Branding Solution Cleanup

Applies To: SharePoint 2010

I followed the Microsoft article, Deploying Branding Solutions for SharePoint 2010 Sites Using Sandboxed Solutions and I was able to quickly get the bones of a Branding project put together. Unfortunately, I found that when the solution was deactivated all the files I deployed remained exactly where they were.

I found various solutions for removing your files ranging from individual file lists to marking every file with your feature ID, but for a simple Branding project all you really need to do is:

  1. Remove usage of your Master Pages from every site referencing them
  2. Remove your files from the Style Library
  3. Remove your Master Page files from the Master Page Catalog

The first two can be done in the FeatureDeactivating event handler and the third can be done in the FeatureUninstalling event handler. For those that just want the code, here it is:

    Public Overrides Sub FeatureDeactivating(ByVal properties As SPFeatureReceiverProperties)
        Dim siteCollection As SPSite = CType(properties.Feature.Parent, SPSite)
        If siteCollection IsNot Nothing Then
            Dim topSite As SPWeb = siteCollection.RootWeb

            'Calculate relative path to site from Web Application root
            Dim WebAppRelativePath As String = topSite.ServerRelativeUrl
            If Not WebAppRelativePath.EndsWith("/") Then WebAppRelativePath &= "/"

            'Enumerate through each site and remove branding
            For Each site As SPWeb In siteCollection.AllWebs
                If Not site.MasterUrl.EndsWith("minimal.master") Then
                    site.MasterUrl = WebAppRelativePath & "_catalogs/masterpage/v4.master"
                    site.MasterUrl = WebAppRelativePath & "_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master"
                End If
                If Not site.CustomMasterUrl.EndsWith("minimal.master") Then
                    site.CustomMasterUrl = WebAppRelativePath & "_catalogs/masterpage/v4.master"
                    site.CustomMasterUrl = WebAppRelativePath & "_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master"
                End If
                site.AlternateCssUrl = String.Empty
                site.SiteLogoUrl = String.Empty

            'Kill Style Library Folder
            Dim styleLibrary As SPList = topSite.Lists.TryGetList("Style Library")
            If styleLibrary IsNot Nothing Then
                Dim folders As SPListItemCollection = styleLibrary.Folders
                Dim item As SPListItem = DirectCast((From i In folders Where DirectCast(i, SPListItem).Url = "Style Library/BSResources" Select i).FirstOrDefault(), SPListItem)
            End If

        End If
    End Sub

    Public Overrides Sub FeatureUninstalling(ByVal properties As SPFeatureReceiverProperties)
        Dim siteCollection As SPSite = properties.UserCodeSite
        If siteCollection IsNot Nothing Then

            'Kill Master Pages
            Dim mpGallery As SPList = siteCollection.GetCatalog(SPListTemplateType.MasterPageCatalog)
            If mpGallery IsNot Nothing Then
                Dim mpages As SPListItemCollection = mpGallery.GetItems(New SPQuery With {.Query = "<Where><Or><Eq><FieldRef Name='FileLeafRef' /><Value Type='Text'>BSmain.master</Value></Eq><Eq><FieldRef Name='FileLeafRef' /><Value Type='Text'>BSminimal.master</Value></Eq></Or></Where>"})
                If mpages IsNot Nothing Then
                    For i As Integer = mpages.Count - 1 To 0 Step -1
                End If
            End If

        End If
    End Sub

Wow code! Alright Scriptkitties, copy away! Everyone else, here’s what we’re doing and why:

1. Remove usage of your Master Pages from every site referencing them

After gathering basic information about where the feature was deployed and figuring out the correct reference URLs, we begin looping through every site in the sitecollection and resetting the master page to the defaults beginning in line 11.

We are just undoing what was done in the FeatureActivating event. The only thing of note is that I hate when a Branding solution replaces every MasterPage with theirs and then just blindly restores v4.master. Mostly this is fine, but if one of your subsites is an Enterprise Search site or anything else using the minimal.master you’ve just wrecked it. Obviously if you know you aren’t using minimal.master then you can simplify this section. Also, I always name my minimal.master replacement in the form [Something]minimal.master to ensure this works out.

2. Remove your files from the Style Library

To keep things simple, I keep all of my resource files in a single root folder within the Style Library. Obviously I have subfolders to organize images, fonts, etc. but all of those are within my one folder. This makes finding stuff much easier, but more than that it makes removing the files super easy – Just delete that folder.

Lines 27-33 do just that. After getting a reference to the Style Library (Every sitecollection in SharePoint 2010 has one of these), grab the folder (just replace the “Style Library/BSResources” string in line 31 with your folder path) and delete.

3. Remove your Master Page files from the Master Page Catalog

There are lots of guides for deleting deployed master pages and I didn’t find any that worked. Basically every time I tried to delete a master page from within the FeatureDeactivating event I got an error about them still being used. I’m sure there’s a good reason for this (feel free to let me know in the comments), but it doesn’t really matter because as long as you followed step 1 above, it’ll work in the FeatureUninstalling event.

We simply grab a reference to the sitecollection’s Master Page Gallery and use some simple CAML to grab references to our Master Pages. Then we walk through them and delete them.

That’s it, you now have a self-cleaning solution and you are a responsible member of the SharePoint community.

7 thoughts on “Branding Solution Cleanup

  1. Thanks for your Code in Uninstalling Event – thats what i was looking for.
    I’ve experienced the same problems concerning the deletion of a custom masterpage – and none of the available “solutions” worked for me neither.

  2. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through issues with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues?
    Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond?

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