Automation of Web Application Creation in Managed Environments (Part I: Overview)

In the coming days I will publish a few articles on powershell scripts to automate the creation of SharePoint 2010/ SharePoint 2013 web applications. Now you will tell me this is pretty simple, all you do is use autospinstaller, configure the xml, add the binaries and your good to go.

Well – autospinstaller is a really good starting point, but it is definitely not the end of the line in managed environments. There is the IIS part; when you want to implement a hardware loadbalanced system, getting certificates for https. adding ips to network adapters and IIS Site bindings.

Also you want to do this for each web application, in a bulk fashion and (maybe) in an initial set fashion (like autospinstaller). Anyway, you have a couple of tasks and you will need to do them again and again because you might have 2 or 3 environments of the same.

I usually start with an adapted script from autospinstaller to install my servers, because I did not have the remote installation use-case yet. So I setup a package with the binaries, the language packs and the CUs/ Service Packs and run that in parallel on each of the servers of my new farm. Then I run on one server the installation/ configuration of the farm.

After that I usually have about one web application creation/ deletion per half year and then I want to automate it, but don’t. Then there is also the problem with the certificate store import, which I finally solved yesterday evening. BUt that’s a topic for another day.

So I finally have the necessity/ use-case and the time to do this, so the first thing was to write a sort of pseudo code to walk through the creation algorithm.

That is the content of this post. The steps will be described in the coming days.

So in the upcoming days these 7 posts I will cover the automation of these steps the way I implemented them. You will find the reasoning for why this was done as its own step and why it was done the way was done as well as the scripts and the sources I used.

I would love to hear any and all feedback if something worked or not and why. I myself use lots of scripts and adapt them so they fit my own use-case so I am not expecting anyone to use the scripts as-is. Instead you should strive to own the automation process for your environment to get as close to full automation as possible. Administrators are usually not interested in doing the same thing twice. So experience shows, a script is usually always worth the time. Any problem will come up a second time somewhere else.

Continue Reading…Part II

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