Wednesday, June 27, 2007

SUSHI - SharePoint Utility with a Smart, Helpful Interface

Note, the SUSHI project has now moved to codeplex at http://codeplex.com/sushi

I proudly announce the public release of SUSHI (SharePoint Utility with a Smart, Helpful Interface). This Smart Client Utility offers powerful tools for common SharePoint management tasks with refreshing ease-of-use.

Documentation for the utility and downloads can be found here:
http://wiki.catapultdemo.com

The SharePoint document utility is in use at several large clients that I have worked at, and several other consultants at my company have worked at.

This utility is free and the source code has also been posted for free download. The documentation site is a public wiki, so I hope to build a community around SUSHI and get lots of participation. I hope that fellow SharePoint administrators will add their own features and improve existing features so that the utility matures and increases in usefulness.

-Joseph

Friday, June 15, 2007

Google code search

Ever used Google code search? I’ve found a lot of good SharePoint code. Just searching for the Sharepoint namespace “using Microsoft.SharePoint;” you get lots of good practical examples.

Sometimes a line of code is worth a thousand MSDN explanations.

Here is a great example of rendering a SharePoint webpart by overriding the CreateChidControls() and RenderWepPart() methods.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Developing WebParts for SharePoint

Here are the tips I wish I had known before this week and this is what I learned so that you won't have to go throught the same pain when learning to build Webparts in SharePoint.

-Ted Pattison has the best screencasts on SharePoint that I have found. He is also very funny. I insist that you watch the "Building ASP.NET Web Parts for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0" as your first step to learning how to build a SharePoint webpart! Setup your environment as detailed below, and then walk through Ted's demo with him. IMPORTANT TIP. Make sure you DOWNLOAD the screencast (right click and save target as) so that you can pause and rewind the video as he walks through it. This video is the key to the difference between frustration and success!

-Download The latest SDK for Sharepoint WSS 3.0. Open up the help file WSS3sdk.chm, and start with the "Walkthrough: Creating a Basic SharePoint Web Part" (After you've gone through Ted Pattison's Screencast). The corresponding article online at MSDN appears to have lots of errors, so I recomment opening the one in the WSS3sdk.chm.

-For debugging webparts, make sure you have customerrors=off in your web.config file. The key to debugging webparts is having Visual studio installed on the same machine as Sharepoint, so that you can set breakpoints and actively debug your code. Copying the Sharepoint DLLs isn't enough, that will at least let you compile and use intellisense, but to debug, VS and Sharepoint have to be on the same box. You may need to set up a virtual machine since you probabaly don't have sharepoint set up on your laptop and you don't have a spare $2,000 to buy a physical server.
+another tip from Ted Pattison: set your Visual Studio project so that the output builds to the bin directory of your sharepoint website. for example:
C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\50000\bin
However, if you are building a webpart that needs elevated trust, you have to deploy it to the GAC. Here is a nifty trick to automatically deploy to the gac using a post-build script (project properties withing Visual Studio)
C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache\gacutil.exe /i I:\VSSworking\I.root\timelineXmlWebpart\bin\Debug\timelineXmlWebpart.dll

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tips for making your Virtual Machine run faster

Here is a wonderful, concise article on making your Virtual Machine run faster.

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/VMPerformanceChecklistBeforeYouComplainThatYourVirtualMachineIsSlow.aspx


Ever considered turning OFF your page file. This option blew my mind. That sounded to me like someone saying "have you ever tried removing your processor". But I'm going to try it..

Monday, June 04, 2007

create a windows service

If you’ve ever wanted to create a windows service. Don’t go to MSDN, go to this post at codeproject.com. The post was written in 2003, but nothing has changed as of today using Visual Studio 2005. It is very straightforward, and in the case of setup projects, a picture is worth a 1000 words. You'll have created your own windows service in just a few minutes. Cool. Lots of applications for services..

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ruby

Even if you don't care a lick about Ruby, you should read Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby. It is by far the most facinating (and freaky) technical book I've ever read.