Microsoft may be silent BUT some Microsoftees ARE listening

Just caught the “Microsoft Silent on the SmartPart” post from keen SharePointer Patrick Tisseghem and thought I would do three things:

1. Let Patrick know that while “Microsoft” (whatever that is! <grin>) may have been “Silent” some Microsoftees are out here are listening!
Like the developers of SmartPart (led by Jan Tielens) I was initially a little disappointed that SharePoint Web Parts did not allow the sort of “drag and drop” development that makes life much easier (or even possible) for developers like myself, so it was with keen interest that I followed the development of the SmartPart web part. I’m delighted it’s released, and while I’m not I do want to say that I, at least, really appreciate the sort of community minded development that the SmartPart web part project represents. I think it is broadly understood inside Microsoft that it is only through working with such a community, and more broadly our partners, that we can deliver to our shared customers a SharePoint based solution that meets all of their requirements (AND in the process makes all their dreams come true, changes their lives for the better, ensures they are promoted next review, etc. etc.).

So, Patrick, I know this is a long way from having a SmartPart banner on, however please accept this little bit of noise from a Microsoftee in appreciation of all the great work those peope in the community who contributed to the SmartPart (I know this also includes Maxim V Karpov for the CAS stuff) devoted to it.

Now, bring on version 2, and lets not stop there, we need more innovative web parts. <grin>

2. To answer a very specific question from Patricks post:
    “So what is Microsoft saying about this technique?“  

From my point of view, if this technique works for you, then go for it!  I don’t think you need Microsoft to tell you that this is a useful tool for your SharePoint toolbox, providing another option when developing solutions on top of SharePoint. I would also give Mike Fitz a chance, his comments were not in anyway directed at the SmartPart, in fact I’m guessing they were made before SmartPart V1 was released. I will ping him a mail and make sure he is across SmartPart and what it is all about (but I bet he already is). 

3. What would you like to see us do?
So, all that aside, I’m keen to understand what “we” at Microsoft can do. What sort of noise would you like us to make about the SmartPart? Let me know. While I certainly can’t promise anything, I’m at least keen to listen, and I can forward on any comments to the relevant people. Who knows, we may just make the sort of noise which becomes music to your ears…(oh brother! Did I just join Marketing?)