Inconvenient programmatically exporting Web Parts

Programmatically provisioning Web Part instances is an important piece of structured and repeatable deployment of SharePoint solutions. Preferably you would like to be able to deploy preconfigured Web Parts at particular places in your SharePoint solution. In order to do that you need two at least things: the target location where do you want to deploy the Web Part instance and the preconfigured Web Part itself. SharePoint Web UI allows you to export Web Parts. While it’s definitely doable to export a couple of them manually, wouldn’t it be better if we could automate the process?

Did you know: Changing existing Site Definitions is unsupported

During the last SharePoint Black Belts meeting we talked about deploying of all kinds of things in SharePoint. One of the topics was deploying and updating custom Site Definitions. Did you know that changing existing Site Definitions is unsupported?

Provisioning Publishing Pages using Features declarative markup

SharePoint Features allow you to provision all kinds of assets in a declarative way - we all know that. Using XML you can provision not only branding resources like CSS, JavaScript files and images but also Page Layouts and Master Pages. But did you know that using exactly the same mechanism you can provision Publishing Pages?

Debugging Content Query Web Part

Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is one of the coolest web parts available out of the box in MOSS 2007. Using nothing more than the standard functionality you can aggregate content available within your Site Collection. Additionally you can extend the CQWP by introducing new XSLT parameters and functions, what allows you to create pretty complex data presentation including paging.