Alfresco – Exporting a whole site from Alfresco 4.2.c to Alfresco 5.0.c

Sometimes a whole Alfresco upgrading from database is not possible, so we have to export some parts from our old repository to import them in our new repository. Alfresco does not support Site export/import, due to some missing parameters in ACP files. Following lines show a process in order to export a Site from Alfresco 4.2.c and to import this Site in Alfresco 5.0.c

Alfresco 4.2.c

Let’s take an Alfresco site called “Biblioteca de Software”, with some folders, documents, members, wiki pages and links.

From alfresco web interface we can get Company Home > Sites > biblioteca-de-software and we can select Export action by using Include Children and Include this Space options.


Export file (bc-site.acp) will be generated at destination folder. This file is a ZIP file includes information related to the site, having XML files for description and BIN files for contents.


XML root file (bs-site.xml) includes metadata for the site. In order to get a perfect import process in Alfresco 5.0.c we should review several points in this XML file:

  • All namespaces must exist in Alfresco 5.0.c (for instance, if we had Google Docs module on Alfresco 4.2.c but we haven’t it on Alfresco 5.0.c we must delete all relative metadata on the XML file)
  • All users must exist in Alfresco 5.0.c, if any user does not exist will be reflected as “deleted user” after import process
  • All content names must be correct (no special characters are allowed, pay attention to encoding)

Once this XML file has been reviewed, we can re-package our ACP file and proceed to import process in Alfresco 5.0.c.

Alfresco 5.0.c

We start uploading bs-site.acp file to any Alfresco 5.0.c folder and we define a rule to perform an import operation on this folder.


Pay attention to destination folder, it must be Repository > Sites. If this rule has been defined after copying operation, we can use Run rules for this folder option in order to start the import process.

When import process has finished, we create a new site with the old name “Biblioteca de Software” but using a different URL.


Next we move all contents from the imported folder (Repository > Sites > biblioteca-de-software) to new site container (Repository > Sites > biblioteca-de-software-new). In our case, moving folders will be documentLibrary, wiki and links.

Finally, we assign site members according to original rules to the new site and we configure in the new site the same Alfresco 4.2.c pages (wiki and links). Wiki and Links content has been moved in the previous operation, so just only restoring the configuration we get access to this content. And our site “Biblioteca de Software” is now available on Alfresco 5.0.c with the same contents as it was on Alfresco 4.2.c.


Some functionalities are not provided by default in Alfresco, but it can be achieved using simple procedures. However, always is advisable to perform this kind of operations in test environments in order to detect any future problem in the real system.



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