Visual Studio 11 Beta introduces a new set of features and enhances existing features in the SharePoint Developer Tools for SharePoint 2010, helping you increase your SharePoint development productivity. You may have tried some of these new features in the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview release. To make sure you get the most benefits from the update, we, the SharePoint Developer Tools team, plan to post a series of articles in the following weeks to show you all the exciting new tooling features. Below is a list of the planned topics, but please let us know if there is any other particular topic you are interested in knowing about:

1. What’s New in SharePoint Developer Tools for Visual Studio 11 Beta (this article)

2. Better support for O365 development

3. Tips and tricks in List Designer

4. ALM in Visual Studio 11 SharePoint Developer Tools


As the first post of this series, we’ll briefly go through all of the key features delivered in the Beta release:

· SharePoint List Designer for SharePoint lists and content types

Now you can create your SharePoint lists and content types visually by using the new designers. SharePoint List Designer consists of designers for SharePoint lists and content types.


· Site Column item template

Creating a site column becomes easier than before. The new Site Column item template is a good starting point for you to create site columns. It generates a GUID for your site column and shows you commonly used attributes you might want to set.


· Silverlight Web Parts

Bringing rich internet application (RIA) experience into your SharePoint solution now becomes much easier. The new Silverlight Web Part item does all the wiring, so you can focus on designing and coding the Silverlight piece. It helps you add a Silverlight application into your SharePoint solution and deploy it to your SharePoint server in one step.


· Visual web parts support sandboxed solutions

Visual web parts are no longer limited to farm-only solutions. Now you can build visual web parts in either farm or sandboxed solutions, without any add-ons!


· New Publish dialog publishes SharePoint solutions to a remote SharePoint server

Now you can publish your SharePoint solution to a remote server through Visual Studio! The new Publish dialog enables you to publish your SharePoint solutions to any SharePoint server, no matter if it’s on-premises or Office 365, remote or local. It also enables you to get a SharePoint package from a location you specify in your local file system.


· Profiling Tools support for SharePoint solution performance testing

It becomes easier to identify what is slowing down the performance of your SharePoint solutions. Visual Studio SharePoint Developer Tools now provide full support for performance profiling.


· Better IntelliSense support in Sandboxed solutions

Now, you can fully trust the IntelliSense in sandboxed solutions, because IntelliSense only displays the APIs relevant your SharePoint project. You don’t have to figure out, for example, what APIs can be used in sandboxed solutions versus farm solutions.


· Better support for JavaScript debugging and IntelliSense for JavaScript

You can now code JavaScript in your SharePoint solutions with full IntelliSense support, and you also get better debugging support for JavaScript in Visual Studio. Enhanced URL resolution support enables you to reference JavaScript files located in SharePoint’s content database within your SharePoint solution.


· Streamlined SharePoint project templates and item templates

Last but not least, SharePoint project templates and item templates are organized better so that you can find what you want more efficiently.


If you want to know more about these features, check out this MSDN document that provides more details as well as walkthroughs. It should be noted that SharePoint 2007 project templates (for Workflows) are removed from Visual Studio 11. If you want to continue using those projects in Visual Studio 11, you need to migrate those projects to SharePoint 2010. This article is a good starting point for learning how to do that: Migrating a 2007 Workflow to Visual Studio & SharePoint 2010.

Now, please go ahead and try these features with Visual Studio 11 Beta. And don’t forget to share your feedback with us.

Enjoy!


Xiaoying Guo

Program Manager

Microsoft Visual Studio SharePoint Developer Tools Team