I will dissect a SharePoint WSP/solution file to extract critical information.

Dev Tools / Microsoft Visual Studio
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  • 7 days
During normal working hours, I am the owner and principal consultant for Bitstream Foundry LLC, a SharePoint solutions, services, and consulting company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. My professional development background goes back to the COM and pre-COM days - as well as SharePoint (since 2004) - and I've spent a tremendous amount of time both in the plumbing (as an IT Pro) and APIs (as a developer) associated with SharePoint and SharePoint Online. In addition, Microsoft awarded me an MVP (most valuable professional) in 2016.

In addition to being my business endeavor, Bitstream Foundry is also a way for me to organize my professional development activities, speaking engagements, side projects, and other efforts aimed at sharing what I know and solutions I've put together with the SharePoint and Office 365 communities. I've co-authored two books on SharePoint, written numerous whitepapers, maintain a SharePoint-centric blog, and regularly travel around the country speaking and presenting at conferences and events.

Besides Microsoft technologies, I like to experiment and try things that catch my eye. I'm an avid (PC) gamer and gadget wonk, I consume tremendous amounts of music and put together DJ mixes every year (through http://www.bunkertuneage.com), I run a basement datacenter, and I've been working with HoloLens AR and Oculus Rift VR.

To round things out a bit: in the past, I've been a polymer chemist, a firefighter/EMT/hazmat technician, and a technology evangelist for a software company. I'm also currently a board member and the CTO for a mental health awareness and education non-profit organization (http://www.schizophreniaoralhistories.com). And last but certainly not least: I have a pair of awesome twins (Brendan and Sabrina) and am married to a wonderful woman (Tracy).

My life tends to be neither dull nor slow.

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Job Description

I will take a SharePoint WSP (web solution package) file, dissect it for you, and detail its contents. I have done this for clients many times before, and oftentimes those clients were seeking information that should have been documented separately but wasn't by the developer who built the solution package.

The types of information you might wish to retrieve from a solution package include (but are not limited to):

  • Embedded account credentials (usernames and passwords)
  • Database connection strings
  • Image resources, blocks of text, etc.
  • Server names and/or IP addresses
  • Web service endpoint identifiers
  • SharePoint site and list definitions/templates

Why do I do this?
I find this sort of "digital spelunking" to be enjoyable - kind of like logic puzzles for adults. This tends to work best when there are a handful of very specific elements or details you would like to extract, but I've done this before for clients simply wishing to better understand what a particular full-trust solution package was introducing to their SharePoint environment; therefore, an alternative to providing specific solution package details is the creation of a basic document providing an overview the WSP, its contents, and its operation. The amount of detail and depth in the document is negotiable.

Some things I cannot and/or will not do as part of this engagement:

  • Reverse engineer proprietary and/or protected code, particularly that which might be subject to DRM and DMCA restrictions.
  • Try to break into or decipher obfuscated code.
  • Perform insertions into a WSP file; I will pull information out, but the file and code remain unaltered.
  • Any other activity that violates laws and digital IP protections

Why would you need this service?
There are a variety of reasons, but in my experience the most common reasons are:

  • The developer of a particular solution can no longer be located or is otherwise unavailable.
  • Source code for a solution package cannot be obtained or was lost.
  • An acquisition or merger has occurred and you've "inherited" a SharePoint farm and its contents.

How do I perform this service?
In most cases, we arrange for the digital transfer of the WSP file (typically through OneDrive for Business or Dropbox), and I use tools that I have in my possession, as well as 15+ years of SharePoint development knowledge, to extract the information you're seeking. Once finished, I expunge the file in question from my system(s).

If you don't have the WSP file readily available for me to analyze, it can be extracted from a SharePoint farm where it is currently installed. I can provide instructions on how to perform this extraction. I can also perform the extraction for you (for a small additional fee) provided (remote) access to your environment can be arranged.

What will you receive?
Answers to the specific questions you've asked about the target WSP file, typically in a Microsoft Word document summary. If I have agree to supply some other form of written documentation  to you as part of this engagement, I will typically organize that in a Microsoft Visio and make the document available to you in PDF form unless a different file format deliverable is requested and agreed upon.