SharePoint Development: Tools of the Trade

As I noted in my last post, lesson two of my SharePoint development series is still nothing more than an item in the “someday” section of my to-do list at the moment, but in the meantime I thought I’d share a few tools that I find invaluable when I’m doing SharePoint development work.

  • Notepad++
    Any good text editor with a focus on code will do, but Notepad++ is my tool of choice, not least because it’s available in a portable version that I can run on my work computer without having to ask our IT department to install anything for me (not that I would ever run unapproved software, obviously. I’m just saying you could).
  • SPServices jQuery Library
    I’ll be introducing this little gem in lesson 3, if/when I get around to writing it.
  • Find List and View GUIDs
    SharePoint lists and views all have unique IDs assigned to them by the system, and it’s useful (again, for reasons that will become clear later) to be able to find them. This simple tool does just that.
  • SharePoint List Item Editor
    Another simple but extremely useful tool. This one presents lists in a grid view which is great for mass-editing, copying and pasting from Excel, etc, etc.



I’d previously also listed SharePoint CAML Query Helper in this list, with the caveat that I hadn’t actually tried it but screenshots I’d seen made me hopeful that it would make the process of building CAML queries (which are the method by which you can control what data from a list is returned to you when you’re using SPServices) easier.

It’s is a worthwhile tool to have in your toolbox and it’s great for testing CAML queries, but it didn’t make building them as easy as I’d hoped.

What I want is a tool that lets me select a list field, enter the criteria by which I want to filter on that field, and then spits out the CAML query that I need to use. If anybody knows of such a tool please let me know in the comments!

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