AutoSPFilePublisher – a SharePoint developer tool

The short story

AutoSPFilePublisher is a SharePoint tools that synchronizes local files with SharePoint libraries. It makes it possible to work with source controlled SharePoint files locally and automatically keep site collections libraries in sync with the local files. The target group for AutoSPFilePublisher is SharePoint developers.

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Download a preview version of AutoSPFilePublisher here.

Use the comment section to provide feedback.

For the long story, continue reading.

 

Problem

SharePoint development involves a lot of creation and modification of SharePoint “core files”, such as files in a site collection’s Master Page Gallery. Most developers use one of the following three methods when adding or modifying SharePoint core files:

  1. SharePoint Designer.
  2. Explorer View, using Internet Explorer.
  3. PowerShell upload and publishing script.

There are certainly pros and cons with each of the above methods. Let me summarize my experience of each method:

SharePoint Designer and Explorer View (very similar, thus treated the same)

+ Quick. It is an easy and integrated user experience to get direct access to a single file and update it.
No source control support. The file is always edited in SharePoint, which means you will have to download it to source control it
You have to publish the file manually, which in some cases are good but in most cases a source of error.
You must manually edit each instance of the file in all site collections it is used in.

PowerShell

+ Source control support. You have your source code files in the source code repository and upload/publish them to SharePoint from there.
+ Publishing and uploading the file can be done in one single step to avoid unpublished core files.
+ Publishing/uploading can be done to multiple site collections since its all controlled by the script.
Slow and manual. You need to manually start the PowerShell script each time you need to upload/publish files to SharePoint.
Script maintenance. You need to create and maintain the PowerShell scripts that takes care of the upload/publish process for you.

 

The SharePoint Designer/Explorer View way is very appealing thanks to its quick and easy way to use, whilst the PowerShell way is much more robust and is preferred as soon as you put your source code in a repository.

 

The solution

I want a tool that is both quick and robust. Since none of the above methods supports that, I decided you create a tool called AutoSPFilePublisher.

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The purpose of AutoSPFilePublisher is to automatically keep local files in sync (one-way only) with SharePoint libraries. AutoSPFilePublisher will automatically recognize if a file is changed locally and take care of the uploading and publishing for you.

 

Screenshots

This is what the main interface looks like. As soon as you click Start it will keep track of changes in all active configurations. If you want to add a bunch of files manually you can use the Add button (note that it will take long time to upload a lot of files).

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This is what the configuration page for each SharePoint library looks like.

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Please give the application a try, but note that it is a PREVIEW application. I take no responsibility for potential bugs. I recommend you use it in a test environment.

Download a preview version of AutoSPFilePublisher here.

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