This is the second part of our previous article about New Features and Enhancements in SharePoint 2010. You can visit first part of this article at New Features and Enhancements in SharePoint 2010 – Part I
11. New Hardware and Software requirements
SharePoint 2010 will ship only as a 64-bit product. So if you are planning to upgrade SharePoint 2007 into SharePoint 2010 and if you have deployed your SharePoint 2007 site into 32-bit environment then it’s definitely a consideration to do the upgradation.
In addition to new hardware requirements, SharePoint 2010 will require an x64 edition of either Windows Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2. It also requires a 64-bit version of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005.
12. Business Connectivity Services (BCS)
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) provides read/write access to external data from line-of-business (LOB) systems, web services, databases, and other external systems within Microsoft SharePoint 2010. If you have worked on SharePoint 2007 (MOSS 2007), you must be aware of Business Data Catalog (BDC). In SharePoint 2010, Business Data Catalog has been replaced by Business Connectivity Services.
Business Connectivity Services supports all the features provided by Business Data Catalog together with a lot of new features and capabilities. Following are some of the new features of Business Connectivity Services:
– Using BCS, you can read and write back to external systems from SharePoint 2010 site. Using BDC in SharePoint 2007 site, you were able to read data from external system but it didn’t support to write back to external system.
– BCS supports cache-based and offline work features. Now users can manipulate external data when they are working offline and all the read/write operations performed against cached external data are synchronized when connection to the server becomes available.
– BCS supports reading binary large object (BLOB) data from the external system.
– Enhanced object model and APIs which enables developers to write generic applications to work against any external system.
– BCS provides batch and bulk operation support. So now it is possible to read multiple items in a single call which reduces the round trips to the external systems significantly.
– External data can be converted to a list like view very easily using External Lists.
13. Visio Services
SharePoint 2010 is equipped with Visio Services which allow you to share data linked diagrams in real time. Using Visio Services you can connect to backend, visualize the data and publish the Visio diagram into your SharePoint site. Visio data diagrams can be rendered without the need for Visio on the client computer.
14. New and enhanced SharePoint Designer 2010
To work with SharePoint 2010, Microsoft has also introduced a new version of SharePoint Designer called as “SharePoint Designer 2010”. Following are some of the new features and capabilities introduced in SharePoint Designer 2010:
– Improved User Interface together with Ribbon which improves its usability and make it consistent with the UI of SharePoint 2010 and other office applications.
– Quick Launch Navigator and Site Content Structure for Site information
– Using Site Content Structure, you can create a: Web Part page, Master Page, list, and workflow
– Permissions can be set for individual users
– Saving and deleting site templates is now possible
– Ability to use XSLT List View Web Parts to show dynamic views of your data
– Support for attaching workflows to content types
– Support for workflow templates
– Create Content Types and attach to lists
– New concept of “Entities” which provides seamless integration with back-end systems
15. SharePoint Best Practices Analyzer
SharePoint 2010 is equipped with SharePoint Best Practices Analyzer which provides Microsoft’s guidance for SharePoint implementation and troubleshooting and creates detailed reports to help administrators achieve greater performance, scalability, and uptime. A Problems and Solutions page in the analyzer helps you solve common implementation problems.
16. Usage Reporting and Logging
SharePoint 2010 includes a new database designed to support usage reporting and logging. The name of the database it creates is “WSS_Logging”. SharePoint 2010 keeps tracks of everything it does by logging into the WSS_Logging Database. If you remember in SharePoint 2007, Microsoft has recommended to not access any SharePoint database directly. But in SharePoint 2010, the logging database is the only database that Microsoft will be happy to let the developers directly read, query and build custom reports against it.
17. Developer Dashboard
Developer dashboard is a new feature introduced in SharePoint 2010 which displays the performance and tracing information in the bottom of every page likw how long did the request take to run?, what event handlers were fired?, In what sequence did these event handlers fire?, etc. Developers can use this information to debug and troubleshoot issues with page rendering time. By default this feature is disabled, but we can enable this feature in the development environments to get this additional information.
18. New SharePoint Developer Tools in Visual Studio 2010
Microsoft has introduced a new set of tools within the Visual Studio 2010 which make developing SharePoint applications as easy as any other .net applications. The new tools include project templates for many of the SharePoint application types, such as Web Parts, List definitions, Modules, Application Pages, Workflows, user Controls and others. A great feature in Visual Studio 2010 is the Visual Web part Designer. Now you don’t need to build tables for layout, you can just drag and drop and create controls within web parts, similar to ASP.Net forms and user controls.
19. Client Object Model
20. Language Integrated Query (LINQ) for SharePoint
Now in SharePoint 2010, you can use Language Integrated Query (LINQ) objects to query SharePoint lists. Earlier in SharePoint 2007 (MOSS 2007), using CAML queries was the only way to query SharePoint lists.