Archive for June 2013


Delivering Your Solution

Step One: Getting Started (Again)
Part Two: And Moving Forward 

So we got connected to our farm, loaded Visual Studio, and build our first custom SharePoint 2013 visual web part.

From here there’s two ways we can go. First, obviously we could make the web part more complicated. Sure. We’ve done some of that before. But, second, we need to be able to build our web part into  something that might be usable to an audience. Let’s look at this second issue first.

First of all. Let’s recall that my VS project was called VisualWebPartProject2 and notice that VS projects, by default, create things inside our \Documents\Visual Studio 2012\Projects\<Project Name> \<Project Name>\bin\Debug folder.

Inside that folder, there’s a VisualWebPartProject2.wsp. This is a genuine SharePoint 2013 solution. To prove it, we go to Site Settings | Solutions and click on the Upload Solution link on the ribbon. We navigate out to our \bin\ folder and select the .wsp and click Open

Adding the .wsp File

Adding the .wsp File

Then, we get a chance to activate our solution by clicking on the Activate link

Activate the Solution

Activate the Solution

Now, we can navigate out to a typical team site, edit a page, click on Web Part on the Insert ribbon and select the VisualWebPartProject2 web part from the Custom web parts category and click on Add. And there it is, Hello World in all it’s glory.


A Real Text Box in a Custom Web Part

And Moving Forward

Step One: Getting Started (Again)

Okay, we looked at getting connected to our server via the RDP Admin client.

So, we’re presuming we have our domain and SQL Server and SharePoint farm already running. and we’ve simply added a second server so we can have a dedicated front end server to run Visual Studio 2012.

We mount the .iso using Windows now so there’s no need for a separate program for that. We right-click on the Visual Studio .exe and select Run as Administrator.

Agree to the licence terms and click Next.

Here, it gives you the opportunity to install some number of components. We check them all and click Install.

Now, there’s two progress bars and instead of a spinning pinwheel, we get little flying dots that back up and then speed off like traffic on the interstate. At least the two status bars are grammatically congruent, one being Acquiring and the other Applying.

Then you get a Setup Successful panel which is nice because it has the exclamation point and we like those a lot!

We click the Launch option and cross our fingers.

So here, the “Program Compatibility Assistant” tells us This program has compatibility issues. We click the Get Help Online option just to see what it will do.

That returns a No solutions found for  Visual Studio 2012 so we click OK, then Run the program without getting help. It doesn’t instill a lot of confidence but, hey, it says it will run.

Sure enough, we get the Choose Default Environment Settings, and we select Visual C# Development Settings, forego the local help documentation and click Start Visual Studio.

Again with the Compatibility Assistant we run the program without getting help.

More progress bars for a couple of minutes… and there’s the Start Page and a baloon suggesting we try the updates.  We click the update button for the Visual Studio 2012 Update 2. That brings up a download manager where we click Run.

The update says to close Visual Studio. We do and click Continue, Agree, and Install.

More progress bars and flying dot traffic jams. Again Setup Successful  and again, Launch this time with no Program Compatibility AssistantThat’s cool.

And we have the VS2012 Start Page.

And if we need any greater detail, our new best friend, CannonFodder, has this for us to work through the entire process.

What we don’t have is the SharePoint 2013 templates. Those are here.

As our new best friend, Tim, explains here, we can download it and run the .exe.

As it turns out, Office 2013 is a bit of a prerequisite for the SP 2013 SDK as much of it will fail without it. Now we could figure out how to get the SP templates without Office 2013 but ain’t nobody got time for that so we just install the Office bits and try again.

So then we can turn to our new best friends at SharePoint 2013 Hosting who details the web part creation process here. We follow along creating the project and defining the deployment site and the template solution gives us an error “Unable to connect to SharePoint Server.”

This turned out to be an ugly issue with the SharePoint 2013 Distributed Caching Service and the Windows Application Fabric Caching. So what we did was generate a number of links to external source that essentially led us to reinstall the AppFabricCaching service on both SP front ends this time using the latest version 1.1 bits.

Here are some helpful links:

App Fabric Intro

APP Fabric Caching – Automated

App Fabric Permissions

Lead Hosts and Cluster Management

Distributed Cache in SP2013

App Fabric Overview This one might be the best.

So after we got that sorted out, we figured out we had to start the Sandboxed Code Service on our development server. We would click the startbutton and Visual Studio would build our web part and install it in the specified site. Once there, we’d have to open a browser and navigate to the specificed site, edit the page and add the web part.

It looks like this:


And there you have it, a custom SharePoint 2013 web part on a development server attached to a multi-server SharePoint farm.