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Even with everything that has been done to SharePoint 2010 since its release last year, including its incorporation into Office 365, migration of content and applications remains a problem. Binary Tree has taken a new approach to the problem with the release of their Application Transformation Framework (ATF) that supports the transformation of applications from Lotus Notes to Microsoft SharePoint.

The difference with other migration tools is that not only does it support the migration of applications, but it also enables users to holistically manage and control the transformation process including the analysis and migration of standard applications.

Migrating to SharePoint 2010

Migration, for anyone that has done it, is a tricky process with a high risk of losing assets during the migration process. Binary Tree’s says the new ATF protects all those assets by in-depth analyses of their architecture and business value before the process begins.

Simply put, applications are first analyzed to capture the business usage, architecture categorization (standard vs. custom) and sophistication, as well as the design and data complexity, giving users the ability to decide on how they approach the migration.

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With complex applications, key information like forms, workflow, integration, security, all code and more are gathered and displayed so that users themselves can decide on the transition target, with room of re-engineering if necessary, or other tweaking once the transformation has been completed.

When that is done, the legacy application servers are consolidated and retired to reduce or eliminate the costs of ownership for your legacy environment.

We asked our customers and partners what they really needed to be successful to transform applications to SharePoint and SharePoint Online from Lotus Notes and legacy versions of SharePoint. The common refrain was for a centrally controlled and integrated suite of software solutions that map to each phase of the transformation, Tim Reiter, Product Manager, ATF, said.

ATF Components

Looking at the spec for ATF, on paper at least, it doesn’t look massively complicated. ATF provides an integrated architecture consisting of a consolidated management dashboard that controls an integrated suite of application analysis, migration and consolidation software.

At the moment the software components support transformations from Lotus Notes to SharePoint but future plans include support from migrations from SharePoint on-premise to SharePoint Online, as well as SharePoint analysis, upgrades, consolidations and the management of hybrid on-premises/online SharePoint environments.

In effect, what Binary Tree says it has done is to streamline the transition process and remove the guesswork in these kinds of migrations. The migration processes use the principal ATF software components: CMT Inspector, CMT for SharePoint and Domino Consolidator.

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CMT Inspector

Migrating to SharePoint 2010

There are a number of different steps in a migration, some, or all of which are undertaken to move the applications. These include:

  1. Standard applications ready for an immediate migration in legacy Lotus Notes environment are identified as are the functional equivalents in SharePoint with CMT Inspector.
  2. CMT for SharePoint interprets the inspection results and performs the transition to a functionally-equivalent SharePoint application.
  3. For complex Notes applications, an in-depth analysis is carried out by CMT Inspector, which provides an advanced rules engine to perform this analysis.
  4. For these complex applications, CMT for SharePoint offers a flexible field-mapping interface that enables users map data fields from a Notes application to a SharePoint site or list.
  5. While you are transforming your applications, Domino Consolidator will enable you to shrink the footprint of the legacy application infrastructure.

And Binary Tree? Created in 1993, it builds software for migrating enterprise messaging users and applications to on-premise and cloud-based versions of the Microsoft platform.

Its suite of software provides solutions for migrating from Exchange 2003/2007 and Lotus Notes to on-premise and online versions of Exchange and SharePoint. It also says it is Microsoft's preferred vendor for migrating to Microsoft Office 365, but there are a lot of companies that might claim that and more that will be looking to claim that in the future. Happy migrations!