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First, let me say, I am new to SharePoint Development.

I have been able to create a couple of related custom lists using SharePoint Designer. I was able to deploy them and they work quite well. However, I am debating if I should have created them using Visual Studio instead for ease of deployment to other sites.

It seems like list creation is very easy in Designer as opposed to all the CAML in Visual Studio. But is there one method that preferred over another? What are the advantages/disadvantages to each approach?

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You've touched on one of the reasons I use VS instead of Designer - having files and packages independent of a specific site does make redeployment much easier.

For me, the main advantage is the integration with Source Control so I can track all the changes I (or anyone else) have made.

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