SharePoint Needs More Export Functionality

Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 1:30 PM by C-Dog's .NET Tip of the Day

Am I the only one that is annoyed with the lack of ability to export things out of SharePoint? Sure you can hack an export using code, or something but these are things that should be there out of the box to simplify deployment. The first thing I can think of is List Templates. So SharePoint gives you this great user interface to build custom lists, make use of your own content types and site columns, but there is no good way to export it. Yes, you can export it into some freaky binary .stp file, but I want to be able to export it out into something I can deploy as a feature and store in source control. Site Columns and Content Types are the same way. You have an interface to create them, but you can't export them in a decent manner. So after you create them in the UI, you have to go back and start writing CAML and hope you get it built the same way. Before you comment, I know there are ways to get around these things, but my point is that it is just way too dificult.

Another issue I have commented on in the past is that of exporting Enterprise Search settings. There is no way out of the box to do this. You either have to do a backup/restore on a SSP, use a 3rd party utility like SSSPPC, or do it manually. I am sorry, but I don't want to recreate 20 content sources manually every time, I deploy a server in a new environment.

SharePoint is decent product to work with, but Microsoft has really dropped the ball on making these type of things easy to deploy. Luckily the SharePoint community has picked up the slack in a lot of these areas and come out with some useful tools to do these type of things.

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