Understanding of SharePoint Customization and Development

As a SharePoint Professional, you should have a good understanding of SharePoint customization and SharePoint development. SharePoint provides high-level customization as well as a development option.

SharePoint site customization is updated to a site accomplished by making changes to the content database, generally through the web browser or SharePoint Designer 2013. Site customization never requires the front-end web server to be touched.

On the other hand SharePoint development often involves working with farm solutions that include files that must be deployed to the file system of the front-end web server.

By using Browser you can do a lot of customization like creating sites, adding various lists or libraries, adding columns to lists, adding various views to list or document libraries, changing site appearance, etc. Though we can do these changes very easily with very little time, there are also various limitations to it. All these site customization stuff are stored within the content database. These are very easy to do but it is very difficult to version and also it is impossible to do the changes in various site collections.

At some point in time, you will need to develop something like developing various web parts, event handlers, list types, etc.

As a developer, you need to know a few things like:

  • How do I conduct source control management of customization changes?
  • How do I make a customization change to a list definition or a page instance and then move this change from a development environment to a staging environment and finally to a production environment?
  • How do I make a customization change within a site and then reuse it across a hundred different sites?

For the above question, you can create a SharePoint farm solution that allows you to work with the low-level source files to create underlying templates for items such as pages and lists. These low-level source files don’t live inside the content database; instead, they live within the file system of the front-end web server.

This approach also makes versioning and reuse of code far more manageable across multiple sites, web applications, and farms.

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