Making SharePoint easier with NAnt

I came across Mads Nissen and his blog about using NAnt with SharePoint. I've been using NAnt for a couple of years now for Continuous Integration and automated builds of .NET projects. While MSBuild promises to come along and do all of what NAnt does (and more), it's awhile off and requires the 2.0 Framework (although there is a MSBuild Compatibility Toolkit) so for now NAnt is a nice substitute.

The idea of adding tasks to NAnt to support SharePoint just gets me all giddy (doesn't take much does it?). Deploying web parts, doing Enterprise deployments of portals or multiple team site creation through a NAnt task sounds great. While SharePoint templates are great, they only address half the solution. You still normally have to go in and setup security (even with custom site definitions) and if there's any special customization to be done (like corporate branding or maybe adding web parts dynamically to sites based on content) then it's usually a day or so of tweaking and changing things, settings up site groups, etc. All could be nicely done by a set of NAnt tasks and even better a nice rollout task for those deployments that go sour and your environment management people want to know how long it will take to undo what you've done.

So if you're a SharePoint developer or someone interested in getting into SharePoint and using NAnt, please check out the GotDotNet Workspace setup by Kris Syverstad and join in the fun. Thanks to Mads for getting me hooked up on this too!

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