Content Deployment Feature in SharePoint 2010

Content deployment feature helps deploying content from a source site collection to a destination site collection. More details on MSDN are here. Since this feature was giving me (still does) so many errors in my attempt to use it, thought of blogging my approach.

Here I’m trying to deploy content from http://dered-ca:40921 site collection to http://dered-qa:2222 site collection (dered-ca, dered-qa are two different servers).

Configuration in the destination server:
1. Create new web application and create a site collection without selecting a template.

2. Update new web application with custom code and features by deploying all WSPs.

3. Go to Central Administrator –> General Application Settings –> ‘Configure content deployment’ under ‘Content Deployment’ and select options as below

Configuration in the source server:
1. Go to Central Administrator -> General Application Settings -> Configure content deployment paths and jobs.

2. Select ‘New Path’ to start creating new content deployment job and fill the from as below

3. Click ‘OK’ will create a path (“Export WTU”) as well as Quick Deploy job as follows (A Quick Deploy feature supports the deployment of a single page by authors)

4. Then use “New Job” option or “Create Job” from the context menu as below to create a job.

While creating the job, if we select the database snapshots option, a snapshot of the source content database will be created and it will be used to perform the export, instead of directly using live content database. This option prevents any issues that can be occurred if users edit the content while the job is running. Snapshot will be automatically deleted after the job run.

There is an option to test the job before its actual run.

However, test completed does not mean that the job will run without any errors. It might still fail in the middle. In that case click on the failed status (hyperlink) will present a log of all errors and warnings and reason for the failure can be identified.

If the testing is successful we can run the job immediately with ‘Run Now’ option or we can schedule it.

** In destination server content deployment settings, if we select ‘Require encryption’ option

And specify an http URL in source configuration, we will get following error.

So we have to either configure https in destination and specify https central admin URL or use ‘Do not require encryption’ option.

** If the content deployment failed for the first time and if we run it for the second time, we will probably see following error;
The exception thrown was 'Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException' : 'Unable to import the folder _catalogs/masterpage/Forms/Page Layout. There is already an object with the Id aae2e….cbb43dfab73f in the database from another site collection.'”

In order to fix this error I had to detach and reattach content databases from other web applications and delete and create destination web application.