In last project, I managed a large MOSS project consisting of around 30 developers span across two countries. On first deployment to SIT, we found that UI changes have not gone to SIT environment. We could see the changes in the Source control and on the actual files in the file system of deployment server.
To verify, I added “Hello World” text to the physical file located under our site definition. The changes were not reflected on the application home page. This testing proved that the our custom site definition pages have been unghosted(customised) and have current instance in the database.
We found that developer have used SharePoint Designer to customise these pages and hence they been unghosted. We ghosted(un-customised) them by going to Site Actions –> Reset to Site Definition. Once done, we were able to see the changes on our application. This process is called Reghosting == Changing from Customized to Un-Customized
To stop this to happen again, we restricted SharePoint Designer access to ONLY development environment. All the customize changes went through to other environment using SharePoint Package as described in my previous blog entry “Customise SharePoint List forms – Part 2 “
Note: Reverting pages to their original ghosted state will destroy existing page content and meta info. It is highly recommended that you make a backup copy of a page before resetting the page.