Sharepoint development: how I’m doing it

31 10 2008

 As a consultant and with a lot of friends in partner companies, I constantly come across people willing to start developing on top of Sharepoint (MOSS/WSS) platform. I agree it is not an easy task. The object model is huge, you have several ways of achieving an objective, but usually there is one that works better than the others. The absence of a full tool set, originated a big (AND GREAT!!!) community workforce that developed a set of tools to achieve those tasks that could only be done through object model. On top of this, there are serious challenges in debugging, accessibility, but mainly in understanding how all the pieces fit together.

This week, a friend of mine told me he was beginning to develop in Sharepoint and if I knew Sharepoint Designer. At that point I thought to myself “Ok, there is a message that is not reaching everybody. How to start developing.”.

Before some of you start throwing rocks because of the above reference to the designer, don’t get me wrong. I use it too! I use it for creating my master pages and layouts, that I then export and pack inside the WSP solution in visual studio. Don’t stress (yet :)). I’ll go through the process ahead…

Disclaimer: This is by no means a suggestion that sharepoint development must be done this way or that this is the best way of doing it. I’m simply showing how I do my developments. This method has proven ME to be a good approach and even so, every new project I change a couple of things to evolve and ajust to each project reality.

Therefore, there is no guarentee that this approach will work for you. Use it at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any unforseen actions/reactions.

In short: This works for me, feel free to use it if you like it, but don’t come after me if it doesn’t work for you 🙂 

</Disclaimer>

I will do this in a serie of posts where I will try to show you:

  1. My environment: What I use
  2. How I structure my work
  3. How I install my work
  4. Which are my prime references
  5.  

I hope this helps! Coments, questions, suggestions are all welcome. 





Office 2007 SP2 is comming

25 10 2008

From the Office Sustained Engineering blog, there is the announcement of the SP2 combined (client and server) release for late 1st quarter of 2009. The post (Announcing Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 2007 Microsoft Office System ), reveals some details of the package namelly the server components:

  •  Performance and manageability improvements to variations in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) including STSADM commands for repairing links between source and target pages

·         Improvements around processing status approvals from Office Project Web Access into Office Project Professional 2007

·         Improvements to read-only content databases and index rebuild timer jobs in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0





Silverlight 2.0 is out

15 10 2008

Released early this week in RTW (Release To Web), the second version of

The press release can be found here (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/oct08/10-13Silverlight2PR.mspx).

 

Some related resources:

  • Scott Guthrie’s blog on SL2 RC – learn and share how to get ready for Silverlight 2 RTW
  • Silverlight community Internet site – community site for developers and designers where forums are available
  • Microsoft Resources:

    Silverlight Virtual Pressroom
    Silverlight Web site
    Eclipse Tools for Silverlight Web site
    Microsoft Silverlight 2 Fact Sheet (.doc file, 355 kb)
    Silverlight 2 Customer Evidence and Quote Sheet (.doc file, 79 kb)




    Baddly behaved Publishing controls? Hmm…

    9 10 2008

    This is the second time this kind of errors happened in projects where I am. You add a couple of scripts (js) and suddenly your publishing controls start breaking, not rendering, etc. Well, start with the basics: think of accessibility and if you do, you can’t use scripts. Anyway, if this kind of behaviour happens to you, start by commenting not standard js and css files. If by any remote chance you used mootools… that’s probably the one !





    CAPTCHAS and Accessibility

    7 10 2008

    Several solutions came upon to solve this problem by adding an alternative render mode in audio format. Personally the output is very difficult to understand, specially if you are not an native english speaker.
    One possible alternative is based on the concept of negative captcha. This concept states that instead of prooving you a re a human by processing some sort of information, it only is visible to bots. It is the idea of a honney pot applied to human proofing process.

    I find this concept to be quite neat due to its simplicity, although I have some doubts regarding its results. Guided by those doubts, I have evolved the solution devoloped in the subkimet project, added some sparkling in order to raise the difficulty level. I think you should do too, but keep them to yourself! 🙂

    <IMHO>
    Think of it as the lock to the door of your home. There are a lot of techy guys willing to share the base information (the code at codeplex will be the lock itself with a vergin key). Now you must craft the key yourself and keep it safe. You don’t give the key to your home to everyone, right?
    </IMHO>

    BTW: this is not Sharepoint domain. This is valid for any web solution.

    Available controls with code:
    http://www.codeplex.com/subkismet/

    Some links discussing the topic:
    Negative CAPTCHA: http://damienkatz.net/2007/01/negative_captch.html
    Stopping spambots with hashes and honeypots (Great!): http://nedbatchelder.com/text/stopbots.html