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VisualStudio and SP Designer: what approach for sleek development?

Posted By:      Posted Date: September 07, 2010    Points: 0   Category :SharePoint
Hi to all, we work at fairly complex SP based applications: our sites are rarely just document libraries or simple lists, so we usually have a bit of coding behind them. Until the latest release, we always worked on VisualStudio only, avoiding the SharePoint Designer, to create easily deployable applications that we can develop and test in an environment different from our production one. VisualStudio 2010 makes the whole process more enjoyable thanks to the new templates and a better overall integration with SharePoint Server (Deploy etc). The new Designer, also, is much better and we'd love to start using it. Laying out a site is a breeze with it, but we often fall back to the need of some hard programming on the code-behind. What is the better approach to SP development? What is the suggested way to seamlessly work with the Designer (using it to make up the lists, the pages and so on) and VisualStudio (to add non standard features and coding) and pack it all for an easy distribution? Ho to integrate the standard deploy features like exporting templates, packaging a solution from VS and so on? Any suggestion or link appreciated.

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