Microsoft SharePoint periodically releases newer versions with advanced features. There is value-add in every release, making migrating to newer versions beneficial for customers. The migration process can be executed using a manual approach or with a tool. in case a tool is preferred, it is important to note that there are several tools available today that support SharePoint migration from older to newer versions. Please note that the migration process is difficult, especially if you have an older version and want to target SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2016. Hence, if you directly jump to SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint 2016, I strongly suggest that you would consider using a tool. This will ease the steps involved and avoid intermediate hop environments.
In this blog, I will discuss the salient features of some popular tools.
Sharegate has a simple user interface suitable for any IT or business user who would like to migrate their content. The tool is efficient, and if the content structure is not complicated one can move site, contents, users or permissions easily.
SharePoint is a content management system, hence we consider the amount of data transferred from source to target environment. Based on this, I believe Sharegate is the ideal tool for large data, because the license permits unlimited data migration. This will be useful for a test run and for migration of content to multiple environments like staging and production. The tool has license variance for single user and multiple users. Sharegate has support for migrating Nintex workflows and Nintex forms, which have a different license value.
Sharegate’s support structure is appreciated. It has good online documentation, with video tutorials. For a specific query, one can send an email to the support team who typically respond within 24 hours. The support team will be available for an online meeting session to interact with the technical team.
The challenging factor is, the tool has limited functionality to schedule and execute a delta migration. Using Sharegate, it is difficult to transform the content structure between source and target environments. This is applicable for migrating user’s Mysite and the profile.
As with any other migration tool, Metalogix is used to migrate sites and content to newer versions of SharePoint – on-premise and online. The tool has extensive features to set up new site infrastructure and reorganize content during migration. Metalogix has a rich interface with several features and settings enabled for migration from different sources.
We always welcome a job completed during the idle time or off business hours. Using Metalogix, we can schedule a series of jobs, hence the content is moved to target the environment on a convenient time thereby reducing impact while saving time. Metalogix site has a `help’ section with helpful documentation on migration and tool support. The awesome support team from Metalogix will be available for any technical support.
From another standpoint, Metalogix license is based on the amount of data being migrated. Hence, it makes you rethink your decision, especially if you have to migrate a huge content base with no customization. The feature loaded interface, makes it complicated for a business user and invites a technical person with good migration experience.
There are several other tools that help with migrating content to SharePoint on-premise or online.
AvePoint is one of the most commonly used among SharePoint customers. This tool comes with DocAve migrators which supports all stages of migration such as pre-analysis reports, planning, migration and reporting. DocAve content managers along with migrators will make an easy restructuring of the content, on-the-fly.
Quest is a migration tool from Dell, which comes with two variances, i.e. Migration Suite for SharePoint and Migrator for Notes to SharePoint. Migration suite for SharePoint will support migration from previous versions and from some cloud storage, whereas, Migrator for Notes has the features to migrate from Lotus Notes to SharePoint and Office 365.
This link contains a comparison matrix of some popular tools used for SharePoint migration.
All the tools analyzed above are designed for SharePoint migration, which avoid content database attach method and multiple hop environments. Each tool has a set of distinct features, which makes it different. This comparison makes it easier to choose the tool, based on relevancy.