Wednesday, December 17, 2003 7:59 PM
Having some fun with Sharepoint!
I've been exploring for some time now Windows Sharepoint Services and I'm really getting excited about it! After seeing some demos and presentations about this product I gave it a try. Actually it's quite impressive what you get out-of-the-box. In my opinion one of the great things is that once a user has it's own workspace or team site, he/she can control what will be on his/her site. Not only which Webparts are on the site, but even he/she can create subsites beneath his/her workspace, for example for meetings, documents, ... And this is possible without any intervention of an IT-guy. Life will be great! :-)
Although there are a bunch of Webparts you get out-of-the-box, it's always nice to be able to add some yourself, especially if they are free. Here are some links to directories of (mostly) free Webparts:
But after playing with WSS, you'll probably get bored and (as a developer) want to do some real work: building your own webparts. First you need to get the Web Part Templates for Visual Studio .NET and install them so you have a new project type in Visual Studio.NET. From then on, it's pretty straight forward. The only tricky part is deploying your Webparts so you can test them (if someone has a better solution, please tell me!).
- Give the assembly containing the Webpart a strong name (SN tool).
- Put it in the GAC of the server.
- Alter the web.config file on the server (add it to the SafeControls node).
- Put the dwp file in the wpcatalog directory (under your Sharepoint site directory).
- Add the Webpart to a workspace.
Once you've given the assembly a strong name, make sure to alter the dwp file to, so the Assembly node contains the full name (including the key, version, ...) of your assembly (tip: use Reflector for .NET to get the complete name of an assembly). If you don't do that, it won't work I've found out the hard way... This, and a lot more information can be found in the articles of Patrick: Building Web Parts for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies and part two. Finally one last tip (which I also discovered the hard way), if you replace an assembly in the GAC while testing a Webpart, without changing the version number, you need to restart IIS (e.g. use the IISRESET utility) or clear the assembly cache. Otherwise you'll be using the old version of the Webpart. Have fun!
Filed under: SharePoint