We recently launched a suite of awesome SharePoint Tools. While using the tools internally, I came accross a subtle but cool technique to copy a SharePoint list with dependent content types to the right place in another site collection!
At first glance this task seems to be simple enough considering there are some tools on the market that can let user to grab a list and drag it / drop to the other site collections. Still, you must take into consideration the dependencies within the SharePoint architecture before doing this drag and drop; the list may have content types defined in the parent site, not within the source site itself.
Let’s, for the sake of simplicity, consider two sites: root site of the site collection (Publishing Portal in this case) and its sub-site (Hadrian's Site).
The tricky part is that the parent site (Publishing Portal) contains the definitions for content types. And the sub-site (Hadrian's Site) contains the list itself with all views and content. We want to keep it that way in our new world to comply with our Content Migration Strategy.
If we continue with a simple drag and drop then we will end up with a list in our destination sub-site that has the content-types directly associated with it instead of the parent site. This is not ideal because acordding to our Content Migration Stragety all vehicle-based content types must be created in the site collection root with the intent to reuse them across the sub-sites.
A workaround to this dilemia would be to copy the list twice. First, to copy it to the root site of the destination site collection even if it ultimately should not go there. Unlike the first copy attempt, this time do not copy content, permissions, workflows or views related to the list. Instead just copy the list itself and all dependent content types. This way, all content types and fields will be automatically created together with the list in the right spot of the destination site collection. There are specific options in a Content Migration Tool like MetaVis Migrator for SharePoint to give the granular control to copy just list with content types.
After this, delete the list from the root site of the destination site collection. All content types created in the root site will still be there because they are defined outside of the list.
Finally to tie things up, copy the same list again but this time – to the right sub-site of the destination site collection. It will create the list and reuse all content types from the root site created during the previous copy. This time, select all options to copy content, permissions and views on the copy list wizard screen. A helpful hint to preserve the architecture in your target site during your MOSS Migration.
This technique allows to preserve originally designed architecture of SharePoint site collection that involves complex taxonomies of site columns and content type hierarchies. Make sure you also understand your architecture before you jump in; check out MetaVis Architect to get a complete view of your MOSS properties and build yourself a strong Content Migration Strategy.
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Content provided by MetaVis for Vamosa