Sitecore WFFM serialising forms from 7.0-7.2 into 7.5-8.0.


Recently I found a need to migrate a bunch of forms on Sitecore 7.2 to Sitecore 8. I thought cool, I’ll just serialise the various forms using the Developer panel in the CMS. For developers it’s a great tool which serialises items in the tree to a folder on disk. You can then move the folder to another Sitecore instance and reimport them.

So I was thinking “great a couple of minute job, no problem!” Unfortunately like most “couple of minute” jobs it turned into a bit of a nightmare. The problem is, that when Web Form For Marketers wrote the new version for 7.5 they got rid of the forms database and added the form data into analytics.

They also stripped out a number of things in the database for the new version. For instance the first item in a Web Form For Marketers save actions is an item that save the result to the database. That’s gone in the new version it automatically gets recorded behind the scenes with the need for this action.

So if you serialise your form into a newer version of WFFM it will appear to be working. In fact it will be saving you data correctly but any of your other save actions won’t we being executed. To fix this you go to the View menu, enable raw viewing. In the Save Actions xml is the GUID {F03608CC-559B-451E-BC5B-6A7ADFF32C94} for the “Save To Database” save action you need to remove it. Trying to update the save actions in the GUI leaves the broken GUID in there. So that fixes that issue, the only way you know that is going on is to look in the log files.

Another issue you will have is that the Analytics will be broken due to links to a number of analytics elements that don’t exist in 7.5+. This is much more obvious because you forms won’t even load with an invalid GUID error.

The way to fix that is similar, enable Standard Values view and under Analytics are three buttons (Profiles, Goals, Attributes), click through each – some open a dialog box others don’t. Simply open them up or click the buttons and this fixes the broken links in the form.


Save it and publish it and you should find all the analytics buttons start working and no more Invalid GUID errors from WFFM.

Hope this helps any other developers trying to migrate their forms in the future.

Richard Brisley
Richard Brisley
Technical Lead
Richard is the longest standing member of the Sagittarius team, he works tirelessly to support the development and side-facing team with problem solving and pitches alike. His skills as a .NET programmer and database administrator have been paramount to the success of Sagittarius and our continued success. 

In 2016 and again in 2019 Richard was recognise in the BIMA 100 awards for his outstanding work in Tech, his passion for digital and his contribution to the industry. 

Richard Brisley

Richard Brisley

13 Mar 2015 - 5 minute read
share this

stay in the know, stay ahead.

Get the latest from the agency, including news, events and expert content.
explore services in the article
find out what we can do for you
read some of our case studies