[I've searched on here and googled, but can't find anything that actually makes any sense to me! - I'm a n00b to SP...our SP Dev left at very short notice...i.e. he was here yesterday, gone today...literally!]

We started with a clean SP2010 installation on Dev and Live. IN Dev we've got a single Web App, 2 site collections and each of those has a number of sub-sites, custom lists etc. etc.

1) How can I promote that from Dev to Live? I have read up on WSP files, but how do I create one for basically eveything? Or how do I create one for each collection and import it to the Live Web App?

2) What tools do I use to create and deploy the WSP Files? Does a WSP file also contain any changes to databases...e.g. when a new list is created, or do I need to create DB scripts as well?

3) In the future, if I modify a sing sub-site...how would I move that up to Live, what tools etc. etc.?

I know this has been asked before in various guises, but I can't find something that says "You need to use x tool and do this with it for this situation" I don't even know if I have all the tools I need!


This is very broad question and cannot unfortunately be answered in this type of forum that comprehensively.

At this point I would suggest you to make the modifications manually also to Live environment.

Possible permanent solution could be using Content Deployment, but that is totally different topic and should be studied carefully whether it would suit your need.

WSP's don't generally contain actual content. You can, e.g., create a site template or list definition in a WSP, and then deploy them to different environments (Dev + Live)in a coherent way. WSP's also make it possible to have a kind of Application Lifecycle Management, including version of all new functionality that is introduced to a system.

It is very possible to start using WSP's at this point for all future functionalities even if base hasn't been done using WSP's. You can think of WSP's as packages of SharePoint features. Features can then contain almost anything from simple pictures to definitions of lists, libraries, content types, etc.

  • I don't need to deploy the content of the lists, etc. just the page definitions, list definitions etc. What tool do I use to develop WSP's then? Can I make a change directly on the site (hhtp) and then afterwards create a WSP?
    – BlueChippy
    May 10 '12 at 8:52
  • You can export changes to WSP using SharePoint Designer, and import that to Visual Studio, but it is not that feasible way in practice as the generated WSP contains so much unnecessary stuff. I use Visual Studio 2010 to create WSPs. It contains pretty good templates to create different definitions. You can make the change to Dev using browser, and create the same thing in a WSP, then deploy that to Live (but you need to test that somewhere first!). It would be better, of course to use the same WSP also in Dev in order to test it.
    – Jussi Palo
    May 10 '12 at 8:58
  • I can't see anywhere in SP2010 Designer to "export as WSP" or similar?
    – BlueChippy
    May 10 '12 at 11:55
  • You need to do two things: First, to get your sites up and running in Production, you can "Save as Template" in site setting of your dev sites. This will place the wsp for that site in to the site collection's solution gallery. You can specify whether or not to include content(doesn't work on Publishing sites, BTW). Second, press management for source control and try to establish a process for visual studio-based development so this never happens again. May 11 '12 at 15:15

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