I am looking for a solution that would allow me to provision sites, in environments where I don't have server access (hosting, Office 365).

My issue: I need to provide site collections or sites to my users. They all have similar needs for the site structure, but each team has its own naming conventions depending on which partners they work with. So for example the organizational structure will be called "Units" by some users, while others will call it "Divisions" or "Departments". For this reason a site template doesn't work well for me, and I assume sandboxed solutions won't work either.

I am thinking that maybe Web Services or Powershell could help, but I am not sure where to start and looking for advice.


I think that sandboxed solutions will work, but that's not my thing. Otherwise, how could people deploy a large number of sites? I understand one can interact with an Office365 site using Powershell remotely as well.

However, I've often thought about the possibility of using SPServices to deploy a large number of objects. One could certainly build out the XML representations, store them somewhere accessible by script (probably a Custom List) and then spin through and create the desired objects. I've never pursues it because it's the exact thing that people use Powershell or managed code to do.

  • The issue with Powershell: I think it doesn't work with hosting. As for sandboxed solutions, it would mean uploading one solution per custom request, right? Can you think of anything in the site setup process that SPServices could not do? – Christophe May 4 '12 at 21:28
  • One quick search, and here's info about managing Office365 with PowerShell: onlinehelp.microsoft.com/office365-enterprises/hh124998.aspx – Marc D Anderson May 5 '12 at 1:57
  • There's no Web Service to interact with Site Collections, BTW. – Marc D Anderson May 5 '12 at 1:58
  • thx Marc. Right, PowerShell can be used on Office 365, but AFAIK not with hosting providers in general. Maybe I'll just try Web Services within a site collection created manually. – Christophe May 5 '12 at 3:35
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    I'll be interested to hear how it goes. You could build things out in a local environment, use SPServices to export the XML for the objects, edit the XML (as needed), then use SPServices with the XML to create the objects in the hosted environment. – Marc D Anderson May 5 '12 at 13:30

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