List of SharePoint development tools

Alex Angas
  • List of SharePoint development tools Alex Angas

    What tools do you consider essential in your SharePoint development toolkit?

    One answer per tool please so the community can vote!

  • Firebug! Useful in so many ways:

    • Editing HTML and CSS in-browser and on the fly
    • Ability to see which CSS rules are active and work with the box model
    • JavaScript console and debugging support (excellent for jQuery)
    • Net tab for seeing server requests and download performance

  • WSPBuilder - for an easier, faster and more troublefree way to create new SharePoint solutions/features.

  • U2U CAML Query Builder - who in the SharePoint world can live without this one! It helps you avoid commoin CAML mistakes.

  • SPDisposeCheck - to check for any dispose mistakes that could result in a memory leak.

    Good to have hooked up to a build target as a post-build step so that the build fails if any problems are found.

  • SharePoint Skinner for creating CSS styles and themes for your site visually

  • Maybe not SharePoint specific, but I don't write code without ReSharper. Countless ways it improves productivity.

  • SharePoint Manager is a SharePoint object model explorer. It enables you to browse every site on the local farm and view every property. It also enables you to change the properties (at your own risk). This is a very powerfull tool for developers that like to know what the SharePoint holds of secrets.

  • I would say a Virtual PC/Environment is essential

  • Can't do any serious development/debugging without Fiddler

    It's a great tool for examining all HTTP(s) traffic of your apps.

  • I've found .NET Reflector (now from RedGate) to be an indispensable tool when developing, and with SharePoint in particular. In some cases it has saved me from spinning wheels when it is clearly a "bug" or "feature" in the SP codebase, but it most cases it has just been invaluable from a learning perspective (oh, that's how that works!)

  • Microsoft Live Mesh is a great tool to handle all your other tools. I've set up a folder that I have all my tools in and then use Live Mesh to have these tools synchronized into my VM's and other machines. As soon as I add or update a tool, they are all "copied" to my other machines.

  • A tool usefull for sites content migration: WssAnalyzeFeatures

    This tool allows to verify if the feature definition files for all installed features are present on the file system. Also allows to verify if the features used in site collections an sites are installed on the server. In addition it can create a checklist file which can be used to verify if a server has all features installed required to act as destination for a content deployment job of an existing sitecollection.

    Usage:

    WssAnalyzeFeatures -url http://server:port

    More about it here: WssAnalyzeFeatures

  • TypeMock Isolator - essential if you are doing unit testing and need to fake out the calls to SharePoint

  • It asked for only one product per answer but I will group a couple as they work together.

    NUnit - for your unit testing. I also use MSTest but find NUnit has less clutter (VS2010 removes this for MSTest)

    TestDriven.Net - great tool for running the tests and include the open source version of NCover for your coverage needs.

  • DebugView from Sysinternals/now Technet combined with System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine, System.Diagnostics.Debug.Assert etc is very good especially in events or workflows where you cannot do trace.

  • HyperV! I love doing dev work on my pumped up 2008 server where i can spawn as many virtual servers as i need with performance that leaves VMWare in the dust!

  • Ehm, noone said MetaMan yet? Doint BDC by hand is such a pain... MetaMan is the best tool out there. And now also web based. (ok Nick you can cough up a with a dev license now ;-) Nah seriously, its an expensive tool, and the licensing model sux (for devs at consultancy companies that has lots of different customers) but the tool is top notch and saved me more times than i care to remember from doing tedious XML

  • What? Noone said SQL Server Profiler yet? How the heck do you guys find out what goes on behind the scenes without it? :-)

    Especially good when you are after better performance. A quick profiler run will find those pesky SharePoint "specialities" in .NET like using foreach instead of for loops, or the difference in performance of doing SPContext.Current.List.ItemCount and SPContext.Current.List.Items.Count, finding deadlocks, timeouts etc

  • On the nerdy side, but when Reflector gives up due to obfuscation, and you just need to know what happens behind the scene, enter ildasm.exe True you need to be able to read IM language, but its pretty self explanatory, and have helped me many times. For example when i wanted to know what exactly happend behind the scenes when you use -force (bad bad practice!) in stsadm.exe operations (bonus info: -force basicly swallows all exceptions, so you never will see those other code issues your callouts or similar had)

  • Sure fiddler is good, but Visual RoundTrip Analyzer (VRTA) gives you a nice graphical illustration and can also help you with advice in solving the problems. It has issues regarding virtual environments though, but a great tool never the less (thanx Spence for introducing it to me:-) download VRTA

  • I use IE8's Developer Tools whenever I work with JavaScript, CSS or HTML in SharePoint.

  • One app, that allows me to navigate the SharePoint folders and having shortcuts to them, walk in and out of WSP's, quickly view the content of the files etc is Total Commander.

    Using Windows Explorer and walking down into the 12-hive, right-click, select open with really takes to much precious time. Using Total Commander I have shortcuts to the different folders in the 12-hive and then uses the builtin quick search to find the file and the builtin viewer program.

    This is one tool I can't live without, and is the first thing I install on all machines (if I don't use Live Mesh, which contains my Total Commander installation folder).

  • Another one that's not really a tool but nevertheless very handy; in my quick launch bar I always add a Shortcut and a Toolbar to the 12 hive:

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\12

  • Spencer Harbar's Application Pool Manager, for speedy and specfic App Pool resets.

  • PowerShell! I use PowerShell more and more for small POC's where I would normally use console apps. Also for automation PowerShell is a great tool!

  • I like Crimson Editor as an alternative to notepad. Lightweight (no waiting time to start like visual studio), tabbed interface, macros, "column mode".

    Great for quickly creating xml files, csv files, or transforming an xml file into a set of c# lines (using macros)

  • I use SPVisualDev. Integrates with wspbuilder and now apparently allows remote development (did not try this yet).

  • a bit of shameless self-promotion, but SharePoint InlineSiteSettings is a small jQuery script I put on CodePlex that saves a developer (or admin) a significant amount time by shortening the navigation paths and limiting the amount of mouse clicks required to get to a particular admin page in SharePoint. It's all about keeping the momentum going :)

  • I'm going to demonstrate a bias too, but then, I do lots with SharePoint search and I'm always using it:

    SearchCoder

    Helps you write and quickly test search queries.

  • Moss Query Tool - Excellent tool to test search queries against the MOSS search database. The application helps you build queries as well.

    I can't seem to find the download link anywhere but after a quick Google search, I found this tool SharePointSearchServ which apparently replaces MOSS Query Tool.

  • The content deployment wizard: The SharePoint Content Deployment Wizard is a tool for SharePoint 2007 which provides the means to deploy the following content:

    • site collections
    • webs
    • lists
    • folders
    • list items (including files)

  • SysInternal's (now Microsoft) Process Monitor is essential for troubleshooting security and other problems related to access to the file system, registry etc. Not SharePoint specific, but I find myself using it in combination with SharePoint on a frequent basis.

Related questions and answers
  • ) at XXXXXX.SharePoint.Lists.ListHelper.SaveListAsTemplate(SPList List, Boolean SaveContent) in C:\SharePoint Development Projects\XXXXXX.SharePoint\XXXXXX.SharePoint\Lists\ListHelper.vb:line 145 at XXXXXX.SharePoint.Lists.ListHelper.DeleteList(SPList List, DeleteOperation Operation) in C:\SharePoint Development Projects\XXXXXX.SharePoint\XXXXXX.SharePoint\Lists\ListHelper.vb:line 121 at XXXXXX.SharePoint.Lists.ListHelper.DeleteList(SPWeb Web, String ListName, DeleteOperation Operation) in C:\SharePoint Development Projects\XXXXXX.SharePoint\XXXXXX.SharePoint

  • I wonder if someone can tell me where, on a totally fresh install of WSS/MOSS 2007 on a 64bit machine, are the registry keys placed? Is it: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0 or is it: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0 (note the Wow6432Node bit in the second one.) (I ask because my dev box recently got corrupted, and the problem seems to be that while SharePoint is looking for the WSS registry key under Wow6432Node, it only exists in the other registry location. I do not know what

  • We have a SharePoint 2010 feature that works fine on my development machine, but won't activate on the staging system. It's SiteCollection scoped, the containing solution was successfully deployed on one WebApplication. When we try to activate the feature, we get an error message with a Correlation ID. But we can't find this ID or the name of the feature in the SharePoint Logs nor in the Windows Event Log. Maybe logging wasn't configured right or there is an error with ULS on the machine, but we haven't changed the SharePoint Logging options from the state they were after installation

  • I am installing SharePoint 2010 single farm on my 64bit Win7 Ultimate development machine. After a lot of pain and apparent success of the installation, I am not finding the "Farm Configuration Wizard" on the "Configuration Wizards" page of Central Administration. Looking for reasons why and things to check to make it show up.

  • A client is asking for a custom application to be created and deployed within the corporate intranet. Part of the requirements are to publish some of the content also available on the internet site. Both sites are built on SharePoint 2007 but they are on different farms and on different networks. Can the Content Deployment API (and associated tools) handle moving selected content across networks with no direct connectivity? Can we use web services? Has anybody done this sort of thing? If so what approaches have you taken? Thanks, James.

  • any development experience in Sharepoint I can't really say which ones are going to be imperative for my application. I would like to do it on Foundation, because I can re-sell the app without...I'm about to start developing a custom business application on top of Sharepoint 2010. I haven't done anything on this product but client insists on it so I don't have a choice. Application info I..., but as this app will run under Sharepoint all this will be done by it. I won't have to handle authentication/authorisation. Application will run processor intensive business processes and it will support three

  • I'm a SharePoint development beginner and I would like to develop a custom application on top of SharePoint Foundation 2010. I decided to write few visual web parts for simple logic and Silverlight web parts for complex application logic. My application will use its own data in a separate DB. The only connection between my DB and SharePoint DB will be users. Users will authenticate against SharePoint and access my application from there. Within my application (and DB), all these users will be hierarchically related (I don't know if this is easily possible in Active Directory so that I could

  • . The only significant thing to change on the server between yesterday and today was the installation of the Citrix Web Interface for SharePoint webparts. UPDATE: I also receive the following error when starting Central Administration from the Start Menu (Start -> Microsoft Office Server -> SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration) A failure occurred when accessing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\WSS registry key. Repair this product by selecting it from the Add/Remove Programs menu. If I access Central Administration via a browser

  • Rather then building our own tool from the ground up I am looking for a report generation tool for SharePoint, preferably WSS/Foundation. I would like some kind of tool that will generate a Word report based on XML data from SharePoint lists and other sources (via web services). I assume that such tools exists (otherwise it will be the very first time that I have come up with a brand new idea) but which one do you use?

  • I'm working on a Silverlight 3 application. It works perfectly running within Visual Studio's ASP.NET Development Server. Now I need to make it run within SharePoint. I have the object tag hosted within a user control and the XAP file deployed to _layouts. I'm testing the user control in both a web part and an application page. Both result in the same error reported by Internet Explorer.... The system cannot find the file specified. at MyNamespace.Page.InitializeComponent() at MyNamespace.Page..ctor() at MyNamespace.App.Application_Startup(Object sender, StartupEventArgs e