Brian Blogs on SharePoint

Information, curiosities, and observations about SharePoint and the community.

Archive for October, 2009

SharePoint 2010, web parts and you…

Posted by Brian Gough on October 24, 2009

Well SharePoint Conference 2009 is over and man there is a lot of SP 2010 information being released. I already have a long list of items to blog on to keep you as informed as I can.

In a previous posting I touched on one means of creating SharePoint web parts using Visual Studio 2010 based on an article by Steve Fox, VS 2010 – disappointment.

Everything in that article still holds true an my opinion has not changed, but I did want to give you more info on VS2010.

There will basically be two “types” of SP web parts, “Visual Web parts” and “Standard Web Parts”.  Visual web parts are with Steve Fox describes, in which you create a web user control ( .ascx ), wrap SP code around it and have it deployed as a web part.   This is the only way to use VISUAL studio’s drag-and-drop process for creating “web parts”.

You will still have the ability to create “standard web parts” by manually writing the code for each form control ( labels, buttons, etc.. ) just like you have had to for every previous version of Studio.

Its not all bad though as Visual Studio is SharePoint aware now so we will even have a server explorer that will show us all the SharePoint members for the site you connect to.

VS has improved on the process for creating WSP’s for deploying your solutions.  Packaging solutions and adding event handles has improved greatly as well.  This is a greatly improved process over VS2007.

So, there are a lot of very nice changes in VS2010 that will make developing for SP2010 a much smoother process for most of what you may want to create.  For some of your more complex web parts though, you are not going to see much improvement I’m afraid.

Also, keep in mind that VS2010 improved process for creating “Visual Web parts” and and much of its other “improvements” can only be used for developing against SP2010.  You ca use VS2010 to create web parts and code for SP2007, you just wont be able to use the new and improved capabilities. Another fail in my opinion.

In spite of the areas I call “fails” there is  a lot to like about the development story for SP2010 and VS2010.

More to come so stay tuned!



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The SharePoint 2010 spigot is open and flowing!

Posted by Brian Gough on October 19, 2009

I have been watching the Live stream of the key notes et al from SPC09 and made note of a few things…

Here are some of the announcements about the 2010 products….

*The public beta of SharePoint 2010 will be available in November.  The beta for Visual Studio 2010 is available from MSDN now.  They are planning the RTM to be released “first half of year 2010”. 
*No word yet on when SharePoint Designer beta will be available.  however, Designer is going to be way more powerful this time and the WSP solutions created in Designer can be opened and worked on in Studio 2010 for even more detailed customizing.

*Keep in mind that Visual Studio 2010’s new features for SharePoint will only work on SharePoint 2010!  you can still use Visual Studio 2010 to work on MOSS solutions, but the “new stuff” will not be available to you.

*Windows Vista and Windows 7 can be used as SharePoint development platforms!!  Wahoo!
  You may still want to use virtuals though if you want to keep different builds available for clients of testing.

*The ribbon is everywhere in 2010.  if you do not like the ribbon, this is not good news for you, if you do like the ribbon, you will be happy as you will see if in all Office 2010 products now.

*WSS is called SharePoint Foundation so remember that when you do other searches.

*LINQ is going to be in widespread use in SharePoint but CAML will still  be available as well.

*There will be full standards support for REST, XHTML, XSTL, WCAG, etc…

* New list type called ‘External Lists’ will allow you to do two-way interaction with external data sources!  Way cool!

*Better solutions for true ‘Internet’ sites suing Internet Server.  No word on the cost for this though.

This is going to be a great release of this product!  The improvements from 2007 to 2010 are awesome for Admins on down to end users and Power users!

This is all I can say for now, but I will add more as I get it!  The flood gates are open!


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Custom Forms – Role trimming the columns

Posted by Brian Gough on October 12, 2009

On Saturday October 10th, I conducted a Hands-On-Lab for creating custom display and edit forms using SharePoint Designer 2007. This Lab was part of the Enterprise Developers Guild’s 9th Code Camp!

It was a great turn out. We had 234 attendees, and ran 9 tracks of excellent content! Thanks to our sponsors, Code Camp Sponsors, every attendee was able to take home a book, and they had a nice eco-friendly bag from Wrox press to carry it in!

My lab ran for 1 hour so I was not able to cover the steps for role trimming what columns are displayed on your custom forms. You can find information about how to do this by using the links below…

Screen Cast by Laura Rodgers –

Laura Rodgers’ blog on the topic –

Ian Morrish’s Blog –


I will be presenting on how to create custom forms at SharePoint Saturday in Raleigh, NC on November 7th. So if you did not make it to the Guild Code Camp, try to make it to SharePoint Saturday!


See you around the community!

Brian Gough

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VS 2010 – disappointment

Posted by Brian Gough on October 1, 2009

I just read through the blog post from Steve Fox,, where he shows what SharePoint web part development will be like in VS 2010.  I have to say I am rather disappointed.

What it boils down to is that instead of doing it right, MS has decided to integrate a solution created By Jan Tielens called a ‘Smart Part’.  This allows you to create a Web User Control ( .ascx ) and wrap it with code to be rendered in SharePoint as a web part.  This technology has been available for years and has it’s place in the SharePoint space, but it is NOT a real SharePoint web part.

Jan, I hope you are getting a big paycheck from MS for taking what you created and building it into VS!

The “purists” in the community will often recommend against simply wrapping a .ascx control, recommending instead that you learn the correct and proper way to develop true SharePoint web parts, as they give you much more power and control.

One of the main areas that Steve’s article does not cover is how they will be adding custom properties and custom tool panes using this approach.  These are very common practices in SharePoint web parts and is a big part of what makes SharePoint so versatile and powerful.   

It has always amazed me that Microsoft never got two of its flagship products ( Visual Studio and SharePoint ) to talk to each other properly.  I was really hoping that this newest version of Visual Studio would finally get it right and allow actual “visual” development to create true and robust web parts for SharePoint. But, alas, once again they fall rather short. 

It’s not all bad news though.  Apparently VS 2010 does provide you with some better integration with SharePoint by exposing the SharePoint objects inside Studio. So now we can see the lists/libs and get better exposure to the object model.  That’s nice.  Thanks for that.

It will be interesting in the near future to see what skills a person has when they call themselves a “SharePoint Developer”.  Especially when the “old guard” bumps heads with the “newbies” that surely will be sprouting up as a result of this release. 

I look forward to the fireworks!  I love a good show!!  🙂

Posted in SharePoint, SP2010, Visual Studio | Leave a Comment »