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Prepping Your Company For a Sharepoint Migration


Guest Post by James Houde

[Introduction by Clemens]

Recently I wrote an article introducing a number of 'you'll need this tomorrow' concepts for small businesses. In that list I included cloud computing as something to become familiar with as you grow your business.

Some of the most productive cloud-based tools are those designed for team work when your team is not all in one office, or even in one city.

My work for example is all based on Google Business Apps (including my domain) and we use group project and CRM platforms like Insightly and Podio.  We also use apps like Evernote and Dropbox to get work done both within the team, and for our clients. Another team I work with uses Basecamp as their group project platform.

One of the 'big guns' in this space is Microsoft Sharepoint. SharePoint has a Microsoft Office-like interface, and it is closely integrated with the Office suite. It is a set of web tools designed to be usable by non-technical users. SharePoint can be used to provide intranet portals (web-based communication inside your company; not visible to the public), document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, and enterprise search.

The following is a guest post by James Houde on the steps to migrate an existing Sharepoint installation to Sharepoint 2013.

Prepping Your Company For a Sharepoint Migration

Let's face it, migrating to a different version of anything we have can be difficult. Updating your operating system from Windows XP to Windows 8, or in our case from an older SharePoint variation to SharePoint 2013, needs a change procedure that preserves the content we are bringing over.

From a business perspective the question matters most is “How do you handle a SharePoint migration without interrupting your company?”

Begin with inventory

The first step to an effective migration is reporting every little thing you have in your Sharpoint environment. An effective and cost-effective migration must start with an exact idea of what you currently have. There are many different approaches to get the full picture of your company's Sharepoint content.

By hand: Obviously this is quite simple; open your web browser and begin browsing the totality of your website collections in your favorite internet browser (I use Waterfox,) and begin taking notes. In many cases, this can effectively be the fastest approach.

Taking your notes in a CSV file can be helpful because Visio supports constructing a diagram from it. In brief, you can export all the info you require and have Visio draw out your inventory.

Using a Third Party: When it comes to every little thing in SharePoint, there is most likely somebody who currently developed software to do the job. You just need to hunt for it.

Ok, I know what I have, what should I do with it?

How can we utilize these details to manage an efficient migration? In my experience with consumers and SharePoint migrations, I've learned that there are three steps to cover, E.M.R:

1. Eliminate particular websites; understanding we will not migrate these websites marked for removal.

2. Migrate websites that will not trigger way too many problems with the upgrade. Generally, these websites are the ones that made use of out-the-box functionalities of SharePoint.

3. Rebuild websites that should be migrated but have a lot of exceptions. Common instances are websites with customized code and options that just not work in the next variation.

Now that we have stock of our environment and an understanding of the EMR Approach, we can finish our migration.

Depending on how you did your original 'stock taking' of your SharePoint site, consider setting up an extra a column in your spreadsheet (the CSV file) or color code your diagram to determine which websites to "Eliminate, Migrate or Restore".

How do we begin the migration effectively?

To migrate to SharePoint 2013, Microsoft supports a Database-Attach upgrade from SharePoint 2010. There are migration services that can do the task of course, but be sure you understand what the conditions and restrictions are.

SharePoint 2013 likewise sets up specific binary files from SharePoint 2010, which permits for a brand-new function "Deferred Website Collection Upgrade" within 2013. The function of the files is to ensure every thing looks and acts like SharePoint 2010.

By doing a data source test migration; you get to check too if the migration procedure will run without way too many bugs.

Transitioning over

With the EMR and the simulations having done their work, next will come the time to run an actual migration. Be aware of one 'artefact' of this final process: due to the fact that the only supported circumstance in our case is a database-attach upgrade, it will be really tough to keep the exact same URLs.

A normal practice is to put the old SharePoint in Read-Only mode so that individuals in the organization still see content by keying in the old URL.  However they cannot modify content. In time, they begin utilizing the brand-new URL and stop utilizing the old SharePoint.

A final clean-up will require a review of all internal links as there will be broken ones with the URL changes after migration.

Not interrupting the company does not mean don’t interact.

Now you have an idea on to approach a migration with as little interruption to your company as possible. There is still one essential element that will speed up the replace management procedure: communication! That should come as no surprise to anyone who understands change processes of any kind. Send out notices, emails with dates and each set in the SharePoint migration.

To summarize, here are most effectively practices to follow for a smooth SharePoint migration:

  • Take inventory and practice EMR: specify exactly what will be Eliminate, Migrate or Rebuild.
  • Run simulated migrations, and  with the results you came across repeat your EMR until the errors reported are at an acceptable threshold.
  • Shift members of the organization over to the brand-new environment, either by putting the old in Read-Only and offering a brand-new URL or by transitioning over with the exact same URL.

James Houde is an industry veteran in the world of Web Development based in Montreal. Having worked in varying capacities as a developer for years, he's been on top of current trends and the ever-changing industry. His expertise has allowed him to begin a journey as an industry writer.


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