Purging content after backing-up and then restoring a database

How do we create new datasets that contain just a portion of the content from an existing dataset? I’ve been asked this dozens of times over the years. Someone asked this past week and I figured I’d bundle up my typical method into a powershell script. This script can be run via a scheduled task, allowing you to routinely execute it for such purposes as refreshing development environments, exporting to less secured environments, or to curate training datasets.

Start by first installing the SQL Server powershell tools from an administrative powershell window by running this command:

Install-Module -Name SqlServer

You will be prompted to allow the install to continue.


It will then initiate the download and attempt to install.


In my case, I’ve already got it installed. If you do as well then you’ll see these types of errors, which are safe to ignore.


Now we can start scripting out the process. The first step is to start the backup of the existing database. You can use the Backup-SqlDatabase command. To make things easier we use variables for the key parameters (like instance name, database name, path to the backup file).

# Backup the source database to a new file
Write-Information "Backing Up $($sourceDatabaseName)"
Backup-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance $serverInstance -Database $sourceDatabaseName -BackupAction Database -CopyOnly -BackupFile $backupFilePath

Next comes the restore of that backup. Unfortunately I cannot use the Restore-SqlDatabase commandlet, because it does not support restoring over databases that have other active connections. Instead I’ll have to run a series of statements that set the database to single-user mode, restores the database (with relocated files), and then sets the database back to multi-user mode.

# Restore the database by first getting an exclusive lock with single user access, enable multi-user when done
Write-Warning "Restoring database with exclusive use access"
$ExclusiveLock = "USE [master]; ALTER DATABASE [$($targetDatabaseName)] SET SINGLE_USER WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE;"
$RestoreDatabase = "RESTORE FILELISTONLY FROM disk = '$($backupFilePath)'; RESTORE DATABASE $($targetDatabaseName) FROM disk = '$($backupFilePath)' WITH replace, MOVE '$($sourceDatabaseName)' TO '$($sqlDataPath)\$($targetDatabaseName).mdf', MOVE '$($sourceDatabaseName)_log' TO '$($sqlDataPath)\$($targetDatabaseName)_log.ldf', stats = 5; ALTER DATABASE $($targetDatabaseName) SET MULTI_USER;"
ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement ($ExclusiveLock+$RestoreDatabase)

Next we need to change the recovery mode from full to simple. Doing so will allow us to manage the growth of the log files. This is important because the delete commands we run will spool changes into the database logs, which we’ll need to shrink as often as possible (otherwise the DB server could potentially run out of space).

# Change recovery mode to simple
Write-Information "Setting recovery mode to simple"
Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -Query "ALTER DATABASE $($targetDatabaseName) SET RECOVERY SIMPLE"

With the database in simple recovery mode we can now start purging content from the restored database. Before digging into the logic of the deletes, I’ll need to create a function I can call that traps errors. I’ll also want to be able to incrementally shrink, if necessary.

# Function below is used so that we trap errors and shrink at certain times
function ExecuteSqlStatement 
    param([String]$Instance, [String]$Database, [String]$SqlStatement, [bool]$shrink = $false)
    $error = $false
    # Trap all errors
    try {
        # Execute the statement
        Write-Debug "Executing Statement on $($Instance) in DB $($Database): $($SqlStatement)"
        Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $Instance -Database $Database -Query $SqlStatement | Out-Null
        Write-Debug "Statement executed with no exceptions"
    } catch [Exception] {
        Write-Error "Exception Executing Statement: $($_)"
        $error = $true
    } finally {
    # When no error and parameter passed, shrink the DB (can slow process)
    if ( $error -eq $false -and $shrink -eq $true ) {
        ShrinkDatabase -SQLInstanceName $serverInstance -DatabaseName $Database -FileGroupName $databaseFileGroup -FileName $databaseFileName -ShrinkSizeMB 48000 -ShrinkIncrementMB 20

To implement the incremental shrinking I use a method I found a few years ago, linked here. It’s great as it works around the super-slow shrinking process when done on very large datasets. Your database administrator should pay close attention to how it works and align it with your environment.

My goal is to remove all records of certain types, so that they aren’t exposed in the restored copy. Unfortunately the out-of-the-box constraints do not cascade and delete related objects. That means we need to delete them before trying to delete the records.

We need to delete:

  • Workflows (and supporting objects)

  • Records (and supporting objects)

  • Record Types

In very large datasets this process could take hours. You can optimize the performance by adding a “-shrink $true” parameter to any of the delete statements that impact large volumes of data in your org (electronic revisions, renditions, locations for instance).

# Purging content by record type uri
foreach ( $rtyUri in $recTypeUris ) 
    Write-Warning "Purging All Records & Supporting Objects for Record Type Uri $($rtyUri)"
    Write-Information " - Purging Workflow Document References"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tswkdocusa where wduDocumentUri in (select uri from tswkdocume where wdcRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri))"
    Write-Information " - Purging Workflow Documents"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tswkdocume where wdcRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri)"
    Write-Information " - Purging Workflow Activity Start Conditions"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tswkstartc where wscActivityUri in (select uri from tswkactivi where wacWorkflowUri in (select uri from tswkworkfl where wrkInitiator in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri)))"
    Write-Information " - Purging Workflow Activities"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tswkactivi where wacWorkflowUri in (select uri from tswkworkfl where wrkInitiator in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri))"
    Write-Information " - Purging Workflows"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tswkworkfl where wrkInitiator in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri)"
    Write-Information " - Purging Communications Detail Words"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tstranswor where twdTransDetailUri in (select tstransdet.uri from tstransdet inner join tstransmit on tstransdet.tdTransUri = tstransmit.uri inner join tsrecord on tstransmit.trRecordUri = tsrecord.uri where tsrecord.rcRecTypeUri = $rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Communications Details"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tstransdet where tdTransUri in (select tstransmit.uri from tstransmit inner join tsrecord on tstransmit.trRecordUri = tsrecord.uri where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Communications"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tstransmit where trRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Thesaurus Terms"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecterm where rtmRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Relationships"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsreclink where rkRecUri1 in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri) OR rkRecUri2 in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Actions"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecactst where raRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Jurisdictions"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecjuris where rjRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Requests"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecreque where rqRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Rendition Queue"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrendqueu where rnqRecUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Renditions"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrenditio where rrRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Revisions"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tserecvsn where evRecElecUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Documents"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecelec where uri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Holds"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tscasereco where crRecordUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Locations"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecloc where rlRecUri in (select uri from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri=$rtyUri);"
    Write-Information " - Purging Records (shrink after)"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrecord where rcRecTypeUri = $rtyUri" -shrink $true
    Write-Information " - Purging Record Types"
    ExecuteSqlStatement -Instance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -SqlStatement "delete from tsrectype where uri = $rtyUri"

With that out of the way we can now restore the recovery mode back to full.

# Change recovery mode to simple
Write-Information "Setting recovery mode to full"
Invoke-Sqlcmd -ServerInstance $serverInstance -Database $targetDatabaseName -Query "ALTER DATABASE $($targetDatabaseName) SET RECOVERY FULL"

Last step is to restart the workgroup service on the server using this restored database.

# Restart CM
Write-Warning "Restarting Content Manager Service"
Restart-Service -Force -Name $cmServiceName

At the top of my script I have all of the variables defined. To make this work for you, you’ll need to adjust the variables to align with your environment. For instance, you’ll need to update the rtyUris array to contain the URIs of those record types you want to have deleted.

# Variables to be used throughout the script
$serverInstance = "localhost"                   # SQL Server instance name 
$sourceDatabaseName = "CMRamble_93"             # Name of database in SQL Server
$targetDatabaseName = "Restored_cmramble_93"    # Name to restore to in SQL Server
$backupFileName = "$($sourceDatabaseName).bak"  # File name for backup of database
$backupPath = "C:\\temp"                        # Folder to back-up into (relative to server)
$backupFilePath = [System.IO.Path]::Combine($backupPath, $backupFileName)   # Use .Net's path join which honors OS
$databaseFileGroup = "PRIMARY"                  # File group of database content, used when shrinking
$databaseFileName = "CMRamble_93"               # Filename within file group, used when shrinking
$sqlDataPath = "D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA"   # Path to data files, used in restore
$cmServiceName = "TRIMWorkgroup"                # Name of registered service in OS (not display name)
$recTypeUris = @( 3 )                           # Array of uri's for record types to be purged after restore

To find the URIs of your record types, you’ll need to customize your view pane and add in the unique identifier property.


Running the script gives me this output….


On my local machine it took ~1 minute to complete for a super small dataset. When running this on a 70 GB file, with me removing approximately 20 GB of content, it takes 15 minutes. Though my SQL Server has 64 GB of RAM and two SDD drives that hold the SQL Server data & log files.

You can download my full script here: https://github.com/aberrantCode/cm_db_restore_and_purge

Stress Testing GCP CM via ServiceAPI and jmeter

Let's see how my GCP hosted CM infrastructure holds up under ridiculous load.  

jmeter can be downloaded here.  Since this is a pure Java application you'll need to have java installed (I'm using JRE 9 but most should use JDK 8 here).  Note that JDK v10 is not yet officially supported.

After extracting jmeter you launch it by executing jmeter.bat...


Every test plan should have a name, description, and a few core variables...

There are many, many possible ways to build out a test plan.  Each will have at least one thread group though, so I'll start by creating just one.  


As shown below, I created a thread group devoted to creating folders.  I also set error action to stop test.  Later I'll come back and increase the thread properties, but for now I only want one thread so that I can finish the configuration.

Next I'll add an HTTP Request Sampler, as shown below...


The sampler is configured to submit a Json record definition, with values for Title and Record Type.  This is posted to the ServiceAPI end-point for records.  It's as basic as you can get!

I'll also need an HTTP Header Manager though, so that the ServiceAPI understands I'm intending to work with json data.


Last, I'll add a View Results Tree Listener, like so...


Now I can run the test plan and review the results...


After fixing the issue with my json (I used "RecordRecordTitle" instead of "RecordTypedTitle"), I can run it again to see success.


Now I'll disable the view results tree, add a few report listeners, and ramp up the number of threads to 5.  Each thread will submit 5 new folders.  With that I can see the average throughput.


Next I'll increase the number of folders, tweak the ramp-up period, and delay thread creation until needed.  Then I run it and can review a the larger sample set.


This is anecdotal though.  I need to also monitor all of the resources within the stack.  For instance, as shown below, I can see the impact of that minor load on the CPU of the workgroup server.  I'd want to also monitor the workgroup server(s) RAM, disk IO, network IO, and event logs.  Same goes for the database server and any components of the stack.


From here the stress test plan could include logic to also create documents within the folders, run complex searches, or perform actions.  There are many other considerations before running the test plan, such as: running the plan via command line instead of GUI, scheduling the plan across multiple workstations, calculating appropriate thread count/ramp-up period based on infrastructure, and chaining multiple HTTP requests to more aptly reflect end-user actions.

For fun though I'm going to create 25,000 folders and see what happens!


Using GCP to alert CM administrators when things break

It's crazy how simple it is to set this up within GCP.  You can even do this with your internally hosted CM servers (assuming you don't mind log shipping to your super secure private cloud)!  In a previous post I installed Stackdriver on my VM and showed how the logs appear within the UI.

I dare say a majority of the times CM breaks an error entry is generated within the application log.  Stackdriver is sending me those entries. As shown below, here's an entry from CM stemming from me having (purposefully) moved a document store.


Similar entries will be generated when the database goes down, document stores are full, and when IIS resets on me.  More importantly, it's super easy to push TRIMWorkgroup log file entries into the event logs.  Also, many integrations can have their log4net logging mechanisms redirected to the event logs!!!!

From the logging interface I can select Logs-Based metrics on the left and then click Create Metric...


Next I gave it an easy to understand name and a set of filters that drill down to just the errors from the workgroup service.  More advanced filters can be defined so that more (or less) is included.  This serves my purposes for now.


After hitting save, I can select Create Alert from Metric....


Here I just need to provide an interval which would trigger the alert...


Once that's saved I can configure one or more notifications.  Here I'm sending an email, but options exist for text, slack channel post, or smoke signal.  Pretty slick.


After it was all saved I went and triggered an error by trying to open one of those missing documents.  Look what I got via email about a minute later!


Time to start cranking out preset filters for customers!