Preventing newly added project items from being automatically added to Features

The new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Development Tools not only simplify working with SharePoint Solutions but are also a great productivity booster. By encapsulating the internal working of packaging SharePoint artifacts developers can focus on the development process instead of keeping the track of what should go where. One of the productivity features of the new developer tools is automatically adding project items to Features: each time you add a new SharePoint Project Item (SPI) to your project the tools will look for a suitable Feature and will add the SPI to it. This process isn’t random and is being executed based on a number of criteria such as the scopes in which the given SPI may be deployed vs. the scope of the given Feature. This process of matching, although very useful in some scenarios, can lead to SPI’s added to wrong Features. This is especially difficult to track when working with complex solutions that consist of multiple Features and many SPI’s. Unfortunately there is no out of the box way to disable to auto adding process. However, thanks to great extensibility capabilities of the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools it is possible now. Proudly introducing: Mavention Cancel Adding SharePoint Project Items extension.

Activating selected Features during the deployment of a package in Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools

By default the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools activate all Features from the package that is being deployed. While this is a great productivity feature when you need to quickly deploy something, it might be not the thing that you want while working with larger projects. The alternative available out of the box is not activating Features at all. Where does that takes us? I wrote about it previously. In my previous post I also suggested you could use Post-deployment Commands to activate the Features that you want. But wouldn’t it be just more convenient and intuitive if you could select Features that you want to activate during the deployment process? Proudly presenting: Mavention Activate Selected Features extension.

Mavention Export Page

Mavention Export Page is a custom extension for the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools that allows you to export preconfigured Publishing Pages to XML which can be then used for provisioning pages with Site Definitions.

Mavention Instant Page Create

Do you still remember how many clicks did you need in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to create a new Publishing Page? First you had to pick the New Page option from the Site Actions menu. Then you had to provide some information about the page and then finally, after pressing the OK button, you were redirected to the newly created page. SharePoint Server 2010 simplifies that process, but did you know that you can push it even further, and create new Publishing Pages with a single mouse click?

Conditionally show content the easy way

Yesterday I showed you a neat way to hide/show some content based on authentication level and/or the page mode. The cool thing about it was that whenever the control was hidden, the child controls didn’t get instantiated at all preventing you from any kind of performance penalty. Today, when I read the article myself, it struck me: you could extract a piece of the control that I showed you yesterday and make of it a base class for all kind of conditionally visible content like content visible based on a query string parameter or a value of a field of the current page!