Sunday, February 3, 2008

What Version of SharePoint are you Running? How about your client?

I recently made the mistake of assuming a client would run whatever version of SharePoint we were. I provisioned a SharePoint instance for our team to develop on that was not RTM while our client was running RTM. From the moment we started to build up the site on that non RTM machine we were screwed. It was a rookie mistake on my part, and one my team had to pay for. It's also one I'm not on repeating any time soon. For some reason the idea that there were different versions of SharePoint and that they might not all play nice seemed to have eluded me that day.

Needless to say when we took our shinny new content database and tried to move the site to the clients machine we got an error that looked a lot like:

Your backup is from a different version of Windows SharePoint Services and cannot be restored to a server running the current version. The backup file should be restored to a server with version ‘′ or later.

In addition to the fact that we were screwed, this meant that the schemas of our content database (running was different than that of our clients (running It's worth noting that just like the error message above says, you CAN restore content databases from earlier versions into newer ones (ie. you can restore an RTM content database into a Service Packed version of SharePoint). You just can't go the other way. Here's a quick grid with SharePoint versions from Penny Coventry's blog with updated links.

Name Version
MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 Service Pack 1 (Contains the below)
MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 October 2007 Public Update
MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 August 2007 Hotfix
MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 RTM

For those of you who dig pictures here's a quick way of telling which version of SharePoint 2007 (MOSS or WSS) you're running.

How to Tell the Version of SharePoint 2007 (MOSS or WSS)

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint Central Administration.
  2. Click on Site Actions->Site Settings.
  3. The version is just below Site Information (below).How to Tell the Version of SharePoint (MOSS or WSS) You're Running

Take care and may you avoid the mistakes I've made.



Anonymous said...

Install the SP1 for the WSS 3.0
download location:
This will upgrade the WSS version to

Tyler Holmes said...

Sorry MG, I should have been more specific in the post. The Client would NOT upgrade the machine. While we could of course just upgraded the clients machine to SP 1 we don't always have control over client hardware. It's very often governed by some corporate IT department. The point of article was that you CAN'T deploy content databases of later versions of SharePoint (say SP1) into earlier versions (say RTM). Thanks for the feedback.

celestemla said...

I think I am having a similar problem... I have brought some content from a hosted sharepoint (on into my site hosted on a - and experiencing errors in viewing lists and creating columns.

Would the service pack being added create a fix form my existing content or would I have to rebuild/restore it after the SP? (assuming that IS the problem).

Tyler Holmes said...

Hey Celeste,

It kind of depends. How was the content brought over? You shouldn't be able to restore content to a using the stsadm commands. Did you move the content using SharePoint Designer? And more importantly what kind of errors are you getting?

While I'm not positive it will help, it definetly seems like a half decent idea to get a backup from your hosted environment (, ideally with an "stsadm -o backup..." service pack your own machine (SP1) and then restore the hosted content over an existing site on your own machine (stsadm -o restore -overwrite...). It's of note that this will replace your site with the one from the hosted site.

celestemla said...

Thanks Tyler,
I have brought the content over via Sharepoint Designer, some by improting and some by copying templates across (are these acceptable practices?).

Cannot complete this action.

Error reads:
"Please try again. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.GetTimeZoneInfo(Int32 lcid, UInt16& pwTimeZoneID, Object& pvarBias, Object& pvarStandardDate, Object& pvarDaylightDate, String& pbstrDescription)
at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.GetTimeZoneInfo(Int32 lcid, UInt16& pwTimeZoneID, Object& pvarBias, Object& pvarStandardDate, Object& pvarDaylightDate, String& pbstrDescription)"

Unfortunately both sites are hosted, so I can only request the second provider to instal SP1.

These are still trial sites, so it might be easier to start from new with the environment.

This is all new to me (am more comfortable with 'old' web design and html!) so I am not tech-smart enough to use the stsadm commands (don't know where/how).

Also I am struggling to see how to work on the site offline, it all seems to be live even through SP Designer. Any advice on this?

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

Your first link to MOSS 2007/WSS 3.0 Service Pack 1 actually points to WSS (non-3.0) SP1 - Might want to fix that link.

Anonymous said...

BTW, mistaken link or not, this still pointed me in the right direction (got a bit confused when the link led to me a D/L that, when executed, said it expected a different version - but I got there in the end. Thanks!

Tyler Holmes said...

How right you are, the link has been updated, glad you found what you were looking for.


Dzeee said...

Interesting post on how to find the versions of SharePoint installed in the farm.

AK Sabin said...

To know if it is Standard or Enterprise version of MOSS,

Go to the Central administration -> Operations-> Enable Enterprise features. This will show you whether it is standard or enterprise. If it is enterprise edition, Button would be disabled.

Anonymous said...

Link to my SharePoint versions page has changed to:

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