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Prescriptive Guidance: Upgrading SharePoint from SPS2003 to MOSS 2007  : Page 3

Discover the options available for upgrading from SharePoint Portal Server 2003 to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007; find out which option best meets your needs, and get critical advice on performing the upgrade.

Approach Options
After verifying your system requirements and performing a backup, you can select one of the approaches available for performing the upgrade described below.

In-Place Upgrade
This approach is recommended by Microsoft for single-server or small farm environments that do not have customizations. Using this approach, the upgrade process migrates your existing SharePoint installation directly to MOSS 2007, retaining the original URLs. The existing SPS2003 installation will be down while the upgrade process is running. After the upgrade has completed, there is no option to roll back to the original using this upgrade approach. Therefore, in most cases, you should avoid this approach, because other MOSS 2007 upgrade approaches provide a rollback facility. If any problems occur using this approach, you'd have to manually restore your existing system from the backup.

Gradual Upgrade
This approach installs the new version side-by-side with the existing version on the same server, without affecting the existing SPS2003 installation. Using this approach, both versions are available for viewing and verification. If you find any problems with the upgrade, you have an option to rollback the changes.

The gradual upgrade approach is less risky, because the original installation is still available even after the upgrade completes; therefore, this is the recommended approach when you're planning to use your existing hardware to run MOSS 2007.

Database Migration
This option is most useful when you want to install MOSS 2007 on a separate server farm and upgrade the existing content, in other words, when you're deploying the new version on different hardware from your existing SPS 2003 installation. This is the lowest-risk option because it leaves the original SPS2003 installation untouched.

Other Upgrade Considerations
In addition to selecting one of the three approaches, consider performing a trial upgrade on a virtual machine by creating a mirror of your current installation. A trial upgrade gives you the most realistic perspective on what you can expect from the upgrade process.

Another important aspect to consider while performing the upgrade is that in many cases the upgraded code may no longer be the optimal way to carry out tasks in MOSS 2007. For example, SPS 2003 and WSS v2.0 do not support workflows out of the box. Any form of workflow must have been implemented through code in a custom Web Part, or custom ASP.NET application. MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0, on the other hand, provide extensive workflow support out of the box, eliminating the need for custom code in scenarios where the included workflows may offer a good fit. Even in scenarios where the out-of-the-box workflows do not meet your needs, the new version's integration with Workflow Foundation means that you can develop and deploy even complex workflows to SharePoint 2007, and they will work seamlessly.

While it is possible to register and use a v2 Web Part based on .NET Framework v1.1 in MOSS 2007, you may want to revisit the design of any custom functionality to evaluate how it maps into the MOSS 2007 world. If you decide to stick with existing custom Web Parts, you'll need to deploy those manually onto the upgraded version. Deploying custom Web Parts is a not a huge task, but ensuring a successful installation generally involves manual steps.

Yet another aspect to consider is whether any upgraded code will continue to evolve. For example, if you know that there are feature updates planned for the custom Web Parts, it may add value to migrate the code from .NET v1.1 to .NET v2.0/v3.0, because MOSS 2007 is built on those two versions; therefore, code based on the newer versions can tap into the newer features.

MOSS 2007 does not support the concept of areas. Instead, all areas are upgraded to regular sub-sites. MOSS 2007 sports a new improved Site Directory. The upgrade process updates the SPS2003 Site Directory to the new version automatically. That's also true for the "My Sites" functionality, which is also upgraded automatically to the newer version. The upgraded version of My Sites has features such as blogs, Colleagues and so on. (Colleagues is a new MOSS 2007 feature that automatically lists your manager, your peers, and your direct reports as your colleagues in a list, and also provides the facility to add 'people you know' to that same list.)

If you select the gradual upgrade approach, you must explicitly select which personal sites should be upgraded.

The URLs for some resources have changed in MOSS 2007. For example: An SPS2003-based URL such as http://MyFirstSite/c12/DocLib would change to http://MyFirstSite/DocLib in MOSS 2007.

The upgrade process does not upgrade search indexes in any of the SPS2003 versions, which means you must run a full crawl of all the content after the upgrade. Further, search scopes and search groups are not upgraded at all.

One difficult decision when performing a gradual or an in-place upgrade concerns unghosted pages (pages that have FrontPage customizations). One option is to run the upgrade on these "as is." Doing that results in these pages looking the same way as they did in WSS 2.0, but that decision means that newer features of MOSS 2007, such as Recycle bin or Workflows, will not be visible on those pages. The other option is to reset the pages to the site template. Resetting the template ensures that the sites will be upgraded to the new look and feel of MOSS 2007—but all customizations will be lost. If you select the latter option, specify the reghostonupgrade command line option for psconfig.exe as shown below:

   psconfig.exe -cmd upgrade -sidebyside -reghostonupgrade 

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