Note: Steve Walch is the original developer and manager of Notes Migrator for SharePoint. He left Dell to pursue other interests in June, 2013. Below is a posting that he wrote in November of 2010.
I have been part of Quest Software for 6 months now and have the pleasure of being Product Manager for Notes Migrator for SharePoint, the undisputed leader in transferring content from Lotus Notes databases to SharePoint. I have been with this product since the beginning and thought I would use my first blog post to share its history.
In 2002, I started a company called Proposion Software to build products that connected Lotus Notes environments to the exciting new Microsoft .NET platform. We built a few cool products along the way and in 2005 we discovered SharePoint. A number of our customers were already using our popular data driver, Proposion N2N, to accomplish basic migration tasks and we thought we could do a pretty good job building a dedicated migration tool.
Thus Proposion Portal Migrator was born and it was an instant success. It was an easy-to-use tool that did one thing well: provision SharePoint lists and libraries from Notes applications. From day one we had great data fidelity and customers who had been struggling with their migration jobs suddenly had an easy time of it. There was only one other player in this space and we had little trouble beating them with better features and a drastically lower cost of ownership.
It wasn’t long before we caught the attention of Microsoft. Microsoft wanted to release a free tool to help customers and partners perform simple migrations of standard Notes templates (document libraries, discussions, etc.) and we came to an agreement whereby they licensed a subset of our 1.0 code. The results of this deal became known as Microsoft Application Transporter. Proposion, of course, continued to sell the “high-end” version of the tool for any non-trivial Notes applications and we continued our rapid innovation of features.
When SharePoint 2007 shipped, Proposion Portal Migrator 3.0 was the only migration tool to support it. This version of SharePoint solved the biggest remaining concerns for Notes customers (document level security, declarative workflow, content types, enhanced rich text, etc.) and it really opened the floodgates for customers wanting to move to SharePoint. We jumped quickly on making sure our tool supported all these great new features and followed nine months later with our 4.0 release.
We always had the highest fidelity of any tool on the market but, with the addition of OLE object support, InfoPath form support, and our patent-pending DocLink Tracking Service, we could finally claim no loss of any valuable business data. By this time we also had versions of our product for Domino.Doc and QuickPlace as well as a nice client-server version of the product.
At this point the volume of customers wanting to move to SharePoint was increasing dramatically and Proposion, still a fairly small company, was struggling to keep up. It was really the perfect time to become part of Quest Software. We have gotten to know Quest over the prior year as they had the leading mail (Notes to Exchange) migration tool and they were clearly one of those great software companies anyone would want to be a part of. We signed on the dotted line in October 2007 and began a very exciting integration process.
Under Quest, the various editions of Proposion Portal Migrator were combined into a single tool: Notes Migrator for SharePoint. We took immediate advantage of opportunities to make Notes Migrator for SharePoint and Notes Migrator for Exchange work well together and both products became immediately stronger (for example, DocLinks in migrated mail messages work with migrated application documents). I personally took a job as Senior Product Manager and have had a blast ever since.
I will have a lot to say about this tool, about upcoming releases, and about my life as a product manager in this blog. For now I would encourage anyone interested in SharePoint to take a look at Quest’s incredible product line of SharePoint tools which I am now lucky to be a part of: http://www.quest.com/sharepoint.