Lotus Notes to SharePoint Blog

Blog about Dell's Notes Migrator to SharePoint tool and other things related to Lotus Notes migration projects

SharePoint for All has moved

Dell Software is back at the SharePoint Conference in a big way!

Dell Software is back at the SharePoint Conference in a big way! As you know,
we’re always a premier sponsor of this event because its the #1 SharePoint
event worldwide, helping us deliver our SharePoint solution message directly to
our customers. This conference takes place March 2-6, 2014 at the Venetian
hotel and casino.

Image

LOCATION: Booth #1624 at the front of the expo hall, next to the social media lounge

SPONSORSHIP: We’re once again a premier sponsor with an extra big booth and signage in every other elevator in the Venetian and Palazzo – you’ll know we’re here!

ZANY GAME/CASH PRIZES: Expect another wacky game that lets you win cash and learn about our offerings

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Walk the talk with a really fun give away (stay tuned for forthcoming details)

OFFERINGS/EXPERTS FOR Q&A: We’ve got migration, customization, management, infrastructure and services experts on hand to answer your questions

SPEAKING SESSIONS:

  • Sunday, March 2
    • 8:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m. – The Dell SharePoint story @ Partner Theatre in expo hall
  • Monday, March 3
  • Wed, March 5
    • 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Best Practices for Connecting Business-critical Data into       SharePoint @ SharePoint Pavilion in expo hall

Final post from Steve Walch

Hi everyone.  As many of you know, the reason for my long silence on this blog is that I resigned my position as product manager and left Dell on June 30.  So I am no longer Notes-to-SharePoint guy.

Many people have expressed how much they valued this blog as a source of straightforward product information and as a library of practical tips, tricks and product walkthroughs.  Therefore, in the hopes that all this can continue, I will be handing over control of this blog to the new product manager Randy Rempel.  This will be my last post here.

Before joining Dell, Randy was a partner and Notes Migrator for SharePoint power user, so I am confident that the products are in good hands going forward.  I am told that work on the next release is underway as well as some exciting new developments for Social Migrator for SharePoint.  As before, the Dell community site (http://communities.quest.com/community/sharepointforall/notes) is a great place to get additional release information, post questions, etc.

When I think back on my time at Quest/Dell, the part I miss the most was helping all my wonderful partners and customers.  Whether in person, by phone, by web meeting, or by email, contact with the people actually using the tools to solve real migration problems was always a highlight.  I am glad for this last chance to say goodbye.  Happy trails!

 

Public webcast: How to Accomplish a Fast, Easy Migration from IBM Connections to SharePoint

Q&A from Tuesday’s webcast

Sorry we could not get to all your questions live.  Here is the entire list of questions:

Q:  Is this event being recorded?

    A:  Yes, you can view the recording now at https://www.quest.com/common/registration.aspx?requestdefid=51835.  Sorry about the recording level – be prepared to crank the volume up.

Q: If a Notes application exists for archive purposes only – what type of data migration should occur to get off of Notes but keep the data for a period of time. I’m not sure if SharePoint is the right platform in some cases but just want to get your thoughts.

    A: Render with Form is the most common approach. See this post: http://notes2sharepoint.org/2010/11/12/render-with-form/

Q: What QuickR versions do you support?  R8, or also back to QuickPlace?

    A: All versions of QuickPlace and QuickR

Q: Can you speak to how often you have companies using straight out of the box (OOtB) templates from Lotus?  Rather, out of x number of apps, how many of those apps are OOtB? 

    A: Varies widely but maybe 30% apps are based on standard templates – doc libraries, discussions, team sites

Q: If you “skip all the custom code that those crazy notes developers put into place”, do you also have a service offering to help write re-training documentation/collateral?

    A: Dell and Quest PSO teams offer these services, as do our awesome partners.

Q: I’d love to hear more about “Find unused databases”.

    A: Our tool helps you find the last usage dates across all replicas of each database. Simply sort by date and pick whatever cutoff you want to use.

Q: what are the benefits of migrating to SharePoint vs. say Adobe Lifecycle?

    A: That’s a question for Microsoft. I’m just the humble migration guy.

Q: How do you do the design snapshots? 

    A: We basically build a mini-template – copying all the design elements to a local database in a special location.

Q: What’s the minimum access level on Domino end and on SharePoint 2013 (online) end?

    A: On Domino, you just have to be a reader. On SharePoint, it depends on what you want to do. To write docs, you need write access. To provision lists, sub-sites, groups, user access you need to be a site administrator.

Q: Does the free analysis tool support Office 365?

    A: Yes. Or maybe “Not applicable” is a better answer. Analysis just accesses the Notes stuff.

Q: How to map Domino user id to Active Directory accounts for permission migration?

    A: We give you a variety of options, ranging from a directory lookup (if there is some property in the Domino Person document that SharePoint will accept as a unique identifier) to a brute force XML file.

Q: Can your migrations also retain functionality like Domino Attachment and Object Store (DAOS)?  I know this is not a db design feature, but a Domino Server level feature.

    A: No, but I believe that this is all transparent to the Notes APIs we call. So it should all “just work”.

Q: Are the OOtB templates, you have considered in your design of this too, only from Lotus, or also from Vendors? 

   A: Only templates from Lotus. Really, however, designing jobs for new custom Notes templates is not that hard once you get the hang of it. The hard part is when you need to develop a new SharePoint template with complex functionality (i.e. something to migrate the content to).

Q: Do your tools have the capability to “decommission” a Notes app once migrated?  For example, either delete it wholesale, or alter the ACL, or add page that redirects the user to SharePoint?

    A: No, we decided never to modify the Notes environment. We get more trust from our customers that way, but it means an extra step from you.

Q: Do your tools also take Roles into account for the ACL, form/view access, document access, etc.?

    A: Yes, we have the option of generating SharePoint Groups from Notes Roles. We use these groups in document-level security. We do not attempt to migrate view/form access.

Q: Can lotusscript or fomulas be migrated?

    A: No.  That is usually a manual step, but it is usually best to switch over to OOtB features and declarative workflow anyway.

Q:  Does the “add to lookup list” generate a warning?

    A: Not a warning, but I think we would log adding new items if you have verbose logging enabled.

Q:  What is the specific improvement for doc with one attachment?

    A:  See this blog post:  http://notes2sharepoint.org/2013/04/01/filter-by-rich-text-content/

Q:  I would appreciate a follow up call to discuss the questions I posted to the panelists.

    A:  If you would like to talk about our products in greater detail, your Quest/Dell sales rep will be happy to arrange that.

PS:  A good place to post additional questions is in our SharePoint Notes Migration community site:  http://communities.quest.com/community/sharepointforall/notes

Public webcast later today

Important notice regarding SharePoint 2013 support in Notes Migrator for SharePoint

When we shipped Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 last month, this included support for SharePoint 2013 but we realized that had one very unfortunate limitation: 

The Import Service did not support SharePoint sites that used Claims Based Authentication.  This was actually not a new limitation, and it impacted a handful of SharePoint 2010 customers, but it suddenly became very important in SharePoint 2013.  The reason is that all SharePoint 2013 sites use claims by default.  So this effectively meant that most SharePoint 2013 users would be forced to migrate via the native SharePoint web services.  Not a terrible option, but definitely not as fast.  (Migrating via the Import Service can be 3 to 5 times as fast, especially if you have large attachments and use the Share Files Folder feature.) 

Happily, we have now resolved the limitation.  Starting with hotfix build 6.2.0.1060, The Quest Import Service will work as expected even with the new SharePoint 2013 defaults.  This fix will appear on our web site in our next point release (6.2.1), but many customers will not want to wait for that.  Therefore I would encourage anyone who wants to use the Import Service on SharePoint 2013 to proactively contact Quest support and request build 6.2.0.1060 (or any hotfix build after that).   

Filter By Rich Text Content

In SharePoint, document libraries contain files. Every “document” is a binary file that you can download to your hard disk, etc. Notes document libraries are more flexible however. Some documents contain just one file attachment, while others may contain lots of rich text (and possibly multiple file attachments) in a rich text “Body” field. In fact, it is common to see mixed usage patterns in one document library, making it difficult to figure out the best migration target.

In the past, the best approach has been to migrate document libraries to a SharePoint list instead of a document library. SharePoint Lists mirror the flexibility of Notes documents well and allow you to capture your rich text (if any) in a “Body” field and migrate zero, one, or many attachments to the list’s attachment area. Unfortunately, you lose all the advantages of SharePoint document libraries with this approach. In the cases where you know that most documents are really just single file attachments, you would probably prefer to migrate those directly to a document library.

What many migration teams want to do is apply the following policy for document libraries:

  • For documents that contain just one attachment (and no other rich text), migrate the attachment directly to the SharePoint document library with all the appropriate security and metadata.
  • For documents that contain Notes rich text, generate a Word or PDF document and place it in the same SharePoint document library with all the appropriate security and metadata.
  • For documents containing neither attachments nor rich text, either skip the document or create a stub entry in the target library.

In order to implement this policy, Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 now includes a new record filtering option for Notes and Domino.Doc data source definitions.

image

On the record selection tab, check the “Select documents based on Rich Text Content” checkbox. This will enable a Details button where you can specify further details. First specify one or more rich text items you would like to inspect. Second, specify the criteria you would like to use for filtering documents:

  • Whitespace only
  • One attachment only
  • Multiple attachments or other rich text

This new record selection option allow you to create multiple migration jobs for each document library, each one implementing one of the rules in the above policy. Remember that the Notes Migrator for SharePoint migration console makes it easy to sequence multiple migration jobs for one database, and to automate these jobs for many databases of the same type.

Also note that we are planning a similar feature for extracting QuickPlace and QuickR folders, but this is not available in the current build.

Enhanced support for Lookup Fields in Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2

In version 6.0 we added support for migrating content to SharePoint lookup columns. In version 6.1 we added provisioning of new lookup columns. Now here are two new advanced choices for using Lookup columns to help you design more powerful migration jobs.

Add Missing Choices

Normally when you migrate content to a SharePoint List that contains a lookup column, the Notes Migrator for SharePoint code tries to find the data value and correlate it a record in the lookup list. For example, you may be mapping a VendorCode item from your Notes data source to the “Vendor Code” column in your SharePoint target list, which is lookup column that connects to an indexed Vendor Code column in a list containing Vendor records. If you set the new “Add Missing Choices” property in your column definition to true, we will add a new record to the Vendors lookup list if one does not already exist. (This is now very similar to how “Add Missing Choices” works for Choice columns in our tool.)

image

Note that in order for this to work, the Lookup list should have reasonable default values for all the other columns (especially the ones that are required columns).

Override Lookup Column

A mapping such as the one described above (mapping a VendorCode item from your Notes data source to a Vendor Code column in your lookup list) is fine for simple cases. But sometimes the situation is more complicated than that, and you need to use some other value from the Notes data source to correlate the data.

Suppose for example that the Notes application used VendorTaxID to link things together but the new SharePoint template is designed to use Vendor Codes. With version 6.2 you can now specify an “Override Lookup Column” property to control how Notes Migrator for SharePoint locates the record in the target list to link to. In the following screen shot, note how the Tax ID column in the lookup list overrides the Vendor Code column that is configured in SharePoint. Now you can map VendorTaxId values from Notes and get Vendor Codes in your SharePoint lookup column in the end.

image

Another great use for this new feature is the case where the Notes application used response documents to link two types of records. For example, it is common to use response documents to link user Comments to a patent document, such as a team’s Action Items (shown below).

image

In order to correlate the Comment documents to the parent documents, we need to use the internal Notes universal IDs (a.k.a. UNIDs). As luck would have it, Notes Migrator for SharePoint always stores the UNID of each migrated Notes document in a hidden “NotesUNID” column in SharePoint. So you can use that column as your Override Lookup Column and simply map the parent IDs to the lookup column:

image

Note: this technique works perfectly with the SharePoint Blog site template. The Comments list has a lookup column that references the Posts list. Now you can correlate Comments with Posts using internal Notes UNIDs, which is a lot more reliable than using Titles (which may contain duplicates).

Direct Folder / Document Set Migration

In previous versions of Notes Migrator for SharePoint, users could map document metadata (for example the Category property of a Notes application or the {BinderName} property for Domino.Doc documents) that would cause folders to be created in SharePoint. Folders would be created as needed as documents were being migrated. This worked for most cases, but there were limitations that customers would occasionally ask about:

  • Since we only migrate folders as a “side effect” of migrating documents, there was no way to migrate empty folders.
  • Similarly, there was no way to create the folders ahead of time (before migrating the documents)
  • There was no way to set permissions, created/modified metadata, or additional data columns on the newly created folders

Now in Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 we offer a way to do direct folder migration. This is really two separate features that work together…

Migrating records to folders

image  image

On the Advanced tab of your Target Data Definition, you can now indicate that you want to migrate to a folder in your target list or library.  In this mode of operation, every record you extract from the data source will result in a folder being created, instead of a document!  The only additional requirement is that you map at least one item to a target column of type Folder (which controls the new folder names). Many of the usual document migration features will now apply to folders including:

  • Mapping of permissions (using the “Map Reader/Author fields” checkbox on your Advanced tab)
  • Mapping created/modified metadata to folders (using the “Preserve Created/Modified” checkboxes on the Map Data tab)
  • Mapping additional data items to folders (requires creating a new Folder content type). 

Note that many job features that would apply to document migration will not apply to folder migrations. For example, document generation and duplicate document handling options would be disallowed in in this context.

Extracting information from Domino.Doc Binders

image image

One of the things that customers clearly want to do with this new feature is to migrate all the information from their Domino.doc Binders to SharePoint folders. To support this, we have added a new option to do exactly that in Domino.Doc Source Data Definitions. Simply check the Binders radio button on the Document Selection job, and now you are extracting Binders instead of Documents. Each row in the Preview represents a Binder in the current file cabinet and we have included additional columns for all of the standard Binder metadata available in Domino.Doc. Of course you can add additional columns to this query as well.

So putting these features together, you would typically map the {Title} property of your data source to a Folder column in your target. Simply checking “Map Reader/Author fields”, “Preserve Created/Modified identities”, and “Preserve Created/Modified dates” should bring over most of the other metadata but you can certainly add additional mappings if desired.

Note that this feature will only write new SharePoint folders; it will not update existing ones with the same name. So a best practice is to run the Binder migration job first (to create the folders with all the properties intact) and then run you normal document migration job.

Also note that we are planning a similar feature for extracting QuickPlace and QuickR folders, but this is not available in the current release.

Migrating to Document Sets

Similar to migrating to folders, Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 also give you the ability to migrate directly to document sets. The situation here is very similar to what was described above. The tool already allowed creation of document sets as files within those document sets were being migrated. This is a powerful and popular feature, but suffered some of the same limitations.

  • Since we only create document sets as a “side effect” of migrating documents, there was no way to create empty document sets.
  • Similarly, there was no way to create the document sets ahead of time (before migrating the documents)
  • There was no way to set permissions or created/modified metadata on the newly created document sets separately from the documents.

The solution is similar to the folder solution described above. On the Advanced tab of your Target Data Definition, you can now indicate that you want to migrate to a document set in your target list or library.  In this mode of operation, every record you extract from the data source will result in a new empty document set being created, instead of a document!  The only additional requirement is that you add a target column of type DocumentSet and map a value to the DocumentSet.Name property. All of the other features of document set migration (described here) still apply. The difference is that every record you select gets mapped to a document set instead of a file within a document set.

Automatically ZIP file attachments

Many customers have requested the ability to compress Notes file attachments while migrating them to SharePoint. There are a number of good reasons for wanting to do this:

  • Save disk space on SharePoint server
  • Get around SharePoint file restrictions (i.e., blocked file extensions and/or size limits)
  • Improve the bandwidth sending data to remote SharePoint servers
  • Eliminate problems (hangs and memory leaks) when embedding certain types of file attachments inside Word documents

Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 now allows you to achieve this in Notes and Domino.Doc migration jobs via a new property on Attachment columns in your Source Data Definition. The “Compress” property may be set to “None” (the default) or to “Zip”.

clip_image002

You can also configure a set of global exceptions to this rule on the Notes tab of the tool’s Options dialog. The “Compression Exclusions” option allows you to specify any file extensions that should never be zipped. This would typically include media files that are already well-compressed and would not benefit from zipping.

clip_image004

When the Compression property is set to “Zip”, all extracted attachments will be compressed and placed inside a ZIP file when migrated. As shown below, any icons or text links to the attachments will appear the same as before, but when the user clicks on them they will open up a ZIP file instead of the “raw” file.

clip_image006

Additional Notes

Zip files will always be excluded from further zipping, even if they are not specified in the “Compression Exclusions” list.

If you wish to use this feature to migrate files that were previously blocked by SharePoint (for example .EXE files), be sure to remove these extensions from your Blocked Files list on the SharePoint tab of the tool’s Options dialog.

When using this feature with Domino.Doc sources, add a custom Attachment column as described above. Map this custom column (instead of the predefined {Attachments} column) when mapping attachments to a target column.

clip_image008

This feature is not currently available to QuickR or QuickPlace.

Attachments in generated Word documents… use caution!

We have had a number of support cases on this over the last year, and we have made an effort to clarify our position on this in our latest release notes:

Migrating file attachments inside of MS Word documents is not recommended for large migration jobs. Since Word attachments are implemented as “Packager” OLE objects, the migration process is forced to invoke Packager code as well as the OLE handlers for the file type in question (often in separate processes). The problem is that each type of attachment is handled differently depending on which type of application created the attachment. So (for example) the first 1000 attachments may work fine and then document 1001 has a different type of attachment that causes a memory leak when Microsoft converts it into a Packager object. When migrating attachments and OLE Objects to embedded objects in MS Word, it is highly recommended that the workstation performing the migration has native applications installed that can open and edit every type of attachment that the migration jobs will be encountering during the migration.

The two recommended workarounds are:

  • Migrate attachments separately to the SharePoint document library. (The links from the Word documents to the attachments will be preserved.)

  • Place all attachments inside ZIP files inside the Word documents. (This is a new feature for version 6.2.)

If you still insist on embedding attachments into Word documents, you should understand that you are doing so at your own risk and that Quest support will probably not be able to help you if problems occur. Here are some tips that have helped other customers in the past:

  • There are known issues with packaging Adobe Acrobat 10 objects. If you have PDF attachments, be sure to install Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9 on the workstation.

  • Packager leaks usually have to do with cases where packager cannot use type-specific COM objects (including all .MSG files, and including .PDF files when the PDF reader is not installed)

  • Leaked resource handles accumulate per Windows process. This means that you should restart NMSP Designer between large jobs, even if they are successful. It also means that batches of jobs in the NMSP Migration Console would still not be a good idea.

  • There may other issues with packaging certain types of objects. Since we cannot product how third-party OLE handler will operate, this is beyond our control.

Introducing Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2

This release will be downloadable from the web site in a couple days. 

The biggest feature by far is full SharePoint 2013 support.  Everything you could do in SharePoint 2010 you can now do in SharePoint 2013 and the new version of Office 365.  Its that simple!

The other features from our release notes are:

  • Zip attachments while migrating
  • Support for Pass-through HTML
  • Special handling of documents containing just one attachment
  • Full folder migration (example: Domino.Doc binders)
  • Support for multiple Notes passwords
  • Improved lookup field support (add missing choices)
  • Improved support for migrating to Claims-based environments
  • Render with form improvements (computed subforms, etc.)
  • Discovery process is more robust

Some of these features will be more self-explanatory than others.  I will be posting detailed walkthroughs of a lot of these features here in coming days.  You can also check out the “what’s new” section of the user guide or watch my recorded “update” training here: http://communities.quest.com/docs/DOC-14812

Checklist for planning the migration of a Notes Database

Before migrating a Notes database to SharePoint, there are a variety of details to gather and choices to make. Thinking through the items on this checklist will help ensure a smooth migration process with minimal surprises.

Source database details

  • Source type (Notes, QuickPlace, QuickR, Domino.Doc)
  • Source name
  • Notes template used (if any)
    • Level of customization from template
  • Domino server & path (closest replica to migration team)
  • Special Notes identity required to access database (if any)
  • Public keys needed to decrypt documents (if any)
  • Approximate number of Notes documents to be migrated
  • Approximate size of Notes content to be migrated
  • Desired priority of migration
  • Desired phase/group of migration (intended to capture clusters of databases that should logically be migrated together)
  • Documents that should / should not be migrated
  • Unique “document types” to be migrated (this usually correlates to distinct Notes forms that back existing data documents)
  • Design Details that will need to be accounted for
    • Forms
    • Workflow
    • External Connectivity
  • Third Party validation/security auditing
    • PCI Compliance
    • FDA Compliance
    • HIPA
  • Security and permissions that will need to be maintained and updated
  • Archiving of data
    • Date Range
    • Data Type

Target Site Details

  • SharePoint site URL
  • Account to be used or provisioning and content migration
  • New or existing site?
    • Template to use for provisioning site (may be custom developed)
    • Site provisioning details – parent site, inherit permissions
    • Provision site security (user permissions, group permissions, roles)?
    • Are specific content databases required?
  • Source of identity mapping information
    • Users
    • Groups
  • Out-of-box SharePoint features to enable/leverage
  • Do file size limits and blocked file types need to be changed from the defaults
  • Site Columns in use
  • Content Types created
  • Workflow type and creation
  • Search and Indexing

Target List/Library (specify for each document type if appropriate)

  • Target list or library name (Naming schemes in use)
  • New or existing list?
    • Template to use for provisioning list (may be custom developed)
    • Add to Quick Launch
  • Provision list/library security (user permissions, group permissions, roles)?
  • Allow tool to upgrade existing schemas if needed?
  • Desired folder structure within list or library
  • Map created/modified identities/dates
    • Behavior if user mapping fails (fail or substitute default user)
  • Out-of-box SharePoint features to enable/leverage
  • Third Party solutions (templates, web parts, etc.) in use or available

Mapping details (specify for each document type if appropriate)

  • Content Type for migrated documents (if any)
  • Target document format
    • List Items
    • Extracted binary file attachments only
    • Generate InfoPath docs (which template; target Forms Server)
    • Generate Word 2007 docs (which template)
    • Generate Adobe Acrobat (PDF) documents
    • Generate Web Part pages (which template)
    • Generate Content pages – Publishing pages, Basic pages, Wiki pages
    • Generate HTML files
    • Generate MIME files
  • Use separate library/folder for attachments, images, embedded objects?
  • Field mappings
    • Source data item/column names and types
    • Data transform required (example: translation of keyword values)
    • Target data column names and types
    • Using Lookup columns?
    • Using Managed Metadata columns?
  • Migration options
    • Map document level security (readers / writers)?
    • Convert DocLinks to dynamic links (i.e. use the Link Tracking Service)?
    • Map discussion/response hierarchies
    • Map calendar logic (repeating meetings)
    • Map approval status / workflow state? (How expressed in Notes app?)
    • Map version histories (How expressed in Notes app?)
    • Map data in date ranges
    • Render with form (archive only)

 

NOTE: Two important items were not covered in the above checklist:

  • Development work that may be needed in SharePoint Designer, InfoPath, Visual Studio to reproduce the custom logic you had in Notes.
  • The opportunity to reduce your migration effort by consolidating similar application designs, reusing custom development work, and automating large scale migrations.

Both of these topics are discussed in detail in the Quest white paper “Migrating Lotus Notes Applications to Microsoft SharePoint: Understanding Application Complexity and the Value of Consolidation and Automation” which may be download from http://www.quest.com/documents/landing.aspx?id=9746.

Still some confusion about Dell Software

In case you never got the memo, Dell acquired Quest Software back in September (link).  Since then the organization formerly known as Quest has been on a rapid growth path to becoming a major pillar of Dell’s new software division.  Yes, Dell does software now, but it is probably going to take a little while for everyone to get the idea.

At the November SharePoint Conference (SPC) the usual Quest sponsor booth was now a fully branded Dell booth.  I was working that booth and saw a lot of confused expressions as people tried to grok our signage.  Some were ignoring the booth because they did not need any laptops.  Others assumed that if Dell had SharePoint tools, they must be new 1.0 products.  Once we explained things, people were generally reassured that the Quest tools they knew and loved were alive, well, and likely to grow faster than ever.

So please bear with us as we proceed slowly and thoughtfully with rebranding of existing tools, etc.  Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2 will go out with Quest branding next month, but my new product Social Migrator for SharePoint (link) will go out with Dell branding.  Exciting times!

What data lives in “social software” systems?

When writing a world-class social data migration tool, we think a lot about what kind of data lives in these systems.  In particular, what data can reasonably be normalized and migrated between different systems. 

Here is our working list:

  • User Profiles
  • Blogs, Micro-blogs, Ideation Blogs, Wikis
  • Documents, Files, Folders, Libraries
  • Activities, Task Lists, Calendars
  • Discussion Forums
  • Bookmarks, Tags, Recommendations, “Likes”
  • Content ratings, # Visits, Badges earned
  • Social network (friends and coworkers)
  • Newsfeeds, Activity streams
  • Communities

That’s not to say that mapping data between disparate systems is easy!  Each of these content types have a lot of detail behind them, including different properties, categorization metadata, authoring metadata, cross-referencing systems, and rules for how rich text and attachments are structured.  Sometimes there is a huge mismatch between the fundamental models.  (For example, the file library model is quite different between SharePoint and IBM/Lotus connections.)  But that’s what makes migration tools fun!

Comparing Notes Migrator for SharePoint with Social Migrator for SharePoint

If you are familiar with Notes Migrator for SharePoint, the following table might help you understand what Social Migrator for SharePoint does and how it is structured.  As you can see, we have made some very different design choices…

 

Notes Migrator for SharePoint 6.2

Social Migrator for SharePoint 1.0

Sources

Lotus Notes, QuickPlace, QuickR, Domino.doc

IBM/Lotus Connections 3.x.  Many others on the roadmap!

Targets

SharePoint 2007, 2010 (and soon 2013), including Office 365.  Also SQL Server and export to file system.

SharePoint 2010 and 2013, including Office 365.

Connections to SharePoint

Standard SharePoint Web Services or Quest Import Service

Standard SharePoint Web Services only

Standard migration jobs

All standard application templates (discussion, document library, calendar, team room, etc.)

All service/application content types (blogs, wikis, activities, communities, files, forums, etc.)

Custom migration jobs

Yes. In fact, the main focus of the tool is our ability to deal with content from ANY custom application.  Thus the dazzling array of advanced features, including custom field mapping, formulas, and document generation!

No.  We are trying to keep it streamlined and simple here.  Connections has very structured content types and we tried hard to make the best choices without users having to think about mapping options, etc.

Supports migrating rich text, attachments, images, doc links

Yes

Yes

Migrate content to SharePoint profiles

No (at least not yet)

Yes, Connections profiles map to SharePoint profiles (including photos and friends).

Licensing options

Per Notes database, or per managed user (only for larger environments).

Per managed user only.

What is happening in the Social Software for the Enterprise?

My eyes were really opened when I attended the YamJam conference last October.  I have been building “collaborative business applications” since 1993 when Lotus was defining the category with Notes 3.0, so I definitely get the value of social software.  But when I saw the level of application integration that people were now achieving (for example, the ability to @mention a specific sales opportunity or “follow” a helpdesk ticket), I saw that ad-hoc collaboration was reaching a new level.

So here is how I now describe the “Business Social” or “Social Software for the Enterprise” category to people:  Imagine your company had a private instance of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.  Now you can do things like…

  • Work in structured or ad hoc teams and communities
  • Follow and share new ideas and assets
  • Create a “social graph” of who knows who and who is interested in what
  • Help global organizations feel more connected and engaged
  • Transform static intranets into vibrant dynamic places
  • Stay updated on current projects and team activity
  • Integrate social features into enterprise applications

Last quarter, Gartner’s added a few new entries to their Magic Quadrant for Social Software for the Workplace in October (link).  The “Leaders” list to now includes Jive, IBM (Connections), Microsoft (SharePoint), Yammer (Microsoft), and Salesforce.com (Chatter).  With all these major players, it is no surprise that some of our biggest customers are already interested in migrating between them. 

In particular, a surprising number organizations who were early adopters of platforms like Connections and Jive now want to migrate to SharePoint.  They now see SharePoint (especially SharePoint 2013) as being “ready for prime time” as a social platform and they would much prefer to consolidate on a Microsoft solution.  This of course is why we built Social Migrator for SharePoint!

New tool for migrating IBM/Lotus Connections to SharePoint

So why has this blog been so silent these past few months?  Well in addition to general busyness, some extended vacation time, and, oh yeah, being acquired by Dell, much of my energy and attention has been going into a top secret new product.  And now, at last, I can talk about it…

Introducing Social Migrator for SharePoint!

Social Migrator for SharePoint migrates “social” content from IBM Connections (formerly known as Lotus Connections) to Microsoft SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and Office 365.  This includes content such as Profiles, Blogs, Wikis, Activities, Forums, File Folders, Bookmarks and Communities.  All content will be mapped to the logical SharePoint targets with an emphasis on automation and extreme ease of use.

For a preview of what we are doing in this space, please check out our recorded webcast here

We have been piloting this new tool with a global insurance company migrating 40,000 Connections users.  We plan to ship this quarter, but if you can’t wait, please do contact us to learn more and get a pilot project going in your environment.

Subsequent versions will target other “social” data source and target platforms.  So if you have built up significant business assets in Jive, Yammer, etc., please pass your requirements along to me.

Online Documentation is live!

The full Notes Migrator for SharePoint documentation set installed with the product (User Guide, Installation Guide, Release Notes) is now also available online at  http://documents.quest.com/Product.aspx?id=20.  This will become a standard for many Quest products, but I am happy to say that we were one of the first!

One thing I like about this new facility is how the search works.  Depending on where you start from, you can search one particular document, all Notes Migrator for SharePoint documents, or all Quest documents.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers

%d bloggers like this: