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I have installed 2 VM's (DC/SQL box and a SP2010app/VS2012 box). I have created a web app with its initial root site collection (based on Blank Site).

My goal is to prepare the dev environment so that I can deploy completely in 1 step (create/recreate web app, site collection and deploy solution)

My questions are:

  • Do I need to export the site collection and import it in VS2012 (or can I make use of the SP Powershell commands to create the web app & site collection by API)?
  • What is the best approach for altering master pages & creating custom pages.. should I use SP designer using IE or VS2012 ?

2 Answers 2

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  • Do I need to export the site collection and import it in VS2012 (or can I make use of the SP Powershell commands to create the web app & site collection by API)?

Use Backup/Restore to move the site collection together with complete structure to your development environment. See more . Remember to deploy your customizations (WSP files) before restore.

  • What is the best approach for altering master pages & creating custom pages.. should I use SP designer using IE or VS2012 ?

Use Visual Studio 2012 to build and package your customizations between Development/Test/Staging/Production enviroments

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  1. You can surely use PowerShell to deploy and config web applications, site collections and subsites.
  2. By using VS 2012 instead of SP Designer, you can easily do versioning and source control of your design files. This is much harder with SP Designer. By having your files in the .wsp you will also have them deployed as you install the solution, and can apply your masterpages in page layouts, web templates or by code (C# or Powershell e.g.)
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  • About 1) Powershell was my first choice, but do I need to export/import the initial created site collection ? Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 13:37
  • Will that site collection have some certain modifications that you can / dont't want to do with Powershell? My approach would be to create and configure it completely via Powershell Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 13:42
  • My goal is to automate everything (if possible) using PS. But there are some parts that need to be developed using C#/webparts. Powershell is only used for easy deploy. Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 14:05
  • Great! But I fail to see the connection to Export of the original site collection? If you have no customization on it, just remove with your PS script and create a new one if you want. Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 14:28

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