Friday, June 1, 2012

Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate - A SharePoint Developer's Initial Perspective

Out of the box, there are no new project templates for SharePoint 2010 in Visual Studio 2012 RC


Notice also that there are no SharePoint 2007 templates. It is unclear to me at this point if SharePoint 2007 templates will be available at some point in the future as a separate download. I doubt it.

For some reason, I feel like Microsoft is yelling at me when I look at the all caps menus:


A cursory review of the menus reveals that there appear to be a few things that make life a little simpler for us developers. For example, Create GUID is already in the tools menu. No need to add it (like in previous versions of Visual Studio):


Once I create a SharePoint project and add a new item, there are several new options to choose from:


I picked the Site Column template just to see what it looked like. After clicking OK, it created a Declarative Site Column in XML and added it to the project feature:


The feature and package designers both seem to have been slightly redesigned. The tabs are at the top, for example, which makes a lot more sense. And there is more room at the bottom to make customizations to the manifest:


Adding a content type was fun. I was surprised to see this handy little content type designer:


This is, of course, nice because it asks you what content type you want to inherit from and creates the XML - including the Id - for you:


Just for fun I added a javascript file to test it out and found some nice little interface improvements (functions are automatically collapsible, for example).

There is obviously a lot more to explore but overall, my initial impression is positive. The product is continuing to evolve and become more mature.