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About development team roles

SharePoint 2007

Updated: January 10, 2008

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2008-01-10

Sites for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 are designed by several people on a development team, who coordinate their expertise with many tools and processes used in several different environments. Successful coordination of the design and development process is easier to achieve when you understand the different roles within your team, and the tools and processes associated with each role.

Development team roles include:

Each of these roles is associated with one or more commonly used tools and processes. For more information about tools used by team members in each role, see Review of tools and processes.

Architect

The architect is the leader of the development team and envisions the entire project and performs the following tasks:

  • Designs the information architecture of sites for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

  • Designs the site structure that will be used in the production environment.

  • Leads in the specification of any developed customizations for artifacts and developed site elements.

  • Works with information technology professionals to select the environments that will be used to design and build sites, and plan the physical architecture and software required for each environment.

The architect might receive support from program managers and other team members with specific expertise in producing artifacts, developed site elements, or authored content.

Developer

Within the development environment, one or more developers use development tools such as Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and the Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.0 on individual workstations to create developed site elements such as Web Parts or workflows.

Developers perform the following tasks:

  • Create new designed site elements.

  • Modify existing designed site elements.

  • Complete unit testing of designed site elements.

  • Submit designed site elements to the software configuration management environment for maintenance and deployment to other environments.

Some developers might also perform one or more of the following additional tasks:

  • Produce builds for integration testing.

  • Act as the software configuration management administrator.

In deployments without any need for developed site elements, this role is not necessary.

Designer

Designers customize artifacts such as master pages, layouts, cascading style sheets, and site branding.

Designers perform the following tasks:

  • Use the configuration settings that are available from the site collection and site settings pages, such as galleries, for site branding and simple customizations of artifacts.

  • Use Microsoft SharePoint Designer or a similar customization and design tool within the authoring environment to make more extensive customizations.

In author-centric approaches, artifacts are integrated with content on the authoring farm and deployed by using the content deployment features or the Content Migration APIs to the pilot environment for testing. Deployment in these approaches is typically the responsibility of a farm administrator in the authoring environment.

In a typical developer-centric approach, the designer deploys artifacts as solutions to the integration farm, where they are packaged with developed site elements to be tested before deployment to other environments. In some developer-centric approaches the software configuration management administrator is responsible for deployment of artifacts by using automated processes.

Author

Authors are responsible for creating the content for Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites, using authoring tools—such as the client applications for 2007 Microsoft Office system and Office SharePoint Server 2007—running in a supported browser, such as Internet Explorer.

Authors perform the following tasks in the authoring environment:

  • Create content on individual workstations.

  • Upload content to the authoring site collection in the authoring farm.

  • Collaborate with other authors using the enterprise content management features.

  • Publish content to a publishing farm.

Content in the authoring environment that is intended for the production environment must be deployed to the pilot environment for testing, and then to the production environment. In both author-centric and the most common developer-centric approaches, farm administrators deploy content between environments using the content deployment features in connected deployments and the Content Migration APIs in disconnected deployments. In some developer-centric approaches, content is deployed automatically through a centrally-managed process by the software configuration management administrator.

Tester

Testers ensure that artifacts, developed site elements, and content function as expected before they are deployed to the production environment.

Testers perform the following tasks:

  • Test integration of developed site elements in author-centric approaches.

  • Test integration of both artifacts and developed site elements in developer-centric approaches.

  • Test a combination of content, artifacts, and developed site elements in the pilot environment under similar or identical network and security conditions as the production environment.

  • Work closely with developers, designers, and authors to fix any problems found during testing.

Some testers might also produce builds for integration testing, if this is not performed by the software configuration management administrator or a developer.

Developed site elements that are tested in the integration environment are typically deployed as solutions from the software configuration management environment. Artifacts are not tested in the integration environment in author-centric approaches, but in most develop-centric approaches the designer deploys the artifacts to the integration environment. Integration testing does not attempt to simulate the network and security conditions of the production environment. Administrators are responsible for deploying tested elements to the pilot environment for additional testing.

To most closely simulate the conditions of the production environment, testers use the pilot environment. The pilot environment includes all of the developed elements, all of the artifacts, and all other content no matter how it was deployed. The pilot environment exists in the same network and security conditions as the production environment. After testing in the pilot environment, an administrator is responsible for deploying all site elements to the production environment.

In most cases, testers continue to test improvements and upgrades of all site elements throughout the life of a project.

Administrator

Administrators are responsible for configuring and maintaining each environment, and deploying content, artifacts, and developed site elements between environments.

Administrators are typically either farm administrators in the integration, authoring, pilot, or production environments, or administrators of the software configuration management system in the software configuration management environment.

Farm administrators perform the following tasks:

  • Maintain farms in the integration, authoring, pilot, and production environments.

  • Deploy developed site elements as solutions to the pilot environment after integration testing unless that process is managed by a software configuration management administrator.

  • Deploy authored content from the authoring environment to the pilot environment using the content deployment features or the Content Migration APIs.

  • In author-centric approaches, deploy artifacts from the authoring environment to the pilot environment using the content deployment features or the Content Migration APIs.

  • In author-centric approaches, deploy both artifacts and authored content from the pilot environment to the production environment using the content deployment features or the Content Migration APIs.

  • In developer-centric approaches, deploy artifacts as solutions to the pilot environment after integration testing, unless that process is managed by a software configuration management administrator.

  • In developer-centric approaches without automated deployment between environments, deploy authored content from the pilot environment to the production environment using the content deployment features in connected deployments or the Content Migration APIs in disconnected deployments.

Software configuration management administrators perform the following tasks:

  • Maintain the software configuration management environment, including tools for source control.

  • Deploy developed site elements as solutions from the software configuration management environment to the integration environment after unit testing by developers.

  • In some developer-centric approaches that manage deployment centrally from the software configuration management environment, automate processes for deploying all content, artifacts, and developed site elements between environments. This replaces the deployment responsibilities of farm administrators and designers that exist in most approaches.

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This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable books for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

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