2.7. Customization versus Development

With an understanding of what it means when a file within a SharePoint site is uncustomized or customized, let's take a look at how that affects the development of a SharePoint site — specifically, a Publishing site. Whereas many traditional SharePoint sites are used primarily for collaboration and are inward facing (only company employees see and use them), publicly facing sites, which are what Publishing sites are primarily intended to be used for, typically are created within a controlled development environment, within which files are moved around for internal testing, quality assurance and user acceptance testing, and staging, before being put into production.

2.7.1. SharePoint Customization

As previously covered, when files are customized, they exist within the SharePoint site's content database. While some may have originally been based on an underlying template, the source of the customized file still lives within the database. Files living within the database present a challenge in promoting them through the different environments. How can this occur within a site comprised simply of customized files? While not impossible, it is a bit tedious to achieve. Consider the following options:

  • One option would be to simply recreate the files in each environment manually, obviously a less than ideal approach.

  • Another option would be to backup the content database from the development environment and restore it into production. This method ...

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