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It appears Visual Studio 2010's out of the box functionality for Deploy retracts and installs my features. Can I tell it instead to perform an update-spsolution instead of removing the entire thing?

This isn't a real-life scenario as on test and production environments i will be performing an update, not a removal and reinstall.


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can install CKSDev extension using VS.NET extension Manager, if you have not already done so. It provides a project configuration called Upgrade Solution. You can switch to it by going to project properties as shown below:

enter image description here

By going to Project’s property pages (SharePoint tab), you can also inspect what actions it takes.

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FANTASTIC THANK YOU! – David Lozzi Jan 17 '12 at 20:44

Using CKSDev you can also create your own deploying configuration (SharePoint tab in project's properties) with extra steps that CKSDev adds, including call to external powershell scripts. I like this extension a lot :)

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It's my favorite too! – Ashish Patel Jan 17 '12 at 20:47

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