In the last Web Content Management (WCM) project built on top of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 I’ve worked on, we’ve used a couple of new tools and development approaches. One of such things was leveraging the power of ASP.NET UserControls for developing Page Layouts and Web Parts – approach promoted by fellow SharePoint MVP Chris O’Brien.
For quite some time I have been busy with trying to increase my productivity while working on SharePoint solutions. In the last two years I helped design a couple of tools and developed a few of them myself: all that to simplify the most common tasks and be able to focus on the solution-specific things. Recently I have focused on code generation: based on the information already present either in SharePoint or in your solution generate source code. You can see a part of the results of my efforts in Imtech Fields Explorer: generating wrapper classes and Page Layouts. What I’ve learned is that generating source code with code can get really complex. But just recently I’ve found a simpler way to get the things done: introducing Imtech SharePoint Templates for CodeSmith.
Recently I have found that you could actually provision Publishing Pages using the declarative markup of Features. Right after that discovery I have found that you could benefit of that functionality in quite a few scenario’s, like provisioning test content wrapped in Features. The biggest downside against provisioning Publishing Pages would be having to generate the XML manually. To simplify the process I have decided to create a tool which would export the existing Publishing Pages to Feature XML. Guess what: the tool is ready now and you can take a test drive.
Just recently I started using AC’s Visual Studio CodeRush/Refactor Tools for SharePoint Developers. I know that the AC’s Tools have been there for a while. Somehow I missed them. Lucky for me, just recently I stumbled upon them once again and decided to give them a try and guess what: they are great and they save you a lot of time typing SharePoint XML.
The downloadable version of SharePoint Developer Bookmarklets has been updated. The Root Web > Navigation link was broken and has been fixed (thanks for the feedback Greg). The updated version can be downloaded from CodePlex (SharePoint developer bookmarklets 2009.3.8.0).