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SPS2003: Changing the Portal URL

December 10, 2007

Fortunately, when you move your SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal from one URL to another, the transition isn’t painful at all. The URLs are relative, so as long as /sites/mis, /sites/whatever continue to exist, the root URL doesn’t matter.  Good deal.

That is, of course, until alerts and confirmations get emailed out…

Over the weekend, thousands of our users were pummeled by emails (not uncommon) for the 90 day confirmation.  Unfortunately, all the URLs were wrong in these emails.  Bad deal for our Customer Service department—that sure didn’t make me any friends for a Monday morning.  I even brought homemade oatmeal raising cookies today.  LOL.

So, to change it, I have hunted all through the Central Administrator and other SPS tools, queried all through STSADM, and finally found the answer poking around with the API in .NET.  The Sites appear to have the URL hardcoded.  After a bit more looking, I found in the entries.

In the SPS2003 SITE database is a table called, very approprately, Sites.  One of the columns is called FullUrl.

http://oldportalservername/sites/mis

Well, that’s not good.

While the “don’t mess with the databases” mantra has beaten me down for years, this “fix” has worked for us and worked quite well…  if it can be done with CA, PLEASE someone let me know.

This, however, can be fixed by a quick line of SQL:

UPDATE Sites

SET FullUrl =

REPLACE(LTRIM(RTRIM(FullUrl)), ‘OldUrlHere’, ‘NewUrlHere’);

Restart the Portal services and you’re good to go.  The alerts generates reported the updated Url and things were nice.

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