Background of problem

We are developing an extranet. It's primary purpose is to share pdf's and xls files with external customers. After content deployment, everything works as expected, except the pdf's and xls documents fail to import. I will respond as quickly as possible to any additional requests for background on the behavior.


We have an internal authoring environment and an external content deployment target outside the firewall. We set up content deployment between the two environments. The source site is based upon the team site site collection template.

Due Diligence

  1. I have confirmed that both the source and the target are at the same patch level for SharePoint and SQL 2008
  2. The target site was created leaving the site collection as "Choose template later"
  3. Our 2 custom solutions that provision the lists and styling were deployed to the target, but their features were not activated.
  4. The lists do not require content approval.

What works

When we run content deployment, the following work as expected:

  1. Custom features are activated
  2. Master pages, images, css are deployed
  3. Custom lists are created.


Everything behaves as expected, except none of the "meat" of the site (the actual document library items) is created.


Below is the log section for both a master page and an example pdf. Note that they are nearly exactly the same (Names changed to protect the innocent).

[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [Foo.Default.Master] Progress: Importing
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [Foo.Default.Master]   Verbose: List URL: /_catalogs/masterpage
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [Foo.Default.Master]   Progress: Importing Links
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [Foo.Default.Master]     Verbose: Import 1 server-relative links.

[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [ExampleDocument.pdf] Progress: Importing
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [ExampleDocument.pdf]   Verbose: List URL: /Customer Reports
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [ExampleDocument.pdf]   Progress: Importing Links
[3/2/2011 9:24:08 AM] [ListItem] [ExampleDocument.pdf]     Verbose: Import 1 server-relative links.

We also received ~100 of these exceptions on the first run of content deployment, but the amount of errors do not correspond to the number of imported documents (~5000). Googling around a bit hints that this might not be the reason for our problems, but I'm putting it out there in case I'm wrong.

[3/2/2011 9:26:01 AM] Debug:    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ImportObjectManager.FixBrokenMvlInListItem(ListItemMvl brokenField)
   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Deployment.ImportObjectManager.FixBrokenLookup(DeploymentLookupField brokenField)



Content deployment is tricky to get working in SharePoint 2007, and you seem to have done everything right from reading through the question. Obviously, the larger the amount of content, the trickier it is. There seem to be problems related to the length of time it takes to migrate the content.

A good starting point is Stefan Gossner's blog series on this subject.

In SharePoint 2010 the content deployment mechanism seems to be a lot faster and more reliable.


I've never seemed to be able to get content deploy to work correctly. Part of the issues stem from the quick deploy and the various hidden lists used to keep track of the content states. Our content creators also had problems wrapping their heads around the concept of quick deploy.

In the end we just set up a process to backup the internal site and deploy it to the site in the DMZ on a regular basis. Mimics a lot of what content deploy does anyways.

On a side note, as you are creating am extranet to share documents, I assume you are using FBA for extranet and windows auth for internal. Why not extend the site to another zone with FBA and make the URL available externally? Would allow a much more collaborative environ,ent with external partners.

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