Friday, April 11, 2008

Exporting MOSS Content Type as a Feature

While going through on the best approach on developing content type for the portal I’m currently working on, I’ve stumble across this very cool tool call CTExplorer. It a content type browser, with the ability to export a selected content type into a feature. Therefore, instead of creating feature up front (ouch!), I can build the content type in MOSS 2007, and export it out later. Now that’s sort of like reverse-engineering.

CTExplorer can be found at this page, or download it directly at here. The page is in German, but you can translate it easily if required. I haven’t try out whether it works or not, so I’ll update this post once I’ve tried it out.

Update 2011-01-17: Apparently there is a more complete tool for exploring your SharePoint instance now, call the SharePoint Manager. It's available in Codeplex at


Emmanuel said...

sounds quite good!

do you think it could be used to merge several CTs onto one feature?

Swee Ching said...

I didn't try that, but base on my recent observation, it is best to avoid deploying a content type as a feature.
Reason being, if you need to perform an update to the deployed content type, you can't. You will have to remove it from the site collection, and redeploy the new version.
Imagine having hundreds of lists already using the old content type, ouch! Therefore, I'm sticking to building site column and content type manually, but do use the tool for browsing and backup.

Emmanuel said...

hmmm, you're right, but i have a case with a customer, where there's too much features (about 50), wich leads to bad performance and maintenance headache. Thinking about a way to merge some fonctionalities back in a dozen features max. :)

Emmanuel said...

just an idea also, if you need to update the feature, you dont have to remove it? replacing the xml and doing an iisreset would work afaik :)