Monday, July 26, 2010

My Favourite SharePoint 2010 Enhancements (for developer) part 1

There are a number of platform and tool enhancements for SharePoint 2010.

I picked out a few favourites which I briefly explain below:
  • LINQ to SharePoint (Language Integrated Query)
  • Data Platform Improvements
  • List Enhancements
  • Business Connectivity Services
  • Silverlight Integration
  • Managed Client Object Model
  • Sandbox Solutions
  • Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint
  • WSP Changes
  • Developer Dashboard
  • Dialog Framework
  • SharePoint Designer 2010
  • Visio Services
  • InfoPath (changes)
  • Windows PowerShell
LINQ to SharePoint (Language Integrated Query)
LINQ is a feature of the programming languages C# and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET. Compilers are included with Visual Studio.
LINQ adds a SQL-like syntax and vocabulary to each of the languages, which can be used to query data sources. But unlike other languages and query syntaxes which vary from one type of data source to another, LINQ can be used to query, in principle, any data source whatsoever. For this reason, developers may find that it is the only query syntax that they ever need to know.
The LINQ to SharePoint Provider is defined in the Microsoft.SharePoint.Linq namespace. It translates LINQ queries into Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) queries. more details here...


Data Platform Improvements
The data platform improvements include: List Relationships, Unique Column Constraints, Data Validation, Column Formula Validation, etc
more details here...

List Enhancements
The list enhancements in SP2010 include: Bulk Operations, New capacity limits(more details here..), XSLT Views (more details here..)

Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
BCS is a set of services and features that provide a way to connect SharePoint solutions to sources of external data and to define external content types that are based on the external data. External content types resemble content types and allow the presentation of and interaction with external data in SharePoint lists (known as external lists), Web Parts, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010, and Microsoft Word 2010 clients. External systems that Microsoft Business Connectivity Services can connect to include SQL Server databases, SAP applications, Web services (including Windows Communication Foundation Web services), custom applications, and Web sites based on SharePoint. more details here...

Silverlight Integration
In Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, you could host a Microsoft Silverlight application in a Web Part. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 goes beyond by providing a built-in, extensible, Silverlight Web Part specifically designed to host Silverlight applications. Closely related to the new Web Part is Silverlight Cross-Domain Data Access (Silverlight CDA) that enables secure, cross-domain, integration between Silverlight applications and SharePoint Foundation deployments, and Silverlight CDA can be used by non-Silverlight external applications as well. more details here...

Managed Client Object Model
The SharePoint Foundation 2010 managed client object model lets you write client-side code to work with all the common objects in SharePoint sites. Through the object model, you can add and remove lists, add, update, and delete list items, change documents in document libraries, create sites, manage permissions of items, and add and remove Web Parts from a page.
With the SharePoint Foundation 2010 managed client object model, you can design client applications that access SharePoint content without installing code on the server that runs Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010. For example, you can build new categories of applications that include writing applications that are based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, rich interactive Web Parts, Microsoft Silverlight applications, and ECMAScript (JavaScript, JScript) applications that run client-side in a SharePoint Web Part.
more details here...

Sandbox Solutions
You can deploy a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 solution directly onto your SharePoint Foundation farm, or you can deploy the solution into a sandbox. A sandbox is a restricted execution environment that enables programs to access only certain resources, and that keeps problems that occur in the sandbox from affecting the rest of the server environment.
Solutions that you deploy into a sandbox, cannot use certain computer and network resources, and cannot access content outside the site collection they are deployed in.
more details here... and here.

Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint
A number of areas for SharePoint developers in Visual Studio 2010 are worth mentioning. First, you get SharePoint project templates in the box, so you can start right away on solution development. Second, tooling has standardized on the Windows SharePoint Package (WSP) packaging standard, so when you import or deploy a solution to SharePoint, Visual Studio treats it as a solution package. Third, some great deployment and packaging features, such as solution retraction and custom deployment configurations, ship with the SharePoint tools in Visual Studio 2010. And last, the new SharePoint Explorer provides a view into native and custom artifacts (for example, lists and workflows) that exist on your SharePoint server.

WSP Changes
SharePoint 2010 improves the WSP format so that it is supported across all tools, allowing you to export your site through the browser, SharePoint Designer, and Visual Studio. This means that you can quickly upgrade or downgrade your solutions between the tools.
SharePoint Online, the Microsoft - hosted version of SharePoint, supports this format so that you can move solutions to the cloud without having to rework the package.

Developer Dashboard
The developer dashboard is a new feature in SharePoint 2010 that is design to provide additional performance and tracing information that can be used to debug and troubleshoot issues with page rendering time. The dashboard is turned off by default, but can be enabled via the object model or stsadm (and PowerShell too, I just haven’t put together the script for it yet). When the dashboard is turned on you will find information about the controls, queries and execution time that occur as part of the page rendering process; this information appears at the bottom of the page.

Dialog Framework
SharePoint 2010 has a new framework for showing dialogs to the end-user. The dialogs allow people to work with some data without losing focus on the page they were working on to get things done. Closing the dialog will often cause AJAX based refreshes to give a sense of stateful-ness.
The dialog is of course extensible through JavaScript code. You can either show a separate page, or use a DOM element on the source page and show that. You can then determine when the dialog closes and what happens when it has closed.
more details here...

SharePoint Designer 2010
There have been a large number of changes to SharePoint Designer.
For a nice overview go to this post

Visio Services
Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is a service application that lets users share and view Microsoft Visio Web drawings. The service also enables data-connected Microsoft Visio 2010 Web drawings to be refreshed and updated from various data sources.
Visio Web drawings (*.vdw files) can be rendered by Visio Services and viewed in a Web browser. This lets users view Visio documents without having Visio or the Visio Viewer installed on their local computer. Basic exploration and navigation of these rendered Web drawings are supported within the Visio Web Access Web Part. Page designers can configure the user interface and functionality of the Web Part.
Visio Services can also refresh the data and recalculate the visuals of a Visio Web drawing hosted on a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 site. This enables published Web drawings to refresh connections to various data sources and to update affected data graphics and text fields. more details here...

InfoPath 2010 (changes)
InfoPath 2010 comes with a large number of enhancements which includes:
Easy customization of list forms with InfoPath, an InfoPath Form Web Part, Forms with code-behind can be deployed using sandbox solutions, creating a site template will produce a WSP package which includes the InfoPath forms, Forms Services forms now support WCAG 2.0 standard, InfoPath forms can be made available offline using SharePoint Workspace 2010, Forms Services also support FireFox and Safari.
more details here... and here.

PowerShell for SharePoint 2010
Windows PowerShell is a command-line scripting tool that provides an administrator full access to applicable application programming interfaces (APIs), along with the ability to unlock the capability to interact directly with SharePoint 2010 Products to manipulate Web applications, site collections, sites, lists and much more. In addition, the administrator has the ability to script cmdlets (pronounced "command-lets"), which makes for an improved experience from past product versions.  more details here... and here

Other enhancements (not covered in this post):
Access Services
Central Administration (Redesigned)
Digital Asset Management
Enterprise Search
Excel Services
Health Monitoring
Managed Metadata
PerformancePoint Services
Enhanced Records Management
Changes to Social Computing (previous called Collaboration)
Upgrade

Enjoy !!

4 comments:

Etienne said...

Cool Cool!

joykernel said...

Very Resourceful post about SharePoint 2010.
Microsoft SharePoint is one of the most popular platforms for organisations to collaborate on work tasks and pool resources.
SharePoint Consulting

Anonymous said...

Hi There I have a SharePoint designer 2010 workflow associated with an InfoPath form I would like your advice on resolving a problem with. The solution is an expense approvals process. The infopath form has some code behind. It sends certain elements on the form to a Navision server via webservices for document creation.

I have created a SharePoint Designer workflow to approve the form. What I need now is to create another workflow to set the status of the workflow to 'sentToNAV' after approval. To do this I need to find a way of checking the workflow status of the form in the form library, so if it is set to 'approved', then kick off this second workflow, who's main purpose is to initiate a piece of code in the infoPath form to send the data to Navision.

So basically I need a way of accessing code behind methods or the ability to call the methods in an InfoPath form from a SharePoint Designer workflow, so when the second workflow is kicked off, it can send the data to Navision and update the status of the workflow.

Another requirement is to have a 3rd workflow to check for another status change . So once the status is changed to 'SentToNav', a workflow kicks off to retrieve data from the form and create an email alert and input these details into that email and sent it to the infopath form creator. The status od the workflow at that stage would be 'emailsSent'. Any ideas you have to help me would be most appreciated.

kenzie jones said...

Very informative article about SharePoint 2010. It is one of the most famous step for organisations to combine the work with its costly resources.I am very impress by your article.I mean you explained all things in a very effective manner.
electronic signatures

Post a Comment