Should You Depend on Content Deployment?
11 Dec 2007 Leave a comment
Content Deployment is a great new feature of MOSS that can be used to create a very nice staging environment. It can also help you with deployment and in maintaining sensible data in your test and development environments.
In short it has a great and promising feature set.
Unfortunately it is a very bug ridden feature.
I made it work and addressed a number of issues in an earlier post. Looking at the number of comments and additional bugs that I encountered later on it seems that this feature is simply broken. And that is not counting all the bugs that you’re likely to encounter when you go into production with this. Another scary post worth a read by Maurice Prather on the issue.
To balance things Stefan Goβner (nice guy by the way, he personally helped me) has made a valiant effort with some great advice on how you can/should use the beast.
Did any of you guys ever take this into production?
I decided not to use it for any of our portal sites as it is simply too uncertain whether or not it will work any given day and if your next code deployment breaks something new. If something goes wrong, how can you ensure that it’s even fixable? Almost anything else that goes wrong can be fixed by some code that performs some changes through the OM, but content deployment is really a big black box.
I would rather code my own – less ambitious – content deployment than rely on a barely tested module that I got no means to fix. Or more probable I would design the platform so I didn’t rely on it.
If you do decide to go with the feature you should a) ensure that you can survive it breaking down for a period (a few months) and b) ensure that you got a premier support license with Microsoft, so they should be able to help you when you hit that rock.
Let’s start some 😉
Apparently Redmond is very much aware of this problem and a large number of their hotfixes addresses various issues with content deployment. And they are probably aware of a whole lot more that we haven’t discovered yet – after all you should expect many if you try to go into production with it.
So, they are working on a large patch (service pack?) that addresses these issues. The bad news is that it is nowhere ready yet. My (educated) guess would be that they will announce it at the SharePoint conference in March in Seattle.