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I am a Female SharePoint Developer (a platinum unicorn). I have been working with SharePoint since I attended the Portal University in 2005. I hold a BA in Computer Science from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. I love playing Rockband, organizing user group meetings, working with code, attending events as a speaker or organizer, and having bizarre conversations about geek things with cool people. If you have any comments or questions fill out the contact form and I will try my best to help.

The Guide of a MOSSLover Becky Isserman's Blog

So I decided it was time to take a few minutes this week and discuss what I learned this week.  This moral is not really something new it's more a reiteration.  I hate third party features with little to no documentation.  I like developing my own products and knowing what I am doing.  I was working with some big name third party feature and I felt like an idiot.  First off I had to contact them to get an older version of the product.  Some guy with a name like Frankenstein's henchman contacted me.  If that wasn't enough it took until the beginning of this week to receive any type of response.  It was creepy.  Just when I was about to write Mr. Henchmen, I receive and e-mail with the link to the proper trial version of the product.  At that point I opened up my VPC and installed the product.  I noticed that there was no developer documentation or SDK for the product.  I read all 40 pages of the user guide and it was all tailored towards the end user.  I am thinking I need to create a Site Column, so how do I even fathom doing such a thing?  I sat for about two to three hours and studied the site columns, content types, and list fields. I realized it was a special field type.  So I slapped that into my site columns feature and added a reference in my content type feature. 

Now I was at the most painful part of my day, trying to figure out what control they were using to pull the information from this feature into an Edit Form.  That's when I realized there were exactly four assemblies installed in the folder I needed.  I had no idea which assembly held the right information.  So I'm thinking it's about time to download Reflector or gain a sixth sense of telepathy like Jean Grey or Charles Xavier.  I started opening up assemblies like there was no other and couldn't find a single control that dealt with the feature.  I imed this dude from work and he pulls open the 12 hive and looks into the field types.  He finds the control and assembly in about thirty minutes.  I look in my folder and that assembly is not sitting inside the folder.  I open up the GAC and it looks like the installer shoved it into right place.  At that point I realize let's crack open the CAB file...(Seriously guys who uses a CAB file anymore?  Aren't the cool kids using WSP files nowadays?)  So guess what I find inside is the exact assembly I want to reference, so I extract it and in VS 2008 look around for the field type.  A bit later I end up finding the exact field type I want to reference.  Tomorrow I will be adding this field type to my edit form web part. 

So the moral of this story guys...I hate third party tools that do not contain any documentation.  So I'm going to ask you guys to do me a favor.  Please if you are going to sell a product write at least some form of developer documentation or at least make your stuff obvious.  If you are installing a bunch of items with the assembly, then you may want to consider installing all the dll files in a common folder so developers can find them and reference them.  As I said before, I am not nor do I wish to be Jean Grey or Charles Xavier (maybe Gambit, Rogue, or Spiderman).  I know it's hard to document items, but if you're going to sell something it looks really bad on your company without any type of documentation.  Anyway that is my rant and I am sure someone is laughing at me and my blog post.  I hope that you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!  I am signing out for the week.  Going home to the rents back in St. Louis and then coming back on Friday so I can go shopping and see Twilight yet again.  I am not taking a computer with me, but you all know I am an IPhone/Internet Junkie who will crack and touch a computer or use her IPhone on Twitter way too much.  Anyway catch you all later:)

Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:11 AM MOSS | Back to top

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