SharePoint smartsolutionupgrade stsadm command

I just released a new stsadm command in the Trentacular SharePoint 2007 Features CodePlex project called smartsolutionupgrade.  The purpose of this command is to perform Solution upgrades in a smart manner by performing the following actions:

  1. Accepts as input either a single Solution filename or a filename of a text file containing a list of Solutions to be upgraded
  2. Extracts and parses the Solution manifest file from each existing Solution to be upgraded in order to determine the Features that will be affected by the upgrade
  3. Inventories the deployment states of the existing Solutions
  4. Inventories the activation states of the affected Features at all scopes within the SharePoint Farm
  5. Deactivates all affected Features
  6. Retracts each of the existing Solutions and deletes them from the Solution store
  7. Adds the updated Solution to the Solution store
  8. Deploys each of the upgraded Solutions according to their previous deployment state
  9. Activates all affected Features according to their previous activation state


stsadm -o smartsolutionupgrade [-filename <Solution filename>] [-filenamelist <Path to text file containing each of the solution filenames on separate lines>]

Job Definition Execution

Included in the project is a Job Definition Executor that takes care of running one-time scheduled service jobs and waiting for their completion before releasing control.  One particular issue addressed by the Job Definition Executor is the “A web configuration modification operation is already running” error caused by successive execution of the stsadm -o activatefeature command on Features that perform web configuration modifications.

In a multi-server farm, web configuration modifications are delegated to Timer Jobs; therefore, the return from execution of the activatefeature command does not mean the Feature activation (and thus the web configuration modification) has completed.  So you might say, well duh, you need to also execute the execadmsvcjobs command, but this command simply kicks of the job execution and returns from execution while still not waiting for the jobs to actually complete.

The Job Definition Executor solves this problem by kicking of the jobs and monitoring for their completion.  We can now safely execute multiple web configuration modification Features in sequence.


I just released a second stsadm command called smartexecjobdefs that simply wraps the Job Definition Executor and can be used as a substitute for the execadmsvcjobs command.

SharePoint ASP.Net 3.5 Upgrade Feature

I’ve finally gotten around to starting a CodePlex project for publishing SharePoint features called Trentacular SharePoint 2007 Features. The first contribution to the project should reach a broad audience (within the SharePoint population that is) … an ASP.Net 3.5 Upgrade Feature.

The Feature is naturally scoped to a Web Application and adds ASP.Net 3.5 entries to the particular Web Application’s web.config file. It works for both WSS and MOSS and also supports clean deactivation by iterating through the SPWebConfigModification collection and removing modifications by owner instead of recreating the modifications. All modifications are done through a utility class called SPWebConfigModificationHelper which can be taken advantage of alone if you are writing your own modifications.

Before deciding to write this feature, I tried several others that have been published. Each had its own issues, from not supporting clean deactivation to simply just not adding the correct entries. The entries this feature writes were taken from the Visual Studio ASP.Net 3.5 Web.config template.

If you give this Feature a shot, please let me know how it goes.