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?