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.

The No Activation Deployment Configuration: use it or not?

If you have worked with the new Visual Studio 2010 SharePoint Developer Tools you probably know that one part of the cool pieces of the new tools is the ability to specify the steps executed while deploying SharePoint Solution Packages on your development machine. These Deployment Configurations are fully configurable: you can either use one of the two existing configurations or create a new one that fully suits your needs. By default two Deployment Configurations are available Default and No activation. The only difference between those two is that the No activation configuration doesn’t activate any Features after the solution has been deployed. If the difference is that small: why do we need two configurations?

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.