Life does not stand still – new editions of SharePoint are coming out, and the constant building and improving infrastructure in the cloud means that your SharePoint environment is more of an evolving ecosystem. This endless development has an obvious impact on the process of migration – and all of the tasks that have some form of migration involved with them. To provide some examples: migrating a collection of sites from SharePoint Server 2010 to SharePoint Server 2016, migrating document libraries from on-premise to the cloud, and loading workflows from development to production are three different tasks of varying complexity and implementation methods. Accordingly, the tools for accomplishing such tasks can also be different.
An interesting question arises here. When our specialists started researching the topic of migration issues in SharePoint in 2012, they noticed that there are two types of solutions on the market. This remains the state of affairs. The first type is complex, complete solutions that allow, conditionally speaking, migration of everything you need (farms, sites, and collections of sites, content, individual objects), wherever you need (to or from any editions of SharePoint on-premise and cloud). Examples of such solutions are numerous – ShareGate, AvePoint, Metalogix, etc. The second type consists of either open source projects (there are a few dozens presented at CodePlex), or “homemade” tools – usually the result of a team of specialists from one organization who have commercialized a solution for their specific task.
It would seem that this combination of market offers would satisfy the demand for migration solutions in the SharePoint world. But there are a few “buts”, the main ones (and, of course, they are interrelated) of which are:
- Versatility. Let’s explain by examples: the migration of a collection of sites from SP 2010 to SP 2013 or SP 2016 is a one-time task. It is rather complicated, requires preliminary preparation (setting goals, planning stages, determining objects) and subsequent assessment of the success of implementation. On the other hand, the transfer of a newly developed workflow from dev to prod is a periodic task, usually associated with changes in business logic or the organization processes of the company. Adding files to a document library is also likely to be a daily routine. What to do? Search for or invent a separate tool to solve each of these tasks – an option requiring additional development and the availability of qualified professionals? Or turn to a comprehensive solution from a vendor? Then there is a second “but”…
- Cost of ownership. Using data publicly available on the net, we can assert that the cost of a quality integrated migration solution from well-known vendors starts between $3000 to $5000 dollars/year, and that is the low end, perhaps not covering all migration scenarios. Some of these solutions are sold on a subscription model, meaning that it is a constant cost, even when there are no urgent migration tasks.
After considering the circumstances, we tried to formulate our own vision of a migration solution for SharePoint environments. The following ideas were key:
- To offer a tool for solving routine migration tasks, since the number of tools for complete migrations were adequate, and to support migration in and out of as many SharePoint environments as possible.
- The proposed tool should allow migration of both content and workflows, thus addressing the most frequently occurring tasks.
- The cost of ownership should be minimized, making the product affordable even for small companies with limited IT budgets.
- Working with the product should be extremely simple and should not require special skills. Ideally, the user should simply specify what is moved and where it goes.
As a result, we created and launched our own migration solution for the SharePoint environment – HarePoint Content and Workflow Migrator for SharePoint.
So let us consider the resulting product in light of the vision described above. HarePoint Content and Workflow Migrator allows you to migrate the main types of SharePoint objects (lists, document libraries, content types, and taxonomy objects) as well as workflows to and from existing and new SharePoint sites or local repositories in all current SharePoint platforms and versions: SharePoint 2016, 2013, 2010 on-premise and SharePoint Online (Office 365). The direction of the migration does not matter. We also included the capability of uploading or exporting documents to libraries with various options such as writing a new document version over an old one if the migration is actually an update, etc.
Concerning the simplicity of use of the product, the concept of “what to get and where to move it” was implemented to the fullest extent. The user specifies the source and destination of the migration, authorizes, views the content available, and drags the required objects to their destination with a drag’n’drop action. When needed, there are wizards to help select the necessary settings.
Finally – the cost of ownership. A ‘single seat’ product license starts at $1200. This is a lifetime license, that is, the product does not require any additional financial investment. Initial purchase includes a year of technical support and product version updates, and the optional extension of these services for subsequent years of is highly affordable!
In conclusion, it should be noted that the chosen concept for the creation of a versatile and elegant migration solution has fully justified itself. Over the three years of the product’s existence, it has become a top product in the HarePoint line as the solution that best matches the needs of users with frequent migration needs in SharePoint.
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