Archive site versions by using database snapshots (Office SharePoint Server 2007)

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

A Microsoft SQL Server 2005 snapshot is a read-only view of a database as the database existed at the time that the snapshot was created. SQL Server 2005 snapshots are created by using differential copying. After the snapshot is created, the snapshot technology uses a copy-on-write scheme to ensure that the snapshot images are static views of the database.

You can use snapshot technology to create a read-only, point-in-time copy of a SharePoint Products and Technologies content database. You can associate a snapshot content database with a SharePoint site to enable users to retrieve content from a different point in time.

Snapshots can be used for reporting purposes. Also, in the event of a user error on a source database, you can revert the source database to the state it was in when the snapshot was created. Data loss is confined to updates to the database since the snapshot was created.


The snapshot version of the Web site does not have full functionality. For example, you cannot write to the snapshot version or upload a file to it.

For more information about using snapshots with SharePoint Products and Technologies, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: How to use SQL Server to take a snapshot of a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 content database (

Task Requirements

The following is required to perform the procedures for this task:

  • It is recommended that you have a backup server running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.


Memberships in the Administrators group on the computer that is running Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and in the dbowner fixed database role in SQL Server are required to complete the following procedure.

To create or attach database snapshots, you can perform the following procedures:

Create a database snapshot

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the database server that contains the database you want to take a snapshot of.

  2. In the Object Explorer pane, expand the Databases list.

  3. Right-click the database you want to take a snapshot of, and then click New Query.

  4. Type the following text into the query pane, filling in the placeholder content with your specific data:

    CREATE DATABASE <database snapshot name>
    NAME = <database name>,
    FILENAME = 'c:\<backup file name>.ss')
    AS SNAPSHOT OF <description of database content>;

  5. On the Query menu, click Execute to take a snapshot of the content database.


You must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group to complete the following procedure.

Attach and view a database snapshot

  1. On the backup server, on the SharePoint Central Administration Web site, click Application Management.

  2. On the Application Management page, in the SharePoint Web Application Management section, click Create or extend Web application.

  3. On the Create or Extend Web Application page, click Create a new Web application.

  4. On the Create New Web Application page:

    1. In the IIS Web Site section, ensure that the Create a new IIS web site option is selected. You can use the default description or type a new description.

    2. In the Security Configuration section, select an authentication provider, whether to allow anonymous authentication, and whether to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

    3. In the Load Balanced URL section, you can use the default domain name or type a new domain name.

    4. In the Application Pool section, choose an application pool to host the new Web application.

    5. In the Reset Internet Information Services section, select Restart IIS Manually.

    6. In the Database Name and Authentication section, in the Database Server box, type the name of the production database server that contains the snapshot database you created.

    7. Click OK.

  5. To verify your snapshot, open the SharePoint site on the backup server to verify that the site displays the information that you backed up. Changes to your production server do not affect the database snapshot.

See Also


Use alternative methods of backup and recovery (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Capture and restore content by using the Web site delete event (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Capture and restore content by using SharePoint Designer (Office SharePoint Server 2007)
Archive and retrieve content by using Stsadm import and export operations (Office SharePoint Server 2007)