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Microsoft Releases CTP of VS Extensions for SharePoint

Microsoft this week announced a community technology preview (CTP) release of Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint.

The new Visual Studio 2008 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services (VSeWSS), released as version 1.3, are templates for creating, debugging, packaging and deploying SharePoint projects. This release includes templates for Web Parts, Data Lists, Content Types, Event Receivers and Modules, among others.

The final version of the VS08 extensions is scheduled for release this spring. The SharePoint team blog described this version as an "interim release."

"It is an interim release for SharePoint Developers on the roadmap until Visual Studio 2010," the team wrote. The CTP is currently available for download from the Microsoft Connect Web site, which can be accessed here.

SharePoint is a prevalent departmental portal solution, according to researchers at CMS Watch, a vendor-independent analyst firm that evaluates content technologies. The firm's conclusions about the portal market derive from its recently released "Enterprise Portals Report 2009," which evaluated 12 portal solutions head to head.

Oracle's WebCenter Suite offers a strong alternative, according to CMS Watch. IBM is another contender with the continued expansion of its WebSphere Portal Server offering, the report noted.

SAP has begun promoting the Web 2.0 features of its portal product, although SAP's solution lags the competition, the report noted. Another contender is the venerable portal vendor Vignette, which often bundles its portal software with other CMS tools.

In addition, open source solution providers have been producing worthy portal projects, according to CMS Watch. The report points to points to Apache, eXo, Liferay, and uPortal as open source portals that have recently been upgraded.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance journalist and author based in Palo Alto, CA.

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