SharePoint Site Configurator Feature is a small framework for taking care of all configurations, settings and featurestapling you need for transforming a standard blank site definition into your own full blown site, without the hassle of creating a complex custom site definition.
Several bloggers have lately argued that you should avoid creating site definitions when it can be avoided, and instead do the configuration through features that are stapled to "empty" site definitions. The Site Configurator feature is a feature that lets you define the most common configurations in a "shadow" site definition.
Staple this feature to a copy of a blank site definition. Enter the settings and your own features in the settings file.
The goal with the SharePoint Site Configurator Feature is to minimize the need to create custom site definitions in SharePoint development projects.
Main reasons for moving away from custom site definitions are:
- No need for creating and maintaining large and complex custom onet.xml-files
- Minimize effort in a future upgrade scenario, no need for creating difficult mapping files and performing tedious tests and retests to get good results
- Better control of the site creation process, e.g. activate features in a controllable order
- Make testing/debugging of site creation a whole lot easier!
SharePoint PowerShell Deploy is a set of PowerShell files to help you build, deploy, upgrade and destroy a SharePoint farm. It can be used on development machines as well as test and production scenarios.
Background information and thoughts about the project are available at their team blog
This were the first initial releases in both projects. We hope partners and customers can utilize these tools as well as contribute in further development. We will of course gather ongoing feedback and bring it together with own experiences, into new and improved releases.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the participants for being able to prioritize the projects on a tight deadline, making the projects real and publicly available sooner than most people anticipated. Thank you!