Sunday, 13 November 2011

Web Templates and Site Provisioning

The age old debate on how to provision sites in SharePoint was well and truly answered in my mind, use Site Definitions with feature stapling to provision your sites.  In MOSS I even have xml driven config files to create sites using this technique en masse.  It just irritates me when people mention site templates (the old .stp files).  In SP2010 site templates are .wsp files and have improved from my minor experience however, due to the upgrade issues in MOSS and just how flaky I found site templates in MOSS I recommend avoiding them like the plague.  and I see no reason why Site Templates are better than Site Definitions, some guy always pops up with speed of creation and how flexible they are but I don't want the headaches all over the environment.

Note: Saving as a site template and including content has some restrictions, I believe 50MB of content is the max and I have had issues with content type columns being saved and restored.

Anders Rask did a session on Web Templates and I'm sold.  The question should now be Site Definitions or Web Templates?  Webv templates look great, fairly straight forward and reproducible as they are created in Visual Studio (VS).

These are you options for site provisioning as laid out by Anders as I scribbled them down:
  • Site Templates
  • Site Definition
  • Feature Stapling
  • Provisioning Providers (I've never used)
  • Web Templates (I've never used)
Web Templates Summary:
  1. VS created
  2. Custom ONET is injected
  3. Scoped at sandbox or farm level
  4. Does not support site variations
  5. No content publishing sites
And the answer is ....   read Vesa "vesku" Juvonen post on web templates well provisioning sites.  It's awesome and I have nothing more to add.

More info:


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