Help with understanding SharePoint 2010, backup and restore

The company I work for has just implemented SharePoint, with a few different Farms.

The DEV Farm  is in use by some external consultants to develop a PMO webapp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_management_office).
A 2nd external consultant(s) created the UI for PMO webapp, as a Feature that can be Activated and Deactivated.


On our TEST Farm, the UI Feature (WSP file) was successfully added and deployed.
I backed up the PMO site collection using PowerShell (backup-spsite) from DEV Farm and restored it to TEST Farm.
The PMO webapp is now accessible from the TEST Farm and the UI Feature activated.

A month goes by.

The DEV Farm now has the latest "Code" and the TEST Farm now has the latest "end-user data".

How do I 'sync' the two Farms so that they have the latest "Code" and "end-user data"?

I have a Production Farm that I would like to restore the latest "Code" from DEV and the latest "end-user data" from TEST.
JCTDDAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
Instead of backing up and restoring, build the solution, move the wsp file to the Test environment, and update the wsp using powershell.

Update-SPSolution –Identity YourSolutionName.wsp –LiteralPath “C:\YourSolutionName.wsp” –GacDeployment
0
DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
Another solution: if you have visual studio on the test server, open the solution, repoint the URL property in the project, and deploy.
0
DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
I just re-read your question and believe you also want to sync test user-data down to dev and prod?  If so, after you deploy to test, you can try to do a backup & restore from test down to dev.   Verify it is as you expect, then restore to prod which should move both code & data to production.
---------------------------------------
A final thought I remember from an SP MVP, SharePoint is designed to support a traditional dev/test/production model for development of architectural artifacts like web parts, list schemas, site schemas, event recievers, workflows, etc.  But it is not designed to support content that way.  SharePoint is designed to support an environment where end users create content directly in production.

So the bottom line is that the only real way to do what you are describing is to periodically backup the production environment to restore it to dev or test.  I've seen lots of people look for ways to do this, but I've yet to see anyone really find a way to do it.
0
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

JCTDDAuthor Commented:
I am not a Developer. Please explain what is meant by "Build the Solution".

I have been shown to:

DEV PMO -> Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Site Actions -> Save Site as Template which saves it as WSP file but I have no idea what to do with the WSP file.
0
DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
Where did the code come from? Is it a solution built by a developer?
0
JCTDDAuthor Commented:
The external developer(s) is actively working on the DEV Farm. I would like to migrate their latest "work" on DEV to TEST.

Reversely I would like to migrate the latest "end-user data" from TEST to DEV.

I have a working PMO Webapp in Production (but it's not gone live yet).

If I do a "backup-spsite" followed by a "restore-spsite" (from DEV to Production, or TEST to Production), I either get the latest "code" or the latest "end-user data". I want both in Production.
0
DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
Maybe a little background will help me.
Code changes:
* are the code changes across a whole site. Not confined to a particular List/library?
* Are the code changes things like fields, values, list creation, etc. or is it actual 'visual studio' coding going on?
 User-data
* is the data list items, or web parts, or documents in a library, all of these?


If the code and user data changes are a combination of the items I listed above, you may be in the unfortunate position of deciding which changes are more easily manually reproducible. As my previous post described, SP is not made for cross-environment publishing aside from what you have been doing; taking one environment and overwriting another.  

Going forward, knowing what you know now, you may have to put limitations and/or governance rules in place to make this easier for you.
0
JCTDDAuthor Commented:
* are the code changes across a whole site. Not confined to a particular List/library?
* Are the code changes things like fields, values, list creation, etc. or is it actual 'visual studio' coding going on?
 User-data
* is the data list items, or web parts, or documents in a library, all of these?

I am NOT a developer. I do NOT know what the above jargon is.

Can I take a copy of the TEST PMO SQL content database and restore it to DEV? Won't that restore the latest "end-user data" from TEST to DEV?
0
Justin SmithSr. System EngineerCommented:
Assuming your "code changes" are all contained within the wsp solution, you need to deploy this wsp to the Test environment.  This shouldn't overwrite any content in Test.

That may be all you need to do, or depending on what is in your solution, you may have to upgrade instances of whatever is in the solution, at the site level.  But once you have your code deployed to Test, you could then do a site backup and restore to Dev and Prod (once you have the wsp in Prod as well).
0
JCTDDAuthor Commented:
How do I deploy the WSP file?

As previosuly mentioned:

I have been shown to:

DEV PMO -> Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Site Actions -> Save Site as Template which saves it as WSP file but I have no idea what to do with the WSP file.
0
DougApplication Development ManagerCommented:
ACH1LLES,
Unfortunately his WSP file isn't a feature or solution but a site template.  Unless I'm missing something, he can't "update" the wsp file (using PowerShell or Central Admin).  

JCTDD,
Do you save the site template "with content".  If so, when you create the new site it will have the content too.  

The only way to create a new site based on a site template (wsp) is to upload it to a new site collection and create a new site based on that template.  Here is a great article explaining the whole process: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj938033.aspx
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft SharePoint

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.