What in the world is CJ up to? His PM job in WSS at MS & what does he want from you?

Until yesterday it has been quite a while since I blogged.  Basically here is the list of things I have been up to this year:  got a new job (more on this in a moment), got married (Feb), honeymoon (Fiji 2 weeks), back to NZ for 4 weeks to pack up the house and move to the USA, 3 weeks in South America on way to USA, start new job 🙂  It has been a busy year so far.

So what am I now up to?  Well, my new job is as a Program Manager on the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) team -- working in the Dev Platform sub team within that.  Our team is focused on everything and anything to do with building stuff on top/beside/inside/outside of WSS.  We want to make it great experience for people building solutions on WSS.  This is not just limited to Developers, but also people that use the Web UI and SharePoint Designer.  One of my blogging team mates is Mike Ammerlan.

We are basically busy at work on the next version of WSS.  Taking all the feedback we have been given from customers, partners and other groups from within Microsoft & using that to mold and shape what we design, build & deliver in the next release.

Personally and professionally I am really interested in application development on WSS/MOSS.  I have a couple of posts on this topic already, but I really want to build these out and offer more advice in this regard.

Existing posts on this are:

Application Development on MOSS 2007 & WSS V3

Using ASP.Net user controls in your WSSV3/MOSS ASPX pages...

What do I want from you?   Your feedback, issues, ideas, concerns & suggestions on WSS as a development/solutions platform.  This will help me not only focus posts around the issues you are facing, but also incorporate suggestions into our next version of WSS.

Comment away...

Comments (8)
  1. Andrew Horler says:

    Hi Chris,

    Via Google I came across an old posting of yours around a recycle bin for Share Point. the best thing about it was it did not go into all the scripting I found on other Google articles for the same thing.

    However the link to the download refers to GotDotNet, which is being phased out of course.

    Do you know if this link (or a later, higher version) is sitting anywhere still accessible, so I can point our IT folks in that direction.

    Also do you know of anything for a document level recovery for if you’re dim enough (like me today) to have deleted a folder, before your IT folks have gotten a recovery bin in place. There’s all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff out there, but I’ve not found anyone as qualified as you (ie actually working on WSS) to give us a pointer in the right direction.

    Full environment rebuild then go look for it not really helpful given time and effort required for only 11 documents (albeit very important ones 🙁  )

    All clues gratefully received

    Andrew Horler

  2. Chip S says:

    Hi Chris,

    A major issue I’m facing right now is having to program on Server 2003. Most large companies forbid installations of server OS’s on desktops or laptops. If I could install WSS on win xp/vista that would save SO much time and effort.

    The second issue I’d like to see go away is the code beside model. ASPX code behind model is much nicer and none of this GAC-ity GAC GAC.

    I’d like to be able to join lists easily.

    I’d like Reporting Services to talk to Sharepoint lists nativly + join lists (did I mention that?).

    Also, would like more in depth workflow examples.

    You guys did a lot of thing right in V3 so keep up the good work.

  3. Why don’t you (MS) put WSS/MOSS up on connect.microsoft.com, to let people send in feedback and bugs ?

  4. Matthew Peters says:

    I would like to see the functionality and tools that are in SharePoint Designer 2007 released as an add-in to Visual Studio 2005.  For example, in your Application Development post, OPTION 4 is the option we would like to use.  However, as detailed in Step 11, SharePoint Designer is required to deploy the page.

    I would like to echo what Chip said and would like to see a Developer’s Version of MOSS that we could install on XP / Vista.  It is hard to justify the extra expense for beefy hardware and Windows 2003 Server licenses.

    I would like SQL Server Reporting Services to be able to work in SharePoint Integrated mode using Basic Authentication or Forms Authentication.  Right now it only works using Windows Integrated authentication.

  5. David Marsh says:

    I would like to see a tool to export everything that can be accomplished through the Web UI into a Visual Studio project so that all the code can be reused or enhanced. (Extending the Visual Studio extensions for WSS)

    Also SharePoint Designer integration with source control like Team Foundation Server.

    I still find it impossible to convince the IT department to allow development in SharePoint Designer because all the changes are directly in the database and some things cannot be easily extracted or reused and it is unclear what changes have been made in SharePoint Designer. It would be good to have all the changes that are made in SharePoint designer stored in a changeset or a single definable object that can be managed by source control.

  6. Anthony Upshaw says:

    I am still trying to figure out why MS would develop a new IDE for an essential HTML, ASPX, CSS, etc development when there is already a ready made IDE (VS) which most .NET developer knew and use proffeciently and can and has been adapted to newer technologies.  What’s even more unfortunate, is that to develop something in VS and move to Sharepoint is half hazardly and brings back the early days of development (the 90′).  It is problematic to say the least.  To move all the development to designer means giving up much functionality, flexibility, and problem resolutions.  So far my experience with working on Sharepoint and using designer has not been enjoyable.  It now takes nearly three times the amount of work to get things developed and working in Sharepoint.  Debugging is virtually missing.  My manager wonders what I am doing all day, let alone all week.  Documentation, examples, and good working solutions are sparse to say the least.  I guess it’s just another way for MS to justify the additional expense.

  7. Anthony Upshaw says:

    Besides my complaints of my previous comments as long as I have to live with this SharePoint development, here is my list of suggestions:

    1.  Integrate VS into the SharePoint devlopment environment.

    2.  Make components developed ASP.NET 2.0 + (ASPX, ASCX, Custome Controls) work better and easier in SharePoint as they do in the ASP.NET IDE environment.

    3. Provide better documentation and examples for developing various SharePoint components including WebParts.

    4.  Provide more complex example for event handling and coupling between different data source in WebPart to fully implement the Consumer/Provider model ( all the old interfaces IRowProvider, etc. are deprecated as just one of many examples).

    5.  Consider some other way to develop SharePoint applications and Webpart then on a complete SharePoint environment on a Win 2003+ server.  We can now develop ASP.NET in any of the professional environment and migrate the application to development and production servers.  A suggestion would be something like SharePoint Express (SQLExpress get the hint).

    6.  Business applications are complex and require extraordanary amount of business logic to make it simple for the end user and to ensure good data integrity.  These are the most important part of application development.  SharePoint needs to apply simple means for adding validation, business rules logic, and error handling through the central respository.

    7.  Improve the debbugging utitlities, tools, and mechanisms dramatically.

    8.  Lastly, get over this idea that empowering the end user with personalities, moving and adding component, and customizing their content presentation is desireble by the majority.  Most people don’t have time in their lives to play.  Only geeks like myself fine the time to do such things.

  8. chjohn says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all the comments thus far!  Keep them coming!

    Here are a couple of comments about the comments 🙂

    Anthony:  In my previous role at MS i was building real solutions on SharePoint for customers and had the same feedback myself.  I personally think we need a stepped up experience for our expert Visual Studio developers.  Sharepoint Designer is aimed at IWs who are not programmers and does well for those users … however, you are right that it is not a suitable solution for developers.  Point taken.

    Could you expand on your comment: "SharePoint needs to apply simple means for adding validation, business rules logic, and error handling through the central respository." ?  I would like to understand more about what you are asking for here.

    Stefen said: "Why don’t you (MS) put WSS/MOSS up on connect.microsoft.com, to let people send in feedback and bugs ?"

    If you come across what you think is a bug then you can submit that issue/bug report via a Support Incident with Microsoft.  If the company you work for has a support agreement you can do it via that OR if you are an MSDN subscriber you can also log a support incident.  If it is found that it is indeed a bug then your support incident count will not be decremented.


    -Chris Johnson.

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