One extremely useful utility for SharePoint is SharePoint Manager 2007. SPM2007 is developed by Carsten Keutmann. You may know him better by his other project – WSPBuilderthat is one of the best SharePoint add-ins for Visual Studio.
CodePlex site describes this tool as follows: “The SharePoint Manager 2007 is a SharePoint object model explorer. It enables you to browse every site on the local farm and view every property. It also enables you to change the properties (at your own risk). This is a very powerfull tool for developers that like to know what the SharePoint holds of secrets.”
Basically it lets you explore SharePoint server and see properties of all objects. You can see and sometimes modify even those properties that SharePoint doesn’t show you through browser based interface. There are more very cool uses for this tool but let’s see some pictures too.
Properties of all objects are presented same way as on screenshot above. For lists you can see also some additional tabs like shown on following screenshot.
When building SharePoint solutions on Visual Studio you may need XMLs for list schemas. SharePoint Manager 2007 gives you these schemas. Just move to Schema XML tab and use copy-paste. XML is nicely formatted so you can also read it without using editors that can step XML. Same way you get also XML definitions for content types, site columns, groups and role definitions.
I used SharePoint Manager 2007 to compare properties of site columns to find out differences that caused problems on one server. It took only couple of minutes to find out problems. And as a bonus I got all list definitions to my Visual Studio project very fast.