When deploying lists with relationships, it is a good idea to remove the relationship properties while you are initial development stages if you plan to make lots of changes to a list or it’s underlying site columns. 

In my case, I’m using the Site Columns > Content Types > List Definitions method of developing lists in Visual Studio.  I’ve found this way to be pretty bullet proof with the exception of a few things that I’ll detail on this blog to save you some time. 

Today’s lesson is that  I’ve found retraction of related lists to be sketchy if they aren’t empty and sometimes if they are empty.  For instance, in your site columns elements.xml file within one of your lookup column <Field> CAML descriptions you have:

RelationshipDeleteBehavior="Restrict"

Since I’m not afraid of accidentally deleting related records, I simply wrap that property in a comment and save it at the bottom of the file.

<!– RelationshipDeleteBehavior="Restrict"—>

More to come, very soon.