Export or import a Web package

Suppose that you have created custom lists, libraries, and Web pages on your team site to store and track the status of team documents. These site customizations have worked so well that you want to share them with other teams. It would be great if you could simply package and deploy your solution so that each team does not have to re-create the same customized lists, libraries, and Web pages on each team site.

With Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can use Web packages to move all or part of a Web site as empty content. First you choose which site elements to package and export, and then you import and deploy the Web package in another site.

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Should I use a Web package or another packaging feature?

There are three different features for packaging Web sites: In Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can back up a site or create a Web package, and in the browser you can save a site as a site template. Which feature you choose depends on what you want to accomplish.

Web Package (.fwp file)    Use this feature when you want to share or reuse Web pages or a site, list, or library structure. With Web packages, you can either package an entire site or choose just the specific pages, lists, or libraries that you want. Web packages are a great way to duplicate site structure, but they cannot include list data, subsites, or security and permissions settings. Also, a Web package can include custom link bars. After you create a package, you can import and deploy the file into as many Web sites as you want.

Backup and Restore (.cmp file)    Use this feature when you want to make a backup copy of an entire site or subsite, or when you want to move an entire site or subsite to another server or location. Unlike Web packages, content migration packages include list data, and you cannot choose to include only specific site elements. Note that you may lose some customizations or settings in the process. For example, the backup file does not include workflows, alerts, and properties stored at the site collection level. The backup file also does not include the Recycle Bin state or objects inside it. To use Backup and Restore, you must have administrator permissions to that site. For more information, see Back up, restore, or move a SharePoint site.

Site Template (.stp file)    Use this feature when you want to create multiple Web sites that start with the same base content or site structure. For example, you may want all of the subsites created on a site to have a similar site structure, look and feel, and even content. You can do this by saving a site as a site template and adding it to the Site Template Gallery so that anyone can use the site as a template. Unlike Web packages, site templates can include list data. You must have both administrator permissions to the Web site where you want to create the site template and write access to Site Template Gallery. Find a link to more information about site templates in the See Also section.

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Export a Web package

When you create a Web package, the files that you choose to include are packaged and compressed in a single .fwp file. A Web package can include lists, libraries, any documents in those lists and libraries, Web pages, and Web Part Pages. However, when a Web site is moved as empty content, list data that is part of the original Web site does not move with the Web pages in the package. For example, your library might contain a column that you created to track the planning status of documents. When you package the library, the package includes the documents, the custom column, and the settings for that column, but not the data indicating the status of the documents.

Web packages offer two key conveniences. First, when you create a Web package, you have great flexibility in choosing which files to include in the package. You can include the entire site or just specific Web pages, lists, or libraries. Second, when you package the files, you can easily identify dependencies — files that are required by the packaged files — and have them automatically added to the Web package. For example, if you package a Web page that contains a list that uses custom list forms, those associated files can be automatically identified and added to the Web package.

  1. On the File menu, click Open Site.
  2. In the Open Site dialog box, browse to and click the Web site that you want to package, and then click Open.
  3. On the File menu, point to Export, and then click Personal Web Package.
  4. To view the dependencies of files as you select them for inclusion in the Web package, click Show Dependencies at the bottom of the dialog box.

Dependencies are additional, associated files that the selected files require in order to work properly.

  1. In the Dependency checking list, do one of the following:
    • To show all dependent files, click Check all dependencies.
    • To show all dependent files except pages linked by hyperlinks, click Check all dependencies, except hyperlinks.

       Note   This option also excludes cascading style sheet files. To include cascading style sheets when you export a Web package, click Check all dependencies.

    • To not show dependencies and include only the specific files that you select, click Do not check dependencies. This option gives you full control over exactly what files are added to the Web package.
  2. In the Files in Web site list, click the files or folders that you want to add to the Web package, and then click Add.

Any dependent files are also added according to the option that you chose in the previous step. This option determines which files are added to the package, regardless of whether you click Show Dependencies or Hide Dependencies to actually show or hide the list of dependent files.

  1. To remove files from the Web package, click those files in the Files in Package list, and then click Remove.

 Note   Choosing another option in the Dependency checking list does not remove files that have already been added to the Web package.

  1. To include information about the package that others can view before they import it, click Properties, do any of the following, and then click OK:
    • In the Title box, type a name for the Web package.
    • In the Description box, type a description of the Web package.
    • In the Author box, type the name that you want other users to see when they view the properties for the Web package.
    • In the Company box, type the name of your company, if necessary.

The External dependencies list shows files that the Web package uses but does not include.

 Note   You must add this property information before you save the package. You cannot add it to the package at a later time.

  1. After you add all the files that you want to the Files in Package list, click OK.
  2. In the File name box, enter a name for the Web package. By default, if you clicked Properties and typed a title for the Web package, that title appears here as the file name.
  3. In the File Save dialog box, browse to the location where you want to save the Web package, and then click Save.

 Notes 

  • Do not package SharePoint document or picture libraries that contain files unless you want those files added to the destination Web site when other users import the Web package. For example, if your library contains useful document templates, you might want to include them in the Web package, but make sure not to package libraries that contain documents with confidential information.
  • Do not add Universal Data Connection (UDC) files to a Web package. A UDC file is an XML file that is stored in the _fpdatasources folder and contains configuration information for a data source. UDC files can contain passwords in plain text.

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Import a Web package

To deploy a Web package, you first open the destination Web site, and then import the Web package into the site.

  1. On the File menu, click Open Site.
  2. In the Open Site dialog box, browse to and click the Web site where you want to import the Web package, and then click Open.
  3. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Personal Web Package.
  4. Browse to and click the Web package that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. In the Destination box, do one of the following:
    • To deploy the Web package into a Web site, delete just the file name of the Web package. For example, change http://My Web site/My Web package to http://My Web site.
    • To deploy the Web package into a subfolder of that site, either use the default destination, or click Browse and choose another folder in your Web site. For example, the destination URL could be either http://My Web site/My Web package or http://My Web site/Team documents.
  6. In the Items from Web package to import box, clear the check boxes for files that you do not want to import. Make sure that the check boxes for files that you do want to import are selected.
  7. To view the property information that was entered by whoever created the Web package, click Properties. When you are finished viewing this information, click OK.

In the External dependencies list, you can also view the files that the Web package uses but does not include.

  1. Click Import.
  2. In the Security Warning dialog box, do one of the following:
    • Click Run to continue importing the Web package.
    • Click Don't Run to cancel the import.

 Important   Because Web packages contain code that could be used maliciously, make sure that any Web package that you import comes from a trustworthy source.

  1. If files with identical file names exist in both the Web package and the destination Web site, you are prompted whether you want to "Reuse the existing compatible list and its data" or "Redeploy a new instance of the list and rename 'List/Links' to 'Lists/Backup (1) of Links'." If you deploy the new file, the existing file is renamed — for example, Announcements becomes Announcements (1).

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Can I use a Web package to move or share content in an Office SharePoint Server 2007 site?

Within certain limitations, yes. You can package, export, and import content from a team or personal site on a portal site. On a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal site, a subsite or My Site (for example, http://sps_server/personal/your_user name/) appears to Office SharePoint Designer 2007 as a typical Windows SharePoint Services site. However, architectural differences in My Site prevent you from importing Web packages from Windows SharePoint Services sites. Problems may occur if the Web package was exported from a Web site that is a different type than the Web site that you are importing to. For example:

  • A Web package that was exported from a Windows SharePoint Services site must be imported to another Windows SharePoint Services site.
  • A Web package that was exported from a team or personal site on an Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal site must be imported to another team or personal site on an Office SharePoint Server 2007 portal site.

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Can I use a Web package to move content from a Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site to a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site?

We do not recommend this. Problems may occur if the Web package was exported from a Web site that is a different type than the Web site that you are importing to. For example:

  • A Web package that was exported from a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site should be imported to another Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site.
  • A Web package that was exported from a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site should be imported to another Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site.

For information on upgrading a site to a server running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, see the article Upgrade considerations for customized sites.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Designer 2007