Friday, February 21, 2014

Exporting Site Columns from SharePoint 2013

If you are looking to export and import site columns from your SharePoint 2013 site, there are many tools your may find available to download from the Internet such as this one:

Unfortunately, tools such as this one have primarily been written for older platforms such as SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010.  Therefore, you will either have to alter and update the source code and assembly references to support SharePoint 2013 or more simply use something like a PowerShell script to provide you with exporting and importing capabilities.

One very good article on how to accomplish this using PowerShell is the following:

If you review the PowerShell script for exporting, however, you will notice that it by default exports the "Custom Columns" category.  This may be fine if all of the columns you need are stored in the "Custom Columns" category, but more often than not, as in my case, there are several Custom Columns in that category which are populated by default by SharePoint 2013 and therefore are not suitable for export.

Therefore, when initially creating your Site Columns, you will either have to place them in a special category of their own, modify the PowerShell script to only export the columns that you need or simply modify the exported file to contain the specific columns that you are targeting for export and later import.

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