dinsdag 14 april 2009

LINQ to SharePoint

I myself are quite happy with LINQ. I have used it on numerous occasions and it saved me time on those same occasions.

But when working with SharePoint and CAML, I felt like I was missing something. I could use LINQ to access the SharePoint data.
Recently I came across this solution on CodePlex: LINQ to SharePoint. I have looked into it, and although it hasn’t been updated recently, it looks promising. I am looking forward to the moment I give it a try on the next project.

A short highlight of the features (taken from CodePlex):

  • Custom query provider that translates LINQ queries to CAML, the Collaborative Application Markup Language used by SharePoint for querying.
  • Support for LINQ in C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9.0.
  • Entity creation tool SpMetal to export SharePoint list definitions to entity classes used for querying.
  • Visual Studio 2008 integration for entity creation (a.k.a. SPML).
  • Can connect to a SharePoint site either using the SharePoint object model or via the SharePoint web services.
  • Planned support for updating through entity types.

If you are into SharePoint development and know how to use LINQ, you should definitely give this a try.

zaterdag 11 april 2009

SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part

During one of my searches for usable components to help me build great SharePoint solutions, I came across this web part: SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part. And I have to say, it works great.

It comes with a included code-editor for writing the scripts. And there are even some extensions available to access Active Directory, SQL Server databases and some others (the extensions are not free, but come with a thirty-day evaluation).

An excerpt from the website:

Using the free SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part, your SharePoint pages can perform powerful, flexible queries on a variety of data sources using simple, familiar syntax that's easy to write and understand. You'll be able to create robust, value-added SharePoint applications in a fraction of the time and without the need for .NET or XSLT programming.

The SharePoint Data Zoom Web Part is a free tool which allows SharePoint users to easily build dynamic, data-driven content on any page. Data from SharePoint Sites, SharePoint Lists and virtually any other source can be aggregated and formatted with ease.

Using the Data Zoom Web Part, your SharePoint pages can perform powerful, flexible queries on a variety of data sources using simple, familiar syntax that's easy to write and understand. You'll be able to create robust, value-added SharePoint applications in a fraction of the time, without the need for .NET or XSLT programming.

I should say, just give it a try. It’s free. And it can be a great addition to your SharePoint development.