Phased rollout of SharePoint 2013 Preview

Many customers are keen to evaluate and understand the technology impact of new product versions. In the SharePoint space, there are many customers running the SharePoint 2010 product version currently in their production environment but are keen to understand how SharePoint 2013 Preview can help or improve their capability.  Performing a full migration of the products can present significant risk that businesses are not willing to carry, especially with Technical Preview versions of the product. A possible approach that could be considered, is a phased rollout.  This approach results in an environment where SharePoint 2010 continues to be the main focus but consumes some of the new SharePoint 2013 Preview services. Testing a phased rollout in a pre-production or QA environment can put customers in a good position before doing the RTM upgrade. It allows to understand the impact and change of the new services and capabilities as well as properly plan the transition and rollout of new services when the product is released. Please be aware that SharePoint 2013 Preview is for evaluation purposes only and should not be used to run live and business critical systems.

 A number of reasons to perform a phased rollout:

  • We have a SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Services farm which provides services to one or more content farms and we don’t want to upgrade all farms at the same time 
  • We want to enable our users to take advantage of enhancements in SharePoint 2013 Preview (such as Social, Search, Analytics…) but are not ready to migrate content from SharePoint 2010 yet 
  • We don't have the hardware resources to upgrade our SharePoint 2010 environment to SharePoint 2013 Preview but have some resources available to evaluate selected scenarios

The introduction of Service Applications in SharePoint 2010 was a profound change from the Shared Services model used in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Decoupling services made it easier to build scalable farm architectures and enabled large multi-tenant deployments such as Office 365. The Service Applications platform designed for SharePoint 2010 proved to be reliable and scalable and the core platform is virtually unchanged between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Preview. This is good news as it means that you can build a SharePoint 2013 Preview farm and publish service applications that will be consumed in your SharePoint 2010 farm. It is then easier to deliver new SharePoint 2013 Preview experiences whilst your business critical workloads continue to run on SharePoint 2010.

The following Service Applications are enabled for cross-version consumption:

User Profile Service Application (UPS SA)

Ideal if you plan to evaluate the new SharePoint 2013 Preview Social stack. All user profile data and actions you make in SharePoint 2010 (Tags, Notes) are now stored within SharePoint 2013 Preview User Profile Service Application and are shown on your SharePoint 2013 Profile in the Activities Feed together with activities you make on the SharePoint 2013 Preview sites. You should consider upgrading the User Profile Service Application and My Sites using the database attach approach to transfer your social data, custom profile properties and My Site data from SharePoint 2010 Preview to SharePoint 2013 Preview so your whole “social stack” is running on SharePoint 2013 Preview. Upgraded Profiles and MySites seamlessly integrate into the SharePoint 2010 platform. When user clicks on his My Profile or My Site in SharePoint 2010, he/she would be automatically redirected to the SharePoint 2013 Preview.

Activities Feed shows activities from SharePoint 2010 sites

Enterprise Search
Best of both - FAST Search & SharePoint Search are now in one robust SharePoint 2013 Search platform with lots of improvements. SharePoint 2013 Preview Search Application can index content stored in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Preview. SharePoint 2010 Search Centres can show results coming from SharePoint 2013 Index though I would recommend using a SharePoint 2013 Preview Search Centre to evaluate new features introduced in this new version. Improvements include new Preview Box which shows summary of key data about search results and allows you to execute certain actions on the content. Visual modified date refiner allows you to filter Search results to narrow down the result set. You can find detailed explanation about these and other new features in the Search module of the Ignite Training.

SharePoint 2013 Preview Search Centre shows search results from SharePoint 2010 sites. Check the new Preview Box and Visual Refiners

Important: Consuming SharePoint 2013 Preview Search is not supported if you are using FAST for SharePoint 2010.

Managed Metadata
The SharePoint 2010 Term Store Manager can connect to SharePoint 2013 Preview Term Store. You can't use the new features from the SharePoint 2010 UI but all of the SharePoint 2010 features are available. Cross-site collection Term Store Groups which allow you to use private site collection terms across different site collections are not available in SharePoint 2010. Of course, all new features of Managed Metadata Service Application are available in Site Collections created in SharePoint 2013 Preview.

Term Store Manager in SharePoint 2010 connected to SharePoint 2013 Preview Managed Metadata Application

Business Connectivity Services
Your upgraded models will be usable in SharePoint 2013 Preview and you can use new features of BCS such as oData data sources or improved External List in your SharePoint 2013 Preview Site Collections
Secure Store Service
If you are using Secure Store Services in SharePoint 2010 and want to target Azure Services in SharePoint 2013 Preview you might consider connecting to a SharePoint 2013 Preview version of the Secure Store Service Application to enable your SharePoint 2013 Preview Apps to talk to Azure services

When you have SharePoint 2013 Preview farm up and running and connected to your SharePoint 2010 environment you can begin to test content upgrade and bring more services to the SharePoint 2013 platform over time.
Whilst SharePoint 2010 can consume SharePoint 2013 Preview Services, it is not supported the other way around. You cannot publish a SharePoint 2010 Service Application and consume its services in SharePoint 2013 Preview. This might be relevant to you if you deployed a Custom Service Application in SharePoint 2010 and didn’t plan to migrate it to SharePoint 2013 Preview platform.
You can Publish and Consume SharePoint 2013 Preview Service Applications using the same steps as you would in SharePoint 2010. The management options have not changed in SharePoint 2013 Preview Central Administration nor have the PowerShell cmdlets. As an example, here are steps to establish trust between SharePoint 2013 Preview and SharePoint 2010 farm and publish Search Service Application. You can check Ali’s Blog for detailed step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Exchange trust certificates between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 Preview farms
In order to consume services published on different SharePoint farm, the farms must exchange trust certificates. More details can be found in TechNet article: Exchange trust certificates between farms. You can run the commands using the SharePoint Management Shell:
SharePoint 2010 farm (export farm and STS certificate)
$rootCert = (Get-SPCertificateAuthority).RootCertificate
$rootCert.Export("Cert") | Set-Content C:\Temp\2010FarmRoot.cer -Encoding byte
$stsCert = (Get-SPSecurityTokenServiceConfig).LocalLoginProvider.SigningCertificate
$stsCert.Export("Cert") | Set-Content C:\Temp\2010FarmSTS.cer -Encoding byte
SharePoint 2013 Preview farm (export farm certificate)
$rootCert = (Get-SPCertificateAuthority).RootCertificate
$rootCert.Export("Cert") | Set-Content C:\Temp\2013FarmRoot.cer -Encoding byte
SharePoint 2010 farm (import SharePoint 2013 farm certificate to SharePoint 2010)
$trustCert = Get-PfxCertificate C:\Temp\2013FarmRoot.cer
New-SPTrustedRootAuthority "2013 Trust"-Certificate $trustCert
SharePoint 2013 Preview farm (import SharePoint 2010 farm and STS certificates)
$trustCert = Get-PfxCertificate C:\Temp\2010FarmRoot.cer
New-SPTrustedRootAuthority "2013 Trust" -Certificate $trustCert
$stsCert = Get-PfxCertificate C:\Temp\2010FarmSTS.cer
New-SPTrustedServiceTokenIssuer "2013 Trust" -Certificate $stsCert
Step 2: Publish Service Applications and set permissions
You need to Publish a Service Application in SharePoint 2013 Preview – Go to Central Administration -> Manage Service Applications -> choose the relevant Search Service Application and click on Publish. You need to select the check box next to Publish this Service Application to other farms.
Give SharePoint 2010 farm Permissions to Application Discovery and Load Balancing SA of SharePoint 2013 Preview Farm

Run on SharePoint 2010 farm to get the Farm ID
$farmid = Get-SPFarm | Select Id
Run on SharePoint 2013 Preview farm
$security=Get-SPTopologyServiceApplication | Get-SPServiceApplicationSecurity
$claimprovider=(Get-SPClaimProvider System).ClaimProvider
$principal=New-SPClaimsPrincipal -ClaimType "" -ClaimProvider $claimprovider -ClaimValue [FarmID]
Grant-SPObjectSecurity -Identity $security -Principal $principal -Rights "Full Control"
Get-SPTopologyServiceApplication | Set-SPServiceApplicationSecurity -ObjectSecurity $security

As a last step, give the SharePoint 2010 FarmID permissions to the Published Service Application:


Give SharePoint 2010 farm permissions to SharePoint 2013 Preview Published Service Application

You can now connect to the Service Application Proxy from SharePoint 2010 farm.
I hope this article gives you some thoughts on how to evaluate the new SharePoint 2013 Preview product in your environment. Please keep in mind that this cross-version infrastructure introduces management overhead and should be used only as a temporary solution before you fully upgrade to the SharePoint 2013 platform.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask using the Comments section.
Upgrade farms that share services (parent and child farms) to SharePoint 2013 Preview

Share service applications across farms (SharePoint Server 2010)

Exchange trust certificates between farms (SharePoint Foundation 2010)

Services architecture planning (SharePoint Server 2010)
Marek Samaj
Senior Consultant
Microsoft Consulting Services UK
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