Friday, November 2, 2012

Top 6 New Functions for Developers in SharePoint 2013

As you probably know the SharePoint 2013 Community Review was launched this weeks’ time and I’m sure all the developers out there want to know what exactly is new for branding? Well, you will be fascinated to know that creating SharePoint style simpler was a key objective for this edition of SharePoint. Does that mean that all my expert marketing colleagues are out of perform now? Let us examine out what exactly is new and then review that query. Be sure to examine out down the site, I preserve the most exciting for last(sort of like a David Letterman Top 10 list!).

1 – Design Manager :I stored the most exciting for last! This new function is so essential that Ms even included it as a top stage choice under Website Activities in posting sites! It contains hyperlinks to a lot of typical style projects such as some of the past subjects I’ve mentioned but it also contains the following new features:

Create and Edit Master Pages:This is probably the greatest modify for SharePoint marketing people. From here you can make a little expert web page or turn a current HTML style. Did that get your attention? Yes, you can actually add an HTML style with CSS and pictures to the Master Page Collection and then use this function to turn it to a performing expert web page. You also get a review of the new expert web page and a small gallery that allows you to duplicate SharePoint performance (like routing, look for, web areas, etc.) right into your HTML cantered style.
You no more have to modify .master files; you can proceed modifying your HTML computer file in whatever manager you like and every time you hit preserve SharePoint will find the changes and upgrade the corresponding .master computer file.

Does this mean that SharePoint marketing is so simple now that anyone can do it? Yes and no, if you need to create a labelled SharePoint website you probably can do it all from the Style Administrator with transforming an HTML design and using thoughts. However to create a completely labelled website or website you will still need to comprehend a lot of SharePoint CSS and you still need to comprehend how Material Placeholders and a wide range of other SharePoint particular technological innovation performs.

I'll be very inquisitive to see how the SharePoint marketing group responds to this function and see where we area with what newbies can do with SharePoint marketing on their own. I usually think the Style Administrator is a fantastic kick off factor that changes factors so that there is no canter stage attempt marketing... either there is marketing that anyone can do with the Style Administrator or there is innovative marketing that you need to comprehend the underpinnings to create factors perform the way you want.

  • Create and Edit Page Layouts - When you create a page layout from the Design Manager you get an HTML file that contains a minimal page layout and all the fields that come from the content type that you base the page layout on. When you make changes to this HTML file the corresponding .ASPX page layout is updated behind the scenes
  • Create a Design Package - Export your entire design from one place to another (even a completely different server). You can then import the design package to another site collection or server from Site Actions > Import Design Package.
Well, that’s the end of the Top 6 list. I invite you to discuss these features as you start to play with them. Do you think the Design Manager is an end-to-end branding solution or are is it more like a really great kick start to the SharePoint branding process? Let me know in the comments! 

You can bet I’ll be back with more SharePoint 2013 content in the near future but I wanted to get this list up now that the public beta was released.

2 – No more SharePoint Designer for creating SharePoint branding: Sure SharePoint Developer was modified for 2013 but you do not have to use it to modify your marketing anymore (I’m considering the name SharePoint “Designer” is no more appropriate!). Actually you can use any device you want, such as Graphic Facilities, Notepad++, and Dreamweaver… ANYTHING. This function performs because the Expert Web page Collection was modified to perform easily over a WebDAV applying. So now, in Microsoft windows you can map a system generate straight to your Expert Web page Collection and then modify away. Legitimately you could do this to some level in past variations of SharePoint, but back then Ms closed SharePoint from enabling you to perform with master webpages and page templates.

In 2013 the Expert Web page Selection is the place where you can put ALL your marketing resources such as CSS and pictures. This is a fairly exciting modify that requires a little getting used to… but it really is a lot better than having to use SharePoint Developer or a plug-in to Graphic Facilities to work with your marketing information straight on the Website Selection.

Note: I’ve noticed that sometimes WebDAV can be slow. There is a strange but easy fix to this, see the following post: After making this change my mapped drive to SharePoint is super-fast!

3 – Web Content Management enhancements: There are probably several improvements that are new to SharePoint 2013 WCM but the two that take a position out to me are: Material Look for Web Aspect and Online.
Content Search Web Part :A new Web Aspect that supersedes the old Material Question Web Aspect. As the name indicates the new Web Aspect uses the look for performance in 2013 to question and narrow details from around SharePoint. As opposed to the CQWP, the Material Search Web Aspect is designed with HTML and JavaScript instead of XSLT.

  • Catalogs – In SharePoint 2013 WCM you can create a catalog of products and use this catalog to create a robust product web site without creating pages for every item. Imagine having product categories, sub categories, and product detail pages all centrally managed!
I could probably fill an entire blog post on the new WCM features, but I'll let someone else take that charge :)

Device Channels:Don’t be fooled by the name, this has nothing to do with channels as you may know them… we are talking mobile / device specific page rendering here! 

You installation System Programs from Site Configurations > System channels, which allows you to give the route an Alias (for referencing in the UI and in code) and then “Device Addition Rules”. These guidelines are substrings that SharePoint will look for in the browser’s Personal Broker. You can have certain expert webpages implement to certain device channels (for example: have a particular expert web page just for iPhones or Surface Tablets). This is a fairly awesome function, you can even use the Alias in your expert web page and web page templates to have different individual items of the site provide in a different way depending on the route. Its type of like Press Issues in CSS3 only System Programs do not look at device abilities (like size and height) they look for search phrases in the browser’s Personal Broker.

5 – Composed Looks:I’m considering Consisting Looks as progress of SharePoint 2010 themes… I think about the item group was trying to create something a little nearer to how Term Media styles work(though without changing the underlying SharePoint technologies that make up the look and feel)

The first big distinction is you do not create the styles with the Workplace customer any longer. Instead you set up components and add them to a Consisting Looks Collection (Site Configurations > Consisting looks). The composed look includes several things:

  • Name – Fairly obviously the name of the Composed Look
  • Master Page – To arrange the elements of the page and do other master page-y stuff
  • Theme URL – Points to an XML file that defines all of the colors you want to apply to different CSS. This works similarly to 2010 except you make your own theme id’s instead of using Accent1, Accent2, etc.
  • Image URL – Points to an image that can be used to replace a background image in the CSS (I know… sweet… a background image!)
  • Font Scheme URL – Points to an XML file which defines the fonts that can be applied to CSS
  • Display Order – Helps you arrange the available composed looks
The idea here is that you put all this together with a preview file and you can provide configurable “composed looks” for your clients and users to select from and configure to their liking. You can apply Composed looks from Site Settings > Change the look. 

6 – Managed Navigation:SharePoint navigation now has two different options: the old way, now known as Structured Navigation and the new way which is known as Managed Navigation. 

This new technique of routing uses a Handled Meta-data phrase set to fill the routing management with products. The new technique is more versatile and allows for some exciting new uses as you will see such as enabling you to create helpful URL’s. Another exciting part advantage of Handled Navigation is you get a great Modify choice next to the both the International and Present routing that allows you add, eliminate, and edit routing from anywhere without viewing the Navigation choice in the Website Configurations.

Side Note: Styling this edit mode is going to be a bit of a pain on sites with highly stylized navigation… but that’s a good topic for a future post!


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