When Site Templates Break Bad

There is a SharePoint issue that crops up occasionally in Project Server deployments where site templates suddenly stop working.  The basic gist is that the template was created after a specific solution had been deployed to the farm.  After retracting the solution, the template suddenly stops working, and any attempt to provision a site yields the following error:

11-6-2013 1-00-30 PM

For the search engines: The site template requires that the Feature {blahblahblah} be installed on the farm or site collection.

With some foresight, there’s an easy fix.  Well, not fix per se.  There is a way to prevent this from happening:

Whenever creating a new site template, ensure that the site used to create the template is retained within the environment.  After retracting the solution, create a new template from the old site and associate it with all of your enterprise project types within Project Server.

…or….

Before retracting a solution, ensure that a site has been provisioned from the latest template.  After retracting the solution, create a template from the site and associate it with all of your enterprise project types within Project Server.

If you’ve already seen this error, and are looking for ways to get around it….use an older pre-solution deployment template, an existing site to create a new template, or consult with smarter folks than I.

Just remember, while it’s theoretically possible to create a site template from a site associated with a project, best practice recommends that you use an unattached site to create any new template within Project Server.

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When Site Templates Break Bad

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