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Confused by all the editions...

Topics: Corporate Intranet Edition, Enhanced Blog Edition, Enhanced Wiki Edition, General/Misc., User Group Edition
Jul 18, 2008 at 5:57 PM
I'm a tad confused by all the editions. Are they all separate, self contained installs? For instance, if I want enhanced Wikis and enhanced Blogs, do I install each of those? And/or is there a way to install an 'everything included' edition of it?

Also, semi-related, if one decides to install a Beta version, is that 'upgradable' in production or should any of the Beta editions be considered for testing only?
Aug 11, 2008 at 1:11 PM
I agree, the number of editions, and the relationship between them is quite unclear on the website. I would like to know the answer to these questions as well.
Aug 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

First of all, a disclamer:  I'm not an official member of the project, so my opinions are my own.  ;^)   However, I've been working with some of the projects in the CKS, so I'm familiar with some of them, at least from the source code perspective.  If I make a mis-statement, hopefully someone will correct me.

Anyway, if you look at the source code, they are organized into certain separate entities.  In fact, there is a certain amount of duplication/crossover.  For example, the CKS:IEE (Internet/Extranet Edition) utilizes forms-based authentication, and comes set up to use the AspNetSqlMembershipProvider with a SQL Server membership store.  The CKS:ECTS (External Collaboration Toolkit for SharePoint) on the other hand uses FBA, and comes configured to use ADAM. But since it was built as a standalone solution accelerator and then added to the CKS, it's understandable that some of it's functionality might be duplicated elsewhere.

There are also sub-trees in the source for the CKS:EBE (Enhanced Blogging Edition), the CKS:EWE (Enhanced Wiki Edition) and the CKS:EDBE (Enhanced Discussion Board Edition).   All of these appear to be separate entities, with no inter-dependencies, but since I haven't worked specifically with these three, I can't say for sure.

Some of the other releases, such as the CKS:UGE (User Group Edition) or the Virtual Earth Mapping solution, don't appear to be in the source tree, per se, because you can simply add files to a release.  So, what you see is what you get.  The CKS:UGE in particular would benefit from the self-service account creation and FBA user management features of the CKS:IEE, but as far as I can tell no effort has been made yet to integrate them.

As far as being upgradeable in production, I would caution you about hoping for that.  This seems to be a widely dispersed group of SharePoint developers, and with the exception of the CKS:EBE, they don't appear to be coordinating to the degree you might expect from other open source initiatives with paying sponsors.  And some are not yet ready for prime time, either, with no apparent timetable for a release.  The CKS:IEE in particular has been developed a lot since its only release, which was neither stable nor feature complete.  It's much closer now, but still has a few bugs that might be showstoppers for you.  In my case, I needed it for a project, so I borrowed the source code and fixed the bugs that were causing me problems, and I'm in the process of deploying it to production today.

So, while there may not be an "Official" upgrade path, since everything I've looked at so far (except for the CKS:UGE) is developed with features, installing the latest version over top of a previous version is mostly a matter running a deploy.cmd file which uninstalls the old feature, and reinstalls the new version.  As to whether it will keep any existing data, you'd have to examine it on a case-by-case basis.  So, if you're wanting to upgrade, set up a virtual environment, restore your production data to it from your latest backup, run the upgrade, and test it out.  Worst case, you'd probably have to figure out how to migrate your data yourself.  But then, since you have access to the source code, you're free to fix it up however you like.  If you're not a developer, or don't have one on your team, then you might want to limit yourself to "released" versions, such as the CKS:EBE.  I think there are still bugs and improvements being made (particularly with the blogging API), but the 2.0 release should be good to go.

Hope this helps!

Mike Sharp

Aug 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Thanks for that reply!

I'm eager to install the blogging and wiki versions, as I was quite disappointed with the out-of-the-box implementations in SharePoint.

I'm thinking waiting for 2.0 releases might be a good strategy, though. ;o)