If you’ve been under a rock like I have apparently over the last few months, you might not have noticed this little gem get published. In March MSDN published an article by a handful of Microsoft folks, one of which is very familiar to those of us old-skool MCMS junkies: Stefan.
First a bit of terminology. Most people are familiar with the fact that MOSS includes a capability called Content Deployment (CD). This facility is designed for organizations who author content in a staging environment and want to “publish” the changed content at scheduled intervals to another environment that typically is read-only & lives in a DMZ or at co-location facilities. This is ideal for content-centric sites like Publishing sites (aka: WCM sites). CD is founded on the content migration (CM) API that is in WSS 3.0 (some call it “PRIME”). The jist of the CM API is that you can export all/pieces of your site collection and import them somewhere else. This is what is used when you run export / import from STSADM (something very different from what backup / restore do).
Most of the documentation out there in the official & unofficial channels that covers the CM API and CD API is slim at best. The December 2007 refresh of the SharePoint SDKs has some updated info around this area. In March, another article (linked below) was posted on MSDN that talks about how to do more of the really complex stuff like reparenting and, retaining object identities, etc. This goes along very well with Stefan’s 5-part blog series he did a while back here.