I had promised to bring the features and review the same for the neat Sharepoint Deployment Tool on Codeplex

Ability to Pick and Choose content

Say you have finished developing and unit testing the code, and now it needs to be pushed into UAT. You might not want to export/import the whole site, as there might be pieces you are still working on. This tool comes in handy in such cases as you have the ability to pick and choose the items you want to deploy, down to the individual files, items, lists level. This is very useful when deploying/migrating content from one environment to the next.

Dependant objects can be selected

Any referenced objects, master pages, CSS files, images, etc are included by default as a part of the export and that greatly reduces the chances of something ‘breaking’ as a part of the deployment. You have the option of choosing ‘Exclude dependencies of selected objects’, of you so desire.

Retain Object GUID

If you have used stsadm, you might have noticed that there is no option to retain GUIDs when deploying sites. This makes troubleshooting and debugging a lot more difficult. This tool retains object GUIDs as a part of deployment. This helps in incremental deployment on sites that already exist on the target.

Versioning Flexibility

You have the choice of getting the latest major version, major and minor version, or all versions of any and all items you are looking to deploy. This helps make incremental changes possible for objects that need to go in on top of what already exists on the target.

And best of all, its FREE

 

Nothing is perfect, of course.

Some shortcomings

Does not work for the following types of content – recycle-bin, alerts, audit trail, change log history, workflow tasks/state.

Does not work for system level files – features, assemblies, solutions, etc

Cannot transfer list items to another at a different URL. Click here for a discussion on this.

Overall, even with the few limitations, it is a great tool and something you should check out and put in your toolbox. It will definitely come in handy.

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