Good discussion of pros and cons of SharePoint Site Definitions

Here is a pretty good posting on the the pros and cons of using custom Site Definitions in WSS3/MOSS 2007. 

I had always thought that Site Definitions were the correct way to deploy site level customizations (as opposed to using Site Templates). I began to question that, however, when I heard (from a Microsoft employee working with SharePoint, no less) that custom Site Definitions were being phased out in the next version (Office 14, or whatever). I have not been able to find any confirmation of this, however.


I have been working in the world of technology for 25-odd years. I am an entrepreneur and consultant, focused on software solutions, social networking, and innovation processes. Currently, I am a Principal Consultant with T4G Limited, specializing in Portal Technologies (including SharePoint), software/systems development, service oriented architectures, and many other things which I will probably not remember until I need to use them. Prior to that, I was VP of Technology at Whitehill Technologies, Inc., where I spent almost 9 years helping to grow the company from a start-up to one of the most successful private software companies in Canada. Prior to that I worked on internet conferencing using early VoIP, and on large military communications projects. Before even that, I worked in satellite control, and remote sensing. Going way back to university, my focus was on theoretical physics and astrophysics. Currently my interests revolve around most aspects of software development, from technologies to management, and in the area of defining sustainable, repeatable processes for innovation within technology organizations. I also have a particular interest in Tablet PC technologies – I have been using one for several years, and I love it. On the personal side, I still have a strong interest in all aspects of science, especially physical sciences, as well as philosophy and comparative religion. In addition, I am into music, playing guitar (badly, I am sorry to say), and reading almost anything I can lay my hands on. I am also a member of the IEEE/IEEE Computer Society, and of the Association for Computing Machinery.

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Posted in SharePoint
2 comments on “Good discussion of pros and cons of SharePoint Site Definitions
  1. Fred says:

    I have yet to figure out if there is anything I could do with Site Definitions which I could NOT do purely with Features and Feature Stapling. Nothing I have run into so far.

  2. Eric Shupps says:

    Thanks for the link! I believe what the MSFT person might be referring to is the expanded use of the Feature framework and Feature Stapling in O14 as opposed to what we commonly refer to as (legacy) Site Definitions. I would guess that the Site Def architecture will not go away entirely; however, if you follow my advice and stick to bare-bones definitions with all your customizations deployed as Features you should have a relatively painless upgrade experience.

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