I'm currently working on a SharePoint 2007 site which is setup to allow clients to author content on a staging server and then this is automatically pushed up to the live environment via content deployment. The content deployment is setup in the 'Content deployment jobs and paths' in central admin.

Now the problem I've got is that it seems that historically there have been a mixture of full and incremental deployments done to the live site collection which according to Stefan Goßner's best practices post (http://blogs.technet.com/stefan_gossner/pages/content-deployment-best-practices.aspx) is a bad idea due to the fact that things soon become out of sync.

It's gotten to the point where the content deployment has just stopped working and incremental or full deployments are throwing errors in the logs. What I'm thinking is that I probably need to perform a full content deployment to an empty site collection and then somehow switch the new clean site collection with the current live one.

I was wondering if anybody has any experience with this and could provide any pointers, I'm currently investigating the feasibility of performing the clean content deployment and then switching the live content database with the new one, however in my tests I've found that as soon as I switch content databases, the incremental deployment still fails.

Any help much appreciated.


* Update 19 May 2010 *

Hi Lori, thanks for your reply. Ok that makes sense regarding the content deployment path when switching to a different content database, I guess thats not an ideal option.

Since I posted the question I have had some success with the following approach in my test environment:

  • Created a new web application on the server which hosts the target site
  • Created an empty site collection in the new web application using stsadm -o createsite as detailed on Stefan's blog here.
  • Ensured that there were no features on the target server which automatically deploy pages via code (which in my case there were a few)
  • Performed a full content deployment from the source server to the new empty site collection
  • Created a new empty content database on the target site using stsadm -o gl-createcontentdb (link here)
  • Deleted the current content database from the target app
  • Performed an STSADM backup from the clean site collection and restored it to the target site collection
  • Tried an incremental deployment from the source and it seems to be working ok

I need to do a bit more testing to ensure this works consistently, but if all is well I think I'll use this approach.


2 Answers 2


You will probably have to delete the current destination site collection and create a new, blank site. Then do a content deployment from the source. This will require some down-time. The content deployment job looks at the destination and will fail if it sees content that is already contained in the source site. When you move the content database, you are moving it to a new path, and when the job fires for that content deployment path, it will see that there is already content there that is duplicated, thus it will fail.


We had this exact same problem. We indeed had to delete the site collection and remigration. The migration options are not named correctly - in reality the two options are "initial" (full) and "every other time" (partial).

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