Announcing the CTP for VSeWSS Version 1.1

Announcing the CTP for VSeWSS Version 1.1

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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

WSP View

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.


What's next?

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.


  1. 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.
  2. Q: Does VSeWSS support Visual Studio 2008
    A: No, VSeWSS only works with VS 2005.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Q: Why do my Feature folder names have GUIDs in them?
    A: This is a bug that we plan to fix.
  6. Q: Does VSeWSS support Office SharePoint Server
    A: Yes (only non-farm installs).
  7. Q: Does VSeWSS support Windows XP or "remote debugging"?
    A: No, VSeWSS only works against local SharePoint installations, i.e. only on Win2k3.
  8. 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.

Alex Malek
PM Lead - SharePoint Designer

  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Tools: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions发布1.1 CTP版本扩展

  • Visual Studio Extensions v1.1 CTP for WSS 3.0 is now available

  • I really don't see anything wrong with developing on w2k3 server?  MSDN license means you're covered.  IIS 5 (XP Pro) is really limiting when developing (single web app?) and I reckon it's good to develop and test on the target platform.  Just get yourself some (free) virtual machine software if you need to run xp as host on your dev machine!

    One suggestion - would like to see more intuitive resx support in the extension.

    Thank you Alex and team for the really useful extensions.

    PS - will get off my soapbox soon, but my suggestion is - DON'T bother releasing WSS to run on non-server platforms - my opinion is your time would be better spent providing further dev tools for the platform they already work with!  Thanks again

  • Please add ability to manually configure solution XML with assemblies and safe controls definition.

    Because of this limitation you cant activate more than one assembly in solution.

  • I'll add another vote for "Build Solution without Deploying".

  • second that - build with no deploy.  

    Also add an option to either

    - do a full restart of IIS, or

    - recycle the app pool

    for some deployments.

  • Any word on VS2008 support? VSeWSS is the only reason I'm still on 2k5

  • Something I take great interest in and spend a bunch of time thinking about are SharePoint Developers.

  • Something I take great interest in and spend a bunch of time thinking about are SharePoint Developers

  • Don't forget about InfoPath forms that are part of a custom MOSS workflow.

    I also want the option to "just build the WSP", but don't deploy it.

  • ... and I need InfoPath workflow forms deployment support in VS 2008 like yesterday :-)

  • Hey all, sorry for being MIA - we've been cranking to get VSeWSS 1.1 completed. Just wanted to respond to a few comments above:

    VS 2008

    - unfortunately, 1.1 will not have VS 2008 support. That said; we definitely hear your feedback on this topic, and are seriously looking at what this support would involve. I should have more news on this topic later in the month.


    - VSeWSS 1.1 will not work on 64-bit OS's. In order to get our 32-bit VS add-in to work with the 64-bit SharePoint OM, it would involve changing all of our calls to the SharePoint OM (which are numerous) to go through some kind of proxy layer. This refactoring was beyond the scope of 1.1. It's high on our list for subsequent releases.

    Feature Requests

    - thanks for these! I've taken them all down to make sure they get considering for the next version of our dev tools.


    Alex Malek

    PM - SharePoint

  • Getting the following error when attempting to generate a solution from an existing site collection. The main site template is the collaborative publishing, subsites are mixed team and publishing.  At this point there isn't anything customized so it's pretty generic.  

    The Solution Generator does not support Site Definitions of this type.

    I have tried this with the Verion 1.0 and recent Version 1.1 without success. I am an OS, SP Administrator, Site Collection Administrator.

    I am hoping you have some ideas.



  • Chris Johnson from the SharePoint product team wants to hear from the SharePoint developers.  This

  •   I uninstalled VS 2005 and upgraded to 2008 unaware that you don't support your own product upgrades.  I was so surprised that the SharePoint Extensions were not included in 2008 that I refused to believe it. This caused me to miss several deadlines while searching for a non-existant SDK. WTF Microsoft? If your going to advertise that 2008 supports sharepoint workflows, at least package the damn webpart fucntionality with it.  Stop spending time on an SDK that doesn't support your newest product. Otherwise, nice SDK when using VS 2005!


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