Monday, June 18, 2007

SharePoint Woes

Before you read this and think "He's an idiot!", understand that I am not a SharePoint guru. You are still free to think I am an idiot for any other reason.

I have been attempting to move a SharePoint Services 2.0 site from one server to another. What a pain. The site is small and was set up for my daughter's girl scout troop. I wonder if they are the only ones with a SharePoint site...

Anyway, I have been a good boy and have backed up the site nightly using stsadm.exe from a script. However, I find out now that an stsdm.exe backup is only usable on the server it was made on. So, you have to restore the System State and the STS_Config database before you can restore your site. stsadm.exe is a great tool, just not useful in the scenario I found myself. I am more likely to need to restore a site to an alternate server than I am to fully restore a downed SharePoint server. I just found out about the smigrate.exe tool which is meant for moving a site from server to server, but can also serve as a backup utility.

In my case, I am trying to move a top-level site. You must have the new site/virtual server created and extended before doing the restore with smigrate.exe, which was another battle for me thanks to my earlier failed restoration attempts. Recovery entailed uninstalling SharePoint Services and MSDE and then re-installing. Probably overkill, but it worked.

Finally, after all of that, I was able to use smigrate.exe to restore the site to the new server. One small problem. The site user accounts did not come across, only the site owner I assigned when extending the new virtual server. OK, so it's a big problem. For my site I will simply be re-adding them since there are only a dozen or so, but I still need to figure out how to backup and restore them in the same process. Now it's time to update my ISA publishing rules and my backup script to use smigrate.exe.

Here's a nice KB article on the use of stsadm.exe:

KB889236: Supported scenarios for using the Stsadm.exe command-line tool to back up and to restore Windows SharePoint Services Web sites and personal sites in SharePoint Portal Server 2003

Maybe next time I'll read the Administrator's Guide for Windows SharePoint Services first.

Live and learn.

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