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I have a current SharePoint 2013 environment development site and I want to emulate our production site as closely as possible. The purpose of this is for testing of course. Recently I had our database guy copy prod content database to the dev content database. It didn't appear to help. Are there other steps? Do I need to do the attach/detach?

Thanks.

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The content database is one of the steps that will make your dev environment identical to production.

but as it's named it only match content not configuration like application services.

Regarding restoring your backup content database, you can also check How to Restore / Migrate a SharePoint Web Application to another farm from SQL Database Backup

  • So I have copied my prod content database to my sql server I'm using for development. I have added the new content databases to my web application. In the site collection list under the proper web app, I see all 15 of may site collections. (Good) Now, if I copy and paste that site collection url in a browser I get " File Not Found". If I try to create a site collection with that name it will not let me because it already exists. So, it's like it is there but not there. Anyone have any suggestions? Things to try? Thanks. – Ernie J Jul 22 '16 at 13:40
  • That's usually caused by a Master Page url error. Open the site in SPD and then open the default.aspx page. If you see an error regarding the Master Page in the design view then go to the code view and manually correct the Master Page URL. – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Jul 22 '16 at 13:46
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there are couple of ways to move the production data into Dev. But before start you have to make sure.

  1. Source Farm and Dev Farm both should be on same Version(patch level). if you use the backup-spsite and restore-SPsite then it should be same level.
  2. But if you use the Content Database method then if destination level is higher it will work but if destination is lower version level then Prod then it will not.
  3. if your site collection depend upon some customization( solution etc), those should be present in the destination farm otherwise it will not work.

For moving the production site to dev

  1. Use the Backup-SpSite to backup production site then mvoe the .bak to Dev then use the restore-spsite on dev
  2. Use the Database SQL backup from Prod then restore the Back up to the Dev sql server. After that attach to the desired web application. If you already restored the site collection before in the same web application then it will through the error.
  3. you can use the 3rd party tools to move the site between the farm.
  • Do I need to copy the config database? – Ernie J Jul 20 '16 at 15:53
  • No, only content DB. You cant move the config db....everything store in the Content DB. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jul 20 '16 at 15:54
  • So I have copied my prod content database to my sql server I'm using for development. I have added the new content databases to my web application. In the site collection list under the proper web app, I see all 15 of may site collections. (Good) Now, if I copy and paste that site collection url in a browser I get " File Not Found". If I try to create a site collection with that name it will not let me because it already exists. So, it's like it is there but not there. Anyone have any suggestions? Things to try? Thanks. – Ernie J Jul 22 '16 at 13:46
  • Could you please check the size of site collections? And try to browse the settings page directly. Do you have any customization in your prod? Any solution or branding etc? – Waqas Sarwar MVP Jul 22 '16 at 13:54

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