Every Microsoft 365 Tool in Existence: Migrations 2021

Anyone who has been working in the SharePoint ecosystem for any period of time knows that the title of this blog post, “Every SharePoint Migration Tool…” is a bold statement.

Purpose of this article: The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the SharePoint Online / Teams / OneDrive migration tools market place for our readers to be able to make quick, informed decisions about the right tool for the right migration use case.

You may also be interested in our companion white paper: Every Microsoft 365 Tool in Existence: Governance Automation 2021. This paper offers a detailed analysis – including a feature-by-feature comparison of the every Microsoft 365 governance automation tool that exists in 2021.

For an overview of the entire series, visit our Every Microsoft 365 Tool in Existence: Series Overview 2021 post.

Before we jump into the meat of this article, I challenge you the reader to come up with the list of migration tools that you are aware of. I personally knew of 12 of these tools and I would consider that a decent number. Do you know of more? If you knew of more than 12 tools before reading this article, I would love to hear about it in the comments section. That would be quite impressive. If you were aware of all 21 tools, then please post that too! (but I may not believe you (LOL) ).

Having focused on SharePoint and Microsoft 365 for the past 14 years, our organization has used 7 migration tools for a wide variety of use cases and sources, including personal and team migrations from earlier versions of SharePoint, file systems, the Google Workspace (G Suite), Egnyte, Box, Dropbox, OpenText eRoom, Exchange Public folders, etc. For more complex migrations, we often will mix migration tools to optimize features and pricing.

It seems like each time we’d do a bit of research, we’d find more migration tools with intriguing features or pricing, or a tool-maker has gone out of business or been acquired by another. So, finally, we had enough and decided to create the most comprehensive list of SharePoint migration tools every compiled!

Not only will we list all of the tools, we will compare all 20 tools across 61 features categories (including pricing) and 59 data sources.

Here is the criteria we used to determine which tools would make the list:

  • SharePoint Online must be a supported target.
  • Support both personal and team-based workloads.
  • Source systems must include more than 1 source. For those with a single source, we consider those specialty tools and we’ll cover them in a subsequent post. For example: DMS-Shuttle for SharePoint only sources data from a file system, so its not included here. Another example is “CaseAgile Enterprise Bridge to SharePoint” which is purpose-built to migration Confluence content to SharePoint. Again, this tool is not included in our list because it is a single-source tool.

Why not include single-source migration tools? Most organizations and practitioners will prefer to use as few tools as possible. Why would an organization want to use a tool that only sources from the file system when there are 16 tools that do that and also handle many other sources? Why learn multiple tools when it is not necessary? That doesn’t mean that such tools may not be useful, but it does mean that they are more special-purpose than general-use.

Here are some notable single source migration tools that we will cover in a separate article:

Single Source ToolSource
CaseAgile Enterprise Bridge to SharePointConfluence
Cloudiway’s CloudiwayG-Suite
DMS-Shuttle for SharePointFile System
Microsoft Migration ManagerFile System
SysTools SharePoint OrganiserSharePoint
Swing Software’s Seascape for NotesLotus Notes
single-source migration tools to be covered in a separate article

Other Tools not in this Report:

Migration ToolReason not Included
SysTools Lotus Notes to Office 365Exchange-focused
Binary Tree Notes MigratorExchange-focused
Quest’s Binary Tree Power365 MigrationExchange-focused
CodeTwo Office 365 MigrationExchange-focused
JiJi Technologies Apps4.ProPlanner-focused and Teams to Teams
ProvenTeq Content AnalyserFocused on pre-migration
Saketa: Microsoft Teams MigratorTeams to Teams
Quadrotech by QuestExchange-focused
Quest’s On Demand MigrationExchange-focused
SLIM Application’s ExplorerAd-hoc content mover
Vyapin Office 365 Migration PlanningFocused on pre-migration
PCVita’s SharePoint MigratorOut-of-business?
PCVita’s Express Migrator Out-of-business?
Dell Migration Suite for MigratorNo longer a product
Tervela’s Cloud FastpathNow part of Box inbound migration suite
other tools not included in this report

Spreadsheet-Based Comprehensive Comparison

This blog article includes the detailed Excel Comparison Spreadsheet Database as a separate download here. Why not just include it here? There are 20 tools and 120 comparison line items. There is no way to express an-easy-to-read version of that in the space allowed in a blog article.

Comparison Criteria

For every tool, we compared 61 features and 59 source systems. The following is a table with all of the features and an explanation of each.

Core Migration Features

Feature Description
Authentication: App ModelThe best-practice method for authenticating with Microsoft 365 is to create an Azure AD App and use it to provide permissions and to serve as a connection proxy.
Authentication: ModernAbility to use modern authentication, including MFA on user or service accounts.
Auditing and MetricsThe tool must provide enough auditing and metrics that migration counts can be tied out between source and target destinations. The tool must also provide detailed logging of migration activities to allow tracking and diagnosing migration issues.
Classification (sensitivity & retention)The ability to generate classification labels in Microsoft 365 for document retention and other policies.
Duplicate Content DetectionDetect duplicate documents in the source system.
Executes in the CloudMigration jobs are able to execute in the Cloud , removing significant migration latency and improving performance.
Filtering (metadata-based source filtering)The ability to use source system document characteristics, location and metadata to determine which documents should be included in a migration.
High-Throughput Migration APIThe tool uses the Microsoft FAST API for high-speed interactions with M365
Incremental / Delta MigrationThe tool can migrate only changes to a data set since a previous migration. This allows one to support content pre-staging scenarios, synchronize 2 systems, etc.
Job Scheduling & ManagementThe ability to package migration activities into jobs that can be tracked, audited, measured, and managed.
Link Resolution for DocumentsThe ability to maintain the integrity of links within a document to other document. For example, referencing a cell in one spreadsheet from another. Most tools will not do anything special for such links and they will often break.
Mapping: Content StructureThe ability to map multiple source and target system locations within a single migration job.
Mapping: Content TypesThe ability to map from one SharePoint content type to another.
Mapping: FieldsThe ability to map source system fields to different target system fields.
Mapping: Data ValuesThe ability to map / transform metadata values from the source system to the target.
Mapping: Permission LevelsThe ability to map a SharePoint permission level between source and target systems. For example: A custom permission level in the source system such as “Contribute with no Delete” could be converted to “Edit” in the target system.
Mapping: Users & GroupsThe ability to map users from source systems to target, including changes in domain only, full account name changes, and group mappings.
Metadata Bulk EditThe ability to change metadata on either a source or target system in bulk. This is handy when performing metadata cleanup on the source system or post-migration in the target.
Migrates Alerts w/ Alert SuppressionThe ability to pause alerts for target system lists and libraries during a migration.
Migrates MetadataMigrates metadata along with contents.
Migrates PermissionsMigrates permissions
Migrate Shared LinksThe ability to migrate ad-hoc / shared links
Migrates Site NavigationMigrates Navigation Menus
Migrates Term StoreMigrates term store sets.
Migration Engine ExtensionsThe ability to extend the functionality of the migration tools through custom scripts or functions that are embedded into the migration pipeline. Great for data transformations, post-processing, etc.
Multiple Admin SupportMultiple administrators can share the management of the same migration jobs. Most tools offer multiple seats, but each seat is independent and job management is not shared, resulting in an fractured migration project picture.
Open Migration APIAn API that can be called to execute migrations, create jobs, etc.
Parallel JobsThe ability to execute more than 1 job at the same time.
Pause and Resume MigrationsStop a job and restart it.
PowerShell CommandletsSupport for PowerShell orchestration of migration jobs. Some tools provide the equivalent in the form of a CLI (command line interface)
Pre-Migration Analysis: Scans, Simulations..The ability to analyze the source system to identify content to be migrated, metrics on the source data, permissions structures, potential migration issues, etc.
Retain Creation and Modification MetadataThe ability to migrate content and have its “system metadata” (creation date, created by, modification date, modified by) remain.
SynchronizationThe ability to automatically keep a source and target system in sync.
URL Redirection (post-migr. source redirects)Ability to provide redirects from source content to target. Some tools even automate this at the document level!
Version HistoryThe ability to migration document versions.
Workflow Migration: DesignerThe ability to migrate SharePoint Designer workflows.
Workflow Migration: NintexThe ability to migrate Nintex workflows.
Core Features

Bonus Migration Features

Export to File SystemThe ability to export content from a source repository to a file system. Useful for saving snapshots
Migrate MailAbility to migrate mail to Exchange Online
Migrate PlannerAbility to migrate Planner plans from one tenancy to another.
Migrate YammerAbility to migrate yammer communities from one tenancy to another.
Migrate StreamAbility to migrate video content to Microsoft Stream.
Migrate to OneDriveAbility to migrate to OneDrive.
Slack to O365The ability to migrate slack channels to Teams.
Special FeatureThis field is for any notable feature of the tool that we wish to highlight.
Governance FeaturesThe ability to support a Microsoft 365 governance plan.
Multi-Platform SyncThe ability to synchronize multiple systems. This is a great feature when you have more than one content platform and wish to keep portions of them in sync.
Content Migration (Operational)The ability for the tool to double as a means of migrating Microsoft 365 content within your tenancy. This is handy for lots of day-to-day operational activities and devops support.
Administrative FeaturesThe ability to use the tools for administrative activities such as removing orphaned users, identifying orphaned workspace, permissions management, etc.
Bonus Features

Non-Functional Features

Documentation & User CommunityMeasures the quality of documentation and the user community surrounding the tool.
Infrastructure Need: Server VMIs there any need to stand up a machine other than your own desktop machine to support the migration. A few of the most sophisticated tools have a complex infrastructure.
Infrastructure Need: Windows DesktopIs a client-wide application required to migration?
Infrastructure Need: SP Server ExtensionsIs it necessary to install anything (i.e. an agent) onto any SharePoint server in source or target locations.
Number of Source Systems SupportedThe number of source systems available as sources for a migration.
PricingLicensing models, from pay-per-GB to administrative seats, one-time licensing, subscriptions, and even free!
Product Home PageA link to the vendor’s product home page
SupportAvailability of support
UsabilityHow easy is the tool to use?
Vendor HeadquartersWhere is the vendor headquartered.
Vendor Size (Headcount)How many employees does the vendor have?
Non-Functional Features

How we Evaluated the Tools

For several tools, we at DLC had quite a bit of experience them and could easily capture the analysis information that we needed.

We performed test migrations for another 5 of the tools. For the remainder we stuck with the vendor web site, white papers, blogs, etc.

For certain tools, you will see an entry entitled “[unknown]”. Just as it seems, this indicates that we do not have any information on the feature for that tool.

If you have any question, comments, or critiques any features for any tools, or if you know of any other tools, please let me know in the comments and I’ll respond in the comments section. I am planning on an update to this article once I’ve had input from our readers.

Inventory of the Tools that Made this List

AvePoint’s FLYBitTitan’s MigrationWiz
CloudM’s CloudMCouchdrop’s Movebot
FME’s Migration CenterGRS Richcopy 360
HarePoint’s Content & Workflow MigratorKernel Migrator for SharePoint
Microsoft’s Mover.ioMicrosoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT)
Proventeq’s Migration AcceleratorQuest’s / Metalogix Content Matrix
Saketa’s SharePoint MigratorSkySync’s Migrate & Sync
Sharegate’s Sharegate DesktopSimFloFy’s SimFloFy Migration
Tzunami’s CloudsferTzunami’s Deployer
Vyapin’s Dockit MigratorXillio’s Xill V3
All SharePoint / Teams Migration Tools

Some Notable Findings and Surprises

While doing the research for the article, I encountered many surprises. Here are some highlights:

  • Staging Data Models: 2 tools, FME’s Migration Center and Xillio’s Xillio are architected differently than the other tools: They both have an intermediary database that contains a model of the data to be migrated. This allows one to incorporate multiple migration scopes or sets from the same or different source systems into a single migration data model. Each support a second migration leg where we define the set of data from the shared / centralized data model that will be migrated to the target. By having this intermediary database, we can better analyze source systems, coordinate migration from multiple source systems, communicate approach to customer better, etc.
  • Microsoft’s SPMT for file server migrations and their Mover.IO tool for Cloud sources are both free.
  • Replication: GS Richcopy 360 is geared towards content replication between systems. It is the only tool that copies file deltas at the byte level, making it ideal for efficient synchronization.
  • ProvenTeq’s Migration Accelerator and Vyapin’s DockIt Migration can keep multiple systems in sync.
  • Administrative Feature Bonus: On top of migration features, Saketa’s SharePoint Migrator and Sharegate’s Sharegate Desktop both have a passable collection of general-purpose administrative features.
  • Infrastructure Requirements: There is a wide array of infrastructure requirements, from no-infrastructure cloud-only approaches to those that require backend servers and databases along with desktop clients.
  • Not Just Documents: One way to categorize tools is to categorize those that treat SharePoint strictly as a document management repository and those that support the migration of other SharePoint components such as lists, navigation, term sets, content types, subsites, etc. FME’s Migration Center, Saketa’s SharePoint Migrator, Sharegate and Vyapin all support a wide array of SharePoint-specific components.
  • OCR Conversion: ProvenTeq has built-in OCR conversion for converting images to text during a conversion.
  • Custom Connectors: Some tools such as Xillio allows you to create custom connectors via an open API.
  • Tzunami’s Deployer leads the pack with native support for 40 source systems.

Get the Comparison Spreadsheet

As I mentioned earlier, the full comparison is not embedded in this post. The best way of conveying this information is in a spreadsheet format. This will also allow the reader to download and play with the spreadsheet.

You can download the Excel Spreadsheet Comparison Database here.

…Coming Soon…

In the next week or so, we’ll be adding posts that dive into further each tool and we’ll explore how these tools can play a role in different migration scenarios.

5 thoughts on “Every Microsoft 365 Tool in Existence: Migrations 2021

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for bringing this to my attention. Back when I first started writing the article, the only generally available source for the tool was the file system. I can see that on-premises SharePoint and now, as you mention, other sources are being added. I will endeavor to add this to the comparison list in the near future. Given that there is no cost, it’s definitely worth looking at.

  1. Also, you can add Sharegate and Gs Richcopy 360 as migration tools for SharePoint, both are easy and quick

    1. Hi James,
      I think you’ll find that both Sharegate and Gs Richcopy 360 are both covered in the analysis.
      I have personally used Sharegate and love it. I have not yet used Gs Rich Copy, though it looks intriguing

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