11: Packaging and Deployment in .NET

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11: Packaging and Deployment
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If you think about our example when a list definition project is created a new feature with scope Web is created but in Table 11-5 it says that a List Template (eg, List Definition) is compatible with either Site or Web How does Visual Studio decide to use Web (site) scope instead of Site (site collection) scope When creating new SharePoint projects Visual Studio will always select the lowest of the available scopes eg, it will select the Web scope instead of the Site scope when creating a new list definition project However, if the project already contains a feature scoped at the Site level (higher than the Web level), Visual Studio adds the new list definition project to the existing feature with the compatible scope
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The second way to add new features to the project is by right clicking the Features folder and selecting Add Feature from the context menu This adds a new feature to the project The initial title of the new feature is set to the project and feature name concatenated with a unique number (eg, MyProject Feature1, MyProject Feature2, etc) Because our current empty project includes a single feature and no SharePoint project items it is not very interesting, so let s add a SharePoint project item 1 Right click the project name and select Add > New Item Instead of right clicking you can also click the project node and press CTRL+SHIFT+A to open the Add New Item dialog 2 Select the Empty Element project item template and name it My Custom Action 3 Click Add to add the item to the project
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What s an Empty Element
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Remember earlier in this chapter when we discussed all the different SharePoint elements, such as Custom Action, Document Converters, etc that can be added to the SharePoint in Table 11-4 You will also remember that the project and project item templates for some of these elements are not available The Empty Element project item is your friend in this case An Empty Element is just a simple SharePoint project item with an empty Elementsxml file With a little knowledge you can transform this empty Element project item into a Custom Action, a Document Converter, a Field element, or any other SharePoint element that doesn t have a project template in Visual Studio 2010 by putting the appropriate markup in the Elementsxml file
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The hardest part when creating SharePoint elements from an Empty Element project item is determining what markup to put in the Elements xml file When you add an Empty Element project item you are presented with an empty Elementsxml file In order to make the element do something useful you need to write some XML IntelliSense that shows when you are trying to write the XML can be very helpful because it shows you what XML elements and attributes are available in the Elementsxml file Another helpful piece of information when developing SharePoint actions is the schema for the elements that can be found on MSDN You can find the custom action schema here for example: http://msdnmicrosoftcom/ en-us/library/ms460194aspx For this example we are going to create a custom action element that adds a link to the Bing search engine to the Site Actions menu on SharePoint In order to do this we will need to specify the link URL (eg, wwwbing com) and we need to tell SharePoint where to put the link (eg, the Site Actions menu) The schema for the custom action s Elementsxml file shows attributes such as ID, GroupId, Location, and Title In order to show the link
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11: Packaging and Deployment
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in the Site Actions menu we need to set all those attributes You can find all possible values for GroupId and Location property on MSDN (http:// msdnmicrosoftcom/en-us/library/bb802730aspx) At this URL we find that the MicrosoftSharePointStandardMenu is the location we need, and from the corresponding GroupIds for the StandardMenu the location is SiteActions Writing this up in the Elementsxml file we get Listing 11-9
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Listing 11-9: An Elementsxml File Specifying a CustomAction to Display a Link to the Bing Search Engine in the Site Actions Menu
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Now that we have the XML shown in Listing 11-9 in the Elementsxml file we can try and deploy the project by pressing F5 In the web browser, navigate to the SharePoint home page and open the Site Actions menu A Bing menu item is added as shown in Figure 11-7 The reason this worked is that when we added the Empty Element project item to the project, Visual Studio was smart enough to add the Elementsxml for our empty element to the Featuresxml associated with the feature created in the project We should make our custom action prettier right now it s just a regular item with a title We should add a description and an image Adding a description is easy simply add the Description attribute to the CustomAction element What about the image If you noticed there is an ImageUrl attribute we could use We only need to point to an image we want to show for the menu item We could just point to any URL that contains an image, but what we want to do is deploy our own image to the SharePoint server as part of our deployment and then point to the deployed image To deploy the image we are going to use a mapped folder In the next section we are going to describe what a mapped folder is and then use it to deploy the image
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