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Creating and Deploying SharePoint Solution Files : Page 3

If you're still deploying SharePoint solutions manually, find out how to automate the process and eliminate a major source of deployment problems.

Deploying the Solution File
After adding the solution file, the next step is to deploy it, which you also do with stsadm, using the —deploysolution option as shown in Figure 6:

Figure 6. Deploying the Solution Package: To deploy the package, call stsadm with the deploysolution option, passing it the name of the package file, and options to control where and how to deploy it.

Figure 7. Deployed Solutions List: The devx.wsp file now appears in the list of deployed solutions in SharePoint Central Administration.
The -local option deploys the solution on the local machine, and the -force option causes the deployment to overwrite existing files.

Author's Note: You can find a complete reference to the stsadm command and its options by browsing to the following sites:

You're almost done. You've created and deployed the sample DevX.wsp file to WSS. To verify that the solution file deployed properly, open SharePoint Central Administration and then switch to Operations → Solution Management.

You should see the DevX.wsp solution file in the list of the deployed solutions, as shown in Figure 7.

Activating the DevX Feature in SharePoint Server
Figure 8 shows a Windows Explorer view of the folder where the features are physically stored.

Figure 8. Deployed Features: The figure shows the location where SharePoint stores features.

Another way to check whether the file deployed properly is to switch to the Site Settings → Site features option in SharePoint Central Administration. Here, you can see a list of features that WSS has added (see Figure 9). As you can see from Figure 9, the sample DevX Feature is listed—but it is not yet activated.

Figure 9. Activating Features: You activate and deactivate Site Features from SharePoint Central Administration.

To activate the feature, click the Activate button in the same row as the feature name (see Figure 9). That activates the feature and prepares it for use. Activated features have an "Active" icon, and the Activate button changes to "Deactivate" (see Figure10).

Figure 10. Activated Feature: Activated features get an "Active" icon and the button label changes to "Deactivate."

You can also activate a feature using the stsadm command line tool, using the following syntax:

   stsadm --o activatefeature 
      --name <name and path of the folder containing the Feature.xml file> 
      -url http://Server/Site/Subsite
By following the steps listed in this article, you'll find that creating and deploying Solution Packages is far simpler than trying to deploy applications manually to multiple servers.

For further reading, see these links:

Joydip Kanjilal has over 10 years of industry experience with C, C++, Java, C#, VB, VC++, ASP.Net, XML, Design Patterns, UML, etc. He currently works as a senior project leader in a reputable multinational company in Hyderabad, India, and has contributed articles on .NET and related technologies to www.aspalliance.com.
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