010 bits we have available currently (if you want a copy let me know) includes everything from the video and Willy’s posts but does not include the WSS items. In fact the forthcoming CTP will not even include them :(