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I am in the process of determining whether a couple of sites can be moved from a full MOSS server to a free WSS server. The current process has been to turn off all known MOSS-only features, export the sites and restore them on a WSS server.

So far I have reached two roadblocks:

  1. Reliance on the SSP installed on the previous server.
  2. References to the publishing infrastructure, mainly because the site templates is based off a publishing page template.

The first (1) I have some ideas on how to handle, using Search Server Express and modifying the pages and code that makes use of search. However, the second item I have no idea on how to approach - I mostly deal with feature code and not site setup, so this is outside my area of expertise. I can tell by opening the .master template as well as the SiteTemplate XML definition that there are a lot of references to the Publishing Pages namespace, but does anyone have any idea on how to replace it?

From what I can tell, these sites could just have easily have been developed for WSS, but I guess many chose the Publishing site template as a basis in MOSS by default.

Any help is appreciated. I hope there is some way, even if it requires some work, to get this done.

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Is there any content in the Pages library? If so, chances are you can't have these in WSS. Here's the reason.

Any page in the Pages library will be associated to a Content Type. This Content Type will be associated to a Page Layout.

The Content Type will inherit from a Content Type used by the Publishing Infrastructure, and the rendering of Pages made up from Page Layouts is also handled by the Publishing Infrastructure.

Simple 'Web Part Pages' that are not Publishing Pages will be safe from this behaviour, however. And they are able to live in libraries other than the Pages library.

What custom functionality has been deployed to your site? If these require the Publishing Infrastructure Feature to be enabled, you might also be out of luck (conversely, if there's no dependency, you'll be safe).

I guess, overall, you need to look at the content and the functionality (web parts, etc) in the site, and find out of they have any dependency on Publishing.

For the Masterpage, you might have to rebuild that using default.master, as the Publishing Site masterpage is designed explicitly for use in a Publishing Site.

Another way to approach this (and sometimes this is preferable), is to take the opportunity to scratch the entire project that the environment is used for, and start from scratch, planning requirements properly, learning mistakes from last time (like using MOSS when it wasn't ever actually needed).

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From what I can tell, the Pages ("Sider" since it's a danish installation) contains only the default.aspx page for each web on the site, it's not being used for publishing other pages. I have thought about redoing it all from scratch, but it's a cost/benefit analysis for the client on whether to spend the time recreating multiple sites or just paying the MOSS license - in this case, it might be cheaper to just stick with the license. Thanks for the input. –  Christian P. Oct 7 '11 at 9:29
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