How do you automate a SharePoint 2010 deployment?
In the last couple of months SharePoint traffic (consulting, training and speaking) has picked up. And with that also the requests for deployments. There are good, great, bad and really bad things around this. But that is for another topic. However part of the good and great has been the fact of organizations wanting to do a proof of concept deployment (even when WSS or MOSS has been deployed).
We can go through a session (Microsoft has the SDPS concept, SharePoint Deployment Planning Services) of discovering what the customer wants to achieve from their investment in the platform and then also proceed to model the solution that would fit their needs. But it should not stop there. The next step should be a POC (as many have requested) to test out.
Now, on to the meat of this post. How do I deploy? While it is a good process to watch and see all of it take place, not many have the time to sit through that. Even more so, when that has been part of the description of deploying the platform in the sessions mentioned above.
I will, though, break it into a deployment for development purposes and a deployment of a farm.
Two tools (or scripts) for those two different types of deployment.
First, let me address the development environment. Around the last week in October, Chris Johnson (SharePoint Product Team) announced a SharePoint Easy Setup for Developers. The kit itself will assist you in installing SharePoint Server (in standalone mode), the tools that go around Visual Studio, Expression Studio and the Office 2010 tools.
Here is the link to Chris’ post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cjohnson/archive/2010/10/28/announcing-sharepoint-easy-setup-for-developers.aspx
The other scenario is the use of a script in assisting you through the deployment of a farm. Now, this is not to override planning. It should highlight the need for planning even more. How? Having your service accounts planned, the structure of the sites and the scale of your deployment. Enter AutoSPInstaller. This is a CodePlex project, and the intent behind this is not only to automate the installation but to give some meaning and get some sense out of what goes on during a SharePoint deployment.
How? Take for example the creation of the databases, when we do the initial OOB deployment by using the wizard, more times than not, we leave the names as they are. How is that a “bad thing”? Let’s make it a better practice to rename those Databases, and have them take on a name that is not “GUID-ized”. Having a better naming convention will not hurt, on the other hand will allow for consistency.
Here is the link to AutoSPInstaller’s site on CodePlex: