Well, I'm back... they finally coughed up the ransom! Truthfully, I've been busy and have wanted to put this particular post together for some time. Since It's still a work in progress, I decided to divide it up into a series. That way I can't procrastinate any further! I have limited experience with SharePoint development in general. I have never created a custom CAS policy and I am using the 1.3 version of the VS extensions for the first time, so it should be interesting.
Many developers are overwhelmed by the plethora of tools out there right now for creating and deploying simple components in SharePoint. My personal favorite so far has been STSDEV although I had some problems with the most recent version. At the end of the day, I decided to either hand-roll my Web Parts and deploy with STSADM, or use the Visual Studio Extensions. The reason a lot of people have used tools other than VSeWSS is because the the extensions have been considered pretty limited up to now. But that seems to be changing and version 1.3 has some really cool features.
You can download the extensions, both 32 bit and 64 bit, as well as the pre-release notes. Uninstall version 1.2 first, if you already have it installed.
We're going to take the new 1.3 CTP of Visual Studio Extensions for VS 2008 for a test drive. We will create a custom Web Part which will display some data from an XML file. We will deploy our Web Part to the bin folder rather than than to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC); deploying to the GAC involves resetting IIS which is impractical if you have a production environment with a single Web Front End (WFE) server. In order to run this code from the bin folder, we will create a custom code access security (CAS) policy.
When you opt to create a new Web Part project, you will be presented with the New Project dialog box. Opt to deploy to the bin folder. Your Solution Explorer window and WSP View should now resemble those in the diagrams shown.
In the next part, we'll take a look at the architecture of Features in general; the aim is to keep this as simple as possible and get something up and running. The most common problems people are having are security-related. We will look at this more closely and set out the steps necessary to enable your code to run in a secure environment. In the meantime, you can study up on the use of Features.