SharePoint Site Definitions

I’m finally plunging headfirst into the world of creating a custom SPS Site Definition from scratch (well, based on the Team Site definition anyway).  Two things I’ve discovered right off the mark:

  1. There is no UI to help you out here.  I’m a GUI freak, but am comfortable doing the nitty gritty when necessary.  Doing the dirty work, however, takes TIME.  And customizing ONET.XML and all of the SCHEMA.XML files is a fair chunk of work.  We all don’t have enough time these days, so tools that makes this easier are a plus.  Are there any out there that I may be missing?  I saw on a blog somewhere that someone has written a utility to make site definition files out of Front Page 2003 Web Packages, but I don’t know if it is freely available yet.
  2. Site/Library/List settings management is click-click-click-click-click.  In this case, I’m referring to the lack of a roll-up view of settings for SPS entities that have been deployed.  For instance, I’d like to see a list of all Lists in a Site, and view the configured settings (content approval, document versioning, template file, etc.) at a glance in a grid.  You’d think you can do something like this with the stsadm.exe tool – nope.  I’d like to go even further, and list all the fields and views for each List, with properties for both.  Am I missing something?  Is there a tool to do this?  If not, I’d love to create one, but I doubt I have the time.

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Eric Legault

Full-stack product builder & consultant for Microsoft 365 & Graph. Microsoft MVP 2003 - 2019. Outlook add-in guru. Rocker. Video/audio engineer. Collects Thors.

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