Lotus Notes to SharePoint Blog

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

Suggested RFP / POC points for a Notes to SharePoint migration tool

There sure are a lot of organizations conducting Notes-to-SharePoint pilot projects, migration tool “bake offs”, POC projects, and RFPs these days!  I often get asked for my suggestions as to what tool criteria people should include in their formal evaluations.  It turns out that the details are very important; there are a number of tools out there that claim to offer some high-level “check box” features, but you need to dig a little to see if those features are really implemented adequately for your real-world migration projects.  So I thought I would share my ever-growing list of tool considerations here.

Note that this list is probably way more than anyone would want to include in any one evaluation project.  My suggestion is to take this as a list of possible items to consider and then select which points will be most important to your users and your particular applications. 

General

  • Tool performs complete pre-migration analysis
    • Tool can be installed and run without consultant intervention
    • Analysis functionality is fully integrated with the migration tool (flowing smoothly from pre-migration analysis, detailed analysis and application consolidation, project management, assignment of targets, design of migration jobs, automated provisioning and bulk migration based on analysis results)
    • Tool facilitates migration project costing with the ability to track estimates for individual applications as well as  consolidated application designs
  • Tool supports migration to SharePoint 2007 and 2010
    • Includes option to migrate over native SharePoint 2010 web services, without installing any vendor code on SharePoint server
    • Includes option to migrate over vendor’s web service optimized for high performance migrations
  • Tool supports migration to Office 365 (SharePoint Online)
    • Supports migration to Office 365 standard (multi-tenant)
    • Support migrating to Office 365 Dedicated via an on-premises staging environment
    • Supports direct migration to Office 365 Dedicated
  • Tool includes a Command Line utility for scripting migration
  • Tool supports migrating to SQL Server, including data normalization, rich text, images, attachments, doc links
  • Tool supports migrating to the file system
    • Supports generating XML files from Notes content
    • Supports exporting file attachments, etc. to file system
    • Supports generating files in the file system (HTML, Word, PDF)

Core Content Migration Details

  • Supports mapping Notes data to any SharePoint column
    • Migrate from Notes items
    • Transform data at migration time using formulas
  • Tool can migrate to SharePoint choice columns
    • Includes option to add missing values to column schema as needed
  • Tool can migrate Notes names to User columns
  • Tool can preserve Notes document metadata
    • Preserves Created/Modified dates
    • Preserves Created By/Modified By identities
  • Tool supports migrating Notes rich text with full fidelity
    • Preserves fonts, table, nested tables, bullets, margins, etc.
    • Preserves embedded images
    • Preserves embedded image resources
    • Converts embedded OLE objects to equivalent file type
    • Migrates embedded attachments
    • Migrates document level attachments
    • Preserves collapsible sections and section headers
  • Tool supports full provisioning of security constructs
    • Provides several options for mapping Notes names to SharePoint (AD) names
    • Maps ACL permissions to either the site level or the list/library level
    • Can set explicit permissions for SharePoint objects based on Notes ACL, including support for custom permission levels
    • Can add users to the existing site security groups based on Notes ACL, including custom site groups
    • Can provision and populate SharePoint Groups from Notes ACL roles
    • Can provision and populate SharePoint Groups from Domino directory groups
  • Tool supports incremental migration
    • Can rerun job, detecting new and changed documents
    • Can write modified documents as new SharePoint versions
  • Tool supports migrating Notes calendars to SharePoint calendars
    • Supports repeating meetings, all day events, etc.
  • Tool supports for migrating Notes discussions to SharePoint discussions lists
    • Supports threaded discussion
    • Preserves subject fields of response documents
    • Offers optional custom web part for presenting discussion lists with a more Notes-like user interface
  • Tool correctly handles Notes doc links and HTTP links
    • Preserve links between documents in different applications at different times
    • Links can work between all types of migration targets (lists, pages, etc.)
    • Intra-document HTTP links (in QuickPlace or other Domino web-enabled apps) are recognized as doc links and translated accordingly
    • Link tracking system that continuously manages doc links as content moves through staging, deployment and production
    • Link tracking system allows finalization (replacing dynamic links with permanent links) after the migration is complete (even on SharePoint Online)
    • If company also provides mail migration technology, are links preserved between migrated mailboxes in Exchange and migrated applications in SharePoint?
  • Tool can provision sites, list and libraries using custom SharePoint templates

Advanced Content Migration Details

  • Tool provides a sufficient choice of migration SharePoint migration targets to accommodate various business and end-user application requirements:
    • Migrate to List Items
    • Migrate files to Document Libraries
    • Generate generic Word documents
    • Generate Word documents using custom templates, properties and content controls
    • Generate PDF documents
    • Migrate to Wiki pages
    • Migrate to Basic pages
    • Migrate to Publishing pages (Other tools advertise advertises this but is very limited)
    • Migrate to Web Part pages, mapping Notes content to any property on any web part
  • Tool can render complex Notes Documents into rich text (for archiving purposes)
    • Tool can render entire Notes documents with their original Notes form to a single rich text column or generated rich text document
    • Tool can render entire Notes documents with a designated form to a single rich text column or generated rich text document
  • Tool supports mapping document approval/publishing status from Notes data to the out-of-box approval/publishing feature in SharePoint
  • Tool can migrate Notes content to SharePoint 2010 Managed Metadata columns
    • Support matching terms by alias or locale
    • Support matching terms by hierarchy
    • Supports adding missing terms to term store
  • Tool supports SharePoint 2010 Document Sets
    • Individual Notes document can be mapped to individual doc set (splitting out all the generate files, attachments, etc., as members of the doc set)
    • Multiple related Notes documents can be merged into a single doc set
  • Tool can support data normalization
    • Embedded images, attachments and objects can be normalized to separate SharePoint libraries or folders (keeping the various parts linked)
    • Documents with multi-valued items can be normalized into header and detail documents
    • Documents with tables of related items can be normalized into header and detail documents
  • Tool can dynamically set content types based on data in the Notes document
  • Tool can migrate to InfoPath form libraries
    • Generates documents according to any XML schema
    • Supports rich text, embedded images, attachments
    • Supports migrating multi-valued items to repeating XML elements
    • Supports user (people picker) fields

Design Migration Details

  • Tool supports extracting the schema of a Notes application and provisioning  a similar schema in SharePoint lists and libraries
    • Can determine schema based on Notes forms
    • Can determine schema based on sampled Notes documents
  • Tool supports extracting the schema of a Notes application and provisioning  a similar schema as SharePoint Content Types
    • Can also push these content types into specific lists and libraries as they are provisioned
  • Tool can provision new columns in new or existing lists and libraries
    • Including choice and lookup columns
    • Including data validation, required field, and other standard column options
  • Tool can generate “classic” InfoPath Document Form templates (for use in SharePoint form libraries)
    • Includes form layout for form and all mappable field types
    • Includes rich text and attachment areas
    • Includes option to generate InfoPath sections for area with hide-when logic
    • Includes special handling for Notes static subforms and computed subforms
    • Provides a detailed report itemizing whatever elements could not be migrated
  • Tool can generate InfoPath List Forms (new with SharePoint 2010) from existing Notes forms
  • Tool can provision SharePoint Views based on Notes views
    • Includes a migration wizard allowing users to define computed columns, etc., where needed
  • Tool includes support for consolidating applications with similar designs and automating their migration
    • Recognize class members using template names
    • Recognize class members using full design comparison

QuickR / QuickPlace Details

  • Tool automates the provisioning of SharePoint sites based on the QuickR / QuickPlace room hierarchy
    • Each sub-room is mapped to a SharePoint sub-site
    • Uses SharePoint Team templates or custom site templates
    • Preserves the access control settings of each room and sub-room
  • Tool migrates all types of QuickR / QuickPlace pages
    • Migrates all standard page types: Imported pages, Link pages, Discussion pages, Task pages
    • Migrates custom Page Types, including custom Fields
    • Offers migration of Published documents, Unpublished documents, or both
    • Offers migration of “orphan” documents that are accessible through navigation hierarchy
  • Tool correctly migrates rich text in QuickR / QuickPlace pages
    • Full rich text fidelity is preserved
    • Embedded images are retained
    • URL links that point to other QuickR / QuickPlace pages are converted to SharePoint links
    • Preserves document level permissions
  • Tool preserves QuickR / QuickPlace navigation
    • Converts place menus to SharePoint QuickLaunch area
  • Tool includes pre-migration analysis features that are QuickR / QuickPlace aware
    • Excludes configuration documents from data analysis
    • Summarizes data documents by Page Type used in each room
    • Includes configuration documents in design analysis
    • Detects rooms where custom Page Types and Fields have been defined by end users

Analysis Details

  • Tool performs application usage analysis
    • Includes exclusion of designated user names who should not count as real users
    • Can aggregate usage information across multiple replicas of each database
  • Tool performs Data analysis, finding patterns of actual usage in a particular database
    • Includes detection of blocked file attachment extensions and oversized files that will not be allowed on SharePoint
    • Includes analysis by Form Used, making it easy to extract the “document types” actually used in a database instance
  • Tool performs Design analysis,  summarizing design element details
    • Includes initial complexity calculations
  • Tool can compares all application designs to a predetermined set of templates, which assists in  consolidating applications with similar designs and automating their migration
  • Tool can capture design copies of each database while scanning the environment 
  • Tool can extract all users and group names contained in a set of databases (ACLs, document metadata, usage history, etc.) making it easy to proactively plan for how they will map to SharePoint
  • Data repository is an open format that customers are free to use in any way they see fit
  • All analysis details may be exported to external format such as CSV or XML for use with other reporting tools such as Microsoft Excel

Company

  • Describe track record of delivering top-notch support around the world
    • Support call centers located globally for 24×7 coverage
    • Many counties are staffed with presales and post-sales consultants
    • Company offers well-defined SLA’s including policies for escalating to development
    • Company frequently delivers feature enhancements to unblock large migration projects
  • Company has tools for moving content from SharePoint to SharePoint (upgrades, reorganization, deployment to production) and well as from other data sources to SharePoint
  • Company has related tools for managing SharePoint environments, including discovery, reporting, policy enforcement, and granular recovery
  • Company also has tools for performing Notes-to-Exchange migrations and directory migrations
  • Company offers a set of advanced web parts for reducing the time and cost of rebuilding complex custom applications
  • Company has an experienced professional services team to participate in and/or deliver migration projects to ensure project success
  • Company has an experienced partner network able to deliver migration projects.  For large Notes projects this should include partners with off-shore resources who’s teams utilize tool in a migration factory approach to deliver high-volume, low-cost migrations
  • Company has an established track record in this unique migration space.  Company is able to provide case studies, project references, best practices materials, facilitate POCs, etc.

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