What's New for SharePoint Development in Visual Studio 2012

The SharePoint developer tools in Visual Studio 2012 contain new designers and templates to facilitate SharePoint development, as well as new options for deploying and testing SharePoint sites. See the following descriptions to learn about these and other new features.

This topic contains the following sections.

  • Create Lists and Content Types by Using New Designers
  • Create Site Columns
  • Create Silverlight Web Parts
  • Publish SharePoint Solutions to Remote SharePoint Servers
  • Test SharePoint Performance by Using Profiling Tools
  • Create Sandboxed Visual Web Parts
  • Improved Support for Sandboxed Solutions.
  • Support for JavaScript Debugging and IntelliSense for JavaScript
  • Streamlined SharePoint Project Templates
  • Test Your Code by Using Microsoft Fakes Framework
  • Related Topics

When you create a new list or content type in Visual Studio, a designer now helps you set up and lay out the contents of the new list or content type. The designers enable you to display, sort, and group the available site columns. For more information, see Creating Site Columns, Content Types, and Lists for SharePoint.

The new Site Column item template helps you more easily create SharePoint site columns, also known as "fields." For more information, see Creating Site Columns, Content Types, and Lists for SharePoint.

The new Silverlight Web Part project template makes hosting a Silverlight application in a web part easier and more convenient. The project template enables you to create a new Silverlight application or provide your own, and it also provides a web part project with which to associate the Silverlight application. For more information, see Walkthrough: Creating a Silverlight Web Part that Displays OData for SharePoint.

In addition to deploying SharePoint solutions to a local SharePoint site, you can now publish SharePoint solutions to remote SharePoint sites. For more information, see Deploying, Publishing, and Upgrading SharePoint Solution Packages.

The Visual Studio SharePoint tools now provide full support for performance profiling. The profiling tools help you identify code and other elements in your SharePoint projects that slow down and adversely affect the performance of your SharePoint applications. For more information, see Profiling the Performance of SharePoint Applications and Analyzing Application Performance by Using Profiling Tools.

Visual web parts now support sandboxed SharePoint projects, not just farm projects.

When working on sandboxed solutions, Visual Studio displays a compiler error if you attempt to use farm-only API calls. Also, Visual Studio IntelliSense displays only APIs that are compatible with sandboxed solutions when you are working in a sandboxed solution.

You can now debug JavaScript in SharePoint projects, and IntelliSense is provided when coding JavaScript in SharePoint projects. URL resolution for JavaScript is enabled for visual web parts in sandboxed solutions. This means that you can reference JavaScript files located in SharePoint's content database in your SharePoint projects in Visual Studio. The code is automatically included at build time.

The SharePoint project templates and project item templates have changed. Some SharePoint project templates from the previous version of Visual Studio were moved into project item templates. For a full list and description of the project and project item templates, see SharePoint Project and Project Item Templates.

SharePoint projects support Microsoft Fakes, which is an isolation framework in which you can create delegate-based test stubs and shims in .NET Framework applications. By creating these stubs and shims, you can isolate your unit tests from the environment while you test your code. For more information, see Verifying and Debugging SharePoint Code by Using ALM Features.

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