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Walkthrough: Calling into the SharePoint Client Object Model in a Server Explorer Extension

This walkthrough demonstrates how to call the SharePoint client object model from an extension for the SharePoint Connections node in Server Explorer. For more information about how to use the SharePoint client object model, see Calling into the SharePoint Object Models.

This walkthrough demonstrates the following tasks:

  • Creating a Visual Studio extension that extends the SharePoint Connections node of Server Explorer in the following ways:

    • The extension adds a Web Part Gallery node under each SharePoint site node in Server Explorer. This new node contains child nodes that represent each Web Part in the Web Part gallery on the site.

    • The extension defines a new type of node that represents a Web Part instance. This new node type is the basis for the child nodes under the new Web Part Gallery node. The new Web Part node type displays information in the Properties window about the Web Part that the node represents.

  • Building a Visual Studio Extension (VSIX) package to deploy the extension.

  • Debugging and testing the extension.

Note Note

The extension that you create in this walkthrough resembles the extension that you create in Walkthrough: Extending Server Explorer to Display Web Parts. That walkthrough uses the SharePoint server object model, but this walkthrough accomplishes the same tasks by using the client object model.

You need the following components on the development computer to complete this walkthrough:

Knowledge of the following concepts is helpful, but not required, to complete the walkthrough:

To complete this walkthrough, you must create two projects:

  • A VSIX project to create the VSIX package to deploy the Server Explorer extension.

  • A class library project that implements the Server Explorer extension.

Start the walkthrough by creating the projects.

To create the VSIX project

  1. Start Visual Studio.

  2. On the menu bar, choose File, New, Project.

  3. In the New Project dialog box, expand the Visual C# or Visual Basic nodes, and then choose Extensibility.

    Note Note

    The Extensibility node is available only if you install the Visual Studio SDK. For more information, see the prerequisites section earlier in this topic.

  4. At the top of the dialog box, choose .NET Framework 4.5 in the list of versions of the .NET Framework.

    SharePoint tool extensions require features in this version of the .NET Framework.

  5. Choose the VSIX Project template.

  6. In the Name box, type WebPartNode, and then choose the OK button.

    Visual Studio adds the WebPartNode project to Solution Explorer.

To create the extension project

  1. In Solution Explorer, open the shortcut menu for the solution node, choose Add, and then choose New Project.

    Note Note

    In Visual Basic projects, the solution node appears in Solution Explorer only when the Always show solution check box is selected in the General, Projects and Solutions, Options Dialog Box.

  2. In the New Project dialog box, expand the Visual C# or Visual Basic nodes, and then choose Windows.

  3. At the top of the dialog box, choose .NET Framework 4.5 in the list of versions of the .NET Framework.

  4. In the list of project templates, choose Class Library.

  5. In the Name box, enter WebPartNodeExtension, and then choose the OK button.

    Visual Studio adds the WebPartNodeExtension project to the solution and opens the default Class1 code file.

  6. Delete the Class1 code file from the project.

Before you write code to create the extension, you must add code files and assembly references to your project, and you must update the default namespace.

To configure the project

  1. In the WebPartNodeExtension project, add two code files that are named SiteNodeExtension and WebPartNodeTypeProvider.

  2. Open the shortcut menu for the WebPartNodeExtension project, and then choose Add Reference.

  3. In the Reference Manager – WebPartNodeExtension dialog box, choose the Framework node, and then select the check boxes for the System.ComponentModel.Composition and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

  4. Choose the Extensions node, select the check box for each of the following assemblies, and then choose the OK button:

    • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client

    • Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime

    • Microsoft.VisualStudio.SharePoint

  5. Open the shortcut menu for the WebPartNodeExtension project, and then choose Properties.

    The Project Designer opens.

  6. Choose the Application tab.

  7. In the Default namespace box (C#) or Root namespace box (Visual Basic), enter ServerExplorer.SharePointConnections.WebPartNode.

Create two icons for the Server Explorer extension: an icon for the new Web Part Gallery node and another icon for each child Web Part node under the Web Part Gallery node. Later in this walkthrough, you'll write code that associates these icons with the nodes.

To create icons for the nodes

  1. In the Project Designer for the WebPartNodeExtension project, choose the Resources tab.

  2. Choose the link This project does not contain a default resources file. Click here to create one.

    Visual Studio creates a resource file and opens it in the designer.

  3. At the top of the designer, choose the arrow on the Add Resource menu command, and then choose Add New Icon.

  4. Enter WebPartsNode for the new icon name, and then choose the Add button.

    The new icon opens in the Image Editor.

  5. Edit the 16x16 version of the icon so that it has a design that you can easily recognize.

  6. Open the shortcut menu for the 32x32 version of the icon, and then choose Delete Image Type.

  7. Repeat steps 3 through 7 to add a second icon to the project resources, and name this icon WebPart.

  8. In Solution Explorer, in the Resources folder for the WebPartNodeExtension project, choose WebPartsNode.ico.

  9. In the Properties window, open the Build Action list, and then choose Embedded Resource.

  10. Repeat the last two steps for WebPart.ico.

Create a class that adds the new Web Part Gallery node to each SharePoint site node. To add the new node, the class implements the IExplorerNodeTypeExtension interface. Implement this interface whenever you want to extend the behavior of an existing node in Server Explorer, such as adding a new child node to a node.

To add the Web Part Gallery node to Server Explorer

  • Paste the following code into the SiteNodeExtension code file for the WebPartNodeExtension project.

    Note Note

    After you add this code, the project will have some compile errors. These errors will go away when you add code in later steps.

    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.ComponentModel.Composition;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.SharePoint;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.SharePoint.Explorer;
    
    namespace ServerExplorer.SharePointConnections.WebPartNode
    {
        // Enables Visual Studio to discover and load this extension.
        [Export(typeof(IExplorerNodeTypeExtension))]        
    
        // Indicates that this class extends SharePoint site nodes in Server Explorer.
        [ExplorerNodeType(ExplorerNodeTypes.SiteNode)]
    
        // Represents an extension of SharePoint site nodes in Server Explorer. 
        internal class SiteNodeExtension : IExplorerNodeTypeExtension
        {
            private System.Uri siteUrl = null;
    
            public void Initialize(IExplorerNodeType nodeType)
            {
                // The NodeChildrenRequested event is raised when the user expands the 
                // SharePoint site node in Server Explorer.
                nodeType.NodeChildrenRequested += NodeChildrenRequested;
            }
    
            // Creates the new Web Part Gallery node with the specified icon. 
            private void NodeChildrenRequested(object sender, ExplorerNodeEventArgs e)
            {
                // Get the site URL so that it can be used later to access the site 
                // by using the SharePoint client object model.
                siteUrl = e.Node.Context.SiteUrl;
    
                // The CreateWebPartNodes argument is a delegate that Visual Studio calls  
                // to create the child nodes under the Web Part Gallery node.
                e.Node.ChildNodes.AddFolder("Web Part Gallery", Properties.Resources.WebPartsNode.ToBitmap(), 
                    CreateWebPartNodes);
            }
    
            // Creates individual Web Part nodes under the new Web Part Gallery node. 
            private void CreateWebPartNodes(IExplorerNode parentNode)
            {
                // Use the SharePoint client object model to get items from the Web Part gallery.
                ClientContext context = new ClientContext(siteUrl.AbsoluteUri);
                List webPartsGallery = context.Web.GetCatalog((int)ListTemplateType.WebPartCatalog);
                ListItemCollection webParts = webPartsGallery.GetItems(new CamlQuery());
    
                // Request the FieldValuesAsText property values with the Web Part items.
                context.Load(webParts, listItems => listItems.Include(i => i.FieldValuesAsText));
                context.ExecuteQuery();
    
                if (webParts != null)
                {
                    foreach (ListItem webPart in webParts)
                    {
                        // Create a new annotation object to store the current Web Part item with the new node. 
                        var annotations = new Dictionary<object, object>() 
                        { 
                            { typeof(ListItem), webPart } 
                        };
    
                        // Create the new node for the current Web Part item.
                        parentNode.ChildNodes.Add(WebPartNodeTypeProvider.WebPartNodeTypeId,
                            webPart.FieldValuesAsText.FieldValues["Title"], annotations);
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    

Create a class that defines a new type of node that represents a Web Part. Visual Studio uses this new node type to display child nodes under the Web Part Gallery node. Each of these child nodes represents a single Web Part on the SharePoint site.

To define the new node type, the class implements the IExplorerNodeTypeProvider interface. Implement this interface whenever you want to define a new type of node in Server Explorer.

To define the Web Part node type

  • Paste the following code into the WebPartNodeTypeProvider code file for the WebPartNodeExtension project.

    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Windows.Forms;
    using System.ComponentModel.Composition;
    using Microsoft.SharePoint.Client;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.SharePoint;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.SharePoint.Explorer;
    
    namespace ServerExplorer.SharePointConnections.WebPartNode
    {
        // Enables Visual Studio to discover and load this extension.
        [Export(typeof(IExplorerNodeTypeProvider))]
    
        // Specifies the ID for this new node type.
        [ExplorerNodeType(WebPartNodeTypeProvider.WebPartNodeTypeId)]
    
        // Defines a new node type that represents a Web Part on a SharePoint site. 
        internal class WebPartNodeTypeProvider : IExplorerNodeTypeProvider
        {
            internal const string WebPartNodeTypeId = "Contoso.WebPart";
    
            public void InitializeType(IExplorerNodeTypeDefinition typeDefinition)
            {
                typeDefinition.DefaultIcon = Properties.Resources.WebPart.ToBitmap();
                typeDefinition.IsAlwaysLeaf = true;
    
                typeDefinition.NodePropertiesRequested += NodePropertiesRequested;
                typeDefinition.NodeMenuItemsRequested += NodeMenuItemsRequested;
            }
    
            // Retrieves properties that are displayed in the Properties window when 
            // a Web Part node is selected. 
            private void NodePropertiesRequested(object sender,
                ExplorerNodePropertiesRequestedEventArgs e)
            {
                var webPart = e.Node.Annotations.GetValue<ListItem>();
                object propertySource = e.Node.Context.CreatePropertySourceObject(
                    webPart.FieldValuesAsText.FieldValues);
                e.PropertySources.Add(propertySource);
            }
    
            private void NodeMenuItemsRequested(
                object sender, ExplorerNodeMenuItemsRequestedEventArgs e)
            {
                e.MenuItems.Add("Display Message").Click += MenuItemClick;
            }
    
            private void MenuItemClick(object sender, MenuItemEventArgs e)
            {
                IExplorerNode parentNode = e.Owner as IExplorerNode;
    
                if (parentNode != null)
                {
                    var webPart = parentNode.Annotations.GetValue<ListItem>();
                    MessageBox.Show("You clicked the context menu for the following Web part: " +
                        webPart.FieldValuesAsText.FieldValues["Title"] + ".", "Web Part Menu Command");
                }
            }
        }
    }
    

At this point in the walkthrough, all the code for the Web Part Gallery node is now in the project. Build the WebPartNodeExtension project to make sure that it compiles without errors.

To build the project

  • In Solution Explorer, open the shortcut menu for the WebPartNodeExtension project, and then choose Build.

To deploy the extension, use the VSIX project in your solution to create a VSIX package. First, configure the VSIX package by modifying the source.extension.vsixmanifest file that's included in the project. Then create the VSIX package by building the solution.

To configure the VSIX package

  1. In Solution Explorer, in the WebPartNode project, open source.extension.vsixmanifest file in the manifest editor.

    The source.extension.vsixmanifest file is the basis for the extension.vsixmanifest file that all VSIX packages require. For more information about this file, see VSIX Extension Schema 1.0 Reference.

  2. In the Product Name box, enter Web Part Gallery Node for Server Explorer.

  3. In the Author box, enter Contoso.

  4. In the Description box, enter Adds a custom Web Part Gallery node to the SharePoint Connections node in Server Explorer.

  5. On the Assets tab of the editor, choose the New button.

  6. In the Add New Asset dialog box, in the Type list, choose Microsoft.VisualStudio.MefComponent.

    Note Note

    This value corresponds to the MefComponent element in the extension.vsixmanifest file. This element specifies the name of an extension assembly in the VSIX package. For more information, see MEFComponent Element (VSX Schema).

  7. In the Source list, choose A project in current solution.

  8. In the Project list, choose WebPartNodeExtension, and then choose the OK button.

  9. On the menu bar, choose Build, Build Solution, and then make sure that the solution compiles without errors.

  10. Make sure that the build output folder for the WebPartNode project now contains the WebPartNode.vsix file.

    By default, the build output folder is the ..\bin\Debug folder under the folder that contains your project file.

You are now ready to test the new Web Part Gallery node in Server Explorer. First, start to debug the extension project in an experimental instance of Visual Studio. Then use the new Web Parts node in the experimental instance of Visual Studio.

To start debugging the extension

  1. Restart Visual Studio with administrative credentials, and then open the WebPartNode solution.

  2. In the WebPartNodeExtension project, open the SiteNodeExtension code file, and then add a breakpoint to the first lines of code in the NodeChildrenRequested and CreateWebPartNodes methods.

  3. Choose the F5 key to start debugging.

    Visual Studio installs the extension to %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0Exp\Extensions\Contoso\Web Part Gallery Node Extension for Server Explorer\1.0 and starts an experimental instance of Visual Studio. You'll test the project item in this instance of Visual Studio.

To test the extension

  1. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, on the menu bar, choose View, Server Explorer.

  2. Verify that the SharePoint site that you want to use for testing appears under the SharePoint Connections node in Server Explorer. If it's not listed, follow these steps:

    1. Open the shortcut menu for SharePoint Connections, and then choose Add Connection.

    2. In the Add SharePoint Connection dialog box, enter the URL for the SharePoint site to which you want to connect, and then choose the OK button.

      To specify the SharePoint site on your development computer, type http://localhost.

  3. Expand the site connection node (which displays the URL of your site), and then expand a child site node (for example, Team Site).

  4. Verify that the code in the other instance of Visual Studio stops on the breakpoint that you set earlier in the NodeChildrenRequested method, and then choose the F5 key to continue to debug the project.

  5. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, expand the Web Part Gallery node, which appears under the top-level site node.

  6. Verify that the code in the other instance of Visual Studio stops on the breakpoint that you set earlier in the CreateWebPartNodes method, and then choose the F5 key to continue to debug the project.

  7. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, verify that all the Web Parts on the connected site appear under the Web Part Gallery node in Server Explorer.

  8. Open the shortcut menu for a Web Part, and then choose Properties.

  9. In the Properties window, verify that details about the Web Part appear.

  10. In Server Explorer, open the shortcut menu for the same Web Part, and then choose Display Message.

    In the message box that appears, choose the OK button.

After you finish testing the extension, uninstall it from Visual Studio.

To uninstall the extension

  1. In the experimental instance of Visual Studio, on the menu bar, choose Tools, Extensions and Updates.

    The Extensions and Updates dialog box opens.

  2. In the list of extensions, choose Web Part Gallery Node for Server Explorer, and then choose the Uninstall button.

  3. In the dialog box that appears, choose the Yes button.

  4. Choose the Restart Now button to complete the uninstallation.

    The project item is also uninstalled.

  5. Close both instances of Visual Studio (the experimental instance and the instance of Visual Studio in which the WebPartNode solution is open).

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