Upgrade considerations

Only server administrators (members of the local administrators group on the Web servers or members of the Farm Administrators group in Central Administration) can upgrade from Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. However, the upgrade process affects site owners and designers. This topic provides information to help site owners and designers understand what an upgrade does, the types of upgrades, and how they can be a part of the upgrade process. For more information for server administrators about upgrading to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, see Help on the Central Administration pages and the Windows SharePoint Services pages on the Microsoft TechNet Web site.

Upgrade overview

During an upgrade, Web site structure and data are preserved, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 makes the following changes:

  • Upgrades the Windows SharePoint Services technology to the latest version

  • Upgrades the data to the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 database schema

  • Updates the user rights, site groups, and cross-site groups to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 user permissions, permission levels, and SharePoint groups

  • Upgrades the Web Part customizations, if necessary

  • Upgrades the site customizations that were done with a Web design program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, if necessary

    Note: The decision to retain or discard Web Part customizations and site customizations can be made only during gradual upgrades. For more information about the different upgrade types, see the Upgrade optionssection.

Note: You cannot upgrade directly from SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. To upgrade from SharePoint Team Services, you must first upgrade to Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 and then upgrade to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

Upgrade options

The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Setup Wizard provides two types of upgrades: in-place and gradual. An in-place upgrade is used to upgrade all SharePoint sites at once. This is best suited for single server or small-volume deployments. A gradual upgrade allows finer control of the upgrade process by allowing one or more site collections to be upgraded at a time. Use this section to provide feedback to your server administrator about which type is more appropriate for your sites.

Tip: For larger deployments of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, a gradual upgrade is the best option because it allows the administrator who is performing the upgrade to control how many site collections to upgrade at one time. In this way, large deployments of Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 can be upgraded gradually over several weekends while they continue to host the previous version sites. This is possible because you can continue to host the sites that have not yet been upgraded on the same server as the upgraded sites.

In an in-place upgrade:

  • Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 is overwritten with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and the content databases are changed. This means that an in-place upgrade is an irreversible process, without the option of rolling back to the previous version.

  • The original Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites cannot be viewed after the upgrade.

  • All sites are unavailable to site visitors during the upgrade.

  • Site visitors continue to use the same URLs after the upgrade.

In a gradual upgrade:

  • As each group of site collections is upgraded, the data in the groups is copied from the original database to a new database before the data is upgraded to Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. The original Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 data is maintained in the original database until the server administrator explicitly deletes it. Because of this, upgraded sites can be easily rolled back to the previous version, if necessary.

  • All sites are available to site visitors during the upgrade.

  • The upgrade process redirects the original URLs to the upgraded version of the sites. This way, users can continue to use the same URLs that they used before the upgrade.

    Note: The URLs that are used to access the SharePoint site continue to work throughout the upgrade process. However, because URL mapping occurs during a gradual upgrade, users might notice that the original URL has changed.

Upgrade process

Most of the upgrade process happens at the server level. However, the site owner and designer can provide input for the process at the following two stages:

  • After the server administrator runs the prescan tool and before the upgrade is performed

  • After the upgrade has been performed

The following steps describe the high-level workflow for the upgrade process, as it applies to the site owner and designer:

  1. The server administrator prescans all Web servers, checks logs, and either fixes the issues described in the logs or forwards the issues that might need their attention before the upgrade to the appropriate site owner or designer. For example:

    • Custom Web Parts might need to be redeployed after the upgrade.

    • It might be easier to rebuild custom Web Parts that are built on Microsoft ASP.NET 1.1 and obfuscated before the upgrade than to try to redeploy them after the upgrade.

  2. Site owners verify whether any customizations, including site templates and changes to core .aspx files, exist on their sites and then note the results.

  3. Site owners note what theme is currently associated with each site so that a similar theme can be reapplied after the upgrade.

    Note: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 does not provide the same themes as Windows SharePoint Services 2.0. If you want your theme to look the same after the upgrade, you can create a custom theme with the colors, fonts, and elements that you want to keep.

  4. Site owners communicate downtime expectations to site visitors.

  5. The server administrator alerts the appropriate site owner and designer after each site collection has been upgraded and reports whether their site or sites have been upgraded successfully and whether there are any issues that need their attention.

    Except for extreme cases, such as orphaned objects or corrupted sites, it is expected that all objects will be upgraded successfully.

  6. If a gradual upgrade was performed, the server administrator notifies the site owners of how long the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites will be maintained before they are deleted.

    After upgrading a site collection by using the gradual upgrade option, the server administrator should keep the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites online for a period of time. This gives the site owners and designers time to do the following:

    • Compare the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites with the upgraded sites, if necessary.

      Note: Because the URLs of the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites are changed during a gradual upgrade, site owners and designers must ask the server administrator for the new URLs that they need.

    • Copy missing components from the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 sites to the upgraded sites.

    • Ask the server administrator to roll back to the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site if necessary.

  7. Verify the functionality of their sites and reapply any necessary customizations. The following should be done for each upgraded site:

    • Check all hyperlinks. Note that hard-coded hyperlinks might no longer work after the upgrade.

    • Verify the functionality of all Web Parts. Redeploy Web Parts that no longer work. For heavily customized Web Parts, such as ones that have been obfuscated, you might need to rebuild the Web Part and then redeploy it. This is because the obfuscator tool that worked with ASP.NET 1.1 does not work with Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0.

    • Verify that all components are present. If a component was lost during a gradual upgrade, you can usually open the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 Web Page in a Web page editor that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and copy the component to the new location. This is not possible if an in-place upgrade was performed.

    • Reapply the themes.

      Note: The Upgrade Wizard resets the themes for all sites to the default theme.

  8. For sites that were customized in a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible design program in which the server administrator has chosen to keep the customizations during the upgrade, your home page will have the look and feel of the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site rather than the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site and will not include all of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 features. Site owners should consider discarding the customizations by using the Reset to site definition link on the Site Settings pages for those sites. This will give the customized pages the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 default and uncustomized version of the page, including all of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 features.

  9. Site owners and designers resolve any issues found in the previous step. If the issues cannot be resolved, the server administrator can be asked to roll back the upgraded site to the Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 version, if a gradual upgrade was performed. Otherwise, all issues must be fixed.

  10. After the upgraded sites are verified and the necessary fixes are performed, the upgrade team notifies the site members and visitors of the status of their sites.

  11. After all sites have been successfully upgraded, the server administrator can uninstall Windows SharePoint Services 2.0.

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