Friday, May 16, 2008

Understanding What STSADM Does

Sure, STSADM extracts the CAB file and installs the Web part—but how precisely does it do that? The answer is that it depends. It depends on whether you use the global install or not.

Basically, STSADM does three things:

Copies the DLL files—If you're doing a non-global install the Assemblies are copied to the /bin directory of the IIS virtual server (Web site).If there's an associated PDB file it is copied to the /bin directory too. If you're installing globally then the DLL files are registered in the GAC rather than copied to the /bin directory. This, by the way, means that you won't be able to debug your application. You'll have to manually copy the PDB file into the GAC to make debugging work.
Safe Controls—If there are safe control entries in the assembly tags of the manifest.xml file they are added to the web.config. These will contain the assembly's strong name, if there is one.
The DWP files are copied to the /wpcatalog directory. If the DWP references an assembly with a strong name the DWP file will be renamed to the name of the assembly with an underscore followed by the version number, followed by another underscore, followed by the public key token, followed by yet another underscore, and finally the original DWP name.

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