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Upgrading Your SharePoint Applications

One of the decks that I presented at the SharePoint Best Practices Conference was a deck titled “Upgrading Your SharePoint Applications.” One of the requests was for me to post the deck — which I wanted to check with the Microsoft P&P group on first. You see they created the deck, I did a few minor tweaks, and then presented it. So it’s really their handy work. Anyway, I forgot to ask them about it until yesterday when I saw the rest of the team working on the SharePoint Guidance again face-to-face. So, the deck is available now.

Help Your SharePoint User

One note, the Microsoft official answer on upgrading content types is to do it programmatically once the initial XML for the content type has been laid down. I disagree with this because it makes it harder to manage the content type. My recommendation is to use a feature receiver to synchronize child content types with the content type in the XML. I’ve used this and it works fine. The push back from MS was that there may be issue. (i.e. they’ve not tested it.) Because this isn’t my deck, the deck still says to use code. Other than that I agree with what’s in the deck.


  1. Can you please elaborate on your second paragraph. I’m not entirely certain what you mean by ‘synchronize child content types with the content type in the XML’


  2. What I mean is that SharePoint creates a child content type for each content type that is associated to a list. Out of the box, SharePoint won’t push changes deployed via a feature to these child content types. So I write a feature receiver that reads the element manifest and pushes the structure of the content type to these child content types.

  3. Judging from the date of the presentation, I get the idea this refers to upgrading SP applications from 2007 to 2010. Is this correct? Or is it applicable to any version?

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