Greetings all, Alex Malek here, PM for SharePoint Designer. I'm pleased to announce that today we released a CTP for version 1.1 of the "Visual Studio extensions for Windows SharePoint Services". You can download the CTP here: link. If you are not familiar with VSeWSS, this post should help. In a nutshell, VSeWSS is an add-on to Visual Studio that makes it easier to code-up solutions for SharePoint (e.g. Web Parts, List Definitions, Site Definitions, etc). With version 1.1 of VSeWSS, our main objective is to address the community feedback we got from the first release of VSeWSS, with a particular focus on giving developers "more control" 🙂
Note: This CTP is for evaluation only - it's not recommended for use in production systems.
What's New in VSeWSS 1.1?
- WSP View, aka "Solution Package editing"
- New Item Templates:
- "List Instance" project item
- "List Event Handler" project item
- "_layout file" project item
- Faster F5 speed
- Many bug fixes
The main new feature for 1.1 is what we call "Solution Package editing". In version 1 of VSeWSS, when you are building an application, the tool is implicitly creating a .WSP file behind the scenes for you, which you can think of as a SharePoint "installer" file. When you hit F5/Debug, VSeWSS automatically installs this WSP solution package, as the mechanism for deploying the project files to the local SharePoint box. While this design has some nice benefits (e.g. VSeWSS doesn't have to hard-code knowledge about where to install files on SharePoint), we heard loud and clear from SharePoint developers that they wanted more control over the WSP that was being automatically generated for them. That's where the new "WSP View" comes into the picture. Using WSP View, you can now see the files and structure of the WSP Solution Package. You can also edit the WSP, changing what "Elements" live in what "Features", as well as editing the (previously hidden) solution .xml files, e.g. Feature.xml. To bring up WSP View, go to the View menu and choose "Other Windows/WSP View".
New Item Templates
In addition to WSP View, we've also added a few new item templates to VSeWSS. The most interesting one is the "List Event Handler" item template, which allows you to build an event handler for an existing SharePoint list definition (e.g. Shared Documents). You can find the new item templates in the "SharePoint" node of the "Add Item" dialog.
We're aiming to release VSeWSS 1.1 by the end of the calendar year. That final release will also bring one new cool feature: VB support! For now, we'd love to hear what you think of the new v1.1 features, particularly WSP view. Feel free to communicate bugs via comments to this blog posting.
- Q: Can I rename a Feature using WSP View?
A: Yes, you can edit the Feature name by clicking twice on Feature node in the WSP View.
- Q: Does VSeWSS support Visual Studio 2008
A: No, VSeWSS only works with VS 2005.
- Q: Is there a way to create a new empty "Feature" in the WSP view?
A: Not in this CTP, however, we'll add this before we release the final version of VSeWSS 1.1.
- Q: When I add a Content Type to my application, nothing shows up in the Solution Explorer.
A: This is a bug in the CTP. Certain items are only editable via the WSP view. We will fix this our final release.
- Q: Why do my Feature folder names have GUIDs in them?
A: This is a bug that we plan to fix.
- Q: Does VSeWSS support Office SharePoint Server
A: Yes (only non-farm installs).
- Q: Does VSeWSS support Windows XP or "remote debugging"?
A: No, VSeWSS only works against local SharePoint installations, i.e. only on Win2k3.
- Q: What happened to the "SharePoint Solution" Tab in Project Properties from v1?
A: The WSP View is the new place for working with the SharePoint Solution Package. Instead of the property grid experience from v1, you can now directly get at the solution xml files.
PM Lead - SharePoint Designer