So you’re SharePoint environment is up and running. All you need now is the right SharePoint migration tool to get your content into it. If you haven’t worked out your migration strategy, forget about looking at migration vendors. But if your migration strategy is in place, you have SharePoint migration tool options to consider. Let's have a look.

5 SharePoint Pre-Migration Tasks

Without harping on about it too much, the first thing you really need to do is to work out exactly how and what content you are going to migrate, and when you are going to do it. In February this year we took a deeper look at this issue, so if you are looking for a starting point there five principles that should be kept in mind:

  1. Set up clear governance objectives.
  2. Communicate your migration strategy to everyone that needs to know.
  3. Carry out a thorough analysis of what is in your environment, what you want to keep and where you want it to go.
  4. Assess the different migration possibilities and decide on the one that works best for you.
  5. Assess the technical requirements of the system you want to move from, as well as the SharePoint version you want to move to.

After all this, you need to decide what technology you need to meet your objectives and what vendor, or vendors, can supply it.

SharePoint Migration Tools

It is impossible to list all the vendors in the space and their respective abilities. In order to offer a good, general overview of what is currently being used, we took a look at the migration tools that have been listed by the SharePoint Community social network.

The network has been developed over the years by SharePoint professionals working with, or around SharePoint, and the list of  SharePoint migration vendors that appear there cover most of those that have a direct interest in this subject.

We took this approach as the objective here is to list what is available rather than attempt to make qualitative judgments about different vendors.

Here are 14 SharePoint tools vendors to consider:

1. AvePoint

AvePoint’s DocAve is one of the more established products on the market and, at the moment, offers modules for the migration of 14 legacy systems to SharePoint 2010, 2013 and the online version. It also comes with DocAve Migrators, as well as DocAve Content Manager that enables users to restructure content on the fly.

AvePoint SharePoint migration.jpg

DocAve offers complete SharePoint administration, protection and replication control. All the different modules can be managed through a browser-based interface and can be customized for individual enterprise needs.

In recent weeks, AvePoint released DocAve Online Service Pack 1 for better management of Office 365 deployments, including backup and recovery for Exchange Online. With Compliance Guardian Service Pack (SP) 1 released in June, it provided support for file shares and web compliance.

2. Axceler

Axceler is another vendor that has been around for a long time and provides migration to SharePoint with its product ControlPoint for SharePoint Migration. Note that this week, Axceler's SharePoint business was acquired by Metalogix (listed below).

Axceler ControlPoint SharePoint Migration.jpg

ContolPoint has a wide range of different functions, but one of those functions that should attract interest, particularly now, is an architecture that supports the migration of databases with large amounts of content. In other words, think big data. It also supports complex enterprise IT environments and supports the migration of content in waves.

3. CodePlex

CodePlex is a free open source space provided by Microsoft for large projects. The workspace can be used for the development and testing of SharePoint services, among other things. It also provides access to a SharePoint Migration Framework, giving access to Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007, 2010 and 2013 Import tools. According to the website, while the code is open to everyone, it still needs a significant clean-up of the code base. In the download space there are a number of different exporters/importers, but there doesn’t appear to be anything for SP 2013 as yet.

4. Dell

Dell entered the SharePoint migration space for SharePoint when it bought Quest in July last year. Although there were many goodies in the Quest bag at the time, the SharePoint migration tools must have been one of the attractions given Dell’s presence in Fortune 500 companies and their growing interest in SharePoint 2013.

Dell Quest Migration Suite for SharePoint
Dell Quest Migration Suite for SharePoin

With Quest, Dell got Migration Suite for SharePoint, which enables users to migrate to SharePoint on-premises and online for the 2003 edition and up, having only introduced the 2013 version recently.

Migration Suite allows for bulk or phased granular migrations depending on enterprise needs, and even includes drag-and-drop functionality to enable direct control over migrations. Automatic, scheduled migrations are also possible, as is the consolidation of data from disparate sources.

5. HarePoint

HarePoint is a trademark of MAPILab Ltd, which was created in 1999 for the development of email systems, and landed in the SharePoint space in 2008. The Workflow Migration for SharePoint product does exactly what it says it does, offering enterprises the possibility of moving workflows from one SharePoint environment to another.

Harepoint Workflow Migration for SharePoint.jpg
Harepoint Workflow Migration for SharePoint

The thinking behind Workflow Migration is that workflows are the canvases on which enterprises create their collaborative, project management and business process management projects that are key to current business practices. By offering workflow migration, it offers enterprises the possibility of migrating all these projects from one environment to another.

6. Kapow

Kapow, which was recently bought by Kofax, is another company that focuses on business process and workflow migrations. Its SharePoint migration solution is in its Katalyst portfolio, which automates the migration of files into SharePoint. It takes legacy files from all content repositories, including web applications, document repositories and enterprise cms and moves it into whatever SharePoint version the user is working in.

Kapow Katylst SharePoint Migration.jpg
Kapow Katylst SharePoint Migration

Kapow says that the big plus with its system is that it moves content without having to code migration scripts through the use of a visual editor. This works by enabling users to see their content in a browser and selecting what content they want to migrate. It also enables users to create extraction and transformation rules which Katalyst tests in real time.

7. Layer2

Layer2 focuses on the migration of line-of-business data and documents to hosted SharePoint2010, 2013, or Office 365. It can be used with any content silo, Layer2 says, so it can move content from applications as diverse as the Microsoft Dynamics family of products, to Active Directory and CRM applications, and just about any other application that is content focused and send it to native SharePoint Lists and Libraries in the cloud.

Layer2 SharePoint Connector.jpg
Layer2 SharePoint Connector

8. Metalogix

Metalogix’ Content Matix product is one of the standards in this space, and is now in Version 6. Content Matrix is the natural evolution of the older Metalogix Migration Manager and offers users the possibility of identifying all their content easily, building out new site structures and moving content only when the user is ready.

Metalogix Content Matrix.jpgMetalogix Content Matrix

It was designed with the novice in mind. It downloads in minutes -- at least Metalogix say it does -- and connects directly to existing SharePoint deployments without any work needed on the server side. The current version also has a number of SharePoint 2013 tools that enable automatic upgrades from early editions of SharePoint to the 2013 version. It moves not just the content, but all associated metadata and other attributes.

9. MetaVis Technologies

Another household name in the SharePoint world, MetaVis' principal product is its Migration Suite, which enables migration between SharePoint editions, as well as the migration of file share content, or Google content using a single tool.

MetaVis SharePoint Migration Suite.jpg
MetaVis SharePoint Migration Suite

The Migration Suite comes with File Manager for SharePoint, Migrator for Google Apps, and Migrator for SharePoint. Using the SharePoint API, enterprises don’t have to use IT to install server side controls. Not only does it enable bulk upload of content into SharePoint libraries in all editions, it also permits the bulk upload of files and folders into a SharePoint library, adding metadata and assigning content types as it goes.

11. PCVITA

PCVITA has been working in the online space since 2007 and offers a number of products for different kinds of migration and management scenarios like email recovery and conversion tools, or PDF management. However, its SharePoint migration tools are impressive, with PCVITA Express Migrator for SharePoint, one of the core products.

It is impossible to go through the entire repertoire here, but one of the big pluses is that it can move content from any version of SharePoint to any other edition of SharePoint and keep all the attributes as it moves. With SharePoint 2013 starting to gain traction, its SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 migration utility will be particularly useful as it offers status reports on migration progress, and more.

12. Proventeq

Proventeq is a content migration specialist that provides consulting services as well as technologies to enterprises that are looking to move their data. It can move data from any content repository into any enterprise cms, and offers recommendations for best practices based on what the enterprise is looking for.

proventeq SharePoint migrator.jpg
proventeq SharePoint migrator

It is not a specialist SharePoint migration provider, but because of the role SharePoint now plays in the enterprise, it spends a lot of time working with both SharePoint 2010 and 2013, as well as Office 365. It can also move content from early SharePoint versions to the current ones, as well as move content to SharePoint Record Center.

Its most recent release -- Office 365 Migration Accelerator -- provides a way of moving internally hosted applications like file shares and collaboration platforms to Office 365.

13. Sharegate

Sharegate is a relative newcomer compared with some of the other companies operating in the space having only set up in 2011. It’s still a small company with around 20 employees now, but is hitting well above its weight in terms of market impact.

Sharegate Migration Tool 2.jpg
Sharegate Migration Tool

The original idea was to create a tool that could simplify migration projects. After months of development it says it has developed what is the simplest migration tool on the market,  and which is being used, or has been used, by thousands of organizations around the world.

It offers any kind of SharePoint migration from full site migration to granular migration on a phased basis, or manual migration using a drag-and-drop tool. This is another product that requires no server-side installation.

14. Tzunami 

Tzunami approaches migration to SharePoint from the perspective of the business user. The result is Tzunami Deployer, which the company says reduces the time it takes to carry out a migration project by about 90%.

Its website says that it responds to all the needs of those using, or looking to use, SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013, as well as SharePoint Online.

Tzunami SharePoint Migration Tool.jpg
Tzunami SharePoint Migration Tool

The Deployer range of products offers the possibility of creating simulations of the migration project, which can be done offline and off-site before the migration project begins. It also supports the creation of SharePoint server structures and automates the whole process.

15. Vyapin

Finally there is Vyapin, which works across the entire information management space and says it bridges the gaps between data management and knowledge management. Its migration product is DocKIT, which enables users to migrate content in network files, file shares and local hard drives into SharePoint.

Vyapin DocKIT metadata options.jpg
Vyapin DocKIT metadata options

Key DocKIT features include the ability to import documents into SharePoint libraries, the assignment and management of metadata for documents to ensure they are traceable, and exportation of files and documents with extensive tag and metadata for easy management after export.

More Migration Tools

You can find other SharePoint tools in the market, but as far as we have been able to ascertain, these are the ones to consider first. If you've got other suggestions, please add them to the comments below. Happy Migrating.