SharePoint Solutions From the Cloud to the Cloud with CloudShare – Part III!

In this new article from my series about developing SharePoint solutions with CloudShare and Visual Studio 11 Beta (VS 11 Beta), I will continue to show you some of the goodies that come with the new version of the ID that really simplify the development and deployment process of your custom SharePoint solutions. Today I will show you how to develop and deploy custom list instances either to SharePoint On-Premise or SharePoint Online in Office 365.

  • As always, you first need to access your CloudShare account and start one of your available environments.
  • Once you have your environment ready, just open VS11 Beta. Create a new project by clicking on File —> New Project.
  • In the New Project window, go to the SharePoint section under the Visual C# project category. Click on the 2010 project templates and select SharePoint Project. Provide a name for the project and the solution and click OK.
  • In the SharePoint Customization Wizard window, specify your local SharePoint 2010 site for testing purposes, leave the deployment type as Deploy as a sandboxed solution, and click Finish.
  • Once the project creation process ends, you will see the complete solution structure in VS11 Beta Solution Explorer
  • Select the name of the project, right-click, and select Add —> Add New Item. In the Add New Item window, select the List Template, add a name to it, and click the Add button.
  • The next window allows you to specify the basic configuration of your list:
    • List Name
    • Source List – existing template vs existing list
  • Name your list and select, Customize the list based on option for creating the list definition.
  • Click Finish in order to add the SPI to the project.
  • As you can see in the solution explorer, the List SPI contains the following:
    • A list instance based on the list schema you are going to build
    • A manifest file to deploy the list schema
    • The list schema itself
  • VS 11 Beta offers a new list designer allowing you to visually design your list schema without having to fight the underlying XML structure. New options include:
    • Modify existing list columns defined in the base schema
    • Add new list columns (from site or from your project)
    • Check existing content types
    • Bind new content types
  • If you click the Content Type button, you’ll see your current options in the list schema and you can add new content types defined in your project.
  • The Views tab in the list designer allows you to configure the default view for your list and add new views. You can choose your fields and row limits.
  • Finally, the list tab is intended for changing list configuration parameters, such as list schema name, description, or quick launch behavior.
  • You can review the XML code (CAML code) being generated by the designer at any time.
  • Once everything is ready, build the complete solution and prepare to publish your SharePoint solution to the cloud. Right click with your mouse and select Publish.
  • In the Publish window, specify the URL of the SharePoint OnPremise or SharePoint Online site and press Publish.
  • Once you have published, go to the Solutions gallery in your SharePoint site, activate the solution and test to ensure a list instance has been created and is ready to use.
  • Now you know how to create and deploy a list definition and list instance using the new designer in VS 11 Beta.

Happy CloudSharing!