Read the Manifest File from a Sharepoint Package

I was in a SharePoint governance meeting at one of my customer sites yesterday and the group is thinking of enforcing some rules as far as SharePoint solution packages go. I kept saying during the meeting “Inspect the manifest file so that you can view what files are going to be installed on the server and where they are going to get installed”. One of the network engineers asked “How do you read a manifest file given a WSP?” This is probably common knowledge to people who are SharePoint veterans. But if you didn’t know how it’s done, here’s how:

  1. Rename the wsp file to a .cab file
  2. Open up the .cab file (used to be wsp) in WinZIP or something that can open a CAB file.
  3. You can either: a)  extract all files in the cab file and open up the extracted manifest.xml; or b) look for manifest.xml in WinZIP and just extract that one single file.
  4. Open up manifest.xml in notepad, Internet Explorer, or your preferred XML file viewer.

That’s it!

Several of my upcoming posts will be on how to create solution packages. Stay tuned!

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