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Approaches and Best Practices for Deploying SharePoint sites

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Solutions and Features, STSADM export, the Content Deployment API – all can be used to move SharePoint site artifacts from one environment to another, and all have different capabilities and limitations. Failing to plan your deployment processes properly can add significant risk to a SharePoint development project, and in some scenarios the problems may only become apparent when initial development is complete and updates need to be released. In this session we’ll explore the nuts and bolts of each development/deployment approach, and you’ll emerge on a firmer footing in this complex area of SharePoint. We’ll also touch on 3rd-party tools which can help with the deployment puzzle, from Codeplex utilities such as the Content Deployment Wizard to emerging tools such as Kivati Studio.

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Approaches and Best Practices for Deploying SharePoint sites

  1. 1. Approaches and Best Practices for deploying SharePoint sites<br />DEV212<br />Chris O’Brien - MVP<br />
  2. 2. Ask The Experts Panel Text numbers<br />1. IT PRO – 07891 100640<br />2. DEV – 07790 108093<br /> <br />3. IW – 07790 132855<br /> <br />4. BA – 07989 359425<br />
  3. 3. Chris O’Brien, MVP, MCSD.Net, MCTS<br />www.sharepointnutsandbolts.com<br />Hands-on developer<br />Author of Content Deployment Wizard tool<br />Regular speaker at UK user group<br />
  4. 4. What we’ll cover<br />Deployment goals and challenges<br />Options:<br />Deployment with Features<br />STSADM export<br />Content Deployment/Wizard<br />Kivati Studio/code/PowerShell<br />Considerations<br />Best practices and guidelines<br />
  5. 5. The challenge<br />Most projects will use multiple environments (esp. WCM)<br />Complex mix of .Net/SharePoint artifacts<br />Files/assemblies<br />SharePoint schema (e.g. content types, site columns)<br />SharePoint content <br />Configuration (e.g. web.config)<br />
  6. 6. Deployment goals<br />Repeatable<br />Should always be able to rebuild from zero<br />Predictable<br />Acceptable packaging effort<br />Automation scale<br />Documentation is critical <br />
  7. 7. Deployment options<br />
  8. 8. FEATURES<br />
  9. 9. Option 1: Features<br />Pros<br />Classic approach for rolling out functionality to multiple site collections<br />Fairly rich framework/tools<br />Can provision files as ‘uncustomized’<br />Cons<br />Deals with schema only, not data<br />Relatively steep learning curve<br />Code often required for updates<br />
  10. 10. Option 2: STSADM export<br />Pros<br />Very simple<br />Moves site collections/web – data & schema <br />Can be scripted<br />Cons<br />Doesn’t allow setting of certain switches<br />All objects given new IDs – can break things<br />ListView web parts, InfoPath connections etc.<br />Bi-directional can cause problems<br />
  11. 11. Option 2: STSADM export<br />Other considerations:<br />Is not backup/restore! Not deployed:<br />Alerts<br />Audit trail<br />Change log history<br />Recycle bin items<br />Workflow tasks/state<br />
  12. 12. Content deployment wizard<br />
  13. 13. Option 3: Content Deployment Wizard<br />Pros<br />Same deal as STSADM export, but..<br />Exposes more switches e.g. retain IDs<br />Can deploy site collection/web/list/list item<br />Can be scripted (beta)<br /> Cons<br />Files are deployed as customized<br />Bi-directional can cause problems<br />Need to understand capabilities<br />
  14. 14. KIVATI STUDIO<br />
  15. 15. Option 4: Kivati Studio<br />Pros<br />Packages updates into .exe for administrator<br />Nice structure for e.g. content type updates<br />Workflow designer allowing reuse<br />Can write custom code if no built-in task <br />Cons<br />Fairly steep learning curve<br />Potential lock-in?<br />Doesn’t move content e.g. list items/files<br />
  16. 16. Choosing a method<br />
  17. 17. Choosing a method - factors<br />Features are generally the best option, but consider:<br />Type of solution:<br />Single site collection/WCM – Wizard good here<br />Multiple site collection<br />Packaging experience<br />Timeframe also a factor<br />Frequency/type of updates<br />More code required to update Features<br />
  18. 18. Choosing a method – factors<br />If multiple developers, consider team dev model:<br />
  19. 19. Best practices – to always do<br />Always use WSPs for file system files, SafeControl entries etc.<br />Document how to deploy/rebuild site!<br />Identify how updates will be rolled out<br />E.g. Updates to content types, list schemas etc. <br />
  20. 20. Best practices – avoid:<br />Using STSADM backup/restore to move a site<br />Only for restoring to same location!<br />Using ‘Save as site template’ to move a publishing site<br />Not all settings saved<br />Modifying live Feature or site def files<br />Update using code once deployed<br />
  21. 21. Summary<br />Don’t lose sight of deployment goals<br />We considered 4 approaches<br />Identify approach which suits project<br />Analysed factors in decision<br />Some best practices are always relevant<br />Documentation <br />Need to avoid ‘pitfall’ methods!<br />
  22. 22. Resources:<br />Kivati – www.kivati.com<br />Deployment Wizard – www.codeplex.com/SPDeploymentWizard<br />P & P/Rob Bogue - ‘Upgrading SharePoint apps’ - http://www.thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2009/02/28/upgrading-your-sharepoint-applications.aspx<br />
  23. 23. Thank you for attending!<br />Questions?<br />

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