CRM 2011, Visual Studio, and Source Control of non-code customizations

In the latest release of the Dynamics CRM 2011 SDK, a new tool was introduced which creates new options for how teams can source control their non-code customizations.  The tool is called SolutionPackager.  I encourage you to read the following SDK documentation:

Solution Tools for Team Development

As the documentation states:

“The tool identifies individual components in the compressed solution file and extracts them out to individual files. The tool can also re-create a solution file by packing the files that had been previously extracted. This enables multiple people to work independently on a single solution and extract their changes into a common location. Because each component in the solution file is broken into multiple files, it becomes possible to merge customizations without overwriting prior changes. A secondary use of the SolutionPackager tool is that it can be invoked from an automated build process to generate a compressed solution file from previously extracted component files without needing an active Microsoft Dynamics CRM server.”

I recommend you thoroughly read through the SDK documentation before continuing.  I will not explain SolutionPackager in great detail since the documentation does a good job of that already.

Since SolutionPackager is a cmd line based tool, it can be used to integrate with any source control system.  However, most Visual Studio developers probably want to integrate SolutionPackager into Visual Studio.  Furthermore, most probably want to integrate it with the Developer Toolkit for 2011.  The video below walks you through a sample I built which demonstrates how to do just that.  You can download my completed sample here.


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