Monday, July 8, 2013

Tips and strategy of Microsoft Fab 40 site migration and support on SharePoint 2013

Microsoft is not releasing new versions of Fab 40 templates for SharePoint 2010 or 2013 Products. In fact, it’s recommended NOT to migrate Fab 40 templates into SharePoint 2013. However, based on your SharePoint 2013 implementation schedule, you might need to migrate Fab 40 sites first and move them into different supported 2013 templates later. In this article, we will discuss the best practice on Fab 40 site migration and workaround if you still need to support them on SharePoint 2013.

 First, the best practice on Fab 40 site migration is not to migrate them. If you have Fab 40 templates installed on 2010, you would need to report the site that are created from Fab 40. If there are limited sites, you may ask user to manually migrate the content to different site created from OoB templates on SharePoint 201 first before upgrading to 2013. If there are lots of sites that manually migration is not feasible, you might need to use third party tools like Metalogix to automate the migration process.

Second, if you still need to support Fab 40 sites on SharePoint 2013 day one after upgrade, you would need to deploy Fab 40 to SharePoint 2013 and then disable the templates so no new site will be created. Here is the migration procedure for Fab 40 sites.

1. Back up content BD for the Fab 40 sites. Here is manual procedure you could try.

Right click content database in SQL manager->Tasks->Back Up… Select location and backup the DB to a file.

2. Install Fab 40 solution on SharePoint 2013 using CompatibilityLevel to include 14. One example for ProjectTrackingWorkspace template is listed below.

Add-SPSolution -LiteralPath E:\Harry\Fab40\ApplicationTemplateCore.wsp

Install-SPSolution -Identity ApplicationTemplateCore.wsp -GACDeployment -CompatibilityLevel {14,15}
Add-SPSolution -LiteralPath E:\Harry\Fab40\ProjectTrackingWorkspace.wsp
Install-SPSolution -Identity ProjectTrackingWorkspace.wsp -GACDeployment -CompatibilityLevel {14,15}

3. Restore the content DB for the Fab 40 sites.
Right click Databases->Restore Database…->Select Device->Chose File->Click ok

4. Mount the content DB to the Webapp and it will automatically upgraded the DB without  Upgrade-SPContentdatabase command.

Mount-SPContentdatabase -name contentdaname -Webapplication http://siteurl

# Upgrade-SPContentdatabase –identity contentdaname –Confirm$false e:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10_50.SHAREPOINT\MSSQL\Backup\ (No need to run this)

You might see some upgrade errors but no blockers.
5. Upgrade the site from UI to 2013 experience as in the below screen shot. You might see some upgrade errors but no upgrade blockers.

We had the following Fab 40 installed on 2010 and all of them are disabled since most of them could not create new site on 2010.

  • AbsenceVacationSchedule
  • BudgetingTrackingMultipleProjects
  • BugDatabase
  • CallCenter
  • ChangeRequest
  • ContactsManagement
  • DocumentLibraryReview
  • HelpDesk
  • ITTeamWorkspace
  • KnowledgeBase (Removed since it’s not working on 2010)
  • ProjectTrackingWorkspace

After we installed the above Fab 40 solutions to SharePoint 2013, almost none of them could be used to create new sites same as on 2010. The screen shot is the error when you try to create "Project Tracking Workspace" Fab 40 site on 2013.

You should definitely disable these site templates on 2013. Currently we are in the process to generate the reports on Fab 40 sites and evaluate any site templates we should move to if we get rid of the Fab 40 sites.

One more important note. If you have Microsoft Project installed in the same farm with SharePoint, you should remove ProjectTrackingWorkspace Fab 40 template since the MPS include one site template with same GUID. The Fab 40 ProjectTrackingWorkspace will cause one UI tab hidden from users. After remove the Fab 40 template, all MPS site will work correctly and existingProjectTrackingWorkspace sites will also work fine. Please refer to different blog for details.


  1. Harry, this was super helpful to me today. Thanks for publishing!

  2. This is great information, Thanks for sharing. What is the Out Of the Box site template for "Knowledge Base" fab 40 in SharePoint 2013, or we need to create team site?