SharePoint Developers ... what are your tools and environments like?

Something I take great interest in and spend a bunch of time thinking about are SharePoint Developers.  I was one before I moved up here to Redmond and joined the SharePoint product team.  Of course that means I hold a dear place in my heart for all you pro developers out there who are stuggling with the lack of developer tools targeted at the hard core SharePoint developer.  Dont worry ... we hear ya!!!

Something I have been doing recently is quizzing other sharepoint developers out there about their development practices, tools and environments they use in their jobs.  Now i want to take that to anyone (is there anyone?) reading this blog.

So here are my questions for you:

- What does your development environment look like?  Do you develop in a VPC (what products are installed) or on a dedicated machine?  Does your team use a single SQL server? or do you each run your own?  Do you run standalone MOSS/WSS installs? or are they connected to a Farm with other developers machines connected?

- What are the tools you use and how do you use them?  Do you only use Visual Studio?  or do you use a mix of VS and SharePoint Designer?  Do you have a bunch of scripts or batches for things yout cant do in Visual Studio ... like package up your Features into Solution files etc... Do you use any third party tools?

- If you use source control what do you store in it?  Do you just store your Feature files & code? or do you store scripts to automate a build and upload content to it etc...?  Is this all integrated with Source Control?

- Do you use any tools to help you build Feature & Solution files etc...? or do you manually write them?

- Have you looked at the Visual Studio Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services?  if so .. 1.1? or just 1.0?  What do you think is missing from that tool that you have to do using manual steps or scripts you built etc... (for more info see:

- What sort of applications are you building?  one off sites? or templates etc... for many sites?

- Do you sell the things you build many times?  or are they usually one offs?

So many questions I know :)  I want to make sure we stay focussed on delivering the tools that make the most sense to you the developers.  That is why I think it is important that you get to have your say about what direction we are should head in.  So go ahead ... make my day ... and add your comments below. (your comments might take a while to show up as i have comment moderation on to stop all the spam ... but i will approve when i can). Also ...I am totally happy for people to reply anonomously if they like.


Chris Johnson