Process Currently Required for MOSS Variations

Variations is a potentially great MOSS feature. Variations are obviously useful for multi-lingual sites, but also anytime a company wants to replicate a number of customer or partner sites, variations can automate the production and customization of those sites.

But MOSS Variations does not fully function (unless the issue has been fixed in recent hotfix that I missed) with custom content types unless those content types are in the site definition of the publishing sites themselves.

 

In other words, creating custom content types and deploying them as features is not enough. You currently need to create custom site definitions incorporating the custom content types – otherwise the pages are not replicated correctly using variations.

Unless you are going to use the OOB publishing site definition with the OOB publishing page layouts, then your process of creating a WCM (Web Content Management) site using Variations has to be frontloaded with nailing down the Content Types and generating Site Definitions:

· first develop the master pages, content types, layout pages, get a fully working site that does what the customer needs

· then create/generate site definitions that include those content types and layout pages etc.

· then setup the authoring site using the custom site definitions - enabling Variations and adding the required Labels

If you are in a situation where the everything needs to happen at once - where the authoring team needs to enter content as the development team is developing the WCM site, then you may have to work around this issue:

 

See http://blogs.msdn.com/michael_yeager/archive/2008/05/08/variations-without-custom-site-definitions.aspx