We are unable to delete a publication from CMS (SDL Tridion 2013 SP1) and constantly getting the error message: "Unable to delete Publication (This publish transaction is in progress.)."

There are no published items in this publication, no items pending in the Publishing queue, and no items in the Workflow as well. The publication is not inherited by any Child publication

Validated the tables PUBLISH_TRANSACTIONS and PUBLISH_STATES, and they don't have any rows with "State =1" for this publication.

Tridion Event log displays the following message:

Unable to delete Publication (This publish transaction is in progress.).

Component: Tridion.ContentManager.CoreService
Errorcode: 856

StackTrace Information Details:
at Tridion.ContentManager.Data.AdoNet.Sql.SqlDatabaseUtilities.ExecuteNonQuery(StoredProcedureInvocation storedProcedureInvocation)
at Tridion.ContentManager.Data.AdoNet.IdentifiableObjectDataMapper.Tridion.ContentManager.Data.IIdentifiableObjectDataMapper.Delete(TcmUri id)
at Tridion.ContentManager.IdentifiableObject.Delete(DeleteEventArgs deleteEventArgs, Boolean abortTransactionOnError)
at Tridion.ContentManager.IdentifiableObject.Delete()
at Tridion.ContentManager.CoreService.CoreServiceBase.Delete(String id)
at SyncInvokeDelete(Object , Object[] , Object[] )
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.SyncMethodInvoker.Invoke(Object instance, Object[] inputs, Object[]& outputs)
at Tridion.ContentManager.CoreService.CoreServiceInvoker.Invoke(Object instance, Object[] inputs, Object[]& outputs)
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.DispatchOperationRuntime.InvokeBegin(MessageRpc& rpc)
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.ImmutableDispatchRuntime.ProcessMessage5(MessageRpc& rpc)
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.ImmutableDispatchRuntime.ProcessMessage11(MessageRpc& rpc)
at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.MessageRpc.Process(Boolean isOperationContextSet)

Please suggest what needs to be done to delete the publication.


2 Answers 2


I'm reluctant to give you these details for fear that you will try to fix this by manually editing the database. Please don't do that.

But I wanted to mention that it's not looking for State=1 but rather State=2. And it's looking for any items inside of that Publication (PUBLICATION_ID = @iPUBLICATION_ID) or for the Publication itself (SOURCE_ITEM_REFERENCE_ID = @iPUBLICATION_ID AND SOURCE_ITEM_TYPE = 1).

There is nothing wrong with looking that up to find out the details, but don't go editing the database yourself, please.

These publishing transactions should show up in your Publishing Queue, but you might have to adjust your filter to see them (e.g. set user to (All) and change the Schedule filter to 'Show All Tasks'). Once you've found the transaction, you can then choose to delete it by right-clicking on it in the list.

  • 1
    Thanks Peter for your inputs.Looking into the db tables did help in finding out that there were some really old transactions (dating back to 2015) stuck in the publishing queue. Probably that's why those were missed earlier while analyzing the pending items in the publishing queue. Removing those old transactions from Publishing queue resolved the issue. Thanks a lot!
    – Rashmi
    Dec 18, 2018 at 10:45
  • No problem. Glad I could help! Dec 18, 2018 at 10:51
  • @Rashmi, can you mark this answer as accepted if you’re happy with it please? Dec 18, 2018 at 12:12

This exception might not be related to your publication only, but to publications which inherit your publication. So, to explain my answer a bit, you must consider your publication in context of blueprint chain and inheritance. What if some child publication some item is localized from your publication and sent to publish. You will not be able to delete this publication until those items are unpublished and unlocalized.

So please, check where items from your publication are localized (or shared) and in process of publishing, and verify that they are not creating issues while deleting it.

  • Hi Marko, Thanks for your inputs. The publication in question is not being inherited by any child. I will edit & update the Tridion event viewer exception in my original question.
    – Rashmi
    Dec 18, 2018 at 9:54

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