Solution Packages and the SharePoint Tools Continuum

One major advantage of the SharePoint 2010 development platform is that it provides the ability to save sites as solution packages. A solution package is a deployable, reusable package stored in a .cab file with a .wsp extension. You can create a solution package in the browser, SharePoint Designer 2010, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. In the browser and SharePoint Designer 2010 user interfaces, solution packages are also called templates. This flexibility allows you to create and design site structures in a browser and/or in SharePoint Designer and then import these customizations into Visual Studio 2010 for further development.

When the customizations are complete, you can deploy your solution package to SharePoint and use it there. After modifying the existing site structure with a browser, you can start the cycle all over again by saving the updated site as a solution package.

This tools continuum also enables you to use other tools. For example, you can design a workflow process in Microsoft Visio 2010 and then import it to SharePoint Designer 2010 and from there to Visual Studio 2010. For instructions on how to do this, see Create, import, and export SharePoint workflows in Visio.

For more information on creating solution packages in SharePoint Designer 2010, see Save a SharePoint Site as a Template. For more information on creating solution packages in Visual Studio 2010, see Creating SharePoint Solution Packages.

SharePoint 2010 Tools Continuum

Comments (1)

  1. Mike G says:

    In SharePoint 07, this was the way to do an easy deployment: Save site as template, copy the template to the other server, upload to the templates gallery, and create a new site based on the template. It was beautiful. This does not work in SharePoint 2010. When you deploy a site via a solution package that was created by the save site as solution feature, it will error out unless it finds all features that were available on the original server. So, if I have a dev box with everything installed and enabled, I cannot deploy site templates to any other box unless they also have all features installed and enabled. For example, if my box has office web apps installed and activated, I cannot deploy the site templat to another box unless it also has office web apps installed. What's more is that the error does not tell the name of the missing feature, it only provides the GUID. What am I missing? Why was it designed this way?

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