Auto SP Solution Installer

Update 01-02-2013 As seen below in Matthias his reaction, there is already a similar project on Codeplex which I’ve clearly overlooked. I’m currently seeing if we could join forces (although their project is already very mature). So the Auto SP Solution Installer might have a short lifetime and merge into

Today I published my first Codeplex project. It’s called “Auto SP Solution Installer”, based upon the well known “Auto SP Installer” from which I borrowed some code.

The goal of the project is to easy the deployment process of solutions across farms in a DTAP environment. At a lot of my customers, I notice there’s a lack of SharePoint knowledge at the administration side. The administrators sometimes barely know what they’re doing, or they’re just doing what they are told by the developers. Or even worse: the developers are deploying stuff themselves.

Let’s be honest: the Auto SP Solution Installer can’t fix a faulty lifecycle process. But it can automate some of the steps, making sure the room for error get’s smaller.

The current feature set is as follows:

  • Adding, removing, installing and updating your WSP files
  • Deploying WSP’s to specific web applications
  • Scheduled deployment of WSPs to prevent downtime
  • Warning the farm administrator about maintenance compliancy and GAC deployments
  • Installing, uninstalling, enabling and disabling features (scoped)
  • Using the same deployment configuration across all your farms in a DTAP environment. Farm configuration is seperated from solution configuration.

Basically, you create a deployment configuration (XML) and provide some WSP’s. In a seperate configuration file, the farms (yes, multiple) are described. The script figures out on which farm it’s running, which web applications exist, etc.  and then deploys your solutions as configured. The same package of WSPs and config XML can then be moved to the next farm (test, acceptance, production) and re-used there without changing anything.

Also, the script will warn the administrator about maintenance windows and GAC deployments which will cause downtime to all of your web applications (IIS reset).

Interested? The first initial release can be found on Codeplex:

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