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Pre-setup SPS Questionaire

  Asked By: Tim    Date: Nov 15    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1024

I'm trying to put together a document (or maybe one already exists??) that will
detail questions to ask before deploying sharepoint to customers and want to
make sure all of my bases are covered.

For example some of the things I've been doing are the following:

1. Ask if the customer wants a customized logo, and color scheme (.CSS) for
both the portal and WSS site
2. Customized items in DOCICON.xml for additional file types (PDF for example)
3. Customized Lists
4. Customized Theme for their organization that corresponds to #1 above.
4. etc, etc

My question is out of all the customization items that you can do, which ones
are REQUIRED to be setup before deploying. For example, site definitions when
you create a WSS site are permanent and can not be altered after you apply that
template from my understanding. Therefore a completely customized site
definition is required before creating any WSS sites. Along those lines what
are ALL of the items that need to be taken into consideration when modifying a
site definition so that you cover all of your bases, and not end up having to
start over with everything on the WSS site because you didn't add some custom
lists to onet.xml, or you missed some other feature that was only editable in
the site definition (is there a complete list of things that can be customized
using site definitions, so I know the questions to ask? Do I only have to worry
about items in the ONET.XML as this is the only file that becomes permanent when
setting up a new WSS Site?).

Additional questions:

1. Modify a site definition by copying the contents of one of the directorys in
templates\1033 or by using .STP files, and what are the advantages/disadvantages
of one or the other?

If anyone could provide some guidance that would be great.



3 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Arron Middleton     Answered On: Nov 15

You've embarked on quite an undertaking. Be sure to post your finished
work. Not sure what to add  to your list  of what is REQUIRED (removal of
Shared Documents under separate email). I'll have to think on what else
to suggest...

But on the subject of advantages/disadvantages of site  Definitions vs.
Custom Templates (right from my slide deck):

Site definition  Advantages
-Direct from file  system and cached, so performance is very good (a
little specious I know)
-Higher level of list customization  is enabled thru SCHEMA.XML
-Custom file types, view styles, and edit menu drop-down items  can only
be done in a site definition

Site Definition Disadvantages
-Requires editing XML on the file system
-Can't easily edit a site definition once it is deployed, anything other
than adding can break existing deployed sites
-Unghosted changes will not be effected but could fail catastrophically
-Can't easily apply  a Theme through a site definition
-Can't create  two lists of the same type with different default content
-Can't have two lists of the same type with list views on the same Web
Part Page
-No control over pages in _layouts, Site Settings, etc.
-Always globally available on the template picker page

Custom Template Advantages
-Easy to create thru the UI
-Just about anything can be preserved
-Except personal settings and security
-Can be changed without adversely affecting existing sites
-Reference to the site definition upon which the template was built on
-Easy to deploy
-Selectively or globally available on the template picker page

Custom Template Disadvantages
-Design environment is UI, not ideally suited to dev development
-Not as efficient in large-scale environments as site definitions
-Are effectively customizations of a site definition so, if the site
definition they are based on does not exist on the SharePoint Web
servers, they will not fail
-Reghosted pages bleed thru as unghosted on subsequently provisioned

Answer #2    Answered By: Vance Hardin     Answered On: Nov 15

In my environment, with server control being guarded by the admin folks like
they were nazis, I have one more advantage for the custom template --- I can
load it up as into WSS without putting stuff on the 'file system' - and
thereby I avoid the system adminsitrators.

My final decision was to do the following:

1) Take the STS definition  on my development box and directly change it for
stuff I want to do that isn't possible (or easy) in a custom template.

2) Export the customized  STS dite definition to a site  template.

3) Further customize the template with the things  that are easier/better
done through the UI.

4) Export it again and then use that custom template as the basis for the
production system.

I've had to look pretty hard at what is is possible with both methods, and I
guess that was the drawback, it took a little longer.

Answer #3    Answered By: Kareem Flynn     Answered On: Nov 15

I developed a 4 page questionnaire (with an answer guide for the
SharePoint admin) some time ago for a purpose similar to this. My
questionnaire doesn't focus so much on the UI aspect, but more about
determining if the user needs a WSS site  or a portal  site.

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