Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Whitepaper: Best Practices for SharePoint Development & Customization

Last month, I co-authored a white paper with Microsoft Certified Master Mario Fulan on the topic of SharePoint development and customization best practices. It was sponsored by Quest Software, whose specialties imageinclude powerful add-on tools for SharePoint.

Some of the ideas in the paper include a discussion on the pains that a developer faces day-to-day when trying to create and deliver a custom solution, including the need for quick prototypes, and the challenges of managing change requests. We also discussed solutions to those pains, including governance, use of design patterns, and good deployment strategies.

I’ll be diving deeper into many of the topics from this paper in future posts, so stay tuned. You can find the whitepaper on Quest’s website, as well as on SharePoint Pro Magazine.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Update 3/20/12: here’s the info regarding the follow-up live webcast that resulted from this whitepaper.]

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Using Team Foundation Server with SharePoint Teams

This week I gave a presentation to my SharePoint team on Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), and how they could be used to grow our practice. I’ve been a fan of TFS since version 2005, and have watched it mature thru 2008 and now version 2010. I’ve also seen it begin to give more due respect to the SharePoint world – initially it seemed to be almost oblivious to the unique needs of the SharePoint development team.

Some of the highlights of my presentation included the mention of using the automated Build Server to help SharePoint teams manage the WSP that results from their SharePoint dev. We also discussed how some non-traditional files, like InfoPath forms and CSS files, fit into typical source control story. And we talked about how SharePoint infrastructure engineers could also make use of Team System by incorporating work item tasks specific to server installations into a customized process guidance.

Stay tuned to this blog in future posts as I elaborate on many of the topics included in my talk.