I'm new and looking for advice.
A contractor came in and set up 2 duplicate sites, 1 for production & copy for development. They are on the same sharepoint 2016 on premise server.

One of the users has made changes in production site and not in the dev site. He has used only the SharePoint UI to do this. No programming.

Changes have to be made in programming so I'm thinking I need to copy the production site to staging. Make programming changes then upload staging to production.

There's 1 .sln file and 3 projects in visual studio 2017. In the project files are .cs files. I only want to modify some lines of code in the cs files. (Another couple of emails have to be sent when an event happens.)

But because the user has made changes in the production site - not sure if that affected the .cs files. There's only 1 set or programming files. The contractor set it up when both sites originally created.

I read where with Visual Studio you can create a .wsp file and import it into the server. But what I read says it applies to the whole site. Since I'm not sure if the SharePoint UI changes are part of the coding. Wondered if this was the way to go?

Any advice is appreciated. JS

  • I would track what was the change performed by the user and replicate that into the Dev site, there are not too many things that might break because users make changes, but if something was removed it can certainly break things on custom solutions
    – Mike
    May 23, 2018 at 19:01
  • Your right Mike. I would agree. But the user doesn't have to share and there have been about 50 changes.
    – Jess
    May 24, 2018 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


If they are on the same server, then it is not really a true DEV instance anyways. Depending on how the SharePoint solution is scoped, there should be no need to change anything for it will be available on the "DEV" site as well. Regular UI site changes like creating a list, or adding a security group, will never move across sites unless it is programmed to, or if they are on separate domains, have some type of replicator like MetaLogix.

If you are deploying items to your Production farm straight from VS, that is a really terrible idea. You should not even have VS installed on your Prod server. Your DEV instance needs to be a stand alone SharePoint farm on a single server instance. Your Staging and Prod servers should not be part of the same farm either. If what you are saying is correct, your contractor did not set up your SharePoint architecture very well.

WSP files are packages, and one will not affect the other if there are changes. Whichever version of the solution is deployed, that is what SharePoint will use. Changes made to the SharePoint interface do not affect any deployed solutions.

I would take a serious look at how your farm is put together. If you are running DEV and PROD together on the same server, that is absolutely a terrible idea, and it could be catastrophic to your SharePoint farm if you developing solutions on it. If your DEV, Staging, and PROD servers are not separated from each other, then you do not have a true SDLC SharePoint architecture. I would talk with your Contractor and ask him WTF :).

  • Then they are on different WebApps. If the solution is globally deployed, then it will change for both WebApps. Look in Central Admin in under System Setting => Manage farm solutions. See if your solution says Globally Deployed or has the WebApp root for the deployment location. If globally deployed, when it is repackaged and deployed will will affect both WebApps. UI changes will not affect deployed solutions or change code.
    – lazoDev
    May 24, 2018 at 12:58
  • Only 1 server and 2 sites. No Changing it. PROD: spServer:12345/...../SitePages/HomePage.aspx DEV: spServer:67890/...../SitePages/HomePage.aspx The UI changes made on 12345 don't show up in 67890. There's about 50 of them. So if the user is adding a task in to do, with the UI, then it won't show up in the programming? So any changes made to the programming will automatically affect both sites? Does a wsp file have to be created and uploaded? How do I get the programming to work in 67890-Dev then move it to 12345-Prod? Will check the scope.
    – Jess
    May 24, 2018 at 13:08
  • Viewing Solution properties: say deployed to dev-67890 and nothing deployed to prod-12345 at all. Under Manage Farm Features has Logging Feature installed - Farm level Diagnostic Service Features to the MS SP Foundation framework.
    – Jess
    May 24, 2018 at 13:22
  • But under site features they are active for both sites. So does this mean it's deployed globally? And if I change some of the coding in VS it will affect both then?
    – Jess
    May 24, 2018 at 13:40
  • If you repackage and redeploy, then yes. This is why you never have a DEV in the same farm as your production. Open the project in VS and look in the feature.feature and see what it says for scope. Also, go into Application Management in CA and see how many Web Apps you have.
    – lazoDev
    May 24, 2018 at 13:48

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