Ghost – ReGhost

What is ReGhost?

ReGhost is an application that was built quite some time ago, to deal with the unghosting issues prominant in Windows SharePoint Services 2.0, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003.  Whenever a page/item was customised in an application such as SharePoint Designer – the content would become what they call ‘unghosted’.  Meaning that the content is now stored and served from the database – it now exists as totally independant, rouge content.

The main issue for people has been the upgrade from WSS v2.0 / SPS 2003 to Windows SharePoint Services v3.0 / MOSS.  In order to successfully migrate your content, you needed to find an easy, reliable, safe way to “reghost” the content.

This is where ReGhost comes in – it will locate all of your content databases on the network, and examine them for unghosted pages – it then allows you to select which content you wish to revert.  Once selected, it will essentially reset the content, aka “reghost” the content – making it possible for your migration to complete successfully.

There are other uses for the product – when a company is managing a large intranet, a lot of customisations can occur – sometimes it’s nice to be able to revert some of the sites or pages back to their original state – ReGhost can do this for you – and it can do it very quickly and effectively.

Some of it’s current features include:

1. Individual item/page reghosting – being able to select individual content is crucial for most organisations

2. Content backup – ReGhost will let you execute a database backup before performing the reghost operation – keeping your data safe.

3. Content Searching – it will find your content databases for you – making the whole process a lot quicker.

4. Remote Reghosting – you don’t need to have the software installed on your servers, just point it at your SQL Server instance with appropriate permissions, and away you go!

5.  Transactional database access – if anything goes wrong during the reghost operation – everything will be rolled back, and your data is kept safe.

6. Automatic update facility – the application has a really nice software update facility, where it’s possible to check for the latest version, as well as a comment on what features are included in the new version, it will then on request, download and update your software for you – hassle free.

Due to the sheer amount of effort put into the product, it’s been released for a small purchase price.  You can register and subscribe to the download here.

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