Branding Office SharePoint Server 2007 Web Content Management solutions reaches beyond development and is done in most scenarios by webdesigners. Once done the templates are being sliced into pieces and incorporated in SharePoint. To simplify the work, SharePoint community has created a Minimal Master Page: a template which contains all the elements required by SharePoint. Just recently I have noticed that using that template for branding is rather harmful and can lead to even more problems instead of sparing you the time.
It's probably a common knowledge by now, that the CQWP uses XSLT for creating the presentation layer for the queried data. The default set of the functions provided with XSLT is limited. While the ddwrt namespace adds some very useful functionality to the CQWP there are still many situations when you might need something else that isn't there like Regular Expressions for example. Many SharePoint developers I know would decide to create a custom Web Part at this point. Knowing how great the CQWP performs I would extend the standard functionality instead.
A couple of weeks ago I have added some new functionality to the Imtech Fields Explorer: generating wrapper classes allowing you to work with Site Columns and Content Types in an intuitive way. Just when I thought that it couldn't get any better I thought of something new: how about generating Page Layouts?!
If you've been following my Facebook updates, you probably noticed that I started working on a brand new SharePoint Web Content Management (WCM) solution. Just to prevent myself from from any dependencies whatsoever I have decided to use a brand new development environment. I've been developing for SharePoint for more than a year and a half now and I got really surprised seeing how many different tools I'm using while developing SharePoint solutions to simplify the process.
Some time ago I wrote about provisioning instances of Content Query Web Part (CQWP) in a structured and repeatable way. Just recently I have found out that there is one very important thing you have to be aware of, if you don't want to break the deployment process.