Should you use package OR serialization in sitecore?

Scenario: Few days ago, our deployment team sent us instructions to update our sitecore instance. I found that they have sent sitecore serialization items to update sitecore instance, I started to update my local sitecore instance using sitecore serialization items. But there was a question roaming in my mind, why they have provided serialization items and not package? What is difference between package and serialization (package Vs serialization) in sitecore? Reason: The reason why such question arise in my mind was – I always use sitecore package to update/deploy items. Although I was aware that serialization can be used to update/deploy sitecore items. All these thoughts made me to find which is good option to deploy sitecore items – package or serialization?   How to decide which option to use? Here are my findings which shows difference between sitecore package and serialization. 1) Sitecore Package:

  •  There is size limit of 2 GB for package creation in sitecore, so you need to create multiple packages instead of creating one package if your deployment exceeds 2 GB size.
  •  After installing package, if you have changed few items and now you want to revert these items back to original version then there is no way to achieve it.
  •  For example: If your package contains 50 new items, then you will have 50 new items in your sitecore instance after installing this package. Now let say you have changed 10 of these 50 items and you want to revert these 10 items back to previous version (same version when you installed package), then there is no such mechanism in package installation which will help you to revert these specific 10 items. 

2) Sitecore Serialization:

  • There is no size limit of serialization items in sitecore.
  • You have option to revert your installation using revert options (e.g. revert tree, revert items) in serialization.


So it’s better to use “Serialization” than “Package” – lesson I learnt.

Note: Always use firefox browser while installing items from “package” or “serialization” because Internet Explorer gets time-out issue while installing a big package. If you want to know details about this, then do visit my colleague’s blog. Big sitecore deployment? use serialization !!!

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