SharePoint Development from a Documentation Perspective
The title pretty much says it all. For some of our earlier, internal technical events, I created a number of large-format (11” by 17”) technical illustrations to explain the more complicated aspects of enterprise content management in a SharePoint environment. The two posters I’m offering for download today deal with content types, a core concept in Windows SharePoint Services V3 that I’ve blogged about here. If you’re planning on using content types, I think it’ll be worth your while to take a look at these.
As you can probably tell, I created the posters with Visio. I then converted them to PDF format using Visio 2007 (Beta)’s spiffy new Publish to PDF feature. I have to say I’m fairly impressed with the results. These are pretty complex diagrams, and as far as I can tell, Visio converted them flawlessly to PDF. Well done.
Using Columns and Content Types to Organize Your Content in Windows SharePoint Services (version 3)
This diagram explains the relationship between site and list content types, as well as content type ‘inheritance’ and customizing/deriving content types. It also illustrates how you can use site columns in your content types to ensure data uniformity, and how content type reference site columns and list columns.
Using Content Types in Windows SharePoint Services (version 3) and SharePoint Server 2007
Explains what content types are, and the advantages of using them to categorize and manage your enterprise content. Illustrates the conceptual structure of the various feature information you can encapsulate in a content type, such as columns, document templates, workflows, and custom solutions information such as forms and information policy.
Note that these diagrams were created to be used with Adobe Reader 7.0, and will undoubtedly appear best using that version. I haven’t tested to determine if the diagrams display or print accurately in earlier versions.
If you download either (or both) of the posters, take a second and let me know what you think of them in the comments section. Were they useful in explaining the various concepts they illustrated? Would you like to see something like this rolled into the SDKs at some point? I’m very visually-oriented; most of the technical illustrations I create start with me jotting something down on a napkin, to explain a concept to myself. But I have no idea if that’s true of developers in general. Are illustrations helpful in technical documentation like SDKs? Let me know what you think.
And special thanks to Steve and Ryan and all the good folks at Office Zealot, who graciously agreed to host these diagrams for downloaded. I greatly appreciate it. Take a few minutes and visit their site; they’ve got tons of interesting content for the Office developer. It’s time well spent.
And check back here next week. I hope to get some object model maps done for a few of the SharePoint namespaces, and I’ll make those available for download once I do.
Written while listening to Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan : Ballad of the Broken Seas
Content Types - The Soul of a New Paradigm
Free SharePoint Web Parts (3rd Party) Konrad Brunner - UGS's Web Parts (broken link 8/25) Document
Content Types and CSS Resources
In my sessions last week I stressed the importance of learning about content types, and really stressed