By Andrew Connell
SharePoint 2010 introduces an improved (yet, somewhat new) concept to the SharePoint platform called the service application framework. Service applications are designed to replace SharePoint 2007 Shared Service Providers, and provide much more flexibility in terms of deployment, management, topology, and capabilities to the platform. One of the biggest changes is the capability for developers to build custom service applications. This chapter first looks at the history of service offerings for the SharePoint platform, and then introduces the new service application framework. It then addresses the subject of creating custom service applications, and walks through the process of creating one.
Readers who are familiar with previous versions of SharePoint (SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Office SharePoint Server 2007) may elect to jump straight to the section, "SharePoint 2010 Service Architecture Framework." Readers who are familiar with the new service application framework and who want to dive into creating custom service applications can jump to the section, "SharePoint 2010 Service Application Extensibility."
The sample service application referenced in this chapter is much too big to include all the accompanying code samples and files in the chapter itself. Instead, the most important parts have been included, with a considerable amount of code and things like error checking and validation ...