5 experience-related things I’d love to see in SharePoint vNext

It’s more than two years since the last version of SharePoint has been released. Comparing to SPS 2003, MOSS 2007 brought us a very rich environment with tons of new features. As we all might expect, the SharePoint product team is really busy with the new version of SharePoint and I assume that many of us can’t wait to get their hands on it. Looking at the calendar however, it’s probably going to be at least the end of this year until the public release of the new version of SharePoint will see the daylight. Since there’s still some  time left, I’ve decided to share with you a couple of things I would love to see in SharePoint vNext.

Programmatically creating Variation Hierarchies in SharePoint 2007

Scripting deployment of SharePoint 2007 solutions gives you numerous benefits. Not only you will be able to deploy your work in a structured and repeatable manner but it also saves you tons of time which you would otherwise spend on configuring the solution in different environments over and over again. If you’re going to automate your deployment process, you would preferably want to script it all, leaving no manual steps at all. Unfortunately it’s not always possible as both WSS and MOSS teams have protected pieces of the object model which you might need to get the job done. Luckily there are still ways to get to the protected code.

Change the WSPBuilder DeploymentTarget to WebApplication

By default WSPBuilder builds solutions with the DeploymentTarget attribute set to GlobalAssemblyCache. All assemblies provisioned by the solution will be deployed to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) of the target web server which might not always be desirable/doable. There are a couple of ways of how to change the DeploymentTarget to the bin directory of the target Web Application.

Excluding empty text values in SharePoint Search

Last week I got an opportunity to work with SharePoint Search. As you could imagine it didn’t go that easy at all and to be honest the SQL-like statements didn’t make it for me at all. And unless I’ve seriously missed something, I’ve found out that there is no easy way to exclude empty text results in SharePoint Search. At least it seemed so…

Imtech Fields Explorer Visual Studio 2008 plugin

For the last couple of weeks we’ve been thinking here at Imtech ICT Velocity about how we could improve our SharePoint development process. During the last year we have gathered a lot of different tools which help us to automate the routine. And while they all are definitely very useful, they make the development environment quite complex. Maybe even too complex. One of the improvements we thought about was integrating all these different tools we have made into Visual Studio. Imtech Fields Explorer is the first one to go.