Lars Nielsen's Discoveries

November 25, 2009

A Solutions Catalogue

Filed under: Administration,SharePoint — Lars Nielsen @ 6:30 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been taking some of my SharePoint 2007 web parts and trying to make the solution deployment more robust by making updates to the web.config file automatic, rather than relying on an administrator to do it manually.  I’ll put up a few posts about this shortly.

It’s unfortunate that there’s no metadata in the SharePoint solution store to put deployment instructions for a solution, such as any changes that need to be made to the web.config.  I created a Solution Catalogue, a simple SharePoint list in the SharePoint Central Admin site to record this information.  Whenever I add a solution to the solution store I add a corresponding entry in the solution catalogue.  My solution catalogue has columns for:

  1. Solution Name.
  2. Description
  3. Deployment Notes – anything special you need to do to deploy
  4. A choice field for Feature Level – values are Site, Site Collection, Web application or Farm.  Ever had that experience where you deploy a solution and then wonder what it’s done?  This field tells you where to look to find the feature after it’s deployed.  There are of course solutions out there that don’t have features in them (I found one the other day on CodePlex) but to my mind, that’s just plain nasty! 
  5. A Hyperlink field to the Solution Properties page (the page that you reach if you click on the solution name in the solution store).

Ideally, of course, you want all your SharePoint customisations to go through as solutions.  If you can stick to this rule, then this if effectively a complete catalogue of all the customisations and modifications to your SharePoint installation.  This kind of solutions catalogue becomes more important as more and more solutions (whether custom developed or 3rd party) are bolted on.


1 Comment »

  1. […] as part of the process of improving solution deployment.   As I mentioned in this post on keeping track of SharePoint solutions one of my aims is to keep solution deployment “no touch” as much as possible and one of […]

    Pingback by Using SPWebModification to modify the web.config (Part 1) « Lars Nielsen's Discoveries — January 30, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

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