Currently we have a setup where we have a single Sitecore solution (not Helix) and we use msdeploy for deployment. This works great as we have the exact same package that is deployed on all environments which in turn reduces possible issues during deployment.

However, we're currently looking at Helix for our future projects and I'm finding it hard to combine the two, because as I see it Helix is very separate (and the Unicorn solution as proposed in Habitat also makes things more complicated).

My question now is: does anyone have any experience/documentation on how to build a single msdeploy package out of a Helix(-like) setup? Or does this go against best practices and should we look into other deployment/packaging tools?

2 Answers 2


We don't have a single package, but a package for each web project. Every web project has its publishing profile set to Web Deploy Package and the Package location is set to a unique zip filename in a common directory, e.g. ../Target/Feature-Navigation.zip.

The build server creates the packages with msbuild:

/t:build /p:PublishProfile=Release /p:Configuration=Release /p:DeployOnBuild=true /p:VisualStudioVersion=12.0 /p:IncludeSetAclProviderOnDestination=False

Then a PowerShell finds all generated batch files to deploy these packages:

Get-ChildItem -Filter *.cmd | `
Foreach-Object {
    cmd /c $_.FullName /Y /M:target.machine.name /U:UserName /P:Password "-enableRule:DoNotDeleteRule"

If you're using the Habitat project as a template for your project architecture, you'll wind up having a web deploy package for each of the web projects (of which there are many).

You can still follow the spirit of the modular principals of Helix without needing to create individual projects for each of the modules which can result in dozens of web deploy packages. While you may not get down to the magical single web deploy package, you can definitely lower the number of packages that need to be deployed. Each of those packages can and should be deployed across environments.

  • 2
    what's the problem of having multiple webdeploy packages? It can easily be automated, as stated in the previous answer. It's exactly how we are doing things
    – Bas Lijten
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 8:34

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