Jason Zander, General Manager for Visual Studio, recently announced Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Sharepoint.
Items addressed in Zander's TechEd EMEA keynote:
Building and Debugging
Visual Studio will be able to building and debug SharePoint projects. "F5 Just Works!"
Server Explorer Integration
SharePoint Connections will be an option in the VS Server Explorer. Standard Sharepoint artifacts will be viewable: ContentTypes, Features, Templates, Lists, Sites, Workflows, Workspaces. Direct manipulation of some artifact attributes will be supported through VS property grid integration.
Windows SharePoint Services Project (WSP) Import
This will automate the manual task of creating Windows SharePoint Services solution package files. Previously, to create a solution package file, a developer had to use the Makecab.exe console application that is included in the Microsoft Cabinet Software Development Kit (SDK). Makecab.exe requires specifying the Diamond Directive File (.ddf) that contains a list of all the files to include in the package. Much of this will be automated.
Visual Web Part Designer
A new WSYWIG designer will exist for authoring Web Parts. The designer will also load a user control as a web part for SharePoint. This seems to be a more tightly integrated version of the widely-used SmartPart, which is a Web Part that allows hosting of ASP.NET User Controls in SharePoint.
Event Receiver Wizard
Adding Event Receivers and connecting them to Sources can be done visually through a wizard.
A new ASPX Workflow Initiation form for Workflow Project will be added. Workflow initiation forms will have a visual designer.
A new Packaging Explorer will exist that supports editing Packaging and structuring the SharePoint Features and WSP file.
Thanks Al Tenhundfeld for bringing this to us.