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I have spent several years developing SharePoint solutions for WSS 3.0 using Visual Studio 2008 and the WSPBuilder add-in. WSPBuilder would generate a folder containing a setup.exe file. This file executes the stsadm commands to deploy the .WSP file (also in the same folder) to the SharePoint server. I just had to copy the deployment folder to a shared folder for my SharePoint Admins to deploy for testing, staging, and production.

I am now working with Visual Studio 2012 to build SharePoint solutions for SharePoint 2010. In my development environment on VirtualBox, I have everything on a single virtual machine (AD, Visual Studio, SQL Server, IIS, etc.). I am able to deploy the solutions directly to IIS on my development machine, all is right with the world. Now, I am getting ready to deploy my first solution to our testing server. I have a Publish option in Visual Studio that generates the .WSP file but nothing else. What I have found so far online are directions to deploy the .WSP with a series of stsadm commands (either in PowerShell or Command Prompt). Is there a process in Visual Studio 2012 to build a deployment package just like WSPBuilder provided? What is the best practice for deploying SharePoint solutions to 2010?

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What our team did was create a package for the Engineers with the .wsp file in it, and used powershell to deploy them to the farm. This has been the best way to do it for us. Just copy the wsp file into a folder for them and deploy it from there using the script below.

PowerShell Script:

Add-SPSolution –LiteralPath "C:\Desktop\file\mywspsolution.wsp"
Install-SPSolution –Identity myWebpart.wsp  –WebApplication http://servername -CASPolicies 

//or -GACDeployment if you want it to go to the GAC

Then, make sure the feature has been actived in the site settings. Should be good to go like this.

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I love the CKSdev tool add-in for Visual Studio 2012 (and 2010/2013). It adds packaging to wsp (and quick deployments directly to the server) directly from VS and many other fantastic utilities.

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