What’s New in SharePoint 2010 for Developers

SharePoint 2010 was released to manufacturing. You’ll be able to access the RTM bits early in May. This version helps developers in three key areas:

  • Developer productivity.

  • Platform services.

  • Flexible deployment.

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 provides enterprise-scale capabilities to meet business-critical needs such as managing content and business processes, simplifying how people find and share information across boundaries, and enabling informed decisions. Using the combined collaboration features of SharePoint 2010—which includes Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010—plus the design and customization capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010, organizations can enable their users to create, manage, and easily build SharePoint sites that are discoverable throughout the organization.

For more information, see

Developer Productivity

Development on Your Desktop

The developer tools allow you to develop, deploy, and debug from your desktop. This means you can build your SharePoint apps without needing to connect to a server on a virtual machine. You can do your development including deployment into SharePoint on your desktop. Ther are a couple caveats.

  • You’ll need to follow the guide in the software developer kit to deploy on the Windows client.

  • You can deploy either SharePoint Foundation or SharePoint Server on your desktop.

  • It does require a x64 operating system, such as Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

  • The deployment on desktop is not supported for production. To deploy in a production environment, you’ll need Windows Sever 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • The desktop deployment is for developers only. It is a stand-alone installation. The deployment on desktops can be disabled through Group Policy.

Visual Studio Tools

New Visual Studio 2010 Templates

You get SharePoint project templates in the Visual Studio box, so you can start right away on solution development.

Templates in Visual Studio 2010 give you a starting place to build

  • Web Parts

  • Business Data Connectivity

  • Workflow diagrams.

Additional templates help you build Event Receiver, List Definition, Content Type, Module, and Site Definition.

Solution Packaging with WSP

Visual Studio helps you to package and share your SharePoint projects. The new tooling has standardized on the Windows SharePoint Package (WSP) packaging standard. When you import or deploy a solution to SharePoint, Visual Studio treats it as a solution package.

You can import WSP from SharePoint Designer including Workflows.

SharePoint Explorer

The new SharePoint Explorer provides a view into native and custom artifacts (for example, lists and workflows) that exist on your SharePoint server.

On SharePoint Foundation you can:

  • View and modify the object properties of Virtual servers, Sites, Lists, List templates, Document Libraries, Files, Folders, List items and List fields.

  • Delete site collections, sites, lists, files and file versions.

  • Download files from document libraries.

  • View the content of any text file.

On SharePoint Server you can:

  • View and modify the object properties of Virtual portal servers, Portal sites, Areas, Keywords, Listings, Catalogs, Content Sources and Scheduled Tasks.

  • Delete content sources and search schedules.

  • Import/Export list of content sources including search schedules. Makes it easy to copy the list of content sources to another SPS installation.

  • Start/Stop crawling.

No Code Tool for SharePoint

SharePoint Designer 2010 is free tool for creating and editing SharePoint artifacts. Using SharePoint Designer, advanced users and developers alike can rapidly create SharePoint solutions in response to business needs. Advanced users can compose no-code solutions that encompass a variety of common scenarios, such as:

  • Collaborative sites and Web publishing

  • Line-Of-Business data integration

  • Business intelligence solutions

  • Human workflows

In addition, developers can now use SharePoint Designer 2010 to get a quick start on SharePoint development projects. That's because SharePoint Designer work can be upgraded to Visual Studio 2010.

When you “Save site as template” in SharePoint Site Settings, SharePoint Designer creates a WSP; WSP imports into Visual Studio 2010 as new project.

Developer Dashboard

This dashboard provides tracing and performance information that can be useful when you are trying to troubleshoot pages that are loading too slow.

This is a tool that will give you

  • A breakdown of the request/response cycle with timings for each operation.

  • A breakdown of the response times for each database query that the rendering process triggers.

  • A breakdown of the load times for each Web Part on the page.

There are two methods to initialize this tool to work on your sites.  You can do this with stsadm.exe or with PowerShell.

You can start the developer dashboard by entering the following command:

stsadm –o setproperty –pn developer-dashboard –pv OnDemand

Or inn PowerShell

(Get-SPFarm).PerformanceMonitor.DeveloperDashboardLevel = "OnDemand"

Rich Platform Services

Connecting with Data

Connect with Line of Business Data

Developers can integrate line-of-business (LOB) data in SharePoint 2010 to read/write through the Business Connectivity Services (formerly named the Business Data Catalog). BCS lets you bring data into SharePoint.

A SharePoint list can be external data. That data can both read and write to external data from line-of-business (LOB) systems, Web services, databases, and other external systems within Microsoft SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 has product features that can use external data directly, both online and offline. Developers can gain access to a rich set of features and rapidly build solutions using familiar tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.

Microsoft Business Connectivity Services (BCS) enhances SharePoint application capabilities and their UI through features, services, and tools. These enhanced capabilities and UI streamline development of solutions with deep integration of external data and services. Power users, developers, and business unit IT professionals can integrate assets from external systems and enable interaction with the external data through many types of applications. The Business Connectivity Services feature set enables rapid development and deployment of scalable and security-rich solutions.

BCS is available in both SharePoint Foundation 2010 and in SharePoint Server 2010.

Data Technologies Supported by SharePoint

You have your choice of how to access data in SharePoint.

  • On the client side you can use REST APIs that are strongly typed or Client Object Model that is weakly typed. Both are new in SharePoint 2010.

  • The data platform has been improved for Farm, Site, List Data and External Links.

  • On the server side, the Server Object Model has been improved offering you weakly-typed data access. LINQ to SharePoint is new to SharePoint 2010 and provides strongly typed data access.

LINQ to SharePoint

LINQ for SharePoint brings the power of LINQ to SharePoint, letting you treat lists, for example, as strongly typed objects. You example, you can query a list of orders:

from o in data.Orders 
    where o.Customer.City.Name == "London“
    select o;

Entity classes of the LINQ to SharePoint provide a light weight, object-relational interface between your object-oriented C# or Microsoft Visual Basic code and the relational table structure of the content databases of SharePoint.

You can join lists, join multiple lists with a lookup field, and join multiple lists as List A-to-List B-to-List C.

You can project any field from joined list in a query without changes in list schema.

New Client Object Model

The new client model is a simple API for you to add, retrieve, update and manage your data in SharePoint. This new client object model enables you to access SharePoint objects through a referenced DLL as opposed to Web service calls. (In SharePoint 2007, you access SharePoint list data, for example, by using an ASP.NET Web service.)

Here’s a Client Model sample in .NET:

ClientContext context =
    new ClientContext("http://server");
Web site = context.Web;
site.Title = site.Title + " and Client OM";


REST APIs allow you to build mash ups of data in SharePoint lists. Integration of WCF Data Services provides a method to get data from SharePoint 2010 remotely using REST-style Web services.

SharePoint Events Improvements

New events in SharePoint 2010 include:

  • Add and delete events on lists.

  • Add events on Web sites.

  • After events can now be either synchronous or asynchronous.

Additionally, new event model capabilities include the following:

  • Event registration at the site collection level.

  • XML event registration at the site receiver.

  • Improved semantics for retrieving event data.

  • Improved user interface for form-level events.

Workflow Improvements

When you build your SharePoint Workflows you will be targeting .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. You can create Sequence Workflow and State Machine Workflows. And Workflows can be imported from SharePoint Designer or you can build them in Visual Studio or Visio 2010 Workflow Design.

Site workflows release workflow developers from requiring a list item or document item to run workflows against. This is useful for when the process that the workflow is implementing does not start as a result of a list item or document.

In SharePoint 2007, workflows ran as the identity of the logged on user. In SharePoint 2010, with high privilege workflows you can specify an account to run a workflow as to give it additional needed permissions. When creating a workflow in SharePoint Designer 2010, individual steps can be added that enable it to run as the author of the workflow instead of the logged on user. The feature is called High Privilege Workflows.

SharePoint 2010 adds four new workflow Event Receivers for list based workflows. The four workflow event receivers available are Starting, Started, Postponed and Completed.

New in SharePoint 2010 is the ability to add pluggable workflow services to SharePoint. This has always been possible in Windows Workflow Foundation, but the SharePoint-hosted workflow runtime was locked down and previously didn’t allow this. Primarily pluggable workflow services are designed for sending and receiving messages out of a workflow instance. But they are also valuable for any long-running system operation such as a long-running calculation.

In SharePoint Designer 2010, you can create reusable declarative workflows. In SharePoint 2007, a workflow model created in SharePoint Designer could only be associated with one list. These reusable workflows do not rely on a specific list but can be associated with any list. The workflow design can be reused and associated with multiple lists.

For more information, see Improvements in SharePoint 2010 and for an example on how workflows can be used, see Approval Workflow: A Scenario (SharePoint Foundation 2010).


Silverlight (especially in combination with the client object model) is supported natively in SharePoint 2010—no more changing web.config to get started with this development.

SharePoint 2010 supports implementation of the Silverlight client object model in two contexts:

  • Within a Silverlight Web Part

  • Within the Silverlight Cross-Domain Data Access system, through which a Silverlight application interacts with SharePoint 2010 data.

A third possibility--modifying client access cross-domain policy on the server--opens security risks and is not supported in SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Flexible Development

Application Lifecycle Management Support

Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010 make developers more productive and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server delivers support for application lifecycle management.

Team Foundation Server provides work item tracking, source code control, build, ability to manage test cases and log bugs, and conduct load testing.

Sandboxed Solutions

Sandboxed Solutions can be deployed to a shared hosting environment to limit the impact of unpredictable code to the other applications in use.

Sandboxed solutions also offer a way to build SharePoint Web Parts and deploy them to a site without needing administrative intervention—that is, you can deploy a Web Part to a SharePoint site and have it run in the context of that site either in an on-premises instance of SharePoint or in the cloud using the hosted version of SharePoint.

Launch Events

Microsoft will officially launch SharePoint 2010 to our business customers on May 12 with a virtual launch. Our virtual launch will allow people from around the globe to participate in our launch by going to http://www.the2010event.com. Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft’s Business Division, will deliver a keynote as part of the virtual launch, and the virtual launch site will showcase product demos, customer and partner testimonials, and interviews with product managers and executives, and we hope this will give you another great way to explore, learn, and get excited about the 2010 releases.

Getting Started for Developers

Setting Up the Development Environment for SharePoint Server

SharePoint 2010 Developer learning center on Channel 9

SharePoint 2010 Developer Center on MSDN.

See Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administration and A First Look at Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 video series on MSDEV.

Get SharePoint Designer. Links for both 64-bit and 32-bit versions at the bottom of the page.

Make Your SharePoint Apps Compatible

Front Runner for SharePoint can help software companies move your SharePoint 2007 application to SharePoint 2010. When you join the Front Runner program, you can access one-on-one technical support by phone or e-mail from our developer experts, who can help you get your application compatible with SharePoint 2010. Once your application is compatible, you'll get a range of marketing benefits to help you let your customers know that you're a Front Runner. See Front Runner for SharePoint.

About SharePoint

SharePoint 2010 is the business collaboration platform that enables you to connect and empower people through formal and informal business communities, within the enterprise and beyond, and to manage content throughout the information lifecycle. Whether deployed on-premises or as hosted services, SharePoint’s integrated capabilities are enhanced by search technologies and enable you to rapidly respond to changing business needs by making data-driven decisions and by deploying customized solutions quickly and securely. The consolidation of collaboration solutions onto SharePoint 2010 makes it possible to cut costs by lowering training and maintenance expenses and increasing IT productivity, all within a governable and compliant platform.

Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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