How to Move SharePoint Site Collections?
Moving SharePoint solutions from Development to Testing and then to Production can be a tedious job, but deciding on the method to move your solutions is very confusing on its own.
There are many ways in which you can go ahead with this but each option has its own challenges.
- Backup and Restore
- Deploying Solution Packages (WSP)
- Migration Tools
Backup and Restore
- So far, this is the only way that will cover the most of your site collection in its backup file and restore it to your target farm.
- However, you need to have proper PowerShell script ready to restore the site collection, as there is no option in Central Administration to restore.
- You need to have the same farm version as source in your target server, else you will have to upgrade you target server running a few extra commands in PowerShell.
- Full Farm backup and restore is also possible here.
Prerequisites (In case of creating a testing environment similar to production environment):
- You must have an account in the local administrators group of the target environment.
- You must have an account in the local administrators group of the source environment.
- The source environment should have the same or a lesser patch version than the target environment.
- Both environments should have the same solutions deployed for the source and target web applications.
- Your target site collection should not exist to avoid conflicts.
Deploying Solution Packages (WSP)
- Solution Packages can be used for the below mentioned components:
- Custom Features
- Master Pages
- Site Definitions
- Application Pages
- Custom Pages
- Web parts
- Event Receivers
- Global Resource Files
- You need to ensure your target Site Collection has all the features equal to more than the source Site Collection activated.
- All the WSP dependencies should be properly documented to avoid error while applying the templates.
- Create batch files to deploy packages to make deployments consistent.
- Your WSP must have an un-installation module.
- Apart from the above, there are several paid third-party Migration Tools available in the market which help in complete deployment cycle.