We are planning to upgrade from Sitecore 8.2 update 3 XM to 9.3 XP.
1. The existing 8.2 instance is in Azure & has custom tables in the core database.
2. A new instance of 9.3 XP is installed in Azure.
3. Will not be using the xDB module in the new instance.

After extracting this package from the 93 download page, enter image description here

there is a big list of scripts:

enter image description here

But the official upgrade guide suggests only 2 scripts:

3.2.3 Upgrade the databases
The database upgrade scripts contain changes that must be applied to Sitecore databases across Sitecore XP to ensure compatibility. They also modify certain tables and collections to support new functionality and improve performance. The changes must be applied once per database. To upgrade the databases:

  1. Extract the database upgrade scripts from the Database Upgrade Script.zip file that you downloaded earlier.
  2. Run the CMS_core_master_web8x.sql script for the Core, Master, and Web databases.
  3. Run the CMS_core.sql script for the Core database only.

The idea is to use the existing core, master databases, in the new environment and for that, we like to take this approach:
1. Backup up the existing core & master databases.
2. Run steps 2 & 3.
3. Use these upgraded databases for the 9.3 instance.
4. Publish items from CMS to the web database.

I would like to know if anyone has worked on a similar migration & if there is a better/faster way to move the data.

  • Hi @Qwerty, did you manage to upgrade using fresh install and SQL script upgrade?
    – Nil Pun
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 0:51
  • @NilPun. It is not a fresh install. We have existing 8.2 environments & just ran the 3 upgrade scripts on them. There are a few issues like - exp.editor not working as some core db items are not present in 9.3. They have inherited a class in C# in 9.3. So, had to rework on that. And then, some config changes which got changed in 9.3. Not at all a smooth transition ..these upgrades.
    – sukesh
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 5:41

2 Answers 2


I tend to take a more "completist" approach to getting the database upgrade done, like this:

  1. Set up a blank version of your starting environment (8.2 for you) and attach your core/master databases. In your case, since you have custom tables in the core db, you might want to back those up and then drop them before the upgrade. I'd also consider just running them out of a separate database, but I don't know your specifics with them.

  2. Run the upgrade from 8.2 to 9.3; this will upgrade your databases as well.

  3. Since you already have a clean 9.3 environment, replace the core/master databases there with the upgraded ones.

  4. Upgrade your code, etc, and hook everything up to your new environment.

I know the standard guide gives you all the various scripts to do the upgrade, but this way ensures everything gets done right. One thing I like about the 9.x world is the App_Config/Sitecore folder as well, putting the "standard" configs somewhere that should be considered inviolate. And with roles now, you don't need a bunch of SlowCheetah transforms either, just on web.config which has transforms native anyway. Coming from 8.2, you just need to separate out your configs from Sitecore's, and you'll be good to go.


We used Lift and Shift approach. We installed a fresh Sitecore 9.2 instance. We serialized all the content using Unicorn at the Sitecore 8.1 instance (we were already using it for managing Sitecore items in source control), configured Unicorn in new Sitecore 9.2 instance and ran a sync on the new server. This is an alternative approach if the upgrade scripts are too scary. Also, extract your custom tables to sql scripts and run them in new core database (or use any other popular approach to move your tables from older core dbs to new core dbs.

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