I have two farms both running SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2, basically something like a development environment and a production environment. I have a site running on web app - port 80 and it is a puublishing site.

What is the best practice to move my content from my farm 1 (development) to my farm2 (production)?

Creating a content database backup and restoring it to sql on farm 2? or Copying MDF file and log file of content database and attaching it to sql on farm 2?

Please explain why do you say so.

  • I agree with @Vamsi Dec 14, 2011 at 15:24
  • How to do that?
    – Sepaka
    Dec 19, 2011 at 6:58
  • 2
    Simple, Accept the answers that resolved the issue. Do this for all the questions you have posted.
    – Vamsi
    Dec 19, 2011 at 18:33
  • This question wasn't answered so I can't accept it.
    – Sepaka
    Dec 21, 2011 at 6:25

2 Answers 2


When I need to move content from one environment to another I use backup/restore. I see no reason in copying the files, it's far easier to use the backup/restore routines - also there are often the case that you use other tools than SQL backup to do the actual backup.

Copying the files is also a dangerous option due to file locks etc, and you don't want to take down the farm just to copy the data.

  • I would even add that bu using backup/restore, you may move only some of the content: you decide to move (restore) only the content database, only the user profile db, or social db for example. We tested that and it works.
    – Veynom
    Jan 5, 2012 at 10:41
  • Thanks Wictor. This is very helpful. I also thought of following the same approach but I wasn't sure. Many thanks again.
    – Sepaka
    Jan 5, 2012 at 11:49
  • Assuming we are only deciding between the two options, I agree backup/restore (rather than a form of detach/attach) is the better route. However, the OP indicates they are moving content from DEV to PROD. Probably a fine idea for the first time only, but likely not after, unless you keep dev in sync with PROD and you set PROD to Read Only after you last refresh DEV (or are OK with possibly loosing PROD content).
    – Brian
    Jan 6, 2012 at 4:16

You can use Content Deployment. However, its not a good practice to move content from Development to directly Production.

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