SharePoint development is a special skill, so special that if you want to make a decent living, are tired of your current job, and can learn quickly, then get going with how to build solutions on SharePoint technologies. Equally lucrative is managing SharePoint servers. Many companies are moving to SharePoint as quickly as they can.

Now-- if you decide to get into SharePoint development, then you'll quickly realize that there are not a lot of comprehensive toolsets out there for working on the platform. One of the most useful things Microsoft has released for SharePoint has been the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services or VSeWSS. And, version 1.3 was just released. Here's what's in the new release according to the SharePoint blog:

  • The extensions now install on x64 bit OS. Visual Studio 2008 and SharePoint must be already installed.
  • Command Line Build option for TFS and MSBuild integration
  • Separate WSP Package and Retract commands. You can now build the WSP without deploying it
  • SPSolGen to Support Exporting from Content Management Publishing Sites
  • New Item Template for RootFiles Deployment
  • Automatically Remove conflicting existing features on development SharePoint server
  • WSP View New Feature Dialog Improvements: scope, receiver checkbox, element checkbox
  • WSP View can now be used to merge features and it blocks site features being merged into web features
  • Allow adding separate binary files such as Workflow assemblies
  • Some refactoring allowing for Web Part renaming and removing lines from feature.xml Item Removed
  • Allow selection of GAC or BIN deployment for Web Part Project not including CAS generation
  • Increase visibility of hidden features that VSeWSS creates
  • Add fast update deploy for DLL only or file only changes to solutions
  • Numerous Bug Fixes and improvements to error messages

Everyone of these features demonstrates how closely the team listened to their customers. Being able to build WSP's but not deploy them is a nice touch. Working with 64 bit is key, and allowing for GAC or BIN deployment removes a notable frustration. All of them are wins for SharePoint developers using VS 2008.

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ROCK ON!