There has been much anticipation around the new version of SharePoint. Rumors have been swirling for months and people have been trying to read the tea leaves in the published protocol documentation to understand what the new version is all about. I fully expect my RSS reader to be clogged up with numerous posts about the many exciting changes. No doubt there will be plenty of redundant ‘check out feature x’ and ‘how to install it’ type posts. And so, in what probably is a futile exercise I will try to go meta and say something interesting to my primary audience which is of course the SharePoint development community.
ASP.NET is Dead
If you jump into the 15 hive and start poking around you will quickly discover that SharePoint still uses features to define farm elements. If you look at the services you will see that the sandbox code service is still there. It will be clear that all of the skills you have so laboriously invested in over the years still apply. Why then do I say that ASP.NET is dead (besides tricking you into reading)?
By now you might be noticing a pattern.
I believe that if you have some search results pages or data Web parts that use XSLT they will still work, but a few things seem to be clear.
The third is that if you lean on SharePoint Designer to write your XSL or HTML you will be disappointed. Open up SharePoint Designer and edit a page. Do you see a tab for Design View? No, you don’t. I hope they see the light and add it back before RTM, but even if they do the current lack of this functionality makes a pretty big statement. All is not lost though; there are some big improvements for professional Web designers. In a publishing site you can use HTML from a wide array of other and much better tools.
So What Else is New?
Go back to the Home page and insert a Web Part into the page. Select the Content Rollup category. Do you see Content Query there?
Instead you see Content Search. Pop open Central Admin and go into the Search service application. Edit the Local SharePoint Sites content source. Scroll down to the Crawl Schedule and notice that you now have the option for continuous crawling. The Content Search Web Part isn’t based on CAML queries – it’s based on search and it is way more powerful as a result. Guess how you can customize the rendering of the results? Hint: The answer starts with ‘Java’ and ends with ‘Script’.
SP2013 now has the capabilities of FAST and the improvements here are just huge.
If I were on the ball I’d have a whole series of posts on the new workflow engine and on the new app model ready to go today. Alas, I’m not on the ball and so you’ll have to get that info elsewhere if you want to read about them today. The next couple of months will be busy!
Author: Doug Ware