I have a set of databases that is from SQLServer 2017 and I am trying to import the master and core databases into a SQLServer 2014. Also, it is on a Sitecore 8.2 U7 for both instances.

Not sure if its valuable to mention, but I also have Web Forms for Marketers 8.2 rev. 180329 and Sitecore.PowerShell.Extensions-5.1 modules.

For the master database, I got to a point where I have just updated the connectionString in my Sitecore instance using SQLServer 2014 to point to the instance that has the reference from SQL Server 2017, and then published the site from master to web. Then export/restore web into master. Worked out well... But for the core I can't.

So far, I have tried these :

So I wonder, have any of you faced similar issue, if so, what path/strategy have you chosen ?

  • 1
    If you import a web database into master, be mindful that you are essentially resetting all the version information. You could also be missing items that were under publishing restrictions in the original master.
    – Mark Cassidy
    Jan 5, 2022 at 17:09
  • 1
    I would probably serialize all 3 databases in their entirety (Ribbon -> developer tools) on 2017, then mount up blank Sitecore databases on 2014 and deserialize.
    – Mark Cassidy
    Jan 5, 2022 at 17:12
  • What actually happens when you try to export restore "core" to the 2014 instance? Is it 2014 SP2? support.sitecore.com/… Jan 5, 2022 at 17:30
  • Yes, regarding sqlserver it is 2014 sp2. Regarding serialization, I receive this error : System.Exception: Format error: serialized stream does not start with ----item----, but it feels like I have most of the items. 1 weird thing is, the core database goes without error, but in my serialiation folder, its not creating a <core> folder. It feels like it created everything in the serialization folder directly. Jan 5, 2022 at 20:52

1 Answer 1


So, I ended up doing a mix and match with what Mark Cassidy said about serializing items and what I did for the master database previously. Although, now I did this for both master and core database, because the flag Mark raised had me concern, and could not afford to review the whole database state.

The main issue was the sqlServer obviously, but the other one was also the databases size. And serializing from one place and then moving it to another server, would ve taken hours because of the protocol, or I could ve map drivers from server A to B perhaps it would ve been fast as well.

Regardless, what I did is :

  • Use master and core databases connectionString from Sitecore instance using SqlServer 2017 in my Sitecore instance using SqlServer 2014
  • Went to https://whatever/sitecore/admin/serialization.aspx and serialize both master and core databases.
    • To be transparent, I did not know about this admin page, I found it here
  • Serialize users as well (from User Manager > Serialize all users)
  • Put back my original connectionString on my Sitecore instance using SqlServer 2014
  • Went back to https://whatever/sitecore/admin/serialization.aspx and deserialize (using the update button) both master and core databases.
  • Publish master to web


Also had to transfer password, this article was usefull. But because the code enable 1 selection at the time, and I had hundreads of account to add, I have also added this code within the file

   protected void btnAddAll_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
          for(int i=0;i<lbUsersIntersect.Items.Count;i++)

and added a button to call this thing

  <asp:Button ID="btnRemove" runat="server" Text="<<<" OnClick="btnRemove_Click" />
  <asp:Button ID="btnAdd" runat="server" Text=">>>" OnClick="btnAdd_Click" />
  <asp:Button ID="btnAddAll" runat="server" Text=">>>ALL>>>" OnClick="btnAddAll_Click" />

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