Sharepoint Extensions for Visual Studio – released!

Finally, we have a full, RTM version of the Visual Studio extensions!
The download page says March 15th, but I haven’t seen anyone mention it around yet – could it be just me that missed the boat?
I got it from Mark Bower’s blog, but haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere else.

On one hand, this is great – the last version was from November ’06, and crashed often. Deployment seemed to work only for empty web-part projects and the Solution Generator crashed when trying to dump a whole site.

On the other hand, there are still many basic scenarios not covered by the tools – we can’t export a Publishing site into a site definition, or any list with a Lookup field. This is a huge drawback.  I hope they release a newer version soon, or perhaps a set of MOSS extensions (rather than WSS) that supports these scenarios.

Regardless, congrats to the team for releasing it for us, and keep up the good work.

Get it here:


UPDATE: As sral and others reminded me, the main drawback of these extensions is that most of the functionality can only be used when running Visual Studio on the Sharepoint server itself. The most noticeable is the Deployment scenario, which is a pain to do manually.

This forces developers to either forego most of the benefits of the tools or start running Server2k3 on their dev machines, which is a hassle.

The alternative is of course to run a virtual machine for all development work, but this isn’t feasible in all situations. I only recently got my development machine upgraded to the point it can run a VM decently, and even now it could do better (2GB RAM, 1.5 of which go to the VM). What did I do earlier? Installed Win2k3 (sometimes on a dual boot) and cursed the slowness.

The current message, which is “You have to buy all your developers a fast machine and a copy of Win2k3” even if you only want to develop for the (freely available) WSS 3.0 is a bit off-putting.

I call for a WSSExpress edition, similiar to the other offerings from Microsoft. It can run on Vista only, I suppose, that wouldn’t be too bad. It’s time to get up off my lazy ass and upgrade. :)

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