This is the current scenario:

Sharepoint 2010 on MachineA with SQL Server. Site collection SCa on web app WAa.

Now I need to "deploy" my site collection on MachineB.

What are the suggested ways to do this? At the moment:

  • I've read about Sandbox solution; but I think is not a feasable choice for me.
  • I've tried, save SCa as site template, and then recreate the site collection on MachineB based on the template. It seems working, can I rely on that? Is it safe? Which site features will I loose? Workflows?

This is the content I'd like to deploy:

  • Document libraries
  • Lists
  • Related workflows

Just that. For document libraries ONLY, it woul be nice to deploy contents also.

After these four answers, I'm going toward a granular backup using powershell Export-SPWeb and Import-SPWeb. Even not sure yet.

  • Maybe you can give us some infomation about what you are trying to "deploy". Only list structures, or lists and libraries with content? Customizations? Features? Timer jobs? etc.
    – AlexPoint
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 13:27
  • @AlexPoint: I've added some information about what I need to be deployed. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 13:33

6 Answers 6

  1. Setup a content deployment job.
  2. Do a Backup-SPSite, Restore-SPSite
  3. Use the content deployment wizard tool (Neeed to install this on both servers for export, import)
  4. Database detach and reattach.

(4) is laborious and it also seems to retain webapp urls as-is. So you will see http://test urls in your content after you move to prod. I'd do #2 or #3 (if you can install the product in both servers).


I'd say either a content database detach and restore into production, or using stsadm/powershell to backup the site collection and restore into production.

  • Thanks (+1). Database detach is too radical. I don't want "dirty" production with everything is in test, but just with the site collection. Backup the site collection and restore might be a good alternative instead. I'm still not accepting your answer, just because I'd like to see others if any. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 13:29
  • Thats fine, I think others will be saying the same thing. If it was merely a site feature or something like that, it would be different. I think the only other option would be content deployment. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 13:36

Ok there are a few ways to do it:

  1. "Save as template" and include content (The amount of content is limited but should be enough in most cases)
  2. Database backup/restore as PirateEric wrote
  3. Granular backup in the CA (To find in Backup and Restore / Granular Backup) You can then select a site or List and export it. It can include the permissions but I am not sure about workflows and its instances. You can import the file via Power Shell (Import-SPWeb).
  • I'm trying now your third option via powershell, and it seems working fine (apart lists with lookups). Not sure about workflows either. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 14:51
  • @empo: Please let us know if it worked out. I am interessed if workflows, running workflow instances, the workflow history and all that make it to the new environment. Thx!
    – AlexPoint
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 16:50

As you seem to want to do this in production mode, I would suggest looking at a supported third-party tool. It may be overkill in your case (and over budget too!). You will need to weigh your needs versus the additional capabilities these types of tools provide.

Two tools that come to mind are:

Both provide content and functionality migration between sites and even farms. Both also provide demo versions for you to try it out. That might be enough to get you through your scenario.


There is a tool in CodePlex from Chris O'Brien which does the same. Check it out

  • I'm not going to use a Beta here. Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 14:53
  • @empo: It could be like gmail where the beta tag doesn't really mean anything. =)
    – Kit Menke
    Commented Jun 7, 2011 at 16:04

I agree with Wayne. If you have the cash, DocAve Replicator works well. Otherwise some Powershell scripts work well.

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