A while back Fitz announced the availablity of the Site Definition KickStart project for developers working on sharepoint site definitions. This includes a sample site definition and nant and nunit bits for deployment and testing of your site definition.
Up to this point i had not been developing site definitions this way. I had been doing most of the work direct on the files in the site definition files in the 60 hive. Sure i was using Visual Studio to edit them ... but i was doing it direct.
I had a site definition with four configurations that i needed to do for a customer so thought it would be a great idea to try out this as a starting point.
I had a bit of trouble getting started ... se below. But once up and running it was great.
The trouble i had was that i was missing the SharePoint NAnt Build Tasks. After an email exchange with Fitz this got sorted. And i am assured the ReadMe is going to be updated with all the dependencies that you need.
Anyway ... I think the kickstart is great because:
- It makes it to deploy all the site def files to the \60 directory with a NAnt script.
- It tests your deployment.
- It gives you a great site definition to start from.
However ... the best bit in my view is the ability to work on your site definition files in a Visual Studio ... in a project ... not sitting in your \60 directory. This means you can have it all nicely tied into a Source Control system such as Visual Source Safe ... and work on it in with IDE integration etc... Thill will make working on site definitions in a multi-developer environment much easier.
I highly recommend anyone creating site definition take a look to how this kickstart helps you work ... very cool indeed.