I recently read a very interesting blog post from Ricardo Wilkins on his SharePoint Cowbell blog. He describes his recent SharePoint development experience using the Developer Preview edition of Microsoft Visual Studio 11 in Deploying a Visual Web Part to your Remote-Hosted Fpweb.net SharePoint Site using Visual Studio 11 (Dev Preview).
The new and (actually) improved features for SharePoint development in VS 11 are quite impressive. Ricardo explains “the ability to deploy visual web parts as sandboxed solutions”, and automatically deploy those solutions to remote hosted SharePoint sites.
Ricardo is the very proud owner of an Fpweb.net hosted SharePoint site. He created a new web part from scratch using Visual Studio. Once the web part was created, he had the option to “Deploy as a sandboxed solution” — not an option available using the previous version, Visual Studio 10. Upon deployment of the web part, Ricardo published the solution directly from Visual Studio 11 to his site. Once the WSP file was successfully published to the site, he was automatically taken to the Solution Gallery of the respective site. From there, all Ricardo had to do is activate the solution and his work is done.
Reading his blog got me thinking about how well all the Microsoft products now work with one another. And, significantly, they are developing a majority of their software around SharePoint. SharePoint is filling an important role in integrating the core Microsoft family of software products. Having the ability to use Excel Services, Word Automation Services, Access Services, Visio Graphics Service, etc. from within SharePoint makes it very simple to read and edit these types of files from any computer around the globe.
In addition to service applications, Microsoft is also making it easier for us to administer our hosted SharePoint environments with products such as SharePoint Designer, InfoPath and Visual Studio. Tight integration between SharePoint and these programs with our SharePoint sites allows us to implement, design and edit lists, workflows, web parts, etc. from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.
Compared to on premise server infrastructure, a hosted SharePoint environment offers convenient remote administration, in part thanks to this deep integration with the entire family of Microsoft business productivity products. Microsoft is quickly voiding any excuse a company may have to avoid the cloud.
When will you make the switch to SharePoint in the Cloud?