Upgrade Path from SharePoint 2010 Beta/RC to RTM is Blocked

February 17 2010 27 comments

In the installation notice of SharePoint 2010 public beta, it was mentioned that:

“This beta is not supported and you CANNOT upgrade the installation to RTM when it’s released.”

It was later clarified in more detail in a TechNet blog article by Steve Chen. The upgrade paths and the content database attach methods from pre-RTM to RTM will be prevented by technical means. Apparently Microsoft has had bad experiences with customers upgrading pre-RTM MOSS to RTM and having problems surface over time due to pre-release data.

Therefore, if you are a normal customer without GoLive license, there is practically no way to upgrade a Beta/RC version to final RTM version. Of course you should use the betas for evaluation purposes in the first place.

The only possible way to  is to somehow use content migration APIs to export data and import it into the new farm. But even that is not supported as the APIs themselves may change, and problems with pre-RTM data may still surface.

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27 comments to “Upgrade Path from SharePoint 2010 Beta/RC to RTM is Blocked”

  1. Are there any other major limitations in beta release? Can the beta release be used as a production level PoC for example? For example as a workspace / document management pilot?

  2. [...] recently wrote about upgrade path from SP2010 beta/RC to RTM being blocked. When we get the RTM bits next months, the upgrade path is no longer an issue. var [...]

  3. Tomer says:

    What about using content deployment? Will that work??

  4. Aapo Laakkonen says:


    Content Deployment is basically an UI version of the content migration API, so it might work. But if you ask my personal opinion about content deployment, you don’t want to hear it, ;-) .

  5. Arttu Arstila says:

    Using content deployment might work if there are no breaking changes in the API between Beta/RC and RTM. But as far as I know, it is not supported.

  6. Wim Joossens says:

    So i made a webapp in the beta release, and now i like move it to the RTM, i tried powershell backup restore and content deployment job, but he fails on the version difference, saying it is not supported.

    is there a way to do this, my RTM and my Beta are 2 different farm on different servers

  7. Wim Joossens says:

    ” We built our web site on Sharepoint 2010 Beta but every attempt to migrate the content to the RTM version was blocked giving us the error saying those two versions are not compatible (building it manually from scratch wasn’t really an option). Even when i wrote a small console program that used SPExport and SPImport classes that are part of content deployment API (that SharePoint Content Deployment Wizard you found on codeplex probably uses the same two functions) I was getting the same error. I didn’t use compression option so I could actually open the exported files and there it was – the version of sharepoint i was seeing in the error message. So I selected all the files, replaced all the occurrences of existing (beta) version with the expected (RTM) version, started SPImport again and voila – our web site was migrated to RTM version ”

    quote from Goran Jakovljevic

    been trying this for the last 2 hrs, don’t even know if it’s going to work

  8. Arttu Arstila says:

    Greetings, and thanks for the comments. I was going to suggest the same, to go throught the import or backup files and change all version references. Your method may help others stuck in the same situation.

    Still keep in mind, that it is not the supported way and if problems arise later, you may not get the product support.

    There is always the alternative to re-install possible customizations in RTM environment, as they are hopefully implemented as reusable solutions. After that, all you need to transfer is the content by using OOTB tools or custom scripts.

  9. Wim Joossens says:

    It worked as far as I know, havent got any issues yet, been testing it for an hour now.
    I used SPDeploymentWizard from codplex to make a cmp file backup of the site collection, used the uncompressed option.
    - then used windows grep to spot the old version numer occuring anywhere.
    - replace it with the new one.
    - used cab file maker tool, to make it back into cmp file
    - powershell import-spweb, over my allready existing sitecollection, made for this purpose on new server.

  10. James Hirmas says:

    I was able to migrate the site collection from Beta to RTM. Check out my blog post: http://sharepointcloud.blogspot.com/

  11. Kevin Byrne says:

    I was able to perform a database upgrade by changing the version numbers in the Sharepoint BETA database. There were issues associated with the database upgrade, but anything not migrated initially can be copied later:


  12. Kevin Byrne says:

    Alternative URL with instructions on the database upgrade from Sharepoint 2010 BETA: http://pixpartner.eu/sharepoint

  13. Joonas says:

    Nice to found out these workarounds for beta to RTM upgrades, but please note that Microsoft won’t support any databases upgraded from beta 2 to RTM. There are reasons behind this limitation and it’s not there just to make our life more difficult. I wouldn’t take the risk of migrating from beta 2 to RTM, since that environment can run into issues for example during upcoming SP1 installation.

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