SharePoint Fundamentals – How do I programmatically get a reference to a SharePoint site following Best Practices using C#

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in How Do I...

This is one of the most fundamental building blocks for all SharePoint developers.  We get references to SPWeb and SPSite objects all the time without ever giving a second thought to how it’s done.  I’ve decided to document the recommended way to do this, combining guidance I frequently provide to SharePoint admins with regard to dealing with developer code via the Developer Dashboard.  This little snippet is thus intended to start guiding developers towards making it a habit to wrap sections of code in the SPMonitoredScope class.  I have provided the complete namespace of objects for completeness sake. 

A reference to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.dll is required.

Here’s the code:

using (new Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SPMonitoredScope("ScopeName"))
  using (Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite sps = new Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite("SiteURL"))
    using (Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWeb spw = sps.OpenWeb())
      //Do something



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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