How can i tell what sharepoint databases are either Content or Service databases

Greg Booth 1,276 Reputation points

We are upgrading from sharepoint 2013 to Sharepoint 2016 using the database backup/restore approach.

The Microsoft documentation ( ) says that you need to backup

"you can copy the content and service application databases" ...


"All content databases (default database name: WSS_Content_ ID

  • The following service application databases:

Business Data ConnectivityBDC_Service_DB_ IDManaged MetadataManaged Metadata Service_ IDPerformancePointPerformancePoint Service Application_ IDSecure StoreSecure_Store_Service_DB_ IDYou do not have to back up the configuration or admin content databases, because you recreated these databases when you set up the SharePoint Server 2016 server farm"

I have run the Get-SpDatabase powershell to get a list of our current databases ,which lists approx 15 databases.

There are only 2 if type "Content Database", which are



1 I assume that the SharepointAdminContent_{GUID} database does not count as a content database as its part of installing sharepoint ? Is that correct ?

2 In terms of service databases, do i only need to migrate (backup/restore) those for the 4 services listed above ?


Business Data Connectivity

Managed Metadata


Secure Store

3 Can i ignore the other databases listed by Get-SpDatabase (on the SP2013 instance ?)

The other databases are called:










i,e. can i just ignore these databases and not migrate them ? for example will new databases for these services be created when the sharepoint 2016 system is fully configured?

I am slightly confused as the page

says that

"Specifically, the following service application databases can be upgraded:

|| || |Business Data Connectivity|BDC_Service_DB_<GUID>| |Managed Metadata|Managed Metadata Service_<GUID>| |PerformancePoint|PerformancePoint Service Application_<GUID>| |Search|Search_Service_Application_DB_<GUID>
| |Secure Store|Secure_Store_Service_DB_<GUID>| |User Profile: Profile and Social databases|User Profile Service Application_ProfileDB_<GUID>
User Profile Service Application_SocialDB_<GUID>
User Profile Service Application_SyncDB_<GUID>


So implies that you can upgrade the Secure Store and User Profile service databases too ( the other article only mentions 4 services, not 6).

SharePoint Server
SharePoint Server
A family of Microsoft on-premises document management and storage systems.
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Accepted answer
  1. Yanli Jiang - MSFT 21,366 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @Greg Booth ,

    Central Administration content

    The Central Administration content database is considered to be a configuration database. It stores all configuration data for the Central Administration site collection.


    Content databases

    Content databases store all content for a site collection. This includes site documents or files in document libraries, list data, Web Part properties, audit logs, and sandboxed solutions, in addition to user names and rights.

    All of the files that are stored for a specific site collection are located in one content database on only one server. A content database can be associated with more than one site collection.


    There are many kinds of SharePoint Server service application databases

    Such as:

    The App Management database is used by the App Management Service application.

    The Search service application has four databases that support SharePoint Server 2016.

    The Secure Store Service application database stores and maps credentials, such as account names and passwords.

    and so on.

    For more information, please refer to:

    The following service applications have databases that can be upgraded when you upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to SharePoint Server 2016:

    • Business Data Connectivity service application
    • Managed Metadata service application
    • PerformancePoint Services service application
    • Search service application
    • Secure Store Service application
    • User Profile service application

    Them are just can be, not must be. So I suggest you follow this article to make your upgrade.

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