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Welcome to the CollectiveAccess support forum! Here the developers and community answer questions related to use of the software. Please include the following information in every new issue posted here:

  1. Version of the software that is used, along with browser and version

  2. If the issue pertains to Providence, Pawtucket or both

  3. What steps you’ve taken to try to resolve the issue

  4. Screenshots demonstrating the issue

  5. The relevant sections of your installation profile or configuration including the codes and settings defined for your local elements.

If your question pertains to data import or export, please also include:

  1. Data sample

  2. Your mapping

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Importing another instance of CollectiveAccess


Can somebody please provide additional information on how to import another instance of CA using the data importer in Providence and a mapping document? I am aware that the data mapping document is similar to a data mapping document but the file type is CollectiveAccess. But what I am wondering is how to reference CA instances in the mapping document itself, or how do I tell the document where to find the instance of CA?



  • Do you have access to the mysql backups? It might be easier to restore from a mysql database backup than to create an exporter/run export/create importer/run import.

    Also have you looked into CaUtils command? If not here's the link ( and look for the sync-data sub command.
  • i just have 2 local instances of CA installed on my machine and was just trying to copy the contents of one to the other, i have made a mapping document and when i run the document it asks to provided the url to the data. i was just wondering what url i have to provide. and if there is anything i have to change in the mapping document.
  • I agree with sjenson. If you want a duplicate database, to use for testing, etc., it's much easier, and faster, to make a back-up of the mysql database, then restore the back-up to the second database. This will give you all the data. We do this routinely between prod, QA and dev.

    You'll also need to make sure that any customization of the config files are duplicated in the second installation's directory.

    - John
  • Hi John,

    I am new to CollectiveAccess and databases. How would you go about making a backup of the mysql database and importing it into CA?

  • Hi Connor,

    I use the MySQL Workbench application ( ) to interact with my MySQL databases, but I know others use tools like phpMyAdmin ( ), which is pretty standard for web hosting environments. Another option is to use the MySQL command line clients ( ). With each, there is a feature for exporting and importing databases.

    We regularly export "back ups" of our databases, especially before running some process from which we may want to recover. These back up files can be used to "restore" your database to a prior state, or be imported into a completely different database (like your second version of CA).

    Hope that helps,
  • Hi John,

    I looked into what you said and I am able to restore a database using PHP myadmin. Is it possible to use this method to merge two databases that have content in them? Say for example I had one database that I wanted to act as the master where all the content from the other databases was aggregated to. Is it possible to do this using this method?

    Second of all I noticed that when I restored my database none of the images associated with my records were there. So I need to import the images again after a restore?

  • Per my note on the other this method does not merge contents, it overrides the content from one into another. 

    Yes, you'd need to move or symlink the images into the new location after the mysql load.
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