SharePoint Config

Ari Bakker's thoughts on customising and configuring SharePoint

SharePoint development learning’s

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Mark Jones has a great article on SharePoint 2007 development and engineering practices that offers some real world learning’s from SharePoint projects. The article is based on his experiences on three MOSS projects and offers valuable insight in what to look for in these types of project.

I’ve summarised some of the key points below, but be sure to check out the full article for many more tips and tricks.


It is crucial to get the deployment process working early on in the project. Automating the complete deployment process will make things a lot easier in the long run. Even if it takes time to create scripts early on this will save time and reduce issues when it comes to deployment.

A couple of things that I have found working on similar projects are:

If you need to create a specific list for a feature, include this in the feature (either add a list definition/instance or add this in a feature receiver). Avoid manually creating lists, content types etc manually during deployment; use the solution framework.

Avoid STSADM backup and restore for deployment. This can result in page layouts pointing to the wrong environment, something you definitely want to avoid on your stage and production sites. You also end up moving all the content and users from your development environment onto the destination server. Similarly, avoid changing the URL or host header for your sites, as this can have similar consequences.

Development environment

Author everything in source control and write deployment scripts to take it to the target SharePoint environment. This allows each developer to work in isolation, as well as testing the deployment process each time a developer ‘gets latest’ and deploys the latest version of other components.

Lists and document libraries

You need to understand the differences and limitations between each approach. Lists provide an easy way for users to manage data but are not as powerful as a relational database. You can read more about this in his post, or read the Working with Large Lists in Office SharePoint Server 2007 Whitepaper for more information.

It is great to see real life experiences like this, as this is still relatively new technology – nice work Mark!

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Written by Ari Bakker

August 30th, 2007 at 8:07 am

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