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February 16, 2009 / red1s

SharePoint Migration Tools


Recently had to do a SharePoint migration document for a client. I based it on tools as thought this would be the easiest using SharePoint management tools. The tools I investigated and experiences regarding them were the following:

Quest Migration Manager 1.5

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The following table shows an overview of how they fared in our evaluation:

Category

Comment

Rating (Poor, Good, Excellent)

Functionality

The user interface enabled me to easily migrate content from a WSS 2 environment.

Excellent

Support

The support request (compatibility discussion) was handled very well.

Good

Scope

Supports all previous and current SharePoint versions

Excellent

Future Proof

Server 2008 pack available between April and May

Good

For detail on each point, please see the sections that follow.

Functionality

After a few clicks through the installation window I easily managed to install the software and then connect to both environments. Once connected the user interface was intuitive enough to allow me to migrate specific document libraries and list information across into the new deployment.

Support

Two major downsides of their support was the fact that their hours, (GMT -6), is not convenient for urgent matters and their team did not respond to requests for a live demonstration of their product.

Scope

The Quest software package covers both software packages perfectly supporting the following SharePoint Sources:

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v2

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS)

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)

And the following SharePoint Targets:

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)

Future Proof

Quest Migration Manager 1.5 is not supported in the Windows Server 2008 environment. They have confirmed that they are upgrading their software and support is expected from April / March 2009.

URL

Information regarding the Quest Migration Manager software package and other company information can be found at the following URL:

http://www.quest.com/migration-manager-for-sharepoint/


DocAve 5.0 Migration Manager

AvePoint was established in 2001 and have won many awards in the SharePoint arena. They have an impressive bouquet of products.

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The following table shows an overview of how they fared in my evaluation:

Category

Comment

Rating (Poor, Good, Excellent)

Functionality

The interface was clumsy and the product didn’t consistently perform the requested tasks.

Poor

Support

The AvePoint team is exceptionally willing to assist with all queries.

Excellent

Scope

Able to fully migrate all current SharePoint solutions

Excellent

Future Proof

No support confirmed yet.

Poor

For detail on each point, please see the sections that follow.

Functionality

The installation process of DocAve 5.0 was fairly easy, but sadly the configuration moving forward was pretty time consuming and not very self explanatory. The products’ documentation is however very good which made the process easier.

The product has two types of migration, which are:

Live Mode

Plan Builder

Live Mode

The “Live Mode” was a disappointment and we were only able to migrate workgroups. To migrate to areas some kind of mapping needed to be configured and this was never successfully completed.

The product also failed to read the contents of one of our SharePoint 2003 instances with a number of unhandled errors being shown to the operator.

Plan Builder

This mode, also called backup migration, gives the operator the ability to select a number of source files and map them to a target. A backup of the files are created and they can be migrated to the target server on a schedule.

We could schedule the actual migration on a weekend when general traffic is at its lowest.

One serious drawback of this approach was the fact that the content being migrated is actually being backed up too. Although a fairly sound process, the fact remains that it is duplicating the data.

The same problems experienced in the live mode around custom templates exist in the plan builder.

Support

AvePoint immediately assigned an account manager to the task and the support we received during the evaluation time was outstanding. The team was always willing to help with live demonstrations, information requests and so forth.

They also have a support ticketing system that is accessible from their website, but this was never used as their account team really assisted in every possible way that we wanted.

For all the shortcoming of the product, the support we received from the account team alone was almost enough to recommend the product. Minor development updates and fixes specific to our need was also not frowned upon. They have offices throughout the world and consultants were constantly in contact with us.

Scope

AvePoint comes in two versions; the first one allowing migrations from SharePoint Portals Server 2003 and WSS V2.0 environment to a MOSS 2007 and WSS V3.0 environment. And a second version allowing a SharePoint Portal Server 2001 environment to be migrated into MOSS 2007, WSS V3.0 SPS 2003 environments and WSS V2.0 environments.

Future Proof

No confirmation has been made regarding future versions but there were comments found regarding support for future versions of Windows Server 2008.

URL

Information regarding the DocAve 5.0 software package and other company information can be found at the following URL:

http://www.avepoint.com/products/sharepoint-migration/sharepoint-migrator


Metalogix SharePoint Site Migration Manager

Metalogix was founded in 2001 and has been providing migration utilities ever since. They have a large customer base (400) and have been cited on the internet in some impressive case studies.

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The following table shows an overview of how they fared in my evaluation:

Category

Comment

Rating (Poor, Good, Excellent)

Functionality

Easy to install, intuitive interface, migrated all content.

Excellent

Support

No web logging interface and time zone might hinder progress.

Good

Scope

Able to fully migrate all current SharePoint solutions

Excellent

Future Proof

Support for Windows Server 2008

Excellent

For detail on each point, please see the sections that follow.

Functionality

The installation of the migration manager was painless. Extensions are installed on the source and target server and the manager interface, web based, is installed on the administrator’s client machine.

After downloading the product we were migrating sites, list and individual items within an hour. The interface is clean, intuitive and a good log is kept of the entire operation. Batch copy is also support along with a solid mapping structure for lists.

This tool migrated items that DocAve 5.0 failed on and it was unanimously selected as our recommended tool for the CC MOSS Migration.

Support

Metalogix does not have a call logging interface on their website and their business hours (GMT – 6) means a response might take some time. However having said that, the call I logged was quickly handled and I received a welcoming answer from the technician. My enquiry was around the “Inherit Parent Navigation” property and they mentioned they will look into extending the tool in the near future to accommodate for this.

Scope

Similarly to the Quest software package; the Metalogix SharePoint Site Migration manager tool easily supports migrating the following SharePoint Sources:

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v2

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (SPS)

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)

To the following SharePoint Targets:

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)

Future Proof

Metalogix SharePoint Migration Manager software package will have support for the Windows Server 2008 Operating System.

URL

Information regarding the Metalogix SharePoint Migration Manager software package and other company information can be found at the following URL:

http://www.metalogix.com/products/migrationmanagersp/index.htm

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