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First of all, thank you to everyone who attended my sessions at SP Connections this past week. I had a great meeting people and talking about all different sorts of things that were on your mind. Sorry for those who didn't get to attend my last session on building Publishing sites with MOSS 2007 WCM. There was a schedule change and they put it in the Exchange track and it wasn't in the printed schedule, but it was listed in the session change list page that was in your conference bags.

For those who attended and are interested, I've posted the slides and code downloads on my speaking page for each session.

Those who attended my first two sessions (Prescriptive Guidance for Developers Building Publishing Sites on Tuesday afternoon & Building Custom Apps in SharePoint Sites on Wednesday morning) saw me use a few shortcuts in Visual Studio when I was writing the Feature XML files and customizing my project with that tool window. Let me address these two things separately:

  • The templates (those things that sort of looked like snippets) are provided by the Visual Studio addin CodeRush by Devexpress. While CodeRush ships with a ton of templates, I created a bunch for use in working with SharePoint code & XML files. CodeRush isn't free, but if you are interested in buying it, make sure you use the discount code CONNELL07 to get a 10% discount. All the SharePoint add-in stuff I created is available for free from my site. Go here to get more information about this as well as view blog posts and screencasts on everything included.
  • You also saw a custom tool window that I used to create folders in my project as well as automatically generate the DDF & manifest.xml files for a WSP file. I will be making that available as well in due time when it is more stable. Trust me, you don't want it right now :). It blows up all the time if you don't know all the issues with it... think of it as "meware" right now where only the author should be using it. When it is more stable I'll blog about it and provide the DLL and installation instructions (xcopy one DLL). The window is based on the Devexpress DXCore framework that both CodeRush & Refactor are based on. DXCore is free and the install doesn't really do anything to Visual Studio unless you are using a component... just like installing the .NET Framework doesn't do anything unless you use it.

Did you like these little tricks? Let me know by leaving some feedback as a comment! Want to see more? Check out the article on my blog that explains everything with screencasts and animated gif's (those are on the blog posts linked on those pages). Get more info on CodeRush & Refactor using the links at the bottom of that page.

This week was also the first meeting of SharePoint by Day, SharePint by Night. On Tuesday night we had a good turn out of 35-45 people who came to mingle and have a drink with other SharePoint professionals attending the conference. Thanks to everyone who showed up including the conference attendees, SharePoint MVPs and Microsoft folks. You can expect to see this being a repeat event at future conference that have a SharePoint slant. Just keep an eye on my blog for news. For now, here are a few pictures of the happy SharePointers @ SharePint!

SharePint by Night SharePint by Night SharePint by Night SharePint by Night
SharePint by Night SharePint by Night SharePint by Night

Click the thumbnail for a larger image, or check out the sharepint tag on Flickr.

I hope everyone else who was in Vegas, and who visited the casino's, had a profitable trip. The tables were very kind to me. Dustin taught me how to play Let it Ride on Monday afternoon. I was quite happy that my first sitting yielded a $90 profit in Mandalay Bay, but gave $50 back later that night on the same game in MGM. However the next day was my best table day in Vegas: in the span of about 2 hours $200 turned into $3300! All this happened in 25 minute run! Talk about a rush... after winning a few good hands I changed in 5 black $100 chips for a purple $500 chip because I hadn't had one in my stacks in a few years (I'm sort of known by some of my close friends for sitting at a blackjack table chasing a run for up to 10 hours at a time... man I love Vegas, but I digress). So I had that $500 chip and decide to play $20 stacks (you play 3 bets at a time in Let it Ride). My very next hand was a full house which paid out 50-1. For those of you who didn't add that up fast, that was a $3000 win ($1k for each stack) plus another $400 for the bonus bet (man, $1 pays $400... NICE!). That lone $500 chip was joined by six friends... VERY nice. :) Sure enough, those single deck blackjack tables were still in New York New York and I spent a good bit of time there as well which were profitable as well. Another successful Vegas trip! Christmas in the Connell household is going to be very nice this year!

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