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I have a blog(SharePoint site collection) on staging environment. The posts are published on staging site collection(intranet-facing) by authors which are deployed to production site collection (internet-facing) by the content-deployment job.

The anonymous users see the posts and put their comments on the production site.The business requirement is that the comments submitted on production has to be approved by site author on staging.For this, the comments should be available in staging and not production. Is there a trusted way to do that.

Please note that the production cannot access WCF services on staging due to firewall.

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3 Answers 3

I suggest you go back to the business and inform them of the purpose of a staging server. If a production environment has a reliance of staging, then you essentially don't have a staging environment.

This might not be entirely helpful as an answer, but do remind the business why you have a staging server, and why it is indeed called 'staging'.

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In general, the purpose of staging is that the content can be reviewed or tested before it is published.Do you mean to point in some specific other than this? In the scenario I mentioned, the comment is a kind of content which needs to be reviewed before it goes public.Please let me know if you can think of a different approach in which the actual purpose of staging(according to you) remains intact. –  Amit Kumawat Oct 16 '11 at 17:18
    
Ah ok, you're using a content staging server. Normally a staging server would be used where you have customisations to be applied that you need to test before they go on a live system. You'd keep the two on completely separate farms, running independently, and regularly replicate content from production to staging, to let you test with realistic content. –  James Love Oct 16 '11 at 17:39
    
Hi James, The two are on different farms only and the purpose is same what you mentioned-"regularly replicate content from production to staging, to let you test with realistic content" –  Amit Kumawat Oct 19 '11 at 3:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Finally, after some brainstorming I found a feasible solution.

On Production : Created a custom control to send comment as email to a list at staging. On Staging : Configured the list to receive emails. This will contain comments sent via email. A SPEmailEventReceiver attached to the list process the email (sent from production) and put it to actual comments list where it is approved\rejected by the approver. After publishing, It is goes to production by Content deployment and is live.

The solution also keeps the content deployment trouble-free and don't bypass the security guidelines set by IT.

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If you cant open the firewall, you most likely have to look at how to either encapsulate traffic in HTTP packets ( I see more and more layer 7 devices that will block this however), or modify them to accept HTML GET / PUT methods, or query strings.

You could implement some JavaScript on both sides to pass comments around (say via query strings), but with content publishing you are going to run into issue that will cause you to get out of sync, and you will start seeing strange behaviors as a result (if not outright refusal (errors) of the system to publish your content).

perhaps also look at implementing some sort of custom commenting engine, and tie both farms into it.

Some things that may assist in this route:

These are all javascript/HTML based but hosted.

http://aboutecho.com/streamserver

http://www.instacomment.com/

http://disqus.com/welcome/

You could look at extracting say the comment engine from the blogengine.net. For that matter, maybe look at a dedicated blogging platform sitting alongside SharePoint like that mentioned above, or WordPress.

I would draw up some cost-benefit scenarios for different methods, including just enabling content approval on the comments in production. This will at least let management understand the level of effort required to meet this requirement, and allow them to make an informed decision on how to move forward.

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Thank you for the valuable inputs! –  Amit Kumawat Oct 17 '11 at 14:36

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