I have three SDL Tridion environments: Dev, Test and Production. I want to refresh the Test and Dev environment with data from Production.

I would like the following things refreshed:

  1. Database
  2. Files published on the server linked to SDL Tridion.

I have heard of Content Porter but am not sure

  1. how to use it
  2. Where to download it from

Could anyone please help me with these questions?

  • You mention you want the database refreshed, what exactly do you expect from that? Do you just need the content from Production back in Dev and Test, or would it be sufficient to copy back the entire database (this means you will loose any changes you have on Dev, like new development of Templates and different users you might have there)? Aug 13, 2013 at 9:11
  • Well , the thing is I want everything, including the Database, Templates all Database changes , components, publications , stored files. Bascially an exact replica. Could you please tell me if that is possible?
    – neil
    Aug 13, 2013 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


If you want to sync your Production environment back to Dev and Test and need it to be an exact copy, then the best thing you can do is make a backup of the Production CMS database and restore that on the Dev envrionment.

The only thing you will miss at that point is the what is actually published (the published state is there, but the actual files on your web server are not). To also sync that you should either republish everything, or restore a backup of the Broker database and a copy of the production web server also. But before doing that let me explain a few steps which you should take with regards to the database backup and restore:

  1. before backing up your production CMS database (with the intent to restore it on a different server) you should stop all SDL Tridion services. If this is not possible on your production environment, then please refer to step 6.

  2. backup your Production database with a full backup

  3. stop all SDL Tridion services & IIS on your Dev envrionment

  4. restore your Production database backup in the Dev Database instance (make sure to restore it as a full overwrite and using the original filenames)

  5. when on MS SQL Server, make sure you drop the restored TCMDBUser and set the rights on your existing TCMDBUser for the newly restored database (necessary because you restored a database from a different server)

  6. if all services were not stopped before the backup, edit the QUEUE_CONSUMERS table and set the IS_ONLINE filed for all records to the value 0 (all running services on the other machine at the time of the backup will show a 1, DO NOT delete any records from this table, just set the values to 0)

  7. check if you need to change the domains for the local Administrator and MTSUser account in the TRUSTEES table (only change the NAME field on the records, do not change any of the other fields or add or delete any records)

  8. start all stopped services again

  9. edit all Publication Target Destinations to point to the correct server(s) (Dev)

  10. (re)publish all content that you need again, or restore the Broker database and copy the content of your web server over.

This is the easiest an quickest way to get an exact copy of your environment synced back. You completely loose all changes you have made on Dev or Test, but if that is not an issue, then this certainly is the way to go.

  • Hi Bart, Thanks a lot for the explanation.I have a few doubts about certain points. Could you please help me with it. 5) I have a Oracle Server. Do I need to drop the restored TCMDBUser. Also, I dont know the significance of a TCMDBUser. 10)How is the broker database different from the normal database? But in this way I will get an entire exact copy of the prod? Also, How is this different from Content Porter?
    – neil
    Aug 13, 2013 at 10:37
  • @neil Sorry I can't help you much with Oracle (not my area of expertise), I don't think you need to drop the user there, but Oracle security is database Schema based for as far as I can recall and that means something completely different. Please refer to Oracle manuals for restoring a backup in a different instance and then you can ignore step 5. Aug 13, 2013 at 10:56
  • @neil The Broker database is (an optional) database you have on the delivery side, depending on your setup you might not even have one. But if you consider step 10 as a republish action, then you don't have to worry about the Broker DB (just consider it takes time to publish the entire website). As to how this is different from Content Porter. With CP you can only move content, you will not copy over Users, Security or state of the items. Neither can you port things like Publication Targets. Aug 13, 2013 at 10:58
  • Okay. Thanks a lot for the explanation. I will need to check with Oracle regarding the same. I am extremely apprehensive to refresh the environment as I dont have a lot of expertise in Tridion and may not able to recover everything if things fail in Dev. Anyways, I will check out the points you mentioned and get back to you in case of any doubts. One last question though. Once I refresh my database in DEv with content from Prod, I have a tridion links as cms-development ...When I click on that, automatically All content will be reflected there?
    – neil
    Aug 13, 2013 at 11:13
  • Just make sure you keep a backup of your Dev database at hand, then if required you can always restore that again if you need to go back. Bfore you restore the database you stopped all Services, and after the restore you start them again, after that you will indeed be able to open the SDL Tridion UI and see all new content, nothing is stored locally anywhere (all comes from the DB). One thing I forgot to mention, if you have Outbound Email or Translation Manager, then there are a few more databases that you will also have to restore... Aug 13, 2013 at 11:36

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