Upgrading a 2010 Publishing Site to SharePoint 2013 Part One


It's been a while since I've posted, and now I have a backlog of SharePoint 2013 content that I'd like to get posted out there, so I need to find the time.  I've been playing with the beta since early this year, but now that it is public, it's time to start talking about it.

I figured the best place to start would be two of my favourite topics: Upgrading and Web Content Management (WCM).  What better place to start on that than on my blog site itself, which is hosted on SharePoint 2010.

Being a WCM fan, when it came time to move my blog site to SharePoint 2010, I decided not to use the blog template, but rather base it off the full WCM publishing site template.  This gave me much better control over the branding and user experience, but it required some extra work to pull it all together.  Some of it I never did get fully completed, so I'll have to get back to that too.  I have custom web parts for the archive and tag cloud sections that I need to deploy, as well as ideas around the anonymous commenting and CAPTCHA requirements for a public blog.  I'll save that for another day, but hopefully soon.

It turns out that the upgrade process in 2013 looks very similar to 2010.  Yes there is no longer an in-place upgrade option, but that's okay, I never liked it.  I always recommended the content database attach method to my clients, and that is now the only option.  Also like 2010, you can only upgrade from 2010 to 2013.  There is no direct path from 2007 to 2013.  I'll flesh this out in more detail in another post, but the basic process looks like this:

  1. Build your new SharePoint 2013 farm
  2. Create an empty web application that you want to upgrade the site into
  3. Drop the empty content database that was created
  4. Do a SQL backup of your SharePoint 2010 content database
  5. Run the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as administrator
  6. Mount-SPContentDatabase -Name DBName -WebApplication WebURL

This will perform the upgrade as part of the attach, and a log file will be generated with the results, including any warning or errors.

I executed this process against this blog site into a 2013 sandbox.  The first pass through there were some missing features, which was to be expected, but in general the site came through well.  Being brave I fired the site up, and it looked just like the original site.  Again like in 2010, the initial state after upgrade is to be running in 2010 mode for compatibility.  They call this a deferred site collection upgrade, and it is much deeper and richer than just the visual.  2013 has all the required 2010 files (including the 14 hive), which should provide deep backwards compatibility.  I haven't played with that part too much yet, but I will be.

The next step in the process is to try out some of the 2013 features.  Read more about that in the next post at Upgrading a 2010 Publishing Site to SharePoint 2013 Part Two.

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