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List of Best Sharepoint Migration Tools - Apply for Free Demo

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Table of Contents

SharePoint migration is the process of moving all the content from an existing SharePoint file to an existing or new environment. In general, the migration is to a newer version, such as SharePoint Online, which enables you to take advantage of the latest features. Sharepoint is a document management and collaboration tool developed by Microsoft.

 It works as an intranet, content management system, which is used to integrate internal purposes and bring an organization together. Several organizations use it to create websites as well, thanks to its highly configurable nature. However, usage varies significantly among organizations. SharePoint Online is a newly introduced, cloud-based service that enables organizations with the sharing and management of content, applications, and knowledge. SharePoint migration is used either to move content across the same version, or a newer or older variant. 

So, your new SharePoint environment is up and running, and now all you need to do is pick the right migration tool to move your data into it. If you are yet to get acquainted with migration and do not have a migration strategy, getting into migration tools might be worthless. But, if your migration strategy is in place, you have a bunch of tools to consider. Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) is a software program that is used to copy and migrate SharePoint on-premise files, documents, and libraries to the SharePoint Online tenant. 

The first SharePoint Migration Tool was developed by Microsoft and is available to all Office 365 users. However, there are other vendors that provide more powerful and efficient migration tools for SharePoint. 

But, before you start looking for migration tools, here are a few principles to be kept in mind. 

  • Set up governance objectives
  • Share your migration strategy with all those who need to know 
  • Run an in-depth analysis of what exists in your environment, what you want to keep, and where you want it to move 
  • Figure out the different migration possibilities that exist and pick the one that works best for you 
  • Assess the essential technical requirements of your existing system and the SharePoint version you want to move to 

Microsoft has rolled out several updates for the SharePoint online migration tool that provides enhanced functionality and efficiency. Other vendors have also tried to keep pace with the updates to ensure you get the best experience (with customer experience management software) irrespective of the tool they pick. Here are some of the new advanced features that SharePoint migration tool comes with. 

1. Document set support

Microsoft SharePoint migration tool now attempts to enable document set feature on the site, and if it fails, the document set, along with all the files under the document section, will be skipped. 

2. Document Template

SharePoint Online migration tool now supports customized document templates. With this feature, you can create a document template and apply it while adding new files. 

3. Web part templates

If you cannot find your web part document template in SPO, SharePoint Migration Tool can move the template from the source environment. 

4. List templates

Now, the Microsoft SharePoint migration tool features the support for several link templates, including the Promoted Link list, Asset management, Library management, and Categories List. 

5. Site Migration

If you have "out of the box" sites that do not use coding or any other third-party tools, you can now migrate them with the SharePoint migration tool, along with preserving your site audits. 

6. SharePoint web parts

The SharePoint migration tool supports the migration of various SharePoint web parts. 

7. Managed metadata

The SharePoint online migration tool supports the migration of various content types and term stores; however, global term store migration will require global tenant admin permissions. 

8. Modern design

The SharePoint migration tool also features a new look and feel, which resembles close proximity with the design of SharePoint Online for seamless use. 

9. CustomGrid list template support

SharePoint migration tool now supports the CustomGrid list template; thus, the users can now migrate lists that feature list items with the grid-editing view. 

Apart from the ones discussed above, SharePoint migration tool features other key features as well, including:

  • Increased stability
  • Progress bar
  • OneNote migration
  • Subfolder section
  • SharePoint 2010 sites
  • Government cloud
  • Migration of navigation and icons
  • Site descriptions

SharePoint migration is sure to bear fruits, but the process of moving your content to SharePoint online is not as smooth as it seems. Here is a quick look into some of the common challenges you might face with SharePoint Online migration

  • Disorganized information - This is one of the critical challenges one can face while migrating to SharePoint online; surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the framework itself. It happens when there is a lack of organization of information on your part.
  • Storage problems - Another common challenge that is faced too often is the trouble with the storage of data. When you migrate, there are chances that there will be more or less space available. If the space is low, the migration process will not complete; if it is more, you will need to organize it accordingly. 
  • Bulk migration - Bulk migration is another problem you can face during the migration process. When moving to SharePoint Online, the files might get corrupted and end up in a place other than where you intended it to go. Thus, it is essential to do adequate planning and third-party deployment to ensure an easier migration process
  • Loss of Metadata - Although it happens rarely, the loss of metadata is a significant challenge when migrating to SharePoint Online. Effective inventory management is essential to avoid Metadata loss.
  • Security - Security is another crucial concern when migrating to SharePoint online, primarily because it is performed at the local level. Thus, if you have your content in an on-premise location, you have your own security tools, but if you take things to the cloud, you might have to compromise on security. However, some cloud providers are really good with their security measures. 

Its solutions - Although there are some challenges you are likely to face with SharePoint Online migration, the good news is, most if not all of them have a solution. Here is how you can get rid of the issues discussed above. 

The solution to disorganized information is to ensure that your information stays as organized as possible. A few components that you should focus on are:

  • The site
  • Libraries
  • Lists in the site
  • Content, including documents, spreadsheets, images
  • Content layout

When you have all of your data organized, migration becomes easy. A good thing to do is to perform pre-migration analysis to ensure you don't encounter any organization problems during the process. 

1. How to overcome storage challenges? - The solution to this is simple - double-check your available storage. If it is not enough, clear some space, and provide ample space before commencing the migration process. This step is a part of the pre-migration analysis, which was mentioned in the previous point. 

2. How to overcome bulk migration corruption? - This problem does not have a quick-fix, but you can avoid it by doing proper planning, along with adequate deployment of third-party tools. It especially holds true for similar types of files, although some types of files might not necessarily be intended to stay in the same location. Also, use third-party tools that can quickly determine which way the content should be laid out when migrating. 

3. How to avoid the loss of metadata? - The loss of metadata can be overcome by having a clear inventory of the content you want to migrate. Make sure you do proper inventory management before you start with the migration process, along with having it well-organized in terms of content types as well. Another tip is to keep on adding metadata to the content as you migrate; it will certainly help with keeping it preserved. 

4. How to deal with security challenges? - Most security challenges are more about perceptions, myths, and misconceptions. In most cases, the cloud technology is as secured as impermeable as on-premise security (with security management software); in some cases, it is even better than the one you presently have at your disposal. Still, to avoid security risks, run frequent checks of your data and security. 

The Microsoft SharePoint migration tool offers a broad range of benefits but has some drawbacks as well. Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the SharePoint Migration Tool. 

Advantages

  • SharePoint migration tool offers a wizard-like experience, enabling you with the information to simplify the data migration process from your on-premises SharePoint document libraries and file share to SharePoint Online (SPO)
  • It supports all sizes of migrations ranging from smallest transfers to large-scale, bulk scenarios 
  • It offers detailed information on processes of migrations (both existing and completed), along with task reports to help identify and solve problems that might occur during the migration process 
  • The support of list migration and ADFS authentication has been added

Disadvantages

It only supports the migration from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.

  • It is not suitable for advanced, complex migration processes
  • It does not allow migration from one SharePoint online to other SharePoint online 

Although the SharePoint online migration tool offers a bunch of exciting features for SharePoint users, it has some limitations as well. These limitations include:

  • There is no scheduling feature
  • SharePoint migration tool does not allow content export or import to improve metadata during the migration process
  • It does not feature any bulk-editing capabilities
  • The support for the migration of customized lists and libraries is missing 
  • SharePoint migration tool does not support the running of multiple instances per machine 
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AvePoint Sharepoint

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PCVITA SharePoint Migration

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ShareGate

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • A. Here is a quick step by step guide to using the SharePoint Migration Tool.

    • Start the SMTP and enter your Office 365 username and password
    • Click on 'Start your first migration'
    • Select CSV or JSON file for bulk migration
    • Enter the path of migration
    • Enter the URL of your SharePoint Online site
    And, you are all set.
  • A. You can move or copy files in SharePoint by selecting the required files or folders in the library, clicking on more icons, choosing the destination of the current library or the SharePoint site, and then selecting Move Here or Copy Here.
  • A. Yes, Microsoft's SharePoint Migration Tool is free and comes in handy for simple migrations and file shares. There are other advanced tools such as Sharegate as well, but they require paid subscriptions.
  • A. Yes, you can drag files from your desktop to a SharePoint document library. Unfortunately, there is no support for dragging a folder containing multiple files.
  • A. It depends on your version. You can either upload multiple files by holding the Shift or CTRL key and then selecting more than one file. After selecting the required files, click on OK.
  • A. There is no available direct update path from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2019. To upgrade to SP Server 2019, you will need to upgrade from SP 2010 to SP 2013, then SP 2013 to SP 2016, and finally, from SP 2016 to SP 2019.
  • A. All SharePoint sites get storage of 5 GB.
  • A. Yes, you can copy a SharePoint list. To do so, click on the Site Settings of the list you want to copy. In the Galleries section, click on List Templates and select the checkbox next to the list template you are willing to export. Click Download and Copy.
  • A. The SharePoint recycle bin is located in the Quick Launch bar, and you will find it on the left side of the screen. If not, admins can locate by clicking on Settings and Site Content.

Nidhi RaghuvanshiBy Nidhi Raghuvanshi | Last Updated: October 29, 2020

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