I have been working on setting up development environment in last two days and have come up with few tips which will definitely make our life easier while developing any sort of SharePoint project. These points are just my thoughts, so if some one has any good ideas then please do leave a comment and I will include in my posts.
I have used two tools and developed some code snippets. I will teach you in my next post on how to create these code snippets for feature.xml, elements.xml, onet.xml or any other xml code that you will need to make your development fast.
The tools that I have used are very familiar STSDEV and Andrew Connel's Project Utility Tool. Now you must have already seen, heard or used these tools. But since both the tools have their drawbacks, so we can use both these tools in sync to suit our needs. You can check above links to know in detail about these tools.
STSDEV: Gives us the flexibility of creating .ddf file, .wsp package, deploying assemblies to GAC, adding SafeControl to web.config on deployment and many build types. But one thing that needs to be done manually in STSDEV is creating folder structure. It does creates a basic RootFiles folder structure for you but if you have to add any more folders which has got a deep tree structure then you have to keep adding it manually. This is where Project Utility Tool plays its role.
Andrew Connel's Project Utility Tool : Also gives us benefit of creating .ddf file, .wsp package and more. But it has its drawbacks of not being able to handle any changes in .ddf file manually and some more stuff that STSDEV gives. So we will use this tool for generating the folder structure in a project that STSDEV has created.
I am not really commenting here on which is a good tool or a bad tool. I am really giving you an idea to utilise best of the outcomes of both tools and increase your efficiency and performance in developing custom SharePoint solutions. We really don't want to waste our time in doing repeated things when developing a SharePoint solution so why not use these beautiful tools which makes our life easier.
And also, I am not saying this is the best way to create and maintain Visual Studio projects for SharePoint solutions. If anybody has got any different idea then please do mention it here and share the knowledge among MOSS geeks :-)