Minor updates to Content Deployment Wizard and Config Store

I’m a firm believer that if you build community tools which become important to folks, you’ve got to do your best to maintain them! So this is a brief post for users of my SharePoint Content Deployment Wizard and Config Store utilities. Both of these have recently been updated on Codeplex, and depending on circumstances you may want to ensure the latest versions are what you have in your toolbox. I’ll explain the changes I noted in the readme.txt of the respective updates here:

Content Deployment Wizard (2.6 beta)

Release notes:

This release is primarily to fix a regression bug in the 2.5 release (the first item in the list below) and provides:

  • Fix to issue where lists cannot be exported with ‘All descendents’ option because menu item is missing
  • Separate installers for x86 and x64 to ensure the STSADMCOMMANDS.COB.SPDEPLOYMENTWIZARD.XML file gets properly installed to 12\config directory

Also note the main new features of the 2.5 beta (included in this release):

  • Support for incremental deployments, so only content which has changed since the last export gets deployed (select ‘ExportChanges’ from the dropdown to use this feature)
  • Support for "no compression" deployments via the ‘Disable compression’ checkbox – this is useful for large sites where memory use is an issue during Content Deployment
  • Support for allowing the root web of a site collection to be deployed on it’s own – extra options in context menus now allow selection of ‘site’ or ‘root web’. Previously it was not possible to deploy only a root web.

Should you update?

A definite yes if you downloaded the 2.5 beta release, due to the bug in that version.  If you have an earlier version e.g. 1.1 or 2.0, then most likely it’s still a good idea to upgrade to the 2.6 beta as it’s fairly well tested and has some functionality you might need some day. The beta label will likely come off in a few weeks, as I know this matters to some folks.

Download the Content Deployment Wizard 2.6 beta

Config Store (

Release notes:

Changes in this release:

  • Changed internal field names back to not contain spaces – caused problem under some circumstances (an issue reported by Waldek when Config Store used with used with one of his tools)
  • Changed ApplyWebConfigModifications Feature property back to True, since seems most installations use single site collection mode
  • Tidied schema.xml based on recommendations made in http://mo.notono.us/2009/02/moss-dreaded-schemaxml.html

Should you update?

In this case, if you’re already using the Config Store in your site(s) it’s recommended to only consider upgrading to this version if you know you have the same problem reported by Waldek – because the field names changed, an upgrade will require some work on your part (e.g. a utility to migrate from the old schema). However, for greenfield installations, this version should definitely be used.

Download the Config Store

N.B. These Config Store changes will be ported to the Language Store framework (sister project) over the next few days.

A note on SharePoint 2010

At this stage I’m expecting my Shareutilities to continue to be useful in the 2010 world.

Renewed as SharePoint MVP

Like several others, I heard the good news from Microsoft last week that I’m a SharePoint MVP for another year. I’m really pleased to get the award again, as it’s nice to be recognized by Microsoft for what you’ve done. I find it useful (to me anyway!) to have a bit of reflection on what I’ve been up to for the last year. The big things were probably:

A busy year to be sure. I just want to say thanks to everybody that went to the trouble of passing on their thanks or feedback on some of this stuff – I really appreciate it..

Fix to my Language Store framework for multi-lingual sites

In my last post, I talked about a fix to my Config Store framework for an issue which manifested itself on certain SharePoint builds, with Windows 2008 and a recent cumulative update seeming to be the trigger. Some of you may know that I produced a sister project to this one called the ‘Language Store‘, which is designed to help build multi-lingual SharePoint sites – since this framework is built off the same underlying XML and plumbing, this solution was also affected.  So this post is just a short one to say that the fix has now been applied to the Language Store framework, and the new version is now available on Codeplex at http://splanguagestore.codeplex.com.


The problem was effectively that items in the SharePoint list could no longer be edited – well, in fact they could be updated using code, but the list form .aspx pages were not showing the fields correctly so items couldn’t be edited in the UI. Since it kind of defeats the point of SharePoint to have to write code to update list items (!), this was a big issue on affected builds. Interestingly some users reported working around the issue by removing/re-adding the content type from the list in the browser, but happily this is no longer necessary since the root issue has now been resolved. The problem was traced to some incorrect XML in my FieldRef elements – see the last post Fix to my Config Store framework and list provisioning tips for the full info.

General recap – the Language Store

If you’re still reading, I figure some folks would welcome a reminder/intro on what the Language Store actually does – it’s not about replacing SharePoint’s variations functionality which is commonly used on multi-lingual sites. I noticed Spence gave it a better name in an e-mail recently where he described it as a ‘term store‘ for multi-lingual sites – this actually captures what it does far better than my name for it. Effectively the idea is to provide a framework for the many small strings of text which are not part of authored page content which need to be translated and displayed in the appropriate language. As an example, here is a page from the BBC site where I’ve highlighted all the strings which may need to be translated but which don’t belong to a particular page:


There are many of these in a typical multi-lingual site, and to help deal with this requirement the Language Store framework provides the following:

  • SharePoint list/content type/site columns etc.
  • API to retrieve items with a single line of code
  • Granular caching for high-performance
  • Packaged as a .wsp for simple deployment
  • All source code/XML freely available

If you want to find out more, see Building multi-lingual SharePoint sites – introducing the Language Store. The solution can be downloaded from the Codeplex site at http://splanguagestore.codeplex.com.

Apologies to existing users who were affected by the issue.

Received MVP award for SharePoint!

Had notification from Microsoft today that I’m now a SharePoint MVP 🙂

This is great news, I’m really thrilled to be recognized for the community stuff I’ve done over the past year, and personally I know I’ve been impressed by the work of so many existing SharePoint MVPs, so it’s a big honor to be part of that group. I’m particularly grateful to the people who nominated me, thanks guys. It was weird having to look back to fill in the spreadsheet MS ask you to complete to be considered for MVP – I guess some of the key highlights for me were:

I guess I’ll enjoy putting the MVP image on my blog etc., but the biggest reward is without doubt when someone leaves a positive comment or mentions in person that they’ve found the articles or tools useful – I’m never sure if people realize how much this is listened to. Anyway, I’m busy on the next version of the Wizard and some other articles, so you’ll hear a lot more from me in the future.

Still a long way to go until I’m Andrew Connell or any number of the others though 😉

P.S. Great to hear my mate Vince received it as well, definitely well deserved..


5 things you didn’t know about me

So a full year after it started, this tagging thing is still going on – my buddy Robin Meuré has tagged me to write about things you didn’t know about me. I figure since I’ve not done this yet and I rarely write about anything personal, I’d make an exception and do it – so here goes. I think I’m actually supposed to write 8 facts, but 5 seems plenty to me 🙂

  1. I’m completely addicted to breakfast cereal!

    I love muesli in particular, and for the last 10 years have got through at least two big bowls a day when not away from home. Those who have me on Messenger might know this from the Chris O’Brien : ICerealizable tag (developer’s joke :-)) Bizarrely, my girlfriend Suzanne is a buyer for an organic muesli company, and so is able to bring lots of free stuff home, woohoo! Shortly after we met a couple of years ago, I remember in the pub my friends asking what she did as a job – when I told them, they didn’t believe me 😉

  2. I used to be a competitive cyclist.

    In my teens my life was dominated by cycling. I won lots of races when I was at my peak at around 18, and wasn’t too far off getting into the GB team. Unfortunately my sporting career was cut short due to the combination of a couple of bad crashes in races and discovering girls and pubs. Guess I probably didn’t have the dedication required to make it at the top level.
  3. I got into computers by accident.

    I studied business (and French!) rather than a classic Computer Science degree. The third year was a ‘year in industry’, and I’d talked my way into a prestigious placement in the IT department of large blue-chip. I hated it. I didn’t understand the technology (IBM AS/400) and everyone spoke a language I didn’t understand. After 5 months of unhappiness, it dawned on me that if I threw myself at it I’d probably understand it, and if I understood it I’d probably like it. I studied OS/400, Query 400, JD Edwards etc every evening, and 2 or 3 months later I absolutely loved it. I didn’t want to return to university at the end of the year and was tempted when my employer said there’d always be a job for me there.

  4. I love travelling.

    My backpacking days are probably over, but I’ve been lucky enough to travel around South America, Australasia and Asia. The most recent trip was a solo trip to Nepal just over a year ago, and I got to trek to Annapurna base camp which is used for climbing expeditions in the area. At the higher altitudes it was getting down to -16 °C at night, and of course the simple lodges used for shelter at night have no heat! Those nighttime trips in the howling wind to get to the toilet were pretty memorable.   

  5. I’m a big Manchester City fan.

    Although I’ve lived in London for many years, I’ll always support the ‘other’ team from Manchester and for better or worse, this was handed down from my father. If you speak to many people from Manchester, they’ll always tell you real Mancunians support City. Unfortunately it’s frequently a despondent hobby, and Colin Schindler had it right when he wrote his book ‘Manchester United ruined my life‘. However, I’m encouraged to read there is apparently an entire village of Manchester City fans somewhere in Sierra Leone!

So that’s me. Some other people I’d like to tag who I don’t think have done this are:

This blog is changing URL..

..but I’m hoping you won’t notice! The new URL is the somewhat simpler www.sharepointnutsandbolts.com, and if everything goes to plan everything will be redirected from old to new, so any bookmarks should continue to work. Or that’s the theory promised to me by my blog host, but I thought I should say something just in case 🙂 Certainly all subscribers to the feed won’t need to do anything – the Feedburner URL will stay the same.

Changeover will be later this week – if anybody notices a problem I’m keen to hear, please drop me a comment to let me know!

P.S. I’m likely to switch over to using the CKS : EBE framework at some point soon. A few people have commented that since we moved into 2008, they found it harder to find articles since the navigation on the right buries them under the ‘2007’ node. I’ve tried to mitigate this by adding the ‘Most popular articles’ list (as indicated by Feedburner), but I know navigation isn’t ideal. Rest assured I’ll improve it when I have more control over the site!