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SharePoint 2013 Website Content Refresh Strategy RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a public facing website running on SharePoint 2013. The content team want to refresh a lot of the content and navigational structure of this website and launch the resulting changes simultaneously at the "flick of a switch". This refresh could involve modifications in up to 2500 pages (and catalog items). The website is using managed navigation (i.e. the term store) and cross-site publishing with a lot of content being pulled from a separate catalog site collection. Hence the content and configuration of the site spans the main content database, the catalog content database, the managed metadata service and database, and the search configurations and associated databases.

    We've been asked to devise an approach that will allow content editors to make all the changes they need to make, keeping the existing site and content as-is, and then switch over to the new content and structure when all is ready.

    As far as I can see our options are:

    • Copy all content and configuration to the Staging farm, make all changes there, and then copy back to live overwriting the live database. This would mean having a content-freeze on the live site while these changes take place. My concerns with this approach are the need to keep all the various content and configuration items in sync and integrated - i.e. re-hooking up all the catalogs, result sources, integrated navigation, term store, term-driven pages. This could all get messy very quickly, and then we'd have to copy it back to Live!
    • Make a clone of the live site in the live environment and create a replica of the Navigation Term Set (or possibly even create an additional Managed Metadata Service that is a clone of the existing one). This would enable content editors to make all changes in the clone environment and we then switch the live URL to point at the clone when we are ready to. My concerns here are that we are working in Live. There is the possibility of effecting the live service or content from the cloned site appearing in the live site (as so much of content is search-based).

    Does anyone have any experience of this process in SharePoint 2013 with a scenario something similar to this? Looking for guidance and pros/cons really. Thanks.

    Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:32 PM

Answers

  • Thanks for the input. The content team have actually decided to update the content bit by bit on the live site over a few weeks. This has been deemed less risky though will still cause issues and minor downtime as content is moved and navigation is updated.

    I still see this as an important issue that companies will need guidance with.

    • Marked as answer by Lindali Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:18 AM
    Monday, December 23, 2013 9:04 AM

All replies

  • What i understand, you have a major change/update for you site collection.I were thinking about the cross site publishing but you already using it then i think Content Deployment but that job also have limitation.

    your 2nd option is more workable, if you create a new WebApplication, new MMS for that webapp.

    take the backup of live site and restore into the new webapp. 

    Now you concern about the interruption with live site, its less likely because you have separate webApp(separate app pool), Separate content db.

    only chances is if you development having memory leaks and consuming all resources on the Servers.


    Please remember to mark your question as answered &Vote helpful,if this solves/helps your problem. ****************************************************************************************** Thanks -WS MCITP(SharePoint 2010, 2013) Blog: http://wscheema.com/blog

    Sunday, December 22, 2013 7:18 AM
  • Thanks for the input. The content team have actually decided to update the content bit by bit on the live site over a few weeks. This has been deemed less risky though will still cause issues and minor downtime as content is moved and navigation is updated.

    I still see this as an important issue that companies will need guidance with.

    • Marked as answer by Lindali Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:18 AM
    Monday, December 23, 2013 9:04 AM
  • Have you considered using versioning or Approval Workflow to have al of the changed content published at the given moment (of course accounting for some delay needed for search to crawl the updates)?

    Other two options that you pointed out are rather complex and far from perfect. Copying a site, particularly one using cross-site publishing isn't trivial due to all the references and URLs that need to be fixed and the search index that needs to be rebuilt. And while you could copy the content database, it no longer contains the whole site (ie. no MMS and Search Settings and index), as it was the case in previous versions of SharePoint.


    w: http://blog.mastykarz.nl | t: @waldekm | c: http://mavention.codeplex.com | c: http://mavention.nl

    Friday, December 27, 2013 8:02 AM
  • Thanks for that Waldek, but I don't believe the Approval Workflow will encompass the navigational restructuring.

    We could really do with some guidance from Microsoft (or people like yourself) on how to do this sort of thing. That includes moving production content back to dev environments. Looking back we had it easy in 2007/2010 with just having to move the content database back. Now we have to move content databases (plural if we are using separate databases for catalogs, assets etc.) and also the MMS and possibly Search. We then also have to re-sync the connections between everything and then debug all the issues that follow. Perhaps Powershell scripts could be used to some extent to export/import these, either way it's a long process to have to carry out before being able to start development.

    Perhaps the guidance would include how best to structure websites in the first place to make for a easier development lifecycle. Then I expect that guidance would be to use the 2007/2010 model for SharePoint websites.

    Thanks again.

    Monday, December 30, 2013 8:57 AM
  • I absolutely agree with you: when you're using the new WCM capabilities that SharePoint 2013 offers, there are more moving parts and things to take into account when publishing major changes on your website.


    w: http://blog.mastykarz.nl | t: @waldekm | c: http://www.mavention.com

    Monday, January 6, 2014 10:20 AM