Notes on SharePoint 2013 Upgrade and Migration – SharePoint Conference 2014 Video SPC410

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VIDEOThe nuts and bolts of upgrading to SharePoint 2013

My main takeaways:

+ What you need to know about SharePoint Upgrades
+ Upgrade How To
+ Cool tools and Cmdlets
+ Demo

What you need to know about SharePoint 2013 Upgrades

Good to know when talking to clients

  • Only one upgrade method: Database Attach Upgrade
  • Requires a separate farm – SharePoint 2010 not installed on server.
  • Look and feel not upgraded automatically.
  • Site Collection admins are empowered to upgrade their sites. ( More on this below ).
  • SharePoint 2013 will not use 2010 Office Web Apps (OWA) – OWA must now be installed on their own server
  • No more pre-upgradecheck command (Bummer!).

Good to know for technical folks

  • SharePoint 2010 database must be RTM or later (No Service pack required) but please patch it before upgrading
  • Upgrade just affects the database schema, not the site collections.
  • Upgrade databases with root site collection first, always!
  • SharePoint 2013 has two modes (hives), 2010 (v14) and 2013 (v15) – Basically a copy of 2010 features (controls and application pages) is kept
  • Try to use same URLs, life is good this way.
  • Avoid problems with manage paths, create them manually before attaching databases
  • No need to recompile custom solutions to .Net 4.0+

Upgrade How To


  • Claims is the dominant way of authentication
  • If you are using classic mode, It is recommended to move to SharePoint 2013 first, then convert to claims by running:
    Convert-SPWebApplication –Identity  –To Claims 
    -RetainPermissions [ -Force]
  • When converting databases to claims, SharePoint does 2 things under the hood: (1) Updates web application authentication method (2) Basically does a find and replace on user names and updates the encoded claim in their account name.
  • There are more supported methods to upgrade authentication: Migration Classic to Claim
  • For SharePoint 2007 to 2013 upgrade: (1) Build a temporary 2010 farm (2) attach databases to 2010 farm, (3) upgrade databases to SharePoint 2010, (4) backup and restore/attach databases to a SharePoint 2013 farm
  • if you have custom solutions and/or site definitions you might be better of using a third party tool.

Upgrade 2010 to 2013 Steps

  • Backup SharePoint 2010 Database
  • Restore database in  new SharePoint 2013 farm
  • Create a SharePoint 2013 Web application, create a temporary site collection, make sure it works.
  • Detach and delete associated web application  database.
  • Open PowerShell, then run Test-SPContentDatabase – Name <DBName> -WebApplication <WebAppUrl> (There are new cool options available in this cmdlet. Check it out here
  • Now run Mount-SPContentDatabase – Name <DBName> -WebApplication <WebAppUrl>

  • Whohoo success! now go ahead and upgrade your site collections on a case by case bases.

sharepoint 2013 upgrade

Site Collection Upgrade

  • No need for IT or server access – Site Collection administrators can perform all the tasks
  • Run a health check to verify the site is ready to upgrade => On the Site Settings page for the site collection, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Site collection health checks.
  • Optionally but cool, request an evaluation site collection ( Demo upgrade) – It’s heavy and its done by a timer job at 1am
  • Run site collection upgrade = > On the Site Settings page for the site collection, in the Site Collection Administration section, click Site collection upgrade.

Useful Tools and cmdltes

  • Export all WSPs from your farm => (Get-SPFarm).Solutions | ForEach-Object{$var = (Get-Location).Path + "\" + $_.Name; $_.SolutionFile.SaveAs($var)}
  • Test-SPContentDabase
  • Upgrade-SPContentDatabaseDo not use , this is intended for patching/installing CUs and service packs
  • Mount-SPContentDatabase used for migration. Much faster than before because it does not upgrade site collections
  • Start-Transcript – keeps log of everything going on in the Poweshell screen. Scroll bars in consoles only take you so far. Very useful
  • Upgrade-SPSite – PowerShell way to trigger the site collection upgrade


Disclaimer: My team and I meet bi-weekly to discussion different topic from the SharePoint 2014 conference videos. The notes on this post are my outline/summary for the meeting
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Posted in SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013
One comment on “Notes on SharePoint 2013 Upgrade and Migration – SharePoint Conference 2014 Video SPC410
  1. vinay says:

    Thanks for the info Nick. Converting to cliams auth helped us in solving the access issue while migrating from SP2010 to SP2013

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