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

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It is not always possible to perform a full migration of an Alfresco implementation, so sometimes we have to export part of the contents of an implementation in order to import them into another. By default Alfresco does not support site export as there are some configurations that are not included in the ACP export file. Here is a procedure that can be used to export a whole site in Alfresco 4.2.c and then import it into Alfresco 5.0.c

Operations in Alfresco 4.2.c

Let’s begin with the Site called “Software Library” which contains folders and documents in the Library as well as two members , several Wiki pages and some links.




From Alfresco web interface go to Espacio de empresa > Sitios > biblioteca-de-software and select the action Export using the Include Children and Include this Space options




The export file bc-site.acp. will created in the folder selected. This is a ZIP file that contains all of the site information with XML description files and binary files.




The XML root file (bs-site.xml in this case) contains metadata for the site. In order to ensure correct import to Alfresco 5.0, several elements must be reviewed and corrected, if necessary:

  • All name spaces must exist in Alfresco 5.0.c (for example if you had the Google Docs module in 4.2.c but you have not installed it in 5.0.c then its associated metadata must be deleted).
  • All users must exist in Alfresco 5.0.c; if any user does not exist then the documents will be associated with “deleted users”.
  • All document names must be correct

Once the XML file has been reviewed the ACP can be re-packaged and you are ready then to import it into Alfresco 5.0.c

Operations in Alfresco 5.0.c

Copy the bs-site.acp file to any Alfresco 5.0.c folder and define a rule for performing the import in this folder.




It is important to select Repository > Sites as the import folder. If you have defined the rule after copying the ACP file, you can use the Execute rules for this folder option to perform the import.

Once the import process has finished, create a new site with the same name “Software library” but using a different URL.




Next move all of contents from the import (Reposity > Sites > biblioteca-de-software) to the new site container (Repository > Sites > biblioteca-de-software-new). In this case, the folders to be moved are documentLibrary, wiki and links.


Finally, reassign the site members with their corresponding roles and configure the same Alfresco 4.2.c pages (wiki and links) in the new site. The contents of wiki and links have also been imported so that only the configuration has to be restored. This way your “Software Library” will be available in Alfresco 5.0.c with the same contents that it had in Alfresco 4.2.c





There are some features that are not provided by Alfresco but that can be carried out using simple protocols. However, it is advisable always to perform this type of operation in a test environment in order to avoid any unexpected events.

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3 Comments to “ Alfresco – Exporting a whole site from Alfresco 4.2.c to Alfresco 5.0.c”

  1. Eva says :

    my name is Eva and I found your article, for which I want to thank you because it was so useful! I found it after days of struggling on upgrading Alfresco Community and moving all the datas. I have a question, which I really hope you’ll be so kind to answer: when I import the documents (I tried with some little folders only) those imported have lost tags and category. These data are very important and it tooks me 2 years of work to tag and categorize everything. Is there a way I can import the documents and the folders with their tags and categories? Thank you very much, Eva

  2. Angel Borroy says :

    Hi Eva,

    Unfortunately there is no way to export sites including tags and categories. It can be done by developing a customized export process.

    If you want to preserve all your data as is, the better choice is to upgrade the whole Alfresco installation.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. Eva says :

    Thank you Angel for your kind reply!