Tuesday, November 07, 2006

[TechED Session review] WSS 3.0 and MOSS as a development platform

I just finished David Gristwood's talk about SharePoint as a development platform - very interesting overview but not a lot of in depth topics (I should probably not expect more from a Level 200 session). Here is a quick rundown of my OneNote notes :

7 reasons why developers will love SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007):

1. Built on top of ASP.NET 2.0

  • Web Parts (But also master pages, provider model, ….)
  • Site template with behaviors + different components (web parts, lists, etc …)
  • Use plain ASP.NET 2.0 when you really need full control on all aspect of the platform. When reproducibility/reusability is a key use WSS or MOSS
  • Web part manager, web part zones - ootb present in WSS/MOSS

2. Data, metadata, features, content types …

  • Rich Object Model
  • Features - possible to hook up your own code and UI - activate and deactivate features - more flexible model

3. InfoPath Forms Services

  • Forms are everywhere
  • InfoPath Forms Services offer server side generation and handling of forms

4. Workflow

  • Workflow technology
    • Business run on business processes
    • Succesfull executing business process is a key success factor for companies
    • Easier for developers - provide another layer of abstraction - easier to visualize complex software problems
    • More time on business process development and less on plumbing (state management, etc …)
    • Code creap - with every change - easier to build modular software

5. Excel services

  • Great charting and calculation engine
  • Now server-side calculation engine available for browser based spreadsheet viewing & interactivity (It's like DDE all over again but this time on a scalable server platform)

6. Business Data Catalog (BDC)

  • XML metadata driven engine to integrate your backend systems (CRM, ERP systems, …)
  • OOTB web parts present - Business Data Detail WebPart, Business Data List Web Part, ...
  • Will evolve into Line of Business Integration (LOBi) and Office Business Entities (OBE) - unification of the programming model on the client and server side of Office

7. Lots of other stuff : document and storage enhancements, Business Intelligence solutions possible, multi language support, wikis and blogs, ...

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