Geeks With Blogs
Michael Van Cleave Traveling the technical world, learning the language

In one of my previous blog posts I was sizing up 3 different methods of generating SharePoint solutions in Visual Studio. It was a fairly lengthy post about using things like the Visual Studio Extensions, WSPBuilder, and BAT files, but one reader bought to my attention that I never evaluated the STSDEV Solution Generator.

Well lucky for me the reader chimed in and let me know that there was a hole in my post.

I finally was able to find something to try the STSDEV Solution Generator on to try to stretch my knowledge of it a bit. Recently a colleague and I started a new user group in Colorado Springs and decided to use the User Group site template for WSS for the user group web site. Now needless to say it is a very nice template but it definitely needed some new web parts to make it the site we had envisioned. I have decided to install and use the STSDEV tool to wrap up the webparts in to a deployable solution. Here is what I found:

  1. It is easy to use.
  2. It has a interesting concept of starting a windows interface to allow you to select the type of project you want to work with
  3. It does all of the heavy lifting for you when creating the solution file
  4. When generating the solution file it also makes a copy of the .wsp package with a .cab extension so you can quickly pop open the cab to verify your files are stored correctly or even stored at all.
  5. With the granularity that it allows you to modify and add files to the project it will easily support deploying dependent assemblies and resources.


The one thing that I would say that I prefer WSPBuilder over STSDEV for is the integration with Visual Studio and the generation of an install BAT file. Although I would say that both are on very equal ground as far as capability WSPBuilder has the project templates integrated with the project and solution which is a very nice feature, and the ease of clicking a bat file to do the deployment makes it all the better.  Not that you couldn't create a BAT file for STSDEV though. 

Overall, I would say that I would be happy to use either one of these tools anytime. They both have attained my desired goal of being able to create a solution package for SharePoint without having to worry about the gory details that take the efficiency out of most SharePoint projects.

Reference Links:

STSDev Solution Generator
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Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008 4:15 PM SharePoint , General Ramblings | Back to top

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