Migrating SharePoint 2010 with Social Sites to SharePoint 2013: The Nitty Gritty

In our video, Migrating SharePoint 2010 with Social Sites to SharePoint 2013, we covered the basics of an upgrade of SharePoint 2010 with NewsGator Social Sites to SharePoint 2013. In this article, we will dive into each of the components to an upgrade in a bit more detail.

Getting Started

This article is geared towards individuals who are assessing, planning, and performing the upgrade process. Microsoft has provided extensive documentation to assist in this process on TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303420.aspx. When planning your upgrade, we highly recommend consulting the TechNet documentation to ensure each aspect of your upgrade has been considered.

One important aspect to note about the upgrade process is that SharePoint 2013 does not support an in-place upgrade from SharePoint 2010. The database attach method is the preferred for most SharePoint environments.

For those already deep into your upgrade planning, here are the key points to consider for Social Sites using the preferred database attach method described on TechNet:

  • Before upgrading to SharePoint 2013, Social Sites on SharePoint 2010 should be running the same version you plan to use in your SharePoint 2013 environment. For instance, if your SharePoint 2010 environment is running Social Sites v3.0, but you are installing Social Sites v4.0 on your SharePoint 2013 environment, you will need to upgrade your SharePoint 2010 environment to Social Sites v4.0 first.
  • After creating the web applications in the SharePoint 2013, TechNet instructs you to apply third-party customizations before attaching your content databases. This is where you install the Social Sites solutions. You can do this manually or using the Social Sites installer. However, if using the Social Sites installer, do not provision the Social Sites service applications at this time.
  • Do not provision the Social Sites service application until after you have attached your content databases. The SharePoint sites hosting the Social Sites communities need to exist on the farm prior to provisioning the service applications.
  • Prior to provisioning the Social Sites service application, the SharePoint farm identifier needs to be manually updated in the dbo.SocialGroup and dbo.FarmConfiguration tables of the Social Sites database.
  • If the URL to your My Site host changed, be sure to update the Lookout page URL in the Display Settings of the Social Sites service application.

Prior to upgrading is a great time to do some cleanup of unused sites and content in your SharePoint 2010 environment. In addition, removing any unsupported items prior to upgrading will make the process simpler. These include any third party or custom solutions that are not supported with SharePoint 2013 and any sites using the PowerPoint Broadcast or FAST Search Center site templates.

Identifying and removing unsupported sites can be accomplished quickly using PowerShell:

  1. Open the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell as administrator
  2. Enter “(Get-SPFarm).Id”
  3. Record the GUID that is output by the command

Now that we have prepared our SharePoint 2010 environment, we can start backing up the content to migrate and upgrade to our SharePoint 2013 environment.

Backing Up SharePoint 2010 Content

SharePoint 2013 supports upgrading the Business Data Connectivity, Managed Metadata, PerformancePoint, Search Administration, Secure Store, and User Profile service applications from SharePoint 2010. When upgrading with Social Sites only the User Profile and Social Sites service application are required to be upgraded. The other service applications may be upgraded or created new in the SharePoint 2013 environment. We do, however, recommend upgrading the Managed Metadata and Secure Store service applications if using those in your Social Sites configuration.

In this article, we upgrade our web applications, the User Profile service application, and the Social Sites service applications. Details on copying the databases for and upgrading the service applications not outlined in this article can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj839720.aspx and here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj839719.aspx.

The first step to backing up the SharePoint 2010 content is to set all of the SQL databases that we will be migrating to be read-only. This allows users to continue to access SharePoint content, but prevents any changes from being made that could impact the upgrade process. One important note here is that Social Sites activity streams, etc., will no longer function while the database is set to read-only.

Setting databases to be read-only can be done using the SQL Server Management Studio using the UI tools or with SQL queries.

  • To set a database to be read-only with the UI tools:
  • Right-click the database name in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Select Properties
  • In the Options page, set the Database Read-Only property to TRUE
  • Select OK
  • To set a database to be read-only with a SQL query:
  • Create a new SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Enter and execute the following SQL query:
    GO
    ALTER DATABASE database_name
    SET READ_ONLY
    GO

Next, we need to make a full backup of each of the SQL databases we are migrating and upgrading to SharePoint 2013. This can also be done using the SQL Server Management Studio using the UI tools or with SQL queries.

  • To backup a database with the UI tools:
  • Right-click the database name in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Select Tasks > Back Up
  • In the Back Up Database window remove any existing destinations to ensure we get a full backup in the new destination we specify
  • Add a new destination to backup the database to
  • Select OK
  • To backup a database with a SQL query:
  • Create a new SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Enter and execute the following SQL query:
    USE database_name
    GO
    BACKUP DATABASE database_name
    TO DISK = ‘C:\Backups\database_name.bak’
    WITH FORMAT,
    MEDIANAME = ‘database_name-Backup’,
    NAME = ‘Full Backup of database_name’
    GO

The last piece of information we need to backup from our SharePoint 2010 environment is the encryption keys for the User Profile service. We can do this by running the miiskmu.exe utility, found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\14.0\Synchronization Service\Bin\, and completing the wizard to export the keys.

Preparing the SharePoint 2013 Environment

Before migrating and upgrading the service applications and web applications, we need to setup our SharePoint 2013 environment. The SharePoint 2013 servers should be configured and joined to the SharePoint 2013 farm.

Any farm configuration settings that have been customized in SharePoint 2010, such as diagnostic logging and blocked file types, that are not related to the service applications and web applications we are upgrading should be set. Additionally, any service applications that we are creating new and not upgrading can be created at this time.

For more information on preparing your SharePoint 2013 environment see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263026.aspx.

The backups of the SQL databases and the User Profile encryption keys should be copied to a location where they can be accessed by the SharePoint 2013 environment.

Migrating Content and Service Applications to SharePoint 2013

The next step to migrating and upgrading our service applications and web applications to SharePoint 2013 is to restore the databases from the SharePoint 2010 environment to our SharePoint 2013 environment. This can be accomplished with the SQL Server Management Studio using the UI tools or a SQL query.

  • To restore a database with the UI tools:
  • Right-click Databases in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Select Restore Database
  • For the Device, select the backup file to restore
  • Select OK
  • To restore a database with a SQL query:
  • Create a new SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Enter and execute the following SQL query:
    RESTORE DATABASE database_name
    FROM DISK = ‘C:\Backups\database_name.bak’
    WITH RECOVERY
    GO

Next we need to set the databases to be read-write. Setting databases to be read-write can also be done using the SQL Server Management Studio using the UI tools or with SQL queries.

  • To set a database to be read-write with the UI tools:
  • Right-click the database name in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Select Properties
  • In the Options page, set the Database Read-Only property to FALSE
  • Select OK
  • To set a database to be read-write with a SQL query:
  • Create a new SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio
  • Enter and execute the following SQL query:
    USE master
    GO
    ALTER DATABASE database_name
    SET READ_WRITE
    GO

With the databases migrated we now need to update the farm identifier in the Social Sites database with the farm identifier of the SharePoint 2013 farm. We will first obtain the farm identifier from the SharePoint 2013 farm using PowerShell. Then we will use a SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio to replace the farm identifier we obtained from the 2010 farm with the one obtained from the 2013 farm.

  1. Open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell as administrator
  2. Enter “(Get-SPFarm).Id”
  3. Record the GUID output by the command
  4. Create a new SQL query in the SQL Server Management Studio
  5. Enter and execute the following SQL query, replacing “oldfarmid” with the farm identifier from SharePoint 2010, “newfarmid” with the farm identifier from SharePoint 2013, and “NewsGator_SocialServices” with the name of your Social Sites database if it is different:
    USE NewsGator_SocialServices
    GO
    UPDATE dbo.SocialGroups
    SET FarmId = ‘newfarmid’
    WHERE FarmId = ‘oldfarmid’
    GO
    UPDATE dbo.FarmConfiguration
    SET FarmId = ‘newfarmid’
    WHERE FarmId = ‘oldfarmid’
    GO

Next we will create a User Profile service application with the databases we migrated.

  1. Navigate to the Services on Server page in Central Administration and start the User Profile Service
  2. Open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell
  3. Get or create a service application pool using the Get-SPServiceApplicationPool or New-SPServiceApplicationPool Cmdlet. For example:
    $appPool = Get-SPServiceApplicationPool “SharePoint Web Services System”
  4. Create the User Profile service application with the New-SPProfileServiceApplication Cmdlet using the database names of the databases we migrated from SharePoint 2010. For example:
    $upa = New-SPProfileServiceApplication –Name “User Profile Service Application” –ApplicationPool $appPool –ProfileDBName “MigratedProfileDBName” –SocialDBName “MigratedSocialDBName” –ProfileSyncDBName “MigratedSyncDBName”
  5. Create a service application proxy for the new User Profile service application with the New-SPProfileServiceApplicationProxy Cmdlet. For example:
    New-SPProfileServiceApplicationProxy –Name “User Profile Service Application Proxy” –ServiceApplication $upa –DefaultProxyGroup
  6. Navigate to the Service Applications page in Central Administration and provide the current user account with Administrator and Connection permissions to the new User Profile service application
  7. Navigate to the Services on Server page in Central Administration and start the User Profile Synchronization Service
  8. Lastly, import the encryption keys using the miiskmu.exe utility. For example:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Servers\15.0\Synchronization Service\Bin\miiskmu.exe /i C:\Backups\miiskeys-1.bin {0E19E162-827E-4077-82D4-E6ABD531636E}

Note that if you receive an error while trying to import your encryption keys it is usually because the User Profile Synchronization Service has not been started.

With our databases migrated and User Profile service application restored, we can now create our web applications. If your SharePoint 2010 web applications were using claims authentication, you can create the web applications in Central Administration. However, if they were using classic authentication mode, you will need to create classic authentication mode web applications in PowerShell, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg276326.aspx.

When creating your web applications SharePoint will automatically create a new empty content database. Be sure to provide a name for the content database that is different than the names of the databases we migrated from SharePoint 2010. We will delete this new content database after we have attached our migrated content databases.

After you create the web applications, be sure to do the following:

  • Recreate any managed paths, such as /my and /my/personal
  • Recreate any quota templates
  • Apply any other configured settings, such as email and self-service site creation settings

Once the web applications have been created, it is now time to apply custom or third-party solutions. This includes NewsGator Social Sites. Adding Social Sites to the SharePoint 2013 farm can be accomplished with the Social Sites installer or manually with the Add-SPSolution and Install-SPSolution PowerShell Cmdlets. If using the installer do not provision the Social Sites service applications at this time. If manually adding Social Sites in PowerShell be sure to add the –CompatibilityLevel “14,15” parameter to the Install-SPSolution Cmdlet for the NewsGator.Core.wsp and NewsGator.Core.Application.wsp solutions.

With all custom and third-party solutions deployed, we can now attach our migrated content databases to the web applications. This is accomplished with PowerShell.

  1. Open the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell
  2. Use the Mount-SPContentDatabase Cmdlet to attach each content database to the appropriate web application. For example:
    Mount-SPContentDatabase –Name WSS_Content –WebApplication http://sharepoint
  3. Remove the empty content databases SharePoint added when we created the web applications with the Remove-SPContentDatabase Cmdlet. For example:
    Remove-SPContentDatabase WSS_Content_RemoveMe

Next we will create the Social Sites service applications. We can do this by selecting the New button on the ribbon from the Service Applications page in Central Administration or using the New-SocialSitesServiceApplication Cmdlet in the NewsGator Social Sites Management Shell. When creating the service applications, be sure the database names match the names of the databases we migrated from our SharePoint 2010 environment.

If the URL for our web application hosting the Lookout page, such as the My Site host, changed, we need to update the URL in the Social Sites service application. Select the Display Settings link from the Social Sites service application management page. Verify the Lookout URL and select OK.

With the service applications and web applications migrated, the primary portion of our upgrade is complete. Our SharePoint sites are running in our SharePoint 2013 environment in the SharePoint 2010 compatibility level.

Upgrading Site Collection Compatibility Levels

Sites migrated from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 automatically run in the SharePoint 2010 compatibility level. This allows for the servers to be upgraded to SharePoint 2013, while allowing the sites themselves to be upgraded over time as appropriate. NewsGator Social Sites fully supports running on SharePoint 2013 in the SharePoint 2010 compatibility level.

When running in the SharePoint 2010 compatibility level, site collection administrators will see a message at the top of each page indicating that they are running as such. It provides them with a link to start the site collection upgrade process. Selecting the link and starting the upgrade process first performs a check of the site collection for any incompatible content. If any incompatible content is found, a report will be displayed with a list of the items that are preventing the upgrade. Once these items are resolved, the upgrade can continue. Once an upgrade has occurred, it cannot be undone.

It is up to you and your circumstances to determine if and when to upgrade to the SharePoint 2013 compatibility level. However, we do recommend upgrading as soon as possible to fully take advantage of the many new features SharePoint 2013 has to offer.

Wrapping It Up

In this blog and the preceding video, we have covered a typical SharePoint 2010 to 2013 upgrade using the database attach method. It is our hope that you find this useful in planning, assessing, and performing your upgrade. If you have any questions or need any guidance, feel free to reach out to us on our eNGgage Community or through your NewsGator account representative. For customers who would like assistance, our Services team helps them assess, plan and perform their upgrades.

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