Generally I only ever talk about SharePoint tools I'm working on once they're 100% complete and ready for use, but recently I had a conversation with someone at a user group which made me think about a policy change. Regular readers will know the main tool I'm associated with is the SharePoint Content Deployment Wizard which has become fairly popular (over 7000 downloads) - occasionally I've mentioned that one goal was to implement a command-line version, since this opens up all sorts of deployment possibilities. However I've not talked about this for a while, and just recently I've spoken to a couple of people who assumed I dropped this/didn't have the time to look at it, so here I am to tell you this is not the case!
For anybody that cares, the good news is I've actually been working on this since December interspersed with blogging, and am nearly done. The yicky refactoring work is complete, and I got chance to write the custom STSADM command on the front of it on the flight to the MVP summit last week. I need to do more testing first, but I'm hoping to release a beta to Codeplex over the next couple of weeks - if you're interested in the idea of scripted deployment of specific sites/webs/lists/list items between sites or farms (remember MOSS Content Deployment only does sites/webs and requires HTTP(S) connectivity), I'm hoping some friendly beta testers will help me screw the last bits down. The key aspects of this release are:
- Command-line support
- Support for saving of import/export settings to a file (in the Windows Forms app) for later re-use
Shortly after this release, I'm hoping to add support for incremental deployments (so only the content which has actually changed in the sites/webs/lists/you select will be deployed), but that's not going to make into this next cut unfortunately.
Keep tuned for further updates :-)
Whilst I'm at it, other things in the pipeline from me include:
- Blog article on optimizing WCM sites - lots of good guidance on this has been around for a while, but I'm compiling stuff from different sources and highlighting what had a big impact for us on a recent trouble-shooting/optimization piece
- Best Practices presentation - as previously noted, I'm speaking at the European SharePoint Best Practices Conference in London in April. Happily, I'm now delivering my preferred talk - "Approaches and best practices for deploying SharePoint sites through multiple environments (dev, QA, UAT, production)" so that should be fun
Needless to say, there are plenty of other blog articles on my 'ideas list' too.
Sidenote - reflecting on 2 years of SharePoint blogging
Bizarrely, I'm into my 3rd year of SharePoint blogging now. I've no idea how this happened. Having done some interesting work with SharePoint's Feature framework, the initial idea was to write 4 or 5 articles I had material for - as a record for myself more than anything - and be done with it. Since then, although I do write the odd 'easy' post (like this one), generally my articles seem to take a long time to get completed, but I know they could be better. Occasionally I get reminded of this! So there's a long way to go for me to become a better blogger, but I'm fully hoping to still be at it in another 2 years time - and I'll have plenty more to say when the next version of SharePoint approaches :-)