One of the great improvements in SharePoint 2010 are Web Templates. Mirjam van Olst wrote recently a great article about why using light-weight Web Templates is a better approach than using full blown Site Definitions. While using Web Templates for creating sites and Site Collections is pretty straight-forward things get complicated when you need to create the Site Collection programmatically.
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Last May I’ve taken the beta versions of the two SharePoint 2010 Developer exams: 70-573 TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development and 70-576 PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications. Today I received an e-mail saying that I successfully passed both exams and received the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer SharePoint 2010 status.
Defining custom Site Columns and Content Types is the very basis of almost every SharePoint project. Using Site Columns and Content Types you can define the information architecture of your Solution. And although this process is something that is very important and something you do very often, it is surprising how little support there is for it from the development point of view that would allow you to do it in a productive manner. CKS:DEV has already had some support around Content Types and Site Columns but still it was far from ideal, so including some improvements in that area was something we couldn’t really leave behind…
Creating custom Site Columns is something you do in almost every single SharePoint Solution. Unfortunately even in spite of great SDK documentation and intellisense for SharePoint XML files, it’s still a tedious process to create new columns directly in the XML. Using the SharePoint web UI is way easier but then again: how would you get that out of SharePoint and put into your Solution? There is an answer to that question and it is: use CKS:DEV!