When developing for Wss3 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 you don't create your own installers anymore, you build features and solutions. Getting started with this is still a difficult task because there is so much to take into account. The best way to get started are samples, and I just stumbled across a project at CodePlex by the well known SharePoint books writer Scot Hillier with the well chosen name "features". It is packed with feature projects, some donated by the community.
Another nice sample is from http://sharepointsolutions.com/. I can never find this sample on their site, but I always find it through Google codesearch (http://www.google.com/codesearch). When you search for Feature.xml and SharePoint you find it.. direct link: http://shop.sharepointsolutions.com/shared/SPSolutions.Demo.zip
At Macaw we have our complete own way of building SharePoint Features and Solution files, all within a very automated process that supports both development deployment to keep the development cycle time to a minium, and package deployment that builds our features and solutions files. It is part of our Macaw Solutions Factory. I might write more about this at a later time.
Once upon a time there was just a little bit of information available on SharePoint, and you were happy with all the information you could find. It was the time that Reflector was your best and often only friend to get the details on how thinks were working. Those days are over. It is now completely information overload... although a lot of interesting features of SharePoint are still there to be uncovered because no one knows about them. Documentation is missing, and Reflector is your best friend again. You also see more and more sites that dedicate themselves to just a small part of the SharePoint platform, like sharepointsecurity.com, dedicated to... ah, you can guess.
The SharePoint team provided us with this blog post describing a feature to install in your SharePoint environment that allows you to attach the debugger to the SharePoint process with a click of a button. It becomes available in the site settings menu as shown below:
Gaetan BOUVERET wrote another great tool: a web interface to manage the event handlers on your SharePoint 2007 lists, the SPEventsManager. This project is hosted on CodePlex. The tool is available as a SharePoint Solutions file (.wsp file) that can be easily installed on your SharePoint farm. He announced the new tool in this blogpost. It is a pity his blogposts are in French, not my best language...
Also checkout his other tool at CodePlex: SharePoint Inspector, in his own words:
SharePoint Inspector is a free tool to browse your SharePoint 2007 farm. When I talk about SharePoint 2007, I mean Windows SharePoint Services v3 (WSS v3) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS). Its main purpose is to help SharePoint developer You can see objects composing its structure, get their properties by reflection, which can be very useful when you want to check if your code does what it should do. You can use also some advanced features like activate/deactivate SharePoint features, add/remove event receivers, manage your recycle bin.
Ton Stegeman, Dutch SharePoint consultant at e-office, has become MOSS 2007 MVP! He deserves it. I worked together with him on the design of a big MOSS 2007 based intranet in the beta days, and it was a delight to work with him. We had a lot of great brainstorms and discussions, and wrote a lot of design documents together. I hope we will work together again in the future!
Check out his blog and learn a lot about MOSS 2007!
In case you missed this post, check it out:
Use the online SharePoint SDK's directly from your Visual studio. Makes your developer live so much easier!
The reference chart gives a great overview of major styles used in WSS3 and MOSS2007.