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How to remove orphan records from the content broker database?

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SDL Tridion 2011 SP1 HR2 - SDL Web 8.1
If you would need to remove records that are still present in the content broker database, but no longer available in the content manager side, one way to delete those records would be to simulate an unpublish action, by performing the steps below.

Simulate an unpublish package by using another component and then use this same package (changing its content to point to the real component you want to delete) and then deploy this new unpublish package::

  • Change the cd_deployer_conf.xml to have clean up set to false, so that you can capture the unpublish package.
  • Take another component present in the same publication and unpublish it.
  • Navigate to the deployer's incoming folder and copy the generated package to another location.
  • Unzip that package and open the instructions.xml and the transactions.xml files.
  • Ensure to change the tcm id present to match the id of the component you want to delete.
  • After ensuring that you only have references to the id of the component you want to delete, zip again the package.
  • Place the package in the incoming folder and this should cause the component to be unpublished.
Additional Notes
  • If the page is still published after dropping in the manually created unpublish package, hit the HTTPUpload page in browser.  The deployer should periodically scan the incoming folder but may not do so until there is a request.
  • Before creating a dummy unpublish package, it's also advisable to investigate why the orphaned or duplicate records exist in the broker database to begin with.  Some possible causes for duplicate records are: (A) Another content manager system is publishing to this broker database, either now or in the past.  (B) There are multiple deployers associated with the publication target, and it happens that these deployers publish to the same broker database.
  • In SDL Tridion Web 8 and later, creating an unpublish package cannot be used if using the default publishing for Web 8.  It is necessary to enable legacy transport instead.
  • If after creating a dummy unpublish package the orphaned record is not removed from the broker database, please enable debug logging for the Deployer and send Support the log file after reproducing issue.
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