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I've been setting up a test farm for a customer where I'll be looking to restore the UPSA databases from production, mainly the profile one, there isn't too much else I'm interested in other than these with the associated audiences, so really all I want is just the audiences to be associated and working in this test farm which has a web application that I've setup and hooked up the content database from the production farm to. Of course all you see is the GUIDs of the unassociated audiences for the web parts that are audience scoped with this restored content database.

I initially attempted to simply setup a UPSA with the databases (profile,sync,tagging) restored from the production farm but this just wasn't going to work and the FIM services were just disabled. I also found some articles about doing this and exporting the encryption key, which may or may not be required with what I'm trying to do since I'm attempting to restore to another farm. I'm just trying to use the databases here not running the powershell commands to backup and restore this. But if I need to do that then I will surely try it.

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I solved this with the ideas presented in this post on Stack Exchange. Essentially what I did was this:

  • Setup new UPSA (same name, setup same database names as the system that I'm restoring the DBs from)
    • Deleted the UPSA and kept the databases
    • Detached the Profile database from SQL server
    • Restored the prod Profile database to SQL server (it has the same name as the empty one)
    • Re-created the UPSA defined all the databases as before, I'm keeping the new Sync and new Social
    • Started up the services and iisreset etc.

All the profile information and importantly the audiences were there.

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