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In an attempt to make sure that developers have the appropriate rights, I'm trying to find documentation on what rights are needed to deploy WSP files to SharePoint 2010 (via stsadm or otherwise).

Unfortunately, I'm not finding any documentation on this (which suggests my various search term attempts are bad). Is there documentation on the minimum rights required for users deploying WSP files to SharePoint?

For our purposes, developers can remote into the server, and perform administrative tasks.

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To deploy a .wsp farm solution you need to be a local administrator on the server:

Adding a solution package

Before you can deploy a solution package, you must add it to the solution database of a SharePoint Server farm.

Important: You must be a member of the Administrators group on any computer on which you run Windows PowerShell.

To import a solution package by using Windows PowerShell

Verify that you meet the following minimum requirements: See Add-SPShellAdmin..

  1. On the Start menu, click All Programs.
  2. List item
  3. Click Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products.
  4. Click SharePoint 2010 Management Shell.
  5. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command:

Add-SPSolution -LiteralPath <SolutionPath>

The solution is added to the farm's solution store. To use the solution, follow the procedure in the next section in this article. For more information, see Add-SPSolution.

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No special permissions within SharePoint itself? (I guess that's what's throwing me - I really expect that you'd need to be setup in SharePoint as well. I don't see a mention of that in the resources I'm finding and I assume I'm not finding all the necessary documentation.) –  James Skemp Dec 8 '11 at 23:53
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No, it would appear not. Adding the solution merely extracts the wsp and physically install the files to the server. There's a timer job that runs as the farm account that will copy these to the other servers. Deploying is the same thing -- it happens in a timer job in the context of the farm account. –  shufler Dec 9 '11 at 0:01
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I'm pretty sure you'll need write access to the config database as well, since the solution package is also stored in there. –  Paul Lucas Dec 9 '11 at 0:17
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The documentation isn't wrong as such, it's just slightly unclear. Although it does say that you need to be a "member of the Administrators group on any computer on which you run Windows PowerShell." it also states that you need to meet the Add-SPShellAdmin requirements. In the case of full trust solutions (that need to be uploaded to the farm solution store) I imagine you will need the SharePoint_Shell_Access role in the farm configuration database. Check our this article for more info: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607596.aspx –  Benjamin J Athawes Dec 9 '11 at 9:03
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This and the comments are what answers my question - administrator on the box and db access. Thanks! –  James Skemp Dec 15 '11 at 18:47
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Sandbox Solutions can be deployed by Site Collection Administrators. These can be considered 'users'.

Farm Solutions require to use the SharePoint Farm Account on a web front end to deploy. These should never be done by 'users' and only by system administrators.

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You shouldn't be logging into servers as the farm account, as it shouldn't be local admin on the machine. A seperate admin or setup account should be used (which has access to databases and SharePoint). See technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662513.aspx –  Daniel Butler Dec 8 '11 at 23:02
    
Ahhh, gotcha. I knew it was either farm or install account. See, this is why I stick to dev and let the admins do the deployment ;) –  James Love Dec 8 '11 at 23:08
    
@DanielButler That appears to be for the initial deployment: "This article provides information about the administrative and service accounts that are required for an initial Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 deployment. Additional accounts and permissions are required to fully implement all aspects of a production farm." (emphasis added) If I try the developer links from that location I'm bounced over to their training site, and it's not nearly as easy to find information there as it is on TechNet. :D –  James Skemp Dec 8 '11 at 23:15
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1.) SharePoint Farm Account = identity of central admin app pool account, set it up during installation but never use it to log in 2.) Install Account = account used to install and patch SharePoint 3.) SharePoint Farm Administrator = in individual who has farm administrator rights who manages the farm and (for example) deploys farm solutions etc. 4.) developer = someone who works in development environments, not production :-) –  Benjamin J Athawes Dec 9 '11 at 9:08
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