Live to Development Migration

We are currently migrating some sharepoint sites from external live environments to development environments hosted on vm's. The sites are a mixture of websites and intranets. We have not had access to the live environments so can not specify structure of the sites.

The sites do have some customisations applied. Some are customisations are packaged via wsp packages for which we have the source code (somewhere previous developers have left it need to find it)

The sites setup we have no knowledge so the objective is to restore live back to a development vm so we can bug fix and make enhancements moving forward.

What steps should be go through for this.

We have outlined the following steps:

  1. Take a copy of the content databases/s
  2. Take a copy of the wsp packages straight from the live environment (using powershell)
  3. Create site collections from live on dev
  4. Restore the content databases from live on to these.
  5. Deploy the wsps from live on to dev.
  6. Activate the features from live on our development vm's.

What other steps are missing as I am sure they are.

1 Answer 1


Great start! A few other things to consider

  • If you're changing domains, you'll need to update the Site Collection Administrators via Central Admin.
  • Hopefully all customizations are within the dbs and wsps. Worst case is someone manually copied some assets into the LAYOUTS folder, you may need to pick off some files from there.
  • You may experience some issues with links as the URLs change from Prod to Dev. SharePoint does a great job handling most on its own (top link bar, left quick launch) however depending on customizations, there may be links in page content that are static to the prod URL. Be aware of where you are as you click through, you might switch over to the prod site by accident.
  • Following the above one, assets (images, css, js), might be statically assigned to the prod URL, so you might be fighting some CSS updates in the wrong file. Once the site is loaded, view the page source in Notepad and search for the prod URL.

Otherwise I think you're good. It's a pretty straight forward process.


  • Guys cheer for your help I am going to start in a week and will flag up any issues on here and mark the correct answers to give you some credit for your answers.
    – Miyagi
    Dec 17, 2012 at 11:27

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