High Level Sharepoint Deployment

19 12 2008

Brief Summary

This article is High Level in nature and is work in progress. It aims to cover some key strategic areas when assessing the customisations an enterprise implementation of the SharePoint Framework needs to support. This solution has been tailored to our requirements and the majority of areas have been taken into consideration. Code in the 32-bit staging environment will be recompiled to 64-bit for live. any feedback would be appreciated.

Deployment Context

Highlights the differing areas of customisation within the SharePoint framework we must support and identify clear policies for deployment.

Deployment Context Structured

Highlights the core island workspaces required to manage structured development through to live deployment.


As SharePoint is so diverse and will eventually be far reaching as a dependent tool within the business supporting live business activities, we are all too aware any configuration or customisation of the framework can have the potential to affect business continuity.

We are faced with difficult issues when assessing the best way to apply customisation and configuration. To handle this difficulty we have broken the core issues down and captured our strategy in the following diagrams.

Deployment Context

As deployment is so flexible and wide spread, we have devised a deployment context method of separating out the differing areas of deployment that require supporting.

sharepoint deployment context

Click for larger image. Highlights the separation of concerns with regards to deployment within the SharePoint framework. Blue stripes represent structured and controlled deployment management resolving around software development. Orange represents a semi-structured and semi-controlled deployment scenario. Red represents the live changes that can occur without formally being subjected to a strict testing / UAT stage.

Deployment Context: Structured

This deployment context is all about structuring and managing the customisation of SharePoint through source code and low level configuration changes. Below is a diagram depicting the current structured deployment strategy.

sharepoint deployment strategy

Click for larger image. Depicts the stages of structured deployment process and stages involved. Also depicts the people and skills required at each stage during the deployment cycle.

Deployment Context: Semi-Structured

This deployment context is about releasing power to the people within the business to create, manage and deploy high level customisations and electronic forms. Semi-Structured represents a requirement for the SharePoint technical architect to be factored into the work to gain an appreciation of what is been done and highlight any reliance or problems. The extent of the technical input will differ depending on the solution in question.

For instance, a simple form will just require an acknowledgment by the technical architect and maybe an ITIL configuration record. A complex form may require help and significant input from the architect as it may require some low level functional support or reliance on some SharePoint framework functionality.

Either way, the technical architect assumes responsibility for supporting the solution.

Deployment Context: Un-Structured

This deployment context is concerned with high level live changes to SharePoint. Although the technical architect should be aware of any changes, the onus is on a trained user to manage the solution.

Content Management is a sound example of acceptable live configuration changes through delegated responsibility.

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