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You might know about exporting Portal Content by the help epa-files. With SAP NetWeaver 7.3, new functionality in this area has been provided: Change Recording and Synchronized Folders. Now questions like ‘what to use when?’ and ‘what are the different options made for?’ might come to your mind.To get an idea of what might help when, imagine some situations. You might know one or the other if you are already using the Portal and if you are creating content in the Portal Content Studio.
     Scenario: Imagine one of the following requirements coming up in your company:

  • your company plans to introduce the SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal
  • a new Business Units would like to show on the intranet what the unit does and offers
  • a new content area has to be created for an additional topic that should be presented in the Portal

All of these ideas require that new portal content is created. You need maybe several places in the folder structure of the PCD where content admins can store the content. Most probably, a new folder (structure) in the PCD will be used for this purpose. Let’s assume that in these case, several content admins are involved in the content creation and that from the beginning, you would like to define which folders in the PCD have to be used for storing the content.

What to use: In this case, it might be helpful to also create a transport package right at the beginning of the project when defining the folder structure in the PCD. You could then add the new folders as synchronized folders to the transport package. This would help making sure that all the new content created by different content admins can be part of one transport. As soon as the project has reached a state where testing should start, you could use the transport package created at the beginning of the project and just export it – no need to collect any folders or objects any more if synchronized folders are used.Your package with synchronized folders might look like this:

Synchronized Folders

Using Synchronized Folders will make sure that all of the objects that are stored inside the folders at export time are part of the export.
After having transported the new content to your test system, you should then switch on Change Recording for the respective folders. Testing can then be done on the test system. Whenever an issue or a request for a content change comes up, you can do the required changes on the development system. The changes will be recorded and you can then transport the changed objects only. There is no need to transport the complete content any more. Change Recording will make sure that all the change objects are transported, you don’t have to ask different content admins about changed objects, you don’t have to collect the objects manually and you can find out who changed what.

Scenario: Imagine that a small area maybe involving one or two content admins would like to offer some new content in the portal – but not that much as in the previous scenario. Again, they plan to use a new folder in the PCD to store their content.

What to use: Here, it might be more convenient to export the content created as soon as some testing should start. If only a few content admins are involved, they can easily synchronize on what has to be transported and create an epa file containing the folder with the new objects.
Your transport package might look like the following when using the package export:

Transport Package

Now, all the objects that you put into your package will be exported. No re-calculation of the objects that are inside a folder is done by the portal – only the objects that you have added to your package are going to be exported.
Also in this case, Change Recording should be switched on after the initial transport. Even if only a few people are involved in content changes, it helps a lot if all of the changes are recorded and you don’t need to remember them when exporting.

Scenario: For many of you, it might be the case that you do already have a lot of portal content – grown over years.  Still from time to time changes to the existing content are required – an iView has to be added, a new navigation entry is required or some content has to be deleted. Most probably, several content admins might be involved in the changes – sometimes they might have to change the same role for different navigation changes. In this case you might like to make sure that one change can be finished and transported before some other request requires changing the same object.

What to use: You should think about switching on Change Recording for all the folders in PCD where you created content. Changelists will store all the changes that you did. Even deletions are stored and can therefore be transported. In case you did a change and would need an ‘undo’, this is possible with change recording as well – as long as the changes are not activated.
A changelist containing changed objects might look like the following:

Change Organizer

By the help of this, you can make sure that one content transport contains only changes belonging to a certain request.

You should think about using Change Recording for your existing PCD content. It can simplify your life a lot. You don’t have to remember the changes that you did and collect them manually any more. In addition – and you might have missed this feature – it supports the transport of deletions.

To learn more about Change Recording, you can take a look at a video on SDN.

A guide providing more information on configuring and using Change Recording is available on SDN as well.

CTS+ should be used in any case. It is integrated with the Package Export Editor – no matter whether you use synchronized folders or not – and with Change Recording.

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