Brian Blogs on SharePoint

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

VS 2010 – disappointment

Posted by Brian Gough on October 1, 2009

I just read through the blog post from Steve Fox, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee309510.aspx, 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’. http://weblogs.asp.net/jan/archive/2005/02/17/375139.aspx.  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!!  🙂

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