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I have two farms which are sharepoint on-premises 2013, that have the same license type which is "SharePoint Server with Enterprise Client Access License" license. but the farms' build numbers are different as follow :-

  1. First farm have the following build number:- "15.0.4569.1000"
  2. while the second farm have the following build number:- "15.0.4875.1000"

now i want to move some document libraries between the 2 farms, by exporting the document library using this command:-

Export-SPWeb -Identity "http://****/Marketing/" -ItemUrl "Shared Documents" -Path "c:\export4.cmp" -CompressionSize 1000 -IncludeVersions All -IncludeUserSecurity -Force –Verbose

and importing it using the following command:-

Import-SPWeb http://t*****/sites/ccc/n/ –Path "c:\export4.cmp" -IncludeUserSecurity –Verbose

but before doing so can anyone adivce if it is a risky operation if i do an export/import between 2 farms which have different farm build numbers. mainly i have the following 3 concerns/questions:-

  1. let say i export the list from a lower farm version "15.0.4569.1000", and then i import the list in a higher farm version "15.0.4875.1000". could this cause the farm which i am importing the list into to be downgraded ? or specific features to be removed/downgraded ?

  2. let say i export the list from higher farm version "15.0.4875.1000", and then i import the list in a lower farm version "15.0.4569.1000". could this cause the farm which i am importing the list into to be upgraded? or certain features or columns to be added/upgraded ?

  3. or i should not be worried too much. As if the export/import works fine then everything should be safe ? and if the export/import fail then the farm configuration or other settings will not be affected ??

now from my previous experience doing a site collection backup/restore will not work unless the 2 farms are identical. and if the restore fails then nothing will negatively affect the farm. but in the export/import case seems it allow us to do export/import between different farm builds . but my question is if it is considered a risky operation or not ?

Thanks

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First, you should specify what's the type of risk that you expect when you try to export and import a library from one farm to another with different build number

  1. Will the cmdlet be worked and executed properly?
    • Yes, the cmdlet will be worked and executed properly. regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number.
  2. Will the Library and its content be imported properly?

    • Yes, the Library with its content will be imported properly. regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number.
  3. Will The versions be imported properly?

    • It will be imported but the versions DateTime will be lost and will set to the DateTime value of the time when the import has been performed. regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number.
  4. Will The workflow be imported properly?

    • No, it will not be imported regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number.

      • All running workflows will be lost.
      • All workflow associations will be lost.
      • Workflow tasks will be lost.
  5. Will The audit be imported properly?
    • No, the Audit events will be lost.regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number.

Second, let's answer your questions

let say I export the list from a lower farm version "15.0.4569.1000", and then I import the list in a higher farm version "15.0.4875.1000".

Yes, The import will work without any issue or risk,

Note: In this case (The destination farm Build Number is identical or greater than the source Build Number), the Backup/Restore will also work properly.

Could this cause the farm which I am importing the list into to be downgraded ? or specific features to be removed/downgraded?

As a short answer NO.

let say I export the list from higher farm version "15.0.4875.1000", and then I import the list in a lower farm version "15.0.4569.1000".

Yes, The import will work without any issue or risk,

Note: In this case (The destination farm Build Number is lower than the source Build Number), the Backup/Restore will not work.

Could this cause the farm which I am importing the list into to be upgraded? or certain features or columns to be added/upgraded?

As a short answer NO.

If the export/import works fine then everything should be safe?

As a short answer YES.

If the export/import fail then the farm configuration or other settings will not be affected?

As a short answer YES the farm configuration or other settings will not be affected.


  • @M.Qassad thanks a lot for the detailed reply.. but since u said No for 'If the export/import fail then the farm configuration or other settings will not be affected' so what will be affected if the import fail?? – john Gu Aug 27 '17 at 15:57
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    @johnG You are welcome :), nothing will be affected, I just read your question without not as "If the export/import fail then the farm configuration or other settings will be affected?", so the answer was No, now I modified the answer to inform you that there is no any effect in case the import operation failed – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Aug 27 '17 at 16:21
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    thanks a lot for the reply.. so in general i can export a doc library from one farm and then import it into another farm,, this should work regardless of the source and destination farm build numbers? second point, and there will NOT be any risk if the source and destination farm build numbers are not identical ? and the worst case scenario that can happen if the import fails,, is that i will not get the doc library imported,, but this will not affect the farm,site collection or subsite i am trying to import the doc library into ? – john Gu Aug 27 '17 at 23:14
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    It's correct. Don't worry @johnG There is no risk, I tried all the above before adding the answer and the document library is imported successfully on all my test scenario regardless the source farm build number is identical or greater or lower than the destination farm build number. with taking the above-mentioned considerations related to datetime versions, workflow and audit – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Aug 27 '17 at 23:51

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