Monday, November 12, 2007

SharePoint Migration With MetaLogix

I recently had the chance to evaluate a number of SharePoint content and site migration tools. Past migrations I've done have been performed using the out-of-the-box content migration using the Pre-Upgrade scan, but I have an upcoming requirement to leave the existing SharePoint Portal Server 2003 site and content in place and migrate it slowly to the new MOSS 2007 server over time.

This required an evaluation of third-party site migration tools. One of the ones I looked at was the MetaLogix SharePoint Site Migration Manager. The evaluation license allows you to migrate 50% of the content for a few days, which is enough to run the software through its paces.

The Migration tool installs on a client desktop and this GUI handles 95% of the migration tasks. However if you want the migration process to do things like map the user accounts you'll also need to install a special service on the target server.

I liked MetaLogix Migration Manager's intuitive interface. After the installation it was easy for me to add a reference to both the test SPS 2003 portal and the test MOSS 2007 portal. This is done by typing in the URL and either using the default portal access account or manually specifying it.

The interface has three major views:

  1. The default "Explorer" view, which is a complete site hierarchy view of the sites you have added;
  2. "Browser" view, which renders whatever site node you have selected in the explorer view. It's a great way to quickly view the content of a site or list; and
  3. "Item" view, which shows you the content of lists and libraries.

Migrating content or sites between portals was as easy as right-clicking the source node, clicking "Copy", and right-clicking on the target site and clicking "Paste". A dialog box shows the progress and the result appears in the Log window at the bottom of the screen, which you can always refer to. There is verbose logging in a text file.

Paste Shared Documents List

Other nice features:

  • Batch mode, so that all actions can be scripted to run at scheduled times. The batch file is in XML format so it can be programmed and is human-readable.
  • Delta migration: You can choose to only migrate the changesets instead of all the content each time.
  • List copy: You can choose to append and concatenate multiple libraries or lists together which helps merge them in the new portal.
  • You can migrate versioning and security permissions
  • Replace Within Field: This is a quick string search that allows you to replace text in content you've migrated, such as URLs. In the future I'm told this will be an automatic step in the migration.
  • Mapping to site templates. You can explicitly map SharePoint 2003 site templates to the new MOSS templates (it will attempt to map them automatically by default). I noticed the mapping options seemed to include the Fantastic 40 site templates which was a nice touch.

The only issue I found with the product occurred when I tried to migrate the content on an SPS 2003 Area over to MOSS 2007. It brought all the content, web parts, lists, and libraries over with the exception of the Area Detail and Browse Area By web parts. However as those two web parts relate to the old SharePoint 2003 Area concept which no longer applies, I'm not too fussed. The MetaLogix staff were keen to help me investigate this, if I had been willing.

During the course of the trial I spoke to Julien Sellgren and Rasool Rayani at MetaLogix. They were helpful and responsive to my questions, giving me a walkthrough via a webcast and extending the evaluation period while I was testing area migration. Rasool also explained to me that they are releasing feature packs and updates on a 6-week basis so the product is evolving quickly.

You can learn more about MetaLogix and download the evaluation version at their website.


  1. I'm also planning on the Metalogix for sharepoint migration. Did you happen to buy the full version from them? How is the performance? Can you migrate the unghosted(customized) web pages and web parts to 2007 nicely from 2003? I am keen to know a little more about this software. I am also in the process of evaluating Metalogix.

  2. Hi Leo, I haven't bought the full version yet, but I really like the product for its simplicity and flexibility and would have no qualms about purchasing it.

    As far as performance, there are probably two aspects. It is a desktop client install so the faster your computer, presumably the faster the performance of the app. There is also the service that runs on the destination server. I don't have any figures on how much data can be transferred per hour.

    I was only running a few lists but the performance seemed very quick. You can alos migrate the deltas so you could do a full migration over a weekend or in the evening, and then schedule the delta migrations during periods where bandwidth is more available.

    The web parts seemed to migrate quite easily, but I didn't test any unghosted ones. I believe the Marketing Director told me those transfer over.

    Hope this helps, if you do use it can you please let me know what you think of it? Many thanks,


  3. Nick, thanks alot for your very prompt reply. Most probably we might be using metalogix for the migration and will let you know how the performance is when we get to use it. Can I ask you 1 question on your past article talking about the Single Sign On?

    I followed your instruction. Almost everything was ok. But I am stuck at one place. When I try to set domain\group at 'Manage account settings for enterprise application definitions' after I type win2KDomain\ITteam and click on 'Set'. Instead of prompting me for user name and password, I kept getting this error message 'Please enter valid group in the form domain\group'. Not very sure what would be the correct value to fill in there to make this thing working. It would be really great if you can shed some lights on this mystery. And thanks again for your reply on Metalogix.

  4. Hi Leo, sorry for the delay...
    The group account name is the account that is used to manage the credentials for this enterprise application definition. From the MSDN site (

    "The user or group that you specify must be the following:
    •Either a Windows global group or an individual user account. This account cannot be a domain local group account or a distribution list.
    •A member of the Reader SharePoint group on Central Administration."

    What type of account is your "win2KDomain\ITteam" account in Active Directory?

  5. Hi Nick,

    Just found your post. We are migrating from MCMS 2002 to MOSS 2007. Do you know if the migration from CMS templates to MOSS master pages is good or would you need to do the some amount of tweaking as you do when you just use the regular MS tools out of the box.

  6. Hi sbgrad91, unfortunately I can't advise you on that as I haven't tested that migration type as I was moving document over, not web content. Best to shoot them an email and ask. I'm sure they'd be happy to give you a demonstration!

  7. Hi, we are facing diff. problems from the latest rsion from metalogix.
    When we migarted the sps 2003 content-NON-ENGLISH content, all the content were either moved to botom zone or aligned to right zone.
    Also security is not migrated properly.
    if we are having a custom groups in sps 2003 envn.Its not migrated to MOSS 2007.Lot of serious flaws existing in the current version...
    So many tasks require manual effort.If the numbers of areas in sps 2003 portal exceed,500
    it will be very dificult to achieve a successfull migration
    thus by deteriorating customer relations!!!!

  8. Hi das, I don't work for Metalogix - if you have any concern or technical issue you should probably address it to them at their website or via their support email.

  9. We bought and used the software for a year with no major problems. It is very useful software and has saved us a lot of time. However I don't feel it was made clear when we bought it that the license was for a year and that the product would stop working after that. Just something to keep in mind when purchasing this. Basically you have to repurchase it every year if want to continue using it.

  10. We are planning to use Metalogix site migration manager. But I found bucket hyperlink
    with in lists, link lists are not being corrected. Have you guys faced such issues and how did you work around it?



  11. Nick thanks for this article. When you migrated from 2003 to 2007 did you have to recreate custom site and list templates on the 2007 farm first and then map? Also did you have to do this for web parts as well?


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