1. Upgrading SharePoint Site Definitions from v2 to v3: RECOMMENDED UPGRADE METHODOLOGY

I am in the process of upgrading a smaller SPS03 portal installation to MOSS 2007. This is in preparation for upgrading a much larger highly customized SPS03 portal installation to MOSS 2007.

Technet documentation on upgrading  can be found at: http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/396c85d9-4b86-484e-9cc5-f6c4d725c5781033.mspx

MSIT best practice whitepaper around upgrading can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itshowcase/content/hostsps07.mspx

This series of blogs is intended to compliment this documentation with my a record of the real world experience of working through the process of upgrading a significantly customized SPS03 to MOSS07.

To start off, I hear from those who have done a lot of upgrades, that the best practice for upgrading a heavily customized portal from WSSv2-SPS03 to WSSv3-MOSS07 is to:

  • first do a gradual upgrade while you fix the site definitions, web parts, css etc.
  • then once you have all of your sites upgrading perfectly, you should set up all of the files on a "Swing Farm", do a clean install of WSSv3-MOSS07, and then do a database upgrade

To repeat, you first create a replica of your v2 portal on a Virtual PC farm where you develop:

  • the v3 site definitions
  • the Definition Upgrade File that maps from the v2 site defs to the v3 site defs
  • upgraded web parts and applications
  • any css, images, page layouts, master pages

You then execute a gradual upgrade on this virtual PC farm, and once you have everything working, and you can execute a gradual upgrade and produce a perfectly working WSSv3 or MOSS07 portal or set of portals, then you build a "swing farm" with a clean install of WSSv3-MOSS07, install all of the working parts over to the Swing Farm, then bring over a backup of the current v2 live farm database, and attach the swing farm to the v2 database, and run a database upgrade to v3.

A good questionaire to go through before beginning a Gradual Upgrade: