SharePoint Developer Tools: Feb CTP Release of VSeWSS 1.3

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Mon, 02/23/2009 - 08:38

There is a new release of the VSeWSS (what a crap name) CTP 1.3. What are these? These are the tools you need to actually work with SharePoint from Visual Studio to create the advanced workflows or web parts etc… It also includes the documentation that is invaluable for working with any part of SharePoint from Visual Studio. What’s new in the Feb ‘09 release:

New Features in VSeWSS 1.3
  • The extensions now install on x64 bit OS. Visual Studio 2008 and SharePoint must be already installed.
  • Command Line Build option for TFS and MSBuild integration
  • Separate WSP Package and Retract commands. You can now build the WSP without deploying it
  • SPSolGen to Support Exporting from Content Management Publishing Sites
  • New Item Template for RootFiles Deployment
  • Automatically Remove conflicting existing features on development SharePoint server
  • WSP View New Feature Dialog Improvements: scope, receiver checkbox, element checkbox
  • WSP View can now be used to merge features and it blocks site features being merged into web features
  • Allow adding separate binary files such as Workflow assemblies
  • Some refactoring allowing for Web Part renaming and removing lines from feature.xml Item Removed
  • Allow selection of GAC or BIN deployment for Web Part Project not including CAS generation
  • Increase visibility of hidden features that VSeWSS creates
  • Add fast update deploy for DLL only or file only changes to solutions
  • Numerous Bug Fixes and improvements to error messages

You can download it on the Connect site.

Thanks to zainnab for the heads up.

Information Worker Last Night

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 02/19/2009 - 09:48

Last night was the monthly meeting of InformationWorker which was where it was publically announced that myself, Marc, Johan and Veronique have joined Michael and Zlatan in the running of the group (many hands make light work). So we have this group that will work together to drive the group and make sure it continues and grows! It was also very cool that Sascheen did a presentation based on his white paper on TFS + SharePoint (which I blogged about last year). He was assisted with Ahmed from Microsoft and I think they took the crowd by storm! The Q&A about TFS + SharePoint lasted almost as long as the presentation! Big well-done to the both of them!

After all was said and done we dropped the “o” and did the post meeting SharePint ;) Where Jonty and Johan had everyone in stitches! Lesson to be learnt - even though the session ends at 5 (or 5:30) plan to stay a bit longer - it’s worth it :) code available

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 12:16 is a great community site built on top of SharePoint by Michael O’Donovan. There is a lot happening there which is not standard functionality:

  • Forms based authentication which pulls from a database.
  • Signup system which allows people to signup and writes them into the database, all automatic.
  • RSS Feeds aggregator which actually copies the feeds in so they are searchable.
  • Lots more!

Well today is a special day since it’s the day I got to click the “Publish This Project” button on CodePlex for the new project which shares all that source code to the world so you can use it on your projects! To access it just go to

Thanks to Michael for allowing us to share the code with the world.

Note: The raw code is available, to use it you would need to build it in Visual Studio first! For any feedback or questions please use the forums on

Filter SharePoint log entries

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 08:51

I often end up in the eventlog with SharePoint problems - since there is so much goodness there… um normally too much. So this trick of using PowerShell to filter the results and the export to a grid or CSV is very useful.

Get newest 20 SharePoint logs to a grid:

get-eventlog –logname Application –source ‘*sharepoint*’ –newest 20 | out-gridview

Export all SharePoint logs to CSV (perfect for Excel):

get-eventlog –logname Application –source ‘*sharepoint*’  | export-csv c:\eventlog.csv 

SharePoint Diagnostics Tool

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 10:59

The SharePoint Diagnostic tool (SPDiag) was created to simplify and standardize troubleshooting of SharePoint Products and Technologies, and to provide a unified view of collected data. SharePoint Products and Technologies administrators can use SPDiag to gather relevant information from a farm, display the results in a meaningful way, identify performance issues, and export the collected data and reports for analysis by Microsoft support personnel.

Download it from:

Thanks @mysharepoint for the heads up.

SharePoint + Facebook

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 09:21

Courtz has had a great idea about combining SharePoint Mysites with Facebook information. He has a bit of simple code up there, but there may be a lot more options to explore (must put on thinking cap) around this and the upcoming Office 2009 release and features like the Knowlegde Network (yes that link points to the Channel 9 video of the product that didn’t happen with 2007, but it is happening with 2009!).

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

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 09:29

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.

SharePoint for the Win!

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Wed, 01/07/2009 - 08:06

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

Thanks to @mysharepoint for the heads up.

Father Christmas is a SharePoint fan

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 10:04

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:

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:

    • 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:

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:

-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.

Remote only means in America

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 17:12

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.