My client has fairly recently upgraded their Sitecore from 7.2 to 8.1 Update 3. They are using EXM. We realized today that many of the newer Sitecore 8 roles are missing from Role Manager (which is kept in the Core database as part of the ASP.NET membership provider).

I know I can Serialize and Revert from the file system through Role Manager. However, my client has hundreds of additional roles created that I don't want to get rid of.

I have a vanilla 8.1 U3 instance where I can grab the roles from.

So really two questions:

  1. Does Revert All Roles (from file system) delete roles that aren't in the file system?

    • UPDATE #1: Turns out Revert does delete roles. (From my sandbox Sitecore instance) enter image description here

    2. Is there a recommended Best Approach for moving roles from my Vanilla 8.1 U3 site to the Client implementation?

  • Have you tried to package up the security roles? Sitecore PowerShell Extensions (SPE) also supports packaging them up via serialization. Sep 30, 2016 at 17:41

2 Answers 2


From the vanilla instance it should be easy to package up the Roles you are missing and then just install that package on your client instance. I have had to do that before. Packaging roles is nice and simple.

enter image description here

  • 1
    This provided the help that I needed. A couple of notes are that it preserves the Members Of for those services, but you need to go through and associate the new roles imported. This will also NOT overwrite roles that already exist.
    – Pete Navarra
    Sep 30, 2016 at 19:49

You could Serialize your existing roles before copying the Serialized 8.1 roles over (making sure you don't replace), that way when you Revert you won't lose any of your existing roles.

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