The Community Kit for SharePoint: Development Tools Edition extends the Visual Studio 2012 SharePoint project system with advanced templates and tools. Using these extensions you will be able to find relevant information from your SharePoint environments without leaving Visual Studio. You will have greater productivity while developing SharePoint components and you will have greater deployment capabilities on your local SharePoint installation.
This version is targeted for users running SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013. You only need this version regardless of SharePoint edition or version.
Previous Visual Studio 2010 versions can be found CKS – Development Tools Edition (Foundation) and CKS – Development Tools Edition (Server)
This project provides extensions to four core areas; Environment, Exploration, Content and Deployment.
Exploration extends the new SharePoint Explorer with advanced information about SharePoint sites such as the installed Web Parts and Master Pages or the Feature dependencies and elements. Also included in the Explorer are a variety of import functions to bring existing SharePoint items into your active solution.
The Content area includes advanced templates such as Linq to SharePoint, Custom Action or Delegate Control. Become extra productive while developing sandboxed solutions using the SharePoint Full Trust Proxy. Utilise the SharePoint Console Application project template to quickly build SharePoint code.
Our enhanced Deployment functions give you the ability to utilise quick deployment and almost a dozen other productivity enhancing deployment steps, including automated deployment (per file on change deployment).
Find the complete overview of all the CKS Development Tools Edition features on the documentation tab of the project site.
A major limitation of developing against SharePoint is that Visual Studio must be on the same machine as a SharePoint Server instance.
After a brief experiment with some methods involving copying the collection of SharePoint .DLL’s to the GAC on your dev machine and referencing them Visual Studio Projects – I can confirm why there is general silence on MSDN when people gripe and ask why you need to burden your dev machine with a SharePoint server – because that’s just how it is if you want to develop effectively.
So until MS comes up with a way to allow Visual Studio to connect to remote SharePoint servers, we will be stuck with having to either plug Visual Studio into the dev servers we stand up, or install Visual Studio on our main dev workstations.
Although workstations are generally pretty juiced up these days, performance is an issue trying to run all those servers at once, so it’s looking like working on RDP with the dev workstation experience set up will be the best compromise.
To this end, we can try and remove a lot of the annoyances that come with using Windows Server 2k by making them behave more like desktop workstations. A basic laundry list is as follows:
a. Remove the shutdown tracker
b. Give the machine an intuitive name
c. Remove and disable screen saver
d. Install Desktop Experience
e. Enable graphics acceleration and sound
f. Enable RDP
g. Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Configuration
h. Install other browsers and associated cool plugins (Firefox for example)
i. Full update and patch using Windows Update (duh!)
IF you want to go further and get more Win7 glory, check out this handy tool for making your Win2k server business on top but rock steady on the sides: