CKS : Developer Tools – A tool for your toolbox

Tobias Zimmergren
Tobias Zimmergren

If you’re a seasoned SharePoint developer, you probably have a good set of tools that you’re working with on a daily basis. Some of my all-time favorites include:

With the addition of new tools to the community basically every week, it could be hard to keep track of all the different extra applications you’d want to use.

CKS:Dev has been released!

If you’ve heard of CKS before (Community Kit for SharePoint), you might know that there’s great support for Blogs (EBE) and other cool things. Actually, this blog is based on the CKS:EBE code. Works like a charm!

Now, if you’ve missed it – there’s a new addition to the CKS-family called the CKS: Developer Tools which is essentially extending the functionality in Visual Studio 2010.

There’s currently two versions released. One for SharePoint Foundation 2010 and one for SharePoint Server 2010.

You can find them here:

What’s in it for me (the developer)?

There’s some really superb additions to Visual Studio 2010 when installing the aforementioned versions of the CKS:Dev project. These include some of my favorites:

SharePoint Tab in the References dialog (no need to goof around the filesystem to find the dll’s)

Extended SharePoint Explorer

See more libraries

Activate/Deactivate features directly from the explorer

Enable/Disable the Developer Dashboard (yay!)

Generate Entity Classes (finally!)

A bunch of new cool project templates, including some of these jolly good jewels:

Basic page

Delegate control

Master page

Custom Action, Custom Action Group, Hide Custom Action (good stuff)

Sandbox Full Trust Proxy

Quick Deployment steps

Easily deploy your code and files quickly with the WSPBuilder-alike commands like:

“Copy to SharePointRoot”

“Copy to Bin”

“Copy to GAC”

“Recycle App Pools”

“Attach to worker process”

and so on.

Aside from the aforementioned awesomeness, there’s a whole lot of other stuff that I bet I’ve missed out on with this tool. I’d say go and find out yourself if you haven’t already – you  will not want to work without this in your toolset ever again, of that you can be sure!


The reason for posting some info and selling-points behind the (free) developer tools from the CKS team are foremost that when I’m doing training or when I’m supporting clients in different projects, they always asks me what tools they should have in their toolbox.

I’m surprised that not even 20% of them knows about the CKS:Dev extensions. So with this post I’m hoping to enlighten some of those folks.


Visual StudioTools

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Hi, I'm Tobias! 👋 I write about Microsoft Azure, security, cybersecurity, compliance, cloud architecture, Microsoft 365, and general tech!

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