How to configure SharePoint 2013 Content Databases in read-only mode

Read-Only Databases is a feature available when upgrading or moving SharePoint 2013 content databases to avoid any data loss and allow users access to the information stored in the system. In this mode we can backup content databases with the latest information available, and at the same time guarantee our SharePoint users can read existing data, but not modify it. In this article, I will explain step-by-step how to configure an existing content database in read-only mode:

 

  • In your CloudShare environment, open SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the Database instance where you have your content databases.
  • Select one of the available content databases and click the “Properties” option.

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  • On the “Properties” window, click the “Options” section and look for the “State” group where you can locate the “Database Read-Only” property. As you can see, the default value for this property is “True”. Change it to “False”.

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  • Click the “OK” button. A message will appear indicating that in order to apply changes it is necessary to close all the connections to the databases. Click the “Yes” button to confirm these changes.

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  • Once these modifications have been applied to the content database, you can check the status change via the SQL Server Management Studio object explorer. The content database will be displayed in grey with “(Read-Only)” appended to its name.

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  • If you try to access a site stored in the Read-Only Content Database, you can verify that you can view all the site information. However, you cannot add/update/delete any information in the site such as adding elements to a list or document library. Of course, you cannot customize your site modifying site pages either. For instance, you cannot modify any WebPart configuration in an existing site page. Note also the information bar displayed at the top of the site. This bar shows a message indicating the site is in “Read-Only” mode so it’s not possible to add new content or update the content database.

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  • If you navigate to a list or a document library in the site, you can check how all ribbon options about adding or updating information in the list are disabled.

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And that’s all about how to configure SharePoint 2013 content databases in “Read-Only” mode. Of course, you can also do this by using T-SQL commands instead of SQL Server Management Studio. For instance, in SQL Server 2008 R2 you have to use SET and ALTER DATABASE instructions as described in http://technet.microsoft.com/es-es/library/ms190249(SQL.105).aspx.

As always, happy CloudSharing!