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.
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 Tool||Source|
|CaseAgile Enterprise Bridge to SharePoint||Confluence|
|DMS-Shuttle for SharePoint||File System|
|Microsoft Migration Manager||File System|
|SysTools SharePoint Organiser||SharePoint|
|Swing Software’s Seascape for Notes||Lotus Notes|
Other Tools not in this Report:
|Migration Tool||Reason not Included|
|SysTools Lotus Notes to Office 365||Exchange-focused|
|Binary Tree Notes Migrator||Exchange-focused|
|Quest’s Binary Tree Power365 Migration||Exchange-focused|
|CodeTwo Office 365 Migration||Exchange-focused|
|JiJi Technologies Apps4.Pro||Planner-focused and Teams to Teams|
|ProvenTeq Content Analyser||Focused on pre-migration|
|Saketa: Microsoft Teams Migrator||Teams to Teams|
|Quadrotech by Quest||Exchange-focused|
|Quest’s On Demand Migration||Exchange-focused|
|SLIM Application’s Explorer||Ad-hoc content mover|
|Vyapin Office 365 Migration Planning||Focused on pre-migration|
|PCVita’s SharePoint Migrator||Out-of-business?|
|PCVita’s Express Migrator||Out-of-business?|
|Dell Migration Suite for Migrator||No longer a product|
|Tervela’s Cloud Fastpath||Now part of Box inbound migration suite|
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.
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
|Authentication: App Model||The 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: Modern||Ability to use modern authentication, including MFA on user or service accounts.|
|Auditing and Metrics||The 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 Detection||Detect duplicate documents in the source system.|
|Executes in the Cloud||Migration 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 API||The tool uses the Microsoft FAST API for high-speed interactions with M365|
|Incremental / Delta Migration||The 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 & Management||The ability to package migration activities into jobs that can be tracked, audited, measured, and managed.|
|Link Resolution for Documents||The 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 Structure||The ability to map multiple source and target system locations within a single migration job.|
|Mapping: Content Types||The ability to map from one SharePoint content type to another.|
|Mapping: Fields||The ability to map source system fields to different target system fields.|
|Mapping: Data Values||The ability to map / transform metadata values from the source system to the target.|
|Mapping: Permission Levels||The 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 & Groups||The ability to map users from source systems to target, including changes in domain only, full account name changes, and group mappings.|
|Metadata Bulk Edit||The 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 Suppression||The ability to pause alerts for target system lists and libraries during a migration.|
|Migrates Metadata||Migrates metadata along with contents.|
|Migrates Permissions||Migrates permissions|
|Migrate Shared Links||The ability to migrate ad-hoc / shared links|
|Migrates Site Navigation||Migrates Navigation Menus|
|Migrates Term Store||Migrates term store sets.|
|Migration Engine Extensions||The 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 Support||Multiple 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 API||An API that can be called to execute migrations, create jobs, etc.|
|Parallel Jobs||The ability to execute more than 1 job at the same time.|
|Pause and Resume Migrations||Stop a job and restart it.|
|PowerShell Commandlets||Support 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 Metadata||The ability to migrate content and have its “system metadata” (creation date, created by, modification date, modified by) remain.|
|Synchronization||The 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 History||The ability to migration document versions.|
|Workflow Migration: Designer||The ability to migrate SharePoint Designer workflows.|
|Workflow Migration: Nintex||The ability to migrate Nintex workflows.|
Bonus Migration Features
|Export to File System||The ability to export content from a source repository to a file system. Useful for saving snapshots|
|Migrate Mail||Ability to migrate mail to Exchange Online|
|Migrate Planner||Ability to migrate Planner plans from one tenancy to another.|
|Migrate Yammer||Ability to migrate yammer communities from one tenancy to another.|
|Migrate Stream||Ability to migrate video content to Microsoft Stream.|
|Migrate to OneDrive||Ability to migrate to OneDrive.|
|Slack to O365||The ability to migrate slack channels to Teams.|
|Special Feature||This field is for any notable feature of the tool that we wish to highlight.|
|Governance Features||The ability to support a Microsoft 365 governance plan.|
|Multi-Platform Sync||The 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 Features||The ability to use the tools for administrative activities such as removing orphaned users, identifying orphaned workspace, permissions management, etc.|
|Documentation & User Community||Measures the quality of documentation and the user community surrounding the tool.|
|Infrastructure Need: Server VM||Is 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 Desktop||Is a client-wide application required to migration?|
|Infrastructure Need: SP Server Extensions||Is it necessary to install anything (i.e. an agent) onto any SharePoint server in source or target locations.|
|Number of Source Systems Supported||The number of source systems available as sources for a migration.|
|Pricing||Licensing models, from pay-per-GB to administrative seats, one-time licensing, subscriptions, and even free!|
|Product Home Page||A link to the vendor’s product home page|
|Support||Availability of support|
|Usability||How easy is the tool to use?|
|Vendor Headquarters||Where is the vendor headquartered.|
|Vendor Size (Headcount)||How many employees does the vendor have?|
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 FLY||BitTitan’s MigrationWiz|
|CloudM’s CloudM||Couchdrop’s Movebot|
|FME’s Migration Center||GRS Richcopy 360|
|HarePoint’s Content & Workflow Migrator||Kernel Migrator for SharePoint|
|Microsoft’s Mover.io||Microsoft’s SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT)|
|Proventeq’s Migration Accelerator||Quest’s / Metalogix Content Matrix|
|Saketa’s SharePoint Migrator||SkySync’s Migrate & Sync|
|Sharegate’s Sharegate Desktop||SimFloFy’s SimFloFy Migration|
|Tzunami’s Cloudsfer||Tzunami’s Deployer|
|Vyapin’s Dockit Migrator||Xillio’s Xill V3|
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.
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.