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Summary: SharePoint’s key feature, a Solution Package (WSP), consolidates multiple features into a single file for direct deployment to SharePoint Server. Tools like Solution Explorer, Packaging Explorer, Feature Designer, and Package Designer aid in package creation and management. WSP files store feature information, services, and definitions for efficient reuse. To backup a WSP file, use SharePoint PowerShell Management tool.

SharePoint offers a range of valuable functionalities within its ecosystem, crucial for efficient data storage, streamlined utilization, and quick access. A notable component is SharePoint Solutions, packaged using a solution package (WSP). These solution packages can be generated using Visual Studio, enhancing the organization of SharePoint and facilitating the creation and deployment of such packages.

What is a Solution Package?

A solution package combines multiple SharePoint features into a single file and lets you deploy directly to SharePoint Server.

For example, A contact list has components such as list instance and list definition. These elements can be organized into a distinct feature and stored within a SharePoint Server package (WSP) for easy management.

There are several SharePoint tools to manage and deploy the packages-

Solution Explorer

The Solution Explorer empowers users to easily navigate and manage SharePoint project files. Within its context menu, there are unique functionalities for adding Features, Feature Resources, and Feature event receivers. Additionally, users can access multiple feature and package designers for creating, deploying, and overseeing packages.

Packaging Explorer

The Packaging Explorer is a window tool that collects the SharePoint files into packages. There is a simple hierarchical view of the complete package, project items, features, and files. The essential tasks in the packaging explorer are following-

  • Open SharePoint projects and files.
  • Drag & drop SharePoint files, projects, files into the same package.
  • Drag & drop SharePoint files, projects, files from one package to another.
  • Add the distinct feature in the package.
  • Open the package.
  • Validate package and its features.

Feature Designer and Package Designer

  • With the help of a feature designer, the user can create features, manage scope, and declare the dependencies in the features. The designer part of the tool shows the final XML file that notifies the description of the feature.
  • The feature designer defines the feature’s range, either to a specific site or a site collection. If the feature is enabled for a particular site, it operates exclusively on that site. Conversely, if activated at the site collection level, the feature functions across all sites within the collection.
  • If a feature relies on other features, the tool aids in activating a feature dependency to indicate the dependent feature. This facilitates the identification of features before making them accessible within the packages. The feature dependency activation ensures whether the feature is already activated or not.
  • With the help of the package designer, the user can group the SharePoint elements in the single WSP package and reset the Web server for deployment.
  • During the deployment, if the IIS server is stopped to copy the package file to the SharePoint Server, the Package Designer helps you in deciding when to restart the IIS Server back again.

Utilizing these tools, you have the ability to generate WSP files and utilize them as needed. These packages encompass comprehensive details regarding features and functionalities, potentially including site services, definitions, and tailored features. Once created, the WSP files can be downloaded and subsequently reused on a distinct SharePoint account. If you possess a backup of the SharePoint account data, you’re enabled to proceed with preserving the WSP file.

Backup a WSP file in a SharePoint Server
  1. Login to SharePoint Server and open the SharePoint PowerShell Management tool as the Administrator.
  2. Input the below script-
    $farm = Get-SPFarm
    $file = $farm.Solutions.Item(“SolutionPackage.wsp”).SolutionFile
    $file.SaveAs(“c:\fullpath\SolutionPackage.wsp”)

    NOTE
    You can get the complete path of the Solution package at the Solution Management of Central Administration page.

Conclusion

In addition to backing up WSP, SharePoint administrators have several essential tasks to handle, such as data backup and migration. Should you require assistance in backing up or migrating content to SharePoint from a different platform, you can seek professional aid from Kernel Migrator for SharePoint. This SharePoint Migration software encompasses all the necessary capabilities to seamlessly migrate content, including metadata, permissions, and various properties. It serves as a comprehensive tool for both SharePoint migrations and backups.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint