Chris’s SharePoint Reflections

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  • Chris Zhong

    IT consultant Australia








Planing your SharePont WCE Site – Part 2 Solution Deployment

Posted by chrissyz on July 30, 2008

All right, time to resume our journey of branding SharePoint Internet site and I will talk about packaging this time (my bad for taking such a long time to update the blog, I guess the cold weather in Canberra plays a part)

As we all know, SharePoint development has two streams: artifacts and assembly based development. Although Microsoft advocates that Content Deployment should be used in artifacts development instead of feature/solution development. I can’t really totally agree with that. The way of deploying these artifacts is NOT simple “Copy and Paste” or “Reject or Approve”, at least not at the first place.  Content deployment should be used when the authoring environment and production environment are established and relatively stable.  (And you really need to think of if it worth doing so, as the process is not simple, especially when your site is mostly static pages and is not going to change very often )

SharePoint development is an integrated process. We can’t really draw a clear line and mark black and white between assembly and artifacts development.  There are a lot of dependencies between artifacts and assembly development. Although SharePoint Branding involved most of the artifacts development like Master Pages, Page Layout, CSS, Themes, Customizing Navigation, etc, in my point of view, you are still expected at the very least, to package your work into a feature so it can be deployed in a relative decent way.  And of course, the best way is always packaging all your stuff into a solution package.

Why? Because deploy as a solution package provide you the ability to

·         Deploy assembly DLLs to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC)

·         Register features with the WSS runtime

·         Update web.config file with SafeControl entries required in Web Part deployment

·         Install features to all web front end server in a farm at one time

The solution package itself is a compressed CAB file with a .wsp extension, and it contains one or more WSS components along with any dependent files that need to be deployed on each front-end Web Server.

A simple solution package might contain just the files needed to deploy a single feature. A more complex package could contain the files for multiple features, page layouts, web parts, list definitions, event handlers, and a site definition. You decide what goes into a solution package according to what set of components it makes sense to deploy as a single unit. The following diagram is a basic solution package for a SharePoint Branding site:

 

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