I am slowly making more progress in my quest to export sites from an Enterprise SharePoint Server and import it back into a Standard SharePoint Server. As you saw in my last post I ran into a problem caused by having lists email enabled. Since then I have written several small console utilities to help track down problems in the original sites I am exporting.
One of the tools I created helps me hunt down all of the lists that are email enabled. The utility walks the site hierarchy and looks for any list that has an assigned email address. If one is found it writes out a comma seperated line that includes the list name, list’s default URL and the email alias used for incoming mail. This allows me to quickly log all of the information so I can use it later to re-enable the incoming mail feature on the new SharePoint server. Once the utility gave me the list of sites that are email enabled I could quickly disable them temporarily for the export.
Another tool that I wrote that came in very handy was one that would search for Enterprise SharePoint features that are not supported on the Standard edition of SharePoint. Like the last tool, I would run this at the command line and receive a list of all the sites I will need to check for enterprise features. This saved a ton of time. I checked each site and noticed that 99% of the sites never really used the enterprise features, they just had them enabled on the site. So a simple process of disabling the enterprise features on these sites took care of that problem. I did have one site that was using Excel services but after speaking with the site owner we determined it really wasn’t needed. Now all of the sites should easily import into the standard version of SharePoint.
One last issue that I had was an error during import that indicated a required template was missing on the new SharePoint server. I wrote another command line utility that searched the site hierarchy looking for any sites that were based on this rogue template. After running the tool I found that one site was based on this template… and after reviewing the site it was determined to have been just some left over test that one of the Windows administrators had been playing with. So our solution was to just delete that site.
After spending a few hours writing simple utilities and doing a lot of clean up on the original SharePoint server I was able to successful export and then import all of the sites into the new server. Mark up one small victory.
Next steps will be to review the export and import logs for any outstanding issues that may have cropped up. I think I may have a problem with importing survey content. I noticed there was a message in the import log that said something like “the user can only answer the survey once”. I am guessing there is some other setting I will need to modify on the original SharePoint server prior to doing the export that may resolve that issue. But more research and digging is needed before I take any action.
Once all of the issues are resolved I will be ready to do this whole process for real during a weekend. When that occurs I will be moving all of the content and then making some DNS changes so all of our users will see the new SharePoint server the next time they log in. I am hoping that all of this pre-work, testing and trial runs pay off so I have a smooth cutover. Wish me luck!