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While working on a large SharePoint deployment for a major corporation, I came across many interesting tools to make my life easier.  During the development process, I found it to be a hassle to deploy WebParts to the server over and over again, going through those many steps.  During my searching for tools, I discovered InstallAssemblies which is a wonderful tool to allow the easy deployment of WebPart libraries to a SharePoint server.  The tool can be found as part of the Web Part Toolkit:  http://www.bluedoglimited.com/Downloads/Files/1/Web%20Part%20Toolkit%20-%20v1.6.0.2.zip
 
I found this tool to be very simple to use and rather straightforward.  This tool gives the user the ability to deploy a WebPart library and generate the dwps and the web part package.  It also allows for the selection of the installation, whether it be the local bin or the Global Assembly Cache (GAC).  This tool is great for local development on a Virtual PC or a VMWare image.  I would never suggest to use this in any sort of production environment. 
 
Now that we covered the basics, let's try running through this once.  First, launch Visual Studio (In my case it is Visual Studio 2003 since my major clients still use it) and create a WebPart library.  For this example, I used MyFirstWebPartLibrary as the WebPart library.  Assign a strong name key to the assembly using the standard "sn -k MyKeyFile.snk" and use the file name in the AssemblyKeyFile attribute.  Build the application into the local bin.
 
Next, launch the InstallAssemblies application from the location that you unzipped the archive file from above.   Once the application is open, select the Web Part Deployment and select the Generate dwps and Save Web Part Package options.  For this example, we will choose to install the application in the GAC and Generate SafeControl entries.  Your screen should look like the following:
 
 
The neat part about this tool is to also view the generated dwp file.  Click the View dwps button and it will launch a directory to view the directory which contains the dwp files.  From that directory, I opened the dwp file in TextPad (my favorite text editor) and here are the results:
 
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!-- Web Part dwp created by InstallAssemblies.exe on 5/1/2006 2:33:39 PM -->
<WebPart xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2">
  <Assembly>MyFirstWebPartLibrary, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=233a0b797fd607df</Assembly>
  <TypeName>MyFirstWebPartLibrary.WebPart1</TypeName>
  <Title>WebPart1</Title>
</WebPart>
 
The only part left is to click the Install button in the upper right.  Once the button is clicked, the status message area will be filled in with the results.  Like I said, very easy tool to use and very handy during development.
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006 4:54 PM Microsoft , SharePoint , .NET , Free Tools | Back to top


Comments on this post: Free SharePoint Tool of the Week - InstallAssemblies

# re: Free SharePoint Tool of the Week - InstallAssemblies
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It dosn't work with MS SharePoint 2007.
Left by CSharp on Jun 10, 2008 6:15 AM

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