Visual Studio 2010 ships with a great extensibility functionality allowing you to write and deploy new extension in a very easy way. However, if you’re a SharePoint developer there is one thing to keep in mind while installing new extensions.
The Imtech Style Library Extension has been inspired by the Imtech Master Pages and Page Layouts Extension. The edit functionality that it provides has been something that I have used a lot while working with developing SharePoint solutions on SharePoint 2007. For the last few years I’ve been working almost exclusively on Web Content Management (WCM) solutions. One thing that I’ve been editing perhaps even more than Page Layouts and Master Pages were the XSLT files used by the Content Query Web Part (CQWP). Looking at the enhancements of the CQWP in SharePoint 2010 I will be very likely using it heavily as well. To make working with these XSLT files easier, I decided to create an extension for the Visual Studio SharePoint development tools that would allow to view and edit the contents of the XSL files used by the CQWP.
In the last few posts I wrote about the Visual Studio SharePoint development tools and showed you a few cool things that you can achieve using the extensibility API provided with the tools. The extensions I previously showed you, allowed you to explore SharePoint objects or generate items out of it. But did you know that using the new Visual Studio SharePoint development tools you can also create extensions that will allow you to edit SharePoint objects?
The new Visual Studio SharePoint development tools simplify work for SharePoint developers. Out-of-the-box the tools have some great functionality and knowing about these gems allows you to fully benefit of the power of the new tools. One of such gems can be used to make the process of provisioning multiple assemblies with a simple SharePoint Solution (WSP) easier.
A couple of days ago I published the Imtech Get SPMetal Definition Extension - an extension for the new Visual Studio SharePoint development tools that allows you to generate the SPMetal code for an existing SharePoint Site from the SharePoint Server Explorer. Just a few hours after publishing it I got some great feedback from Jeremy Thake (SharePoint Dev Wiki) that I decided to include in the tool.