Introducing the Clockwork Software SharePoint Migration Tool

I released my SharePoint Migration Tool the other day. It migrates documents with metadata from older style SQL Server based ECMSs or CMSs (like DOCs Open, FileNet, Worksite, etc) to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013. Over the last few months it’s been used on a couple of decent size projects, and tweaks from the resulting feedback mean I think it’s pretty good now ;).

One of my aims with it is to deal to a number of common document migration issues that I’ve come up against. I wanted something that would:

  • Not fall over and stop because of a corrupt or missing document 5 minutes after leaving the building when you’re expecting a few 100 thousand documents to migrate overnight.
  • Make preventing documents getting migrated twice automatic, rather than a complex process requiring very careful management. So instead of logging to text files, my tool logs to database tables, and simple SQL is all that is needed to ensure documents are never migrated more than once.
  • Automate removal of test migration runs, rather than carefully going through a bunch of manual steps. Us document migrators do so much testing that automating this saves an enormous amount of time.
  • Have full control of how your document information is extracted from your ECMS by using SQL rather than relying on a third party tool.
  • Be relatively simple to configure and manage. I’ve done a bit of work here. It’s not perfect, but I’ve already had migration consultants using it and telling me it is much easier to configure than other tools they’ve used. Some of the things I have done are:
    • The big one is breaking the SQL into three Views that are joined at run time. The aim being, to separate out the stuff you only need to get right once, from the criteria that change every migration run.
      • The first two views handle the relatively static SQL. One extracts the raw document detail (number, title, creator, physical file location for each version, etc) and the other extracts the metadata for each document version.
      • The third View is the criteria one, selecting the documents you want for each migration run, and defining the different sites and libraries you are targeting.
        Incidentally you can use SQL logic to assign various sites and libraries within this view if desired. You can also override these when testing.
    • Each migration run has its own set of parameters. They can be copied from other runs with just the third View different, or be quite different.
    • The management process for the parameters for each migration run is pretty simple to maintain.
  • There is a bunch of other stuff too that I’ve always wanted to have which you can read up on, or see in the videos that will be coming to the site shortly.

As far as the older ECMSs go, I cut my teeth on HummingBird DM6 to SharePoint, and the Tool is currently being used on two quite separate projects involving DOCs Open, one to SharePoint 2010, and the other to SharePoint 2013. It’s also been tested a little against Worksite, and because of its open design I would expect it to work against pretty much any SQL Server based ECMS.

You can read more about my SharePointMigration Tool here.

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