SharePoint delivers custom web applications without programming. To me, it is the evolution of the Visual Basic and ActiveX technologies that I worked on at Microsoft extended to the Web. Component-based development really took off with the introduction of Visual Basic custom controls, and today we are seeing something similar in the web space with web parts, widgets, and other prebuilt components.
You can do a lot with the web parts that come with SharePoint out of the box, but after a while you’ll start getting requests for custom components that integrate some existing application into SharePoint or that present information about sites or lists in a way that the built-in parts can’t. That’s when you need to program a web part.
You have a lot of choices in how you begin. I try to start from the easiest approach and work to the more complex topics in this chapter. I also focus on how to use the new ASP.NET
WebPart class, rather than the WSS 2.0 approach—you can still use the old approach but the new one is much simpler. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
You must have Visual Studio 2005 and know a programming language such as Visual C# to complete the tasks in this chapter.
You build web parts when your needs exceed what is available out of the box or from third parties. There are web parts available for free or at reasonable cost on the Web. It is often more economical to buy a web part than to create your own ...