Packaging is normally used when we would like to move changes from one instance of Sitecore to another instance. This includes two steps – creating package and installing package.
To create a package, go to Sitecore desktop->start menu->Development tools->Package Designer.
To install a package, go to Sitecore desktop->start menu->Development tools->Package Installation wizard
Serialization is the process of converting an object to byte stream in order to save them to memory or database or to file system.
Steps to Serialize sitecore Items
- Select the item which you want to serialize.
- Then click on ‘Serialize’ or ‘serialize tree’ option present under the developer tab at the top.
Note: The ‘Serialize’ option will serializes only the selected item but the ‘Serialize tree’ option will serialize the selected item and its sub items.
- Go to the Sitecore instance’s folder and check the path \Data\serialization\master\sitecore, to see the serialized files of the item.
Packaging vs Serialization
- You cannot create a package of more than 2GB size.
- There is no size limit for serializing the Sitecore items.
- After you deploy the Sitecore items to target instance and then made some changes to most of the items. Now if you want to revert the changes made to some of the items in Sitecore to the previous version (as they are when they are deployed), you cannot revert using the Package option. So there is no option to revert selected items to the previous version using Packaging.
- Using Serialization we can revert the changes easily. There are options ‘revert item’, ‘revert tree’, using which we can either revert a single item or an item tree. This revert option will revert the Sitecore items from disk ie., from the serialization folder.
Deserialization is the reverse process of serialization. i.e., converting the byte stream to an object.
Deserializing Sitecore items/tree:
- Go to the path ‘SitecoreFolder\Data\serialization\master\sitecore\’
- Copy the relevant folder /file and paste in destination folder. The destination folder is nothing but the target machine to which you would like to move the changes.
- Now to go the Sitecore content editor, select ‘Content’ item and click on ‘Revert tree‘ option under Developer tab. A dialogue box will open showing the progress of the revert option. Sitecore will read the serialized files on the desk and revert the select item and its sub elements as per the files. Thus the changes are moved from source to destination Sitecore instance.