The WSP Boat
At work I develop many Features and often wrap them in Solution Packages (WSP) so I can just throw it all over the fence of the company that is responsible for managing the servers and running code deployments. However, these guys did not actually understand what they were doing. They were blindly following the installation guide that describes the calls to stsadm for solution deployment. Sure, they managed to do what I wanted them to do, but I would prefer if they would understand what they were doing so they could do some troubleshooting if a Feature would fail to install for example. So I sat down with them and came up with an analogy of having soldiers (Features) that need to be deployed to battle fields (Web Applications) on a remote island (Farm). The soldiers need to be put inside a vehicle (WSP) that transports them to the barracks (Solution store) of the island. From there the soldiers can be deployed to the battle fields.
Obviously a WSP can contain more than just Features, but for the sake of simplicity I have not included deployment of 12 hive files, DLL’s, and CAS policies in the drawing.
I call it: The WSP Boat