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Follow the white rabbit! Exploring custom software development in Sharepoint

This DevTweet column by @mariannerd and @aahoogendoorn is published in SDN Magazine, December 2009.

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@aahoogendoorn Where are you???? πŸ™‚

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@mariannerd I’m here. How was Vegas?

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@aahoogendoorn #SPC09 was great! Great conference! Good sessions, good speakers and wow… The SharePoint community is enthusiastic! Loved it!

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@mariannerd So we can finally deliver actual applications on SharePoint? Would it be a good idea for die hards like me to have a look?

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@aahoogendoorn Absolutely! Some nice new features. New version of SharePoint is coming soon. They really did a great job at Microsoft on this version.

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@aahoogendoorn Although it’s going to be a long wait until they’ll release the public beta

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@mariannerd Incredible how they can fill a whole week of conference just on SharePoint..

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@mariannerd So with SharePoint’s new version, will it increase flexibility to custom develop code with it?

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@aahoogendoorn Definetly! The Visual Studio 2010 integration with SharePoint is great! Just too bad it only works for SP2010.

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@mariannerd What does Visual Studio integration mean? Cool that I can use Visual Studio to develop SharePoint of course, but does it e.g. come with software architecture?

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@aahoogendoorn Deployment scenarios are horrible in this version. Visual Studio 2010 takes care of that!

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@aahoogendoorn To create custom applications based on SharePoint you can use the web services and / or API.

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@mariannerd Use a web service API? I suppose with a model similar to .NET RIA Services? So where does that leave my business logic?

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@aahoogendoorn I don’t know the RIA services .. but for SharePoint it’s hard to explain.. Depends on what kind of solution your writing.

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@aahoogendoorn E.g. building Internet sites using WCM (web content management) publishing pages or adding WF to document libraries.

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@mariannerd And what about if my "data" comes from elsewhere, such as SAP CRM, or Exact, or even Twitter?

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@mariannerd (How) Can I do that in a SharePoint application?

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@aahoogendoorn Ah… there is the BCS (Business Connectivity Services). You can connect to external data and display it like SharePoint data.

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@aahoogendoorn And the BCS adds the CRUD methods, so you don’t have to worry about writing code πŸ˜‰

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@mariannerd In my world, data (from where ever) is absorbed by my domain layer and presented from there. The domain has the business logic.

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@aahoogendoorn In "your" world.. wow.. do you have to take a red pill to get into "your" world? LOL

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@mariannerd Haha. Let’s see how deep the rabbit hole really goes. I meant in custom n-tier software development.

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@aahoogendoorn In the SharePoint world (that must be the blue pill) it’s not written in a Domain Driven Design (DDD) style. But you can implement it in your own code to some extent.

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@aahoogendoorn For client-side business logic you can use JaveScript or JQuery.

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@mariannerd JQuery? JavaScript? What’s wrong with C#? Leads to my original opinion, that SharePoint is basically intended for 2 tier.

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@aahoogendoorn No… no… there is a new Client Model for SharePoint .. But haven’t had the chance to look at it yet (too much to look at).

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@aahoogendoorn So what if I get data from a source I don’t control (such as SAP), and I want validation, business rules etc. in SharePoint?

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@aahoogendoorn I guess you never should compare custom development with development for/adds on products.

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@mariannerd I guess so. Think I’ll stick on the custom side of the matrix for now. The answer is out there, Neo.

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@mariannerd Though it would be highly interesting mixing custom software development and SharePoint in a domain driven design style, I think. Would allow for more types of sources.

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@aahoogendoorn Well… I think we could do that… We can make it a conference session.. Getting you coding again πŸ˜‰

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@Mariannerd I know what you’re thinking, cause right now I’m thinking the same thing. Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?

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@aahoogendoorn Follow the white rabbit… and you might become a SharePoint fan!

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@mariannerd Sure hope your white rabbit doesn’t appear 2 be the Holy Grail’s Killer Rabbit. "Oh, it’s just a harmless little *bunny*, isn’t it?"

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