Advanced Users - How do I copy or move an existing installation?

Version: AbleCommerce Gold

Last Update: 06/06/16

This document is intended for an advanced user.  You should be able to restore an SQL database properly if you want to follow these instructions.  Otherwise, you may want to see this document instead: How do I Copy or Move an existing installation which is written with detailed steps.



How do I copy or move an existing installation?

The goal of this document is to show you how to copy or move an existing Ablecommerce installation to a different location.  You should review the entire document before attempting to complete this process. If you are moving the installation to a new server, you should make sure that the version of AbleCommerce you are moving continues to meet the system requirements.



ORIGINAL - refers to the original, or existing installation of AbleCommerce.  This could be a development or production website.

TARGET - refers to the proposed, or new installation location of AbleCommerce.  This could also be a development or production website.



  1. Find your original license key by logging into your account.  If the development domain or IP is changing, you will need to request a new key.

  2. Backup your encryption key if you are using this feature.  This is a special key file that is used to encrypt sensitive information in the database.  Go to Configure > Security > Encryption Key for more information.  You will need the backup file to restore the key.

  3. Disable SSL if the site you are moving/copying the installation to does not have an SSL certificate installed and operational.


Restore Database

This section only applies to standard MS-SQL databases - not the Express versions.

  1. Make a backup copy of your SQL database.

  2. Restore the database.  

    - If the database will be moved to a different server, then you can use the same database name but you will need to create the SQL user and password and associate it to the database.

    - If the database will reside on the same server, then you will need to rename the database. (eg. STORE_DEV).  It will not be necessary to re-create the SQL user and password.

  3. To manually disable SSL, open the StoreSettings table.  Then find the SSLEnabled column and change the value from True to False.

Move Files from the ORIGINAL to TARGET installation.  

  1. Before beginning, make sure to pay special attention to the following files during the transfer:

    • ..\web.config (see note A. below)

    • ..\app_data\commercebuilder.lic (see note B. below)

    • ..\app_data\database.config (see note C. below)

  2. Copy or Move all of the AbleCommerce files from the ORIGINAL installation to the TARGET installation, except with any noted modifications to the files noted in Step 1 above.  A new database.config file is required.

  3. Delete the \app_data\CommerceBuilder.lic file and access the target installation with your web browser.  Enter your new or original license key when prompted.

  4. This completes the steps to move or copy an installation.  Please continue to the next section to continue.

A. If your web.config file has a machine key, then you will need to generate a new one if the installation is being moved to a different server..

B. You will need to request a new license key if the domain or IP is changing.  If the domain or IP is the same as the original installation, then you can simply re-install the license.

C. After the database is restored, you will need to modify the \app_data\database.config file on the target server.  Follow the steps to change the database connection string below.

Additional Changes after Moving

There are a few additional steps to perform and some locations within the software that you may need to change to ensure that any path or domain changes won't impact features.

XML Sitemap -

From the Configure > SEO > XML Sitemap page, modify the path for XML Data Path to point to the new location.

Encryption Key -

Restore the encryption key from your backup.

Re-crypt your Database Connection -

From the Configure > Security > Database page, select the option to Encrypt the connection string in the database.config file.

Store Domain

From the Configure > Security > System Settings page, change the Store URL if needed.


Manually Changing the Database Connection String

The database connection string is encrypted in the file ..\App_Data\database.config

Here is how to modify the database.config file so you can enter your new database information.

  1. Make a backup copy of ~\App_Data\database.config

  2. Take a copy of the following code:

<add name="AbleCommerce" connectionString="Server=yourserver;Database=yourDB;Uid=youruser;Pwd=yourPW;" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

  1. Paste it into your database.config file.

  2. Modify the connection string to have the correct new server, database name, username, and password information.
    (remove any unneeded breaks)

  3. Save the updated database.config file.

  4. Login to your AbleCommerce installation to confirm it is working properly.  If not, re-check your database settings and make any changes.

  5. Go to the Configure > Security > Database page and check the box to Encrypt the connection string in the database.config file.

  6. Check the box stating you understand that providing an incorrect connection string can disable your installation of AbleCommerce.

  7. Click the CHANGE button.  This will re-encrypt the database connection string for added security.  



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