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Microsoft Releases CTP of VS SharePoint Extensions

Redmond releases a CTP of Visual Studio Extensions for SharePoint.

Microsoft has released a community technology preview (CTP) of Visual Studio (VS) Extensions for SharePoint.

The new VS 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS), released as version 1.3, are templates for creating, debugging, packaging and deploying SharePoint projects. This release includes templates for Web Parts, Data Lists, Content Types, Event Receivers and Modules, among others.

The final version of the VS 2008 extensions is scheduled for release this spring. The SharePoint team blog described this version as an "interim release."

"It's an interim release for SharePoint Developers on the roadmap until Visual Studio 2010," the team wrote in a blog posting announcing the release. The CTP is currently available for download from the Microsoft Connect Web site.

The CTP release comes as researchers find that SharePoint continues to become a prevalent departmental portal solution. The latest evidence of that came from a report released by CMS Watch, a vendor-independent research firm that evaluates content technologies.

The report notes that Oracle Corp., which has positioned its WebCenter Suite as the strategic portal choice for the future, and IBM Corp., which continues to expand its WebSphere Portal Server offering, have both "taken to emphasizing complex, enterprise-integration scenarios that SharePoint typically cannot meet," says CMS Watch founder Tony Byrne.

"There's something of a dividing line between a departmental portal and an enterprise portal," Byrne tells RDN. "That line can get fuzzy, but the idea is that a small company or department might have a portal that's mainly for sharing and storing documents, with maybe a bit of expense-form processing. That's very different from an enterprise portal, in which you're often surfacing information from legacy systems, you're trying to incorporate enterprise search and you're doing a lot of data crunching."

Both Oracle and IBM-and before it was acquired by Oracle, BEA-tried to develop a strategy to address some of the lower-end collaborative-use cases, Bryne explains. "But the reality is that their products are too big, too complicated and require too much overhead," he says. "So they're focusing on the more sophisticated use cases among what's surely a smaller customer set."

In addition, open source solution providers have been producing worthy portal projects, according to CMS Watch. The report points to Apache, eXo, Liferay and uPortal as open source portals that have recently been upgraded.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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