In the past I have used the Central administrator to add lists, document libraries, apps, site collection, etc. and I did not use the visual Studio to create any of these items. But now as I gained more experience on SharePoint , so I need to know if I should start using Visual Studio to develop things such as list, announcement lists, document libraries instead of using central administrator UI.?

Second question currently I move my SharePoint web site from one environment tot another , by backuping a site collection and restore it on the new environment. But I am thinking of a scenario where a client might ask to modify an already existing site collection. So in this way I need to find a way to develop let say a list and a content type on one environemnt , then to be able to move these new items to another site collection , without having to restore the whole site collection.

1 Answer 1



In the question you are discussing two different things, one is the SCHEMA i.e. Lists, Content Types, Document Libraries etc., the second thing is CONTENT.


Yes you can develop everything using Visual Studio, you can create your custom templates (just like Team Site template, Publishing Site Template etc.).. and implement a class that inherits SPWebProvisioningProvider to add your custom lists, content types, activate default features etc.

This great article discusses this approach
SharePoint and Web Templates


About the content, well you can't ask users to stop adding items while you are developing some features.. so what I will suggest is that you develop in a Development/Beta environments, let the users test the new updates.. and once satisfied, move the updates to Production AND ALL OF THIS SHOULD BE DONE FROM VISUAL STUDIO..

We usually have Code Upgrader Feature, that on activation creates new lists, content types, even pages etc. That saves us from restoring sites on Production and worrying about data.

  • i think you have miss understood my case. In both cases i am not referring to content (such as uploading documents, adding items to an announcement list, etc). in both cases i am talking about creating lists and document libraries, either using Visual Studio or using Central admin UI. i am asking about which approach is better to follow?
    – john Gu
    Feb 10, 2014 at 16:16
  • But that depends on your requirement, like lets say.. We have department sites.. each one of them have Announcements, Services etc.. We have created a single template, and based on that there are more than 20 department sites! Doing that from UI, you will need to that for 20 sites again and again.. Feb 10, 2014 at 18:36
  • so what will be the other apprach , to create it using visual studio ?
    – john Gu
    Feb 10, 2014 at 23:49
  • That is what my answer covers, creating everything using visual studio.. have you gone through the link I posted.. Feb 11, 2014 at 6:23

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