WSPBuilder: How to create a deployment package to deploy .dll and .wsp?
I'm using WSPBuilder and it is being very helpful. However, it was being hard to understand the strength of WSPBuilder because of missing manual. I've to create a solution file to deploy "Return of SmartPart" (.wsp file), "Application Template Core" (.wsp file) and also "AJAX Extensions" (.dll files). So, I won't have to edit the web.config to mark them safe controls. Please, suggest HOW?
C:\Program Files\WSPBuilder\WSPBuilder.exe.config (or where ever you've installed it)
add key="BuildSafeControls" value=""
WSPBuilder is great for when you want to do a quick deployment via Visual Studio to your SharePoint installation. I have found that that it gets harder to configure when you need to deploy CAS policies but I'm sure they will do work in this area for future versions. WSPBuilder in your scenario can automatically build and deploy the safecontrol entries that need to go into your site. Good thing about WSP's are that once you retract a solution, it will also go back and remove the safecontrol entries so you don't need a tidy up job.
Regarding different projects, if you need to install third party wsps, then WSPBuilder hasn't been designed for that purpose, I suggest a simple batch file with some stsadm commands. If some of these solutions are your own code, you should divide each into a different VS project and build their WSP's seperately. You may even need to divide them into different .sln (solution files) but I've not tried this way myself so couldn't say for sure.
Personally, I would only use use WspBuilder to build deployment packages that need to be deployed to live environments if I can be sure its not adding extra bits that may become a problem. Therefore you'll need to think about WSPBuilder wsp's are good enough for you. Recently I came accross an issue with CAS policies and decided to make my WSP's manually. Under the hood, WSP files are CAB files, you can just create a CAB file and rename its extention to .WSP. I would advise, creating a WSP, rename it to mysolution.cab. Open it and up and extract the files, and have a look to see whether its doing what you want. Key file to look at: manifest.xml.
As far as I know, you can't nest WSP files in other WSP files. You'll have to install those separately.
If you want to install DLLs (other than the one that's built as part of your WSPBuilder project), create a folder in the project called GAC and put them there. All DLLs in that folder will be installed to the GAC when the WSP is installed.
To install a WSP package, you'll need to run:
stsadm -o addsolution -filename MyFeature.wsp
You can then deploy it from SP Central Administration.
You can also create a WSP file manually without WSPBuilder - it's a CAB archive and you can create a WSP file using the makecab.exe utility that comes with Windows and an additional description file that lists the files that should end up in the WSP file.