We're trying to move some of the objects we've created on our test environment to production SharePoint 2010 Server. These include custom lists, custom content types, site columns, sites, images, JavaScript, etc.

Are there best practices to do this? Are there tools to replicate content on another server from test? How is this usually done?

Your guidance and help is much appreciated :)


The best option is ALWAYS to create everything in WSP packages and deploy them to the respectively environments.

Further down on the ladder you have the option to export a site as template (to a WSP package that is) import it and refactor in Visual Studio and then deploy it correctly.

IMO there should be no other deployments of SharePoint artefacts/objects than those done by a properly managed WSP package.

  • Thanks, Wictor. I'm going to ask a stupid question as a noob: What is a WSP package? How do you create such a package? – Alex C Aug 11 '11 at 8:19
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    A WSP package is a solution package which contains artefacts such as javascripts, assemblies, content types etc. These are normally created using Visual Studio. – Wictor Wilen MCA MCM MVP Aug 11 '11 at 8:37

If you are looking at migrating an application, then what Wictor said is correct - package a deployment up as a WSP, and deploy to the other environments.

However if you are looking at is entirely content based, and you currently have in one environment and are moving it all to another, either doing a content database move or a backup and restore is more than likely going to be the way to go to avoid unnecessary complications and limits relating to site templates.

If you are looking at merging content from one environment to another then it becomes more complex, but there are lots of third party tools that can help with this process. One of the most popular (although expensive) is AvePoint's DocAve. If this kind of content migration is something you're looking at doing regularly, i'd recommend giving it a look. There are many other tools that also do similar things - take a look around, they shouldn't be hard to find.

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    Good point. Based on the question, they should be using a WSP. – SPDoctor Aug 11 '11 at 12:34

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