A Seat at the SharePoint Table

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Microsoft takes a popular application, builds it out into a platform, then refines and extends the opportunities for developers to code against it. We've seen this pattern with Windows, we've seen it with Office, and we've seen it most dramatically with SharePoint, which has exploded as a target for development despite what seemed like the best efforts of Microsoft to the contrary.

Lacking integrated tooling in Visual Studio, SharePoint 2007 developers turned to third-party software and the flawed Microsoft Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Server.

Still, huge barriers remained, such as the requirement that coding be done in the server environment -- a sticky prerequisite that required painful workarounds. Developers also struggled with the Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) for querying data from SharePoint lists and extending site functionality. And coders lacked important resources like source code control and testing facilities.

If this month's cover feature ("Office Alignment") is any indication, Microsoft has fixed all that -- and then some. From native SharePoint project templates to full access to the Visual Studio test and application lifecycle management stack, developers are finally equipped with the tools they need to write applications for SharePoint.

Can we expect a significant surge in SharePoint development following the new release? Based on my conversations with Microsoft and with SharePoint developers, I think so. SharePoint has always brought so much to the table. Now, for the first time, developers are getting a seat.

What are your plans for developing for SharePoint 2010? E-mail me at

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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