SharePoint 2010 Development & Scripting

SharePoint 2010: Visual Web Parts and LINQ

Implementing a SharePoint Solution

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Online Forms with MOSS & InfoPath

SharePoint is one of Microsoft's most used server applications. It is used in Intranets, Extranets and business decision areas and even as a content management system for many public websites.

SharePoint was available in different versions – Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 Standard Edition and MOSS 2007 Enterprise Edition.

With the new Office 2010 coming up, SharePoint too gets a new version. WSS has now been renamed to SharePoint Foundation Services and MOSS remains the same. There are a huge number of changes in this new version of SharePoint – for admins, developers and users. We will delve into the changes for developers in this series. You will need the SharePoint Beta or RC for the code in this series. These are available for free download from Microsoft's site.

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SharePoint for Developers
One of the pain points of earlier SharePoint development was that you needed to use Windows Server on each developer's machine to install SharePoint and the developer tools. One of the coolest new changes for developers in SharePoint 2010 is that these can be now installed on client operating systems such as Windows Vista and Windows 7. Of course, you cannot run a production site off these client OSs, but it can really help the developers.

The main development tools for SharePoint 2010 will be Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. Both come with pre-built templates and connections to SharePoint services that help you build a solution very quickly. We will look into using these for various tasks throughout this series.

Out of the Box Capabilities
SharePoint 2010 defines the OOB capabilities in the form of the pie displayed.

Sites: allow users to store and retrieve lists and documents along with tight integration with Office client applications (Word, Excel, etc.).

Communities: allows users to interact with other users by using features such as search, tagging,  and rating.

Content: managing content on a page, list, records or more.

Search: search content both stored with SharePoint itself or anywhere else such as enterprise data stores or databases

Insights: ability to digest data in a meaningful form such as dashboards or KPIs

Composites: extend solutions by business users for their own needs

The SharePoint ecosystem and capabilities matrix.

Each of these can be leveraged by a developer and extended, customized and solutions created out of them.

Other New Developer Enhancements
SharePoint 2010 has a huge number of other enhancements especially for developers. The SharePoint SDK has a number of new objects and methods that can help developers to write code better. SharePoint is based on the .NET Framework 3.5 and not 4.0 and is a 64-bit application.

The UI of SharePoint now contains the ubiquitous Ribbon which is Web based but works in exactly the same way as in the client applications like Word and Excel. Developers can extend this ribbon very easily as well.

SharePoint home page after installation.

SharePoint is much more AJAX friendly too now. Most actions result in a dialog box that refreshes data on the parent without refreshing the entire page – only the data that changed. This makes for smaller postbacks and faster rendering. Many dialogs now also support SilverLight based controls making for a much richer experience than what was available earlier.

Workflows can now be attached to a site rather than a particular list. This makes for creating reusable workflows much easier and development of these are very easy. LINQ to SharePoint is another new feature that allows developers to query lists without resorting to CAML. Developers can use the much more developer oriented language to query data from within SharePoint.

SharePoint 2010 is also very scriptable using the PowerShell architecture. Powershell is a great combination of the Windows Command Prompt, UNIX Bash and an object oriented shell. SharePoint 2010 comes with a built in snap in that provides access to many of its functions through PowerShell. Let's take a look at some simple scripting commands that you can perform with SharePoint 2010 on PowerShell.

Start up PowerShell v2 on a machine that has SharePoint 2010 installed. To use the SharePoint features you need to load the PowerShell snap-in using this command:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell

Selecting a WebPart adds new contextual tabs to the Ribbon.

To see all the different things that you can do with Powershell on SharePoint, run the command:

Get-Command -PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell

This will show you the whole list of commands you can use with SharePoint. For instance you can create a new sub web site using the following command:

New-SPWeb -URL “http://server/Demo01” -Template “STS#0” -Name “Demo 01” –AddToTopNav –UseParentTopNav

This will create a new site called “Demo 01” on the SharePoint server and use the STS#0 (Team Web) template. If you wish to delete the site you can do this:

Remove-SPWeb -Identity “http://server/Demo01” –Confirm:$false

Working with the Object Model
Let's create a simple little project that works with the object model of SharePoint 2010 in this first part of the series. To do this, open up Visual Studio 2010 and create a new console application. Make sure it's selected as .NET Framework 3.5. The first thing to do is to go the properties of the project and set its build target platform to x64.

A new Task list created and populated through the code.

Once this is done, add a new reference to the Microsoft.SharePoint and System.Web namespaces. Add a using statement to reference these on top of the code like this Add the following code to the application.

static void Main(string[] args)
string targetSite = "
string targetWeb = "Demo01";
using (SPSite siteCollection = new SPSite(targetSite))
using (SPWeb site = siteCollection.AllWebs[targetWeb])
Console.WriteLine("Creating a new list: My Demo Tasks");
string ListTitle = "My Demo Tasks";
string ListDesc = "Demo Task List created using SP Object Model";
CreateList(site, ListTitle, ListDesc);
private static void CreateList(SPWeb site,string ListTitle,string ListDesc)
Guid ListID = site.Lists.Add(ListTitle, ListDesc, SPListTemplateType.Tasks);
SPList myTasks = site.Lists[ListID];
myTasks.OnQuickLaunch = true;
SPListItem newTask = myTasks.Items.Add();
newTask["Title"] = "New Task";
newTask["Assigned To"] = site.CurrentUser;
newTask["Due Date"] = DateTime.Today;

This code basically goes ahead and connects to a SharePoint site and within the web goes and creates a new Task list with a single item within it. As you can see, the code is fairly simple and self-explanatory.

We've looked at some of the different things that are new in the upcoming SharePoint 2010 release. We will delve deeper into many of them as we go further in this series, so keep an eye on this space.

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