Why Organisations Should Use Sharegate for SharePoint Migrations

By Anthony Lee, Consultant

Anthony started his SharePoint journey back in 2007 and is proficient across everything from InfoPath forms, PowerShell scripting, complex SharePoint migrations and SharePoint administration, and backs his experience up with a string of Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 certifications.

What is Sharegate?

Sharegate is a migration tool that simplifies and accelerates migration processes, providing the capability to migrate directly to the latest SharePoint or Office 365 version, and without any downtime. It is well known and widely used in the SharePoint community, and highly regarded as a reliable and easy to use SharePoint migration tool. The common use cases for this tool is the requirement to move to Office 365 quickly, upgrade to the latest SharePoint version directly, or migrate file shares to SharePoint or Office 365.

Refer to Sharegate’s official website at https://en.share-gate.com for more information.

When would organisations require Sharegate?

Technology continues to evolve and organisations need to evolve along with it, which means putting in place processes and strategies to move off their current system into a new system. Sharegate is an easy to use and cost effective tool that helps migrate critical business data from one platform to another, as part of a business's transition phase and decommissioning process.  

Cutting costs in IT systems and staying up to date in a supported state are key driving forces to decisions made around migrations to new platforms in organisations. There are businesses that typically work off network file shares and are wanting to transition off those file shares into a modern collaborative platform such as SharePoint.

There are also those businesses that already have SharePoint in place but would like to move to either Office 365, or upgrade to the latest SharePoint version. Migrations are tricky and need to be properly planned and strategised with either an in-house IT department or through the consultation with vendors that have industry experts in SharePoint, such as State of Matter. To help move content to either the latest version of SharePoint or Office 365 from either an existing SharePoint environment or file shares, organisations would require a migration tool such as Sharegate to help easily migrate the content across.

With the out-of-the-box upgrade or migration paths in SharePoint, they require more effort and time to implement as the process is a lot more complicated compared to using a robust migration tool such as Sharegate. If you’re upgrading from an old version of SharePoint such as 2003 to the latest version of SharePoint using the out-of-the-box upgrade path, it’s not a one hop upgrade path, however if Sharegate is used as the migration tool, it is able to upgrade directly to the latest version in one hop. Both time and money is saved using Sharegate, as opposed to opting for the out-of-the-box SharePoint upgrade path approach.

Why choose Sharegate?

Sharegate offers unlimited data migrations, and an easy to use software interface. There is the option to train users in organisations on how to perform SharePoint migrations using the tool to provide continual benefits and rewards from the purchase of the product. It provides seamless migration processes between same or different versions of SharePoint. It’s capable of migrating content from various types of sources, listed as follows:

  • From SharePoint to Office 365
  • From SharePoint to SharePoint
  • From File Shares to SharePoint or Office 365
  • From Google Drive to SharePoint or Office 365

The core reason to choose Sharegate is for its ease of use, there's no limit on the amount of data that can be migrated, it saves organisations time while migrating content to SharePoint and is an industry leading migration tool. Sharegate now offers the ability to perform both SharePoint and Nintex Migrations through their Sharegate for Nintex license product.

Core Features of Sharegate

  • Unlimited Data Migration
  • Normal and Insane Mode Migration Speeds
  • Automate your SharePoint migration using PowerShell scripting
  • Inventory SharePoint and File Share content to estimate effort required by migration project

  • Migrate Files to SharePoint and Office 365
  • Direct Upgrade Path to Latest SharePoint Version
  • Migrate Between SharePoint Versions
  • Map Folder Names to Metadata
  • Use Excel to Enrich Your SharePoint Metadata
  • Replace Illegal Characters
  • Keep or Reassign Unique Permissions
  • Preserve File Authorship and Dates
  • Nintex Workflows and Forms Migration
  • Migrate Any Type of SharePoint Content, such as web parts, user alerts, permissions
  • Pre and Post-Migration Reporting
  • Unlimited Phone and E-mail Support

For more information, refer to the following articles:

Advantages of Sharegate

  • Sharegate is able to run a number of migration sessions in parallel and offers two migration modes, which determines the speed at which the content is transferred. Normal mode is the standard transfer speed, while insane mode is the fastest speed available, which utilises Azure to move content faster.
  • It offers a large number of reports to help plan migrations, estimate effort required and minimise errors or issues.
  • Pre-migration reports are excellent for providing a list of identified issues and suggestions on how to resolve them prior to executing the migration.
  • It offers long term use, providing the capability to perform maintenance tasks in SharePoint, such as the moving of files, and re-structuring sites inside the same environment.
  • Does not require server side access to perform the migration. Sharegate can be installed on a regular PC that has connectivity and accessibility to the migration source and destination locations. This is an advantage particularly when organisations have internal IT policies in place that prevent installation of third party tools on servers.
  • Audit trail: Keep track of success, errors and warnings that occurred during the migration process. Log files are preserved at all times and are accessible from the main menu.
  • Preserve List and Library dependencies: Choose whether Site Columns and Content Types should be created in the same site or a parent site during the copy of lists and libraries.
  • Include Content: Migrate lists and libraries including their content with a simple Drag and Drop SharePoint migration.
  • Migrate SharePoint lists, libraries, site columns, content types, users and groups, permission levels.
  • Preserve settings in lists and libraries, workflows, reusable and site workflows, list and library views, list and library permissions.

Disadvantages of Sharegate

  • Sharegate only maintains the last 10 sessions in the user interface and does not allow you to save session settings as templates to re-use in migrations. With large migrations, this is the downside as it is not possible to reuse sessions earlier than the last 10 sessions. The session’s settings will need to be re-configured in a new session.
  • Sharegate is not able to migrate files that are larger than 2 GB in size, even though the new file size limits in SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 has increased to 10 GB. This requires users or the person conducting the content migration to manually upload the large files to SharePoint.
  • Sharegate does not allow you to rerun items with errors directly from the migration report. You need to re run the migration for those items. If there is a missing or obsolete feature in the destination version of SharePoint that you are migrating to, Sharegate will not be able to detect it.
  • When copying a folder that contains multiple versions using Insane Mode, the folder ID changes at the destination. The ID of this folder will not be kept due to a limitation when folders have multiple versions.
  • App webs are special SharePoint sites that contain components used by SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and Office 365 apps. Sharegate cannot connect to those sites nor list them as subsites under another site. Sharegate doesn't migrate app webs since each app would need to be handled differently. The best way to make sure everything works well is to deploy the app manually at the destination after the migration.
  • With Insane mode in Sharegate, there are certain actions that are not supported, however are supported in Normal Mode:

Insane Mode with Office 365

  1. Copying Document Sets
  2. Copying ASPX pages
  3. Copying Calendar's special occurrences
  4. Copying list items that are declared as records
  5. Copying documents to a document library that has an enterprise keyword field
  6. When using the incremental update with Insane mode on Office 365, all versions of an item at the destination will be replaced by the version from the source if:
    • The source item has a more recent "last modified" date than the item at the destination. This is caused by a limitation in the Azure Import API.

Insane mode on Premise

  • Item IDs won't be preserved using either normal or insane mode
  • Copying ASPX pages will use normal mode instead
  • Copying Discussion Board will use normal mode instead
  • Requires the Server Extension 1.8.3 or higher at the destination.

Having the Server Extension installed at the source will also speed up the copy.

These limitations apply to content only. Anything related to item structure will use normal mode.

  • Migrating items into a list or library may cause an ID conflict when using Insane Mode with Office 365. To avoid any ID conflicts, you should empty items from your destination list or library before running the migration.

You can do this by deleting all items in your destination list or library (you can create a backup if necessary by importing the items into a file or folder)

For a complete list of the Sharegate migration limitations, refer to this article: https://support.share-gate.com/hc/en-us/sections/115000160068-Migration

Sharegate Licensing

The following are the 3 types of Sharegate licenses available to choose from:

  • Sharegate
  • Sharegate for Nintex
  • Lite

Pricing is based on the selected product, the number of users and length of term for the license.

For more information on the licensing costs, refer to https://en.share-gate.com/store.

What other SharePoint migration software products are in the market?

There are many other SharePoint migration tools in the market that are also well known in the SharePoint community. To name a few:

  • AvePoint DocAve
  • Axceler ControlPoint for SharePoint Migration
  • Dell Migration Suite for SharePoint
  • Metalogix Content Matrix
  • MetaVis Migration Suite