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Community Kit for SharePoint - Alpha release

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   I’m very happy to announce that the Alpha release of the Community Kit for SharePoint (CKS) for review and feedback at The folks at Inetium did most of the work for free even though the company is a for profit Microsoft Certified Solution Provider partner. I applaud Eric Raarup, the VP of IT Strategy and Planning at Inetium and a member of the CKS core team, for recognizing the importance (and eventual benefits if not from increased sales then at least from better karma) of contributing to the SharePoint Community. I’m currently working with a couple of other community savvy Microsoft partners to make potential contributions to the CKS.


   If you’ve been tracking the progress of the CKS for the past few months, you would’ve noticed that we changed the name slightly from the original SharePoint Community Kit (SCK). We did so primarily to avoid any expectation that this is an add-on product developed by the Microsoft SharePoint Product Group (it’s not). Hence, the project’s team site has also been renamed accordingly to And lastly, we have a cool looking logo thanks to the creative design of Shane Perran.


   This Alpha release of the CKS represents a very significant milestone for the project, so the team would greatly appreciate your feedback. Our goal remains that we would release V1 of the CKS User Group Edition (UGE) by the end of September or mid October at the latest and for which WSS V3 B2TR will be a requirement. The initial version of the CKS UGE will be deployable as a simple site template (.STP) file, so any site admin will be able to upload it to the Site Template Gallery and then create a site based on the template. We realize that this method of deployment prevents us from including any custom developed webparts or features, but ease of deployment remains our top priority. If the CKS UGE can save a community leader an hour of time in not having to tweak a site created with one of the out-of-the-box WSS V3 site templates into a viable community site, then we would have achieved much of our current objectives. In subsequent versions of the CKS UGE as well as other CKS editions, we will very likely incorporate custom developed components.


   I’ve enabled anonymous access to the General Discussion webpart on the CKS team site, so please post your feedback there. Thanks!


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