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Umbraco User's Guide by Paul Sterling, Nik Wahlberg

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DATABASE SYNCHRONIZING

When you add content nodes to the Umbraco CMS, they are assigned unique incremental numeric values. For example, if you are working off a blank Umbraco install, you may start with a Node ID of 1070 when you create your very first node in the system. As nodes are added this ID is incremented by one; the parent/child relationship between nodes has no impact on this numbering. A child node could have an ID of 1100, whereas its parent node may have an ID of 1085. It all depends on when the node was created and what the max ID number was at the time of creation. When Umbraco relates nodes to one another and when it stores the path to each node, these IDs play a very important role to the hierarchy of the website. So, keeping the IDs in sync from one environment to the next is important. To preserve this hierarchical relationship, the best practice is to synchronize the underlying database of your website whenever changes are made.

An example where synchronizing makes sense is when you need to add additional document types to your installation but need to retain changes made to the content tree. To preserve the content structure of the production website, you must first synchronize your development database with the latest information contained in production. When that is done, you can make the changes in development (add document type, create any required parent nodes, and so on), and then resync the production database after the changes have been made. In the ...

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