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Archive for October 2009

SPC09: Overview of New Developer Features in SharePoint 2010

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At the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Paul Andrew gave a thorough overview of the new features for developers in SharePoint 2010.

This is my modest attempt to convey Paul’s presentation in a simple blog post. Please note that the session contained a huge amount of information and I probably (definitely!) didn’t manage to take it all in. Read on at your own risk…

 

Development environment and tools

Traditionally, the path to your first SharePoint hello world-web part is littered with technical obstacles in the shape of tedious installation problems, Windows Server 2003 blues, virtual server nightmares etc. No more. Now you just need your laptop to develop SharePoint applications.

The box

SharePoint developers no longer need to run a Windows 2003 Server. In fact, SharePoint and the development tools can now be installed directly on Windows 7 or Vista (service pack 1). Either versions of SharePoint can be used, i.e. SharePoint Foundation (formerly WSS) or SharePoint Server.

The operating system must be 64 bit since SharePoint 2010 only runs in a 64 bit environment.

SharePoint on a desktop operating system is just for developers and not for running a production environment.

 

Visual Studio 2010

Many of SharePoint 2010’s new features can be accessed from inside Visual Studio 2010. Also, quite a few third-party add-ons may not be needed anymore as the functionality is now covered by Visual Studio.

Highlights:

  • Built-in designers for:
    • Web parts
    • BCS (formerly BDC)
    • Workflows
  • Package and deploy SharePoint projects
  • Generate WSPs
  • View SharePoint sites in server explorer
  • Integration to Team Foundation Server
  • Support for SharePoint sandboxed solutions
  • WSPs from SharePoint Designer can be imported (including workflows)
  • Build workflow steps for SharePoint Designer
  • SharePoint Business Connectivity Services support
  • New events projects templates

 

General improvents

Developer dashboard

A developer dashboard can be displayed automatically at the bottom of every page. The DD displays valuable information about how the page is generated, for instance:

  • Timing and duration of events
  • Database queries (even the ones SharePoint does in the background)

The DD is activated with the follow stsadm command:

stsadm –o setproperty –pn developer-dashboard –pv ondemand

 

Coding

Coding for SharePoint just got slightly easier due to the many improvements in .NET framework 4.0 and SharePoint 2010.

Below is a rundown of some of the new features:

  • LINQ for SharePoint
  • After-synchronous events
  • New event types:
    • Site-scoped events
    • Web creation events
  • Workflow improvements:
    • Initiation and association forms in Visual Studio
    • New design user interface for workflows in SharePoint Designer
    • Use Visio 2010 to design workflows
  • SharePoint UI can now be saved as a template
  • WSP is now the unified developer format – works in site collections and machine

 

Improvements to lists

In SharePoint 2007, lists can cause any developer headaches. Hopefully, the new list architecture in SharePoint 2010 will solve this. Below is an overview of some of the improvements:

  • Validation with Excel-like Formula – forms can be validated using simple syntax
  • Lookup to multiple columns
  • Lookup fields have true relations which ensure proper deletion (transaction-style)
  • List index auto-creation
  • Scalability and performance vastly improved:
    • Lists and folders can now contain a million elements
    • Document libraries can contain 10 million documents
  • List query throttling
  • Lists views no longer based on CAML but XSL-T. Queries still use CAML

 

Ribbon and Dialog framework

The ribbon we know (and some love) from Microsoft Office is now used in SharePoint 2010.

Some of the highlights:

  • Custom actions can be embedded in the ribbon
  • The ribbon is context sensitive
  • The SharePoint out-of-the-box forms are replaceable
  • New web dialog functionality:
    • A dialog floats on top of the SharePoint page and is used to get input from the user
    • Fully programmable

 

Silverlight 3

Silverlight plays an important part in SharePoint 2010 and is used in many of the improved UI elements. From a developer’s point of view, these are the highlights:

  • Built-it and customisable media player web part
  • List and site creation from within Silverlight
  • Office web applications run in Silverlight
  • Client object model – call SharePoint APIs from within Silverlight

Written by Thomas Sondergaard

October 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

SPC09: SharePoint 2010 Unveiled – Rundown of New Features

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This is it – the long awaited SharePoint 2010 has been unveiled, not released, by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The public beta will be available next month.

SharePoint 2010 is a huge update of the platform and most attendees at the keynote were blown away by the dramatic improvements across the board in SharePoint.

Jeff Teper (MS Corporate VP), Jared Spataro (MS Director, SharePoint) and Arpan Shah (Director, SharePoint Technical Management) showed off many of the new features in SharePoint 2010 – see my notes below.

New features in 2010

User interface

  • Ribbon-based contextual menus, much like in Office 2007
  • Live preview of font changes etc.
  • Broad use of AJAX to minimise number of page refreshes
  • More seamless integration of web-based and desktop clients
  • All Office documents can now be viewed and edited in a rich web version of the desktop client

Accessibility

  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • XHTML and WCAG compatible output

Collaboration

  • Completely revamped wiki
    • Improved editing tool
    • Dramatically improved image upload and handling
  • Richer blogs
  • Improvements to the calendar lists
  • Web-based, OneNote-like functionality

Organisation

  • Tagging, social tagging
  • Rating of documents
  • Bookmarks

MySite and Social Computing

  • Smart profiles
  • Activity feed – overview of a user’s recent activity
  • Browse colleagues
  • Locate experts within the organisation
  • Tag cloud of a person’s recent activities
  • Note board – i.e. a tagwall

Content Management

  • Improved scalability – lists and folders can now contain a million elements. Document libraries can contain 10 million documents
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Consistent content type across all servers in a farm
  • Streaming of video placed in document libraries
  • Improved governance possibilities

Search

  • Choice between standard SharePoint search and FAST Search
  • Wild card searching – used of asterisks
  • Improved people search – rich info on the search results page
  • Live preview of documents, slides etc right on the search results page

Business intelligence

  • Excel Services – including SQL Server PowerPivot
  • PerformancePoint Services – advanced BI dashboards
  • Visio Services and Chart web part
  • Business Connectivity Services – the new name for Business Data Catalog (BDC)

SharePoint Workspace (the new name for Groove)

  • Improved offline content
  • Improved mobile access to content

IT infrastructure

  • 64-bit only!
  • SharePoint Foundation is the new name for WSS
  • Online/cloud version of SharePoint is a focus point for Microsoft
  • PowerShell Admin
    • Fully scriptable admin of SharePoint
    • Around 500 PowerShell commandlets will be shipped with 2010
    • Admin SharePoint from PowerShell running on Windows 7
    • Whatif command to preview impact of commands
  • New Central Administration
    • Problems and solutions page with overview of current problems on the farm, and possible solutions
  • Throttling
    • Control how many resources specific lists, sites etc. may use
  • Monitoring, Analytics
    • Usage analysis database will be customisable
  • Improved Upgrade and Availability
    • Visual Upgrade enables individual users to choose when to upgrade a site

SPC09: Arrival in Las Vegas

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Last night I arrived in Las Vegas for the annual Microsoft SharePoint Conference – along with 13 colleagues from PeopleNet and a handful of clients from Denmark.

Some of us are staying at Mandalay Bay and some (including me) at the Luxor.

View from Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas

Today is the official Microsoft welcome reception and, more importantly, the first SharePint of the conference.

Tomorrow the NDA of SharePoint 2010 is lifted and the sessions can begin. I’ve signed up for many more sessions than I can possibly attend and I also intend to spend time at the partner floor and network/socialise with SharePoint contacts from around the world.

I’ll blog as much as I can and you can also follow me on Twitter.

It’s going to be a busy week…

Written by Thomas Sondergaard

October 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm