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MEF and SharePoint ?

Apr 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM
Does Microsoft have any plans to integrate MEF into some future edition of SharePoint?  A simple yes/no answer will suffice if specific dates cannot be disclosed.  I'm mainly interested to see if this is more "do as I say" or more "do as I do" in terms of the message coming from Microsoft.
Apr 8, 2009 at 5:27 PM
It's definitely our intention to use MEF widely. Visual Studio 2010 integrates MEF extensively, as do several other projects both announced and unannounced. Being part of the .NET Framework means MEF is available to all consumers of .NET 4.0. Its hard to comment on specific products that might not yet have fixed release plans, but wherever it makes sense to use it, MEF will likely be there.
Apr 9, 2009 at 5:34 AM
Edited Apr 9, 2009 at 5:35 AM
Hi Fmorriso

We are looking at various places in our platform where we can integrate MEF. This includes the core .NET stack intself as well as products like SharePoint and Office. Nothing we can commit to at this point.

As a side note, MEF is part of the .NET Framework, and not bound to any particular UI technology, so wherever the framework is present, MEF is available for use. For example our 3.5 version of MEF we ship on Codeplex, could be used today within your Sharepoint app development, as it uses .NET. If the future version of Sharepoint uses .NET 4.0, then MEF will be available there as well.

Out of curiosity, what are the scenarios for which you would see using MEF in Sharepoint?

Apr 9, 2009 at 11:52 AM
Edited Apr 9, 2009 at 11:53 AM

It's not so much what I want to do with MEF in SharePoint but how Microsoft will integrate it along with Linq, EF, WPF, Silverlight, Expression Web and Enterprise Library (just to name a few) into SharePoint. 

I could then perhaps create better workflow forms (initialization, association, task, modification) than what I currently can do with InfoPath or ASP.Net, just to name one example.  Yes, there are various "bolt-on" solutions that use things like Silverlight, but we need more things that are "built-in" vs. "bolt on" or "shoe horn" when it comes to SharePoint.  Until Microsoft fully (as opposed to the current "partially") integrates the above technologies into SharePoint, they will continue to be the subject of article after article in MSDN, Code and other magazines that ultimately describe techniques that are more "shoe horn" than "built-in" programming. 

I could see MEF, once fully integrated into SharePoint, being the recommended way to alter the look-and-feel of SharePoint, extending SharePoint and making things like the BDC easier to use by becoming more "design vs. code".   I would like to inject, via Enterprise Library, standard error handling into custom C# MOSS workflows.  The list goes on and on, awaiting the "grand strategy" announcement for SharePoint from Microsoft regarding these otherwise mostly stand-alone (from where I'm sitting) technologies.