Structured and repeatable deployment of Content Query Web Part instances

Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is probably the best solution for data aggregation within SharePoint 2007 solutions. The limited functionality exposed through the standard UI is compensated by caching and high performance of the CQWP. Yet there is one thing that can keep you off using the CQWP in environments which require you to deploy your solutions including the configuration in a fully structured and repeatable manner.

Preventing provisioning duplicate Web Parts instances on Feature reactivation

Recently I wrote about various approaches to provisioning Web Part instances in a structured and repeatable way. One of the approaches I have mentioned was using the AllUsersWebPart element within Feature manifest. While being manageable and flexible this approach has one big downside: it causes provisioning duplicate instances after the Feature has been reactivated (either by Activate-Deactivate-Activate or Activate using the -force parameter). In this article I present some possible approaches to prevent it and make your Feature provision always only one instance of each Web Part.

Structured and repeatable configuration deployment in SharePoint 2007 the Imtech way

Configuration provisioning is very important in structured and repeatable deployment of SharePoint 2007 solutions. While solutions which target intranet environments, tend to be more dynamic and consist mostly of assets, delivering Internet-facing sites using SharePoint 2007 is more about delivering a complete experience: preferably a preconfigured environment with all the assets on the right places. While SharePoint 2007 introduces Solutions and Feature - a framework for deploying assets, it doesn't provide a flexible mechanism for structured and repeatable configuration deployment. To be able to deploy SharePoint 2007 solutions in a fully structured and repeatable manner, we have designed our own approach for deploying configuration here at Imtech ICT Velocity.