For those who don’t know about CloudShare.com – it’s a subscription-paid virtual server hosting environment along the lines of Amazon EC2 or Azure, which has a key twist: it provides pre-configured virtual machines that specifically focus on SharePoint and related technologies. We use it for development at itgroove when we need to do high-level development, as a complement to local Hyper-V development images.
I finally took their CloudShare Explorer extension for Visual Studio 2012 for a spin – it’s pretty sweet:
Allow developers to spend more time coding and less time thinking about the tools they use. The CloudShare Explorer allows developers to access CloudShare development and testing environments without leaving Visual Studio. With CloudShare Explorer for Visual Studio, you can easily create and access your cloud-based labs.
•Complete list of your CloudShare environments in the CloudShare Explorer tab. The list is continuously updated with the status of the environments.
•Full screen remote access to the CloudShare machines with just a click of a mouse.
•Resume your lab environments.
•Revert the environment, or a specific machine, to the latest snapshot (only works with a CloudShare TeamLabs account).
•Web access to your lab web servers within Visual Studio.
•Add a machine to an environment (only works with a CloudShare TeamLabs account).
•Delete a machine in an environment (only works with a CloudShare TeamLabs account).
•Prevent CloudShare environments from being suspended if the user is still working on them.
•Highly customizable – you can turn on / off most of the functionality of the plugin as needed
Download for Visual Studio 2013
Step 1: Download and install the Visual Studio Extension
Step 2: Login to the CloudShare website and Generate your API Credentials under My Account > API Credentials
Step 3: Add your API Credentials into the CloudShare Explorer interface in Visual Studio:
Step 4: That’s it! You can now work with your CloudShare environments directly in Visual Studio!
A recurring question that has come up is regarding which version & flavour of Visual Studio can and should be used for SharePoint- we are at a point where SP 2013 is coming on strong but many, many clients are going to be locked into SP 2010 for a while yet. Obviously an investment in software like Visual Studio should be made with the best balance of future-proofing and low cost possible. This post seeks to offer some advice on that.
The quick answer is:
-you can develop for SP 2010 using VS 2012, there project templates etc. that are geared for both version in VS 2012.
-you can develop for SP 2013 using VS 2010, however there’s going to be loose ends. Upgrading your existing VS 2010 solutions to VS 2012 is however not that hard.
The next question you will likely have is, which flavour of Visual Studio to get – Ultimate with MSDN, Premium with MSDN, Test Professional, Professional with MSDN, or Professional.
Version compare here: http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng#products/compare. I would see Visual Studio Professional 2012 being a good fit for most common scenarios, but whether you use Pro or move up to Premium would depend on if you need the following Premium features:
– PowerPoint Storyboarding
– Team Foundation Service
In general, the big upsell when going up the feature matrix ladder is when you are working on hardcore software development in big teams, using Agile development processes, complex unit testing etc.
The hard requirement of having Visual Studio installed on a non-production SharePoint server install is pretty much standard, until you go to a SharePoint 2013 development model which is based on more open standards and Apps. Depending on your licensing provisions available (e.g. you’re in Government or Education), you may have SharePoint CAL’s covered to create such an environment – or, and for a variety of other reasons, you might want to consider an MSDN subscription. An MSDN subscription also would enable the aforementioned Team Foundation Service hosted source code option.
A fleshed-out dev environment is a must, custom code should never see the light of day on a production server until tested, there is always potential for irreparable damage to production systems when it comes to custom dev. Here are four great options for setting up a SharePoint development environment in the cloud.
SharePoint dev is sometimes maddeningly complex as the already complex front-end side of SP is just the tip of iceberg. The plumbing underneath is massive. Although there is quite a bit of flexibility with how you approach it, you definitely need to get your shop tooled up in a specific pattern, and Visual Studio is just one component. Evaluating whether or not it even makes practical sense to do such work in-house or to contract out is a big jigsaw puzzle too. Fortunately there is a good degree
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.
New (Oct.25 2012) release of the Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework is out.
Lots of new Windows Phone 8 samples, an Enterprise Sales Dashboard for Windows 8, SharePoint 2013 Custom Geolocation field type with Client side rendering, a Microsoft Surface Sample screen saver, and more..
Developers love code samples. Samples often serve as the starting point for many developers to learn a new technology. They also provide straightforward solutions and helpful references when we as developers need to solve tough programming tasks. Some developers even live by code samples.
In partnership with Visual Studio Product Team and MSDN Samples Gallery Team, Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework releases Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010 – an effort to evolve the code sample use experience. You can search and download 3500+ Microsoft official code samples and community samples, including over 700 Windows 8 samples and more than 1000 All-In-One Code Framework customer-driven code samples. With its integrated sample search, flexible sample download and more than ten useful features designed for easier access and management of code samples, we hope to put the power of tens of thousands of code samples at developers’ fingertips.
Features & Benefits
- Integrated and Rich Sample Search Experience
Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with Visual Studio Quick Launch Bar, Toolbar, Code Editor and File Menu. It gives you quicker access to samples when you are writing code in Visual Studio. A rich set of sample search conditions allows you to filter search results by language, owner, technology and the targeting Visual Studio version.
- Integrated and Flexible Sample Download Experience
The Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with the built-in support of downloading online samples in Visual Studio 2012. Code samples downloaded in Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension are visible to the built-in code sample feature in Visual Studio 2012. Vice versa.
Beyond that, Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension provides additional benefits to developers. Developers can enjoy theflexibility in downloading and managing code samples. By multi-selecting sample search results, and clicking a simple download button, you get your wanted code samples.
Sample Browser Visual Studio Extension is integrated with the Visual Studio theme colors. It supports both light and dark themes.