Top 10 SharePoint Features Increasing Developer's Productivity and Efficiency
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 now makes it easier for developers to work together. We have seen some major enhancement of SharePoint 2010 in comparison with its 2007 counterpart. Here I delineate major 10 of them which in my opinion increase developer’s productivity and efficiency.
Feature - 1 New features in SharePoint 2010 for Developers
The problem with 2007 SharePoint developers were.
They had to create the manifest
They had to create the DDF
They had to create other packaging elements
There is no method for auto deployment of solution package in the IDE
There is no integration support between Visual Studio and SharePoint
Consequently, for auto deployment it requires script to add the package into the solution and run required timer jobs. It was a package solution framework capable of packaging assemblies, files, multiple assets including features into a single deployable artifact.
Visual Studio 2010 for SharePoint 2010 did a great job by integrating package and deployment process within the IDE.
In previous versions it was largely required to modify XML files manually. Now, in 2010 all modifications can be done rapidly increasing developer’s productivity with SharePoint Designer 2010. VS 2010 creates a compressed solution package containing all the necessary components such as assemblies, custom ASPX pages and workflows, web parts, list definitions and other features. Moreover, introduction of sandbox solution package improved security and manageability by restricting the scope of list customization to site collection, the scope of customization applicability.
Feature – 2 Visual Studio Custom Workflow in now in SharePoint 2010
In SharePoint Designer, workflows can be deployed in a reusable manner increasing the efficiency of the designer. In the SharePoint 2007 workflows had to be created afresh onto every list instance to be deployed. Workflows created in SharePoint Designer can be saved as templates for reuse. Business users can use Visio tools for workflow modeling and visualization. Extensibility option can be used to introduce custom services.
Finally, it is also possible to designate application server nodes as workflow participants. In SharePoint 2007 each node takes part in execution of the workflows. But in SharePoint 2010 you can throttle the workflow execution to a limited number of machines allowing isolation of services and improving manageability and troubleshooting.
Feature – 3 SharePoint Access Services through browser
It is possible to publish Access 2010 applications in SharePoint 2010 which makes it easy for the other users to access it through their browsers. This reduces the total cost of ownership through a common user experience, development and deployment strategy. Though these services will be of some limited functionality in comparison to their desktop version, yet it is more scalable. Customers would benefit from the server-side rendering while using centralized version of the document and have access to multiple users and security control. SharePoint Rendering Vision diagrams are now easy through SharePoint 2010 Visio services. Also it does not require having any Visio software in the client-side.
Feature – 4 integrating external data sources into SharePoint 2010
Connecting to external data sources with SharePoint 2007 has some major disadvantages.
Building up a connection had to be done completely in Xml.
Secondly data was only viewed and could not be edited without creating custom coding.
Data can be exposed from back-end system quite easily in SharePoint 2010. Operations like – deletion, updation and adding new items to the back-end system has become more fluid. Effort has been made to bring different corners of the information together through Business Connectivity Services.
SharePoint 2010 allows you to expose very easily business data from back-end systems. Business Connectivity Services (BCS) will bring different worlds of information together. You are able to delete, update and even add new items to that back-end system. However there are some challenges to overcome and if you want to connect to something which is not supported OOB; you will need to write customize code.
Feature – 5 SharePoint now have customized features for Facebook and Twitter users
SharePoint 2010 has benefited a lot from useful functionality and features of Facebook and Twitter pages. The information workers today are demanding capabilities of Facebook and Twitter from the tools they use inside the workplace. In SPS 2010, almost all the elements, be it documents, videos, blogs sites can be tagged. Users and Co-workers can keep up with the latest news feeds, will be able to rate and recommend artifacts to others. Other advantages like - have a common or personal board, setting up of profiles, indicate their whereabouts and of course have miniature blogging capabilities.
Feature – 6 New SharePoint designer improvements
SharePoint Designer 2010 is a tool for business users and designers in rapid development of custom lists, changing layouts and creating simple workflows. It improved a lot with respect to
editing of SharePoint pages;
Business Connectivity Services setup
SharePoint administrators now have greater control while working within the IDE. SharePoint Designer 2010 bridged the gap between the business users and the IT department by using same packing and deployment format commonly referred to as WSP solution package.
Feature – 7 New Features called Query Throttling, Batch Query Support, Remote Blob Storage, and External Lists Large List Handling
The addition of the new SPS 2010 features like Query Throttling, Batch Query Support, Remote Blob Storage, and External Lists shows Microsoft emphasis on performance of lists with large numbers of items.
Query Throttling addresses the issue that of large lists consume too many resources. In SPS 2010 administrators can limit or throttle queries that are executed up against a large list. SharePoint can now block those queries that return more than 5000 rows; however this number can be configured and customized to fit the requirement. SharePoint includes the feature to process multiple items simultaneously, rather than iterating over each of them into singe batch process. If the content is large, separate data stores like SQL Server can be used as an external storage. This feature provides support for maintaining large list without burdening the content database.
Feature - 8 SharePoint 2010 integration with Visual Studio
SharePoint 2010 enhanced integration with Visual Studio is absent in SharePoint 2007. Visual Studio 2010 provides the following Project Templates for SharePoint:
Sequential Workflow, State Machine Workflow, Event Receiver, Business Connectivity Services Model, Content Type, List and Site Definition, Web Part, Importing SharePoint Solution (WSP) Package, Importing Reusable Workflow.
SharePoint 2010 is enriched by data and programmability enhancements, like Microsoft Business Connectivity Services to integrate line-of-business (LOB) data in SharePoint 2010 with read and write capability. DOT NET patterns such as LINQ (Language Integrated Query) can be used by the developers to:
Query data from a SharePoint List;
XSLT for customizing a SharePoint list;
And Silverlight for creating richer visualizations.
Feature - 9 Hierarchy and Metadata Driven Record Management in SharePoint 2010
One of the most important SharePoint 2010 feature is the introduction of new Records Management through managed metadata. Here you can declare and manage a record in place within the site it was created rather than moving it to a specific SharePoint Records Center. This improves the productivity of the administrator in managing records by extending where and how the records are to be managed.
Feature - 10 SharePoint Business Intelligence Features
In SharePoint 2010 the BI tools are Microsoft Excel, PowerPivot Add-in for Excel, Excel Services, Visio and Visio Service, Performance Point Services, Report Builder and Reporting Services. Services running on SQL Server include SQL Server Reporting Services, Integration Services, and Analysis Services. SharePoint 2010 also increased number of scalability improvements to the desktop version of Excel 2010.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 makes it easier for people to work together and integrate. It’s a collaboration software provides enterprise-scale capabilities to meet business-critical needs. Using SharePoint 2010 people can set up Web sites to share information with other and publish reports to help everyone make better decisions.
TAGS:productivity, SharePoint, efficiency, tutorial, top 10 features
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