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SharePoint Product Review: Sharegate

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Categories:Product Review; OpEd; General Knowledge; MOSS; WSS; 2007; 2010; 2013

 

Editor's note: Contributor Chris Howell is a Consultant at OBS. Follow him @enigmaticit

2012-11-06-Sharegate-01b.pngSharegate provides a growing suite of tools that can be used to help "power users" either migrate content into SharePoint or between SharePoint instances.

Sharegate supports the following versions of SharePoint:

  • SharePoint 2003 (WSS 2.0)
  • SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3.0)
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Office 365
  • BPOS

Sharegate also support SharePoint 2013 and I completed this review with a SharePoint 2013 Office 365 site.

Disclaimer

This review represents my own personal opinion. The comments here do not represent the views of my employer.

I have undertaken this review at the request of Nothing But SharePoint and aim to provide an unbiased and open view of the product for the benefit of the community. This review represents my personal experience of using the trial software and is not influenced by the supplier of the software and I have received no payment to undertake the review.

Review Criteria

This review has been completed using trial version 3.2.2 of the Sharegate tools. The trial version provides 15 days to review the features of the software. The trial version has a built in limit that only allows the copying of items to 5 at a time.

I've completed this review using a local installation of SharePoint 2007 and have been moving content to an Office 365 site that is running SharePoint 2013.

Installation

2012-11-06-Sharegate-02.png
Sharegate Downloads

I chose the offline installation option and downloaded the 8.4 MB MSI file. The software was installed on a Windows 7 Professional 32-bit host.

Sharegate requires the installation of .Net Framework version 4.0 before it can be installed. With that installed, the installation is straight forward and completed quickly.

The installation is client based. There is an optional web service extension that can be installed to meet some specific criteria. The need to install this will depend on whether you have the following requirements:

  • If authors and timestamps must be preserved when migrating content to SharePoint 2007
  • If authors (Modified by) must be preserved on draft versions when migrating content to SharePoint 2010
  • If approval status must be preserved when migrating to SharePoint 2007 or 2010
  • If business data (BDC) must be preserved when migrating to SharePoint 2007

Further information can be found here: http://en.share-gate.com/support/getting-started/installation-web-service-extension

Product Features

Sharegate has seen a number of updates that have added new features. Sharegate hit version 3.1 in Sept and the most recent update to 3.2 was released 23rd Oct. 3.2 introduced:

  • Document Sets migration
  • Site Workflows and Reusable Workflows migration
  • Migrate Lists and Libraries with their content at the same time
  • Users and Groups migration
  • Permission Levels migration
  • Performance increased X2
  • Remember my copy mode

All functionality of Sharegate is accessible from the Home page:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-03.png
Sharegate Home Page

At the time of preparing this review, the product supports:

  • Structure Migration
    • Copy site objects
  • Content Migration
    • Copy file to SharePoint
    • Copy SharePoint Content
    • Public Folders to SharePoint
  • Content Classification
    • Bulk Metadata Editor

Set out below is my experience of using these features in the demo.

Structure Migration

"Copy Lists, Libraries, Content Types, Site Columns, Workflows and Security to another location"

The interface provides a very easy to use means to select where you want to copy from, where you want to copy to and what you want to copy.

First up, configure details of the source location:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-04.png
Select where to copy from

By default, Sharegate will use Windows authentication and the account you are using to run the application. If you need to use different account details, change the drop down box to manually configure. You can also use the check boxes to remember the site details and also set a site as the default location to copy from.

I ran into a minor error creating a connection. This ended up being a simple typo but a better error message would help resolve quicker:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-05.png
Error Message

Once you have connected to the site and chosen where you want to copy from, move on to configure where you want to copy to:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-06.png
Copy to location configured

After you have configured the site and authentication details, you can drill down through the site structure to select the copy to location.

Click Next to configure the final details of what you want to copy:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-07.png
Select item to copy

You can then click copy to start the process.

You will be prompted with a number of options that are to apply to the copy process. You can select what elements are to be copied across along with setting how any dependencies upon other content are handled:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-08.png
Copy Options

The next prompt you will see is how to handle any content that already exists in the destination area:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-09.png
Merge Options

During the copy process, you can monitor progress using the session logs. Further detail is available view clicking the "Show Details" area next to the item being copied:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-10.png
Session Logs

After the job is completed, I can see that the content that was in SharePoint 2007:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-11.png
Content in SharePoint 2007

Is now available within the Office 365 site with the same timestamps:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-12.png
Content in Office 365

The above example shows how lists and libraries can be moved. Sharegate also supports:

Content Types

2012-11-06-Sharegate-13.png
Content Types

Site Columns

2012-11-06-Sharegate-14.png
Site Columns

Users

2012-11-06-Sharegate-15.png
Users

Groups

2012-11-06-Sharegate-16.png
Groups

Within Users and Groups migration there is the ability to map users and groups from the old site into the new destination site:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-17.png
User and Group Mapping

Permission Levels

2012-11-06-Sharegate-18.png
Permission Levels

Similar to Users and Groups, there is also the ability to map permissions:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-19.png
Permission Level Mapping

Workflows

2012-11-06-Sharegate-20.png
Workflows

Content Migration

Copy SharePoint Content

Copy SharePoint Content allows you to copy items within SharePoint to another location. Within this release there is also a Beta function that allows you to move content between locations:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-21.png
Copy SharePoint Content

After clicking Copy, you will be prompted to decide the method to be used to copy. A Full Copy will bring across the listed attributes. Alternatively, you can create a custom template:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-22.png
Full Copy or Create Template

If you select the Full Copy, you will be asked to confirm how to deal with errors or warnings during the copy process:

 

2012-11-06-Sharegate-23.png
Confirm Details of Copy

As you perform a copy, you can control how Content Types are mapped. Sharegate displays the Content Types in the Source and Destination and you drag the Destination Content Type into the dotted area to create a mapping:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-24.png
Content Type Mapping

Similarly, there is a means to map existing source properties to a destination property fields:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-25.png
Property Mappings

Copy Local Files

Copying local files is a simple, two stage process. After selecting the local source for file content, you connect to the destination site and then select the content to me copied:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-26.png
Copy Local Files to SharePoint

After selecting the files to be copied, you can click copy to start the transfer. Similar to other areas of the application, you will be prompted to select whether to perform a fully copy or create a custom template. You will also be asked to confirm whether you are using the interactive or silent mode.

Sharegate allows you to map user permissions from the file system to permissions within the destination SharePoint site. If you have not completed this step and choose the interactive mode, you will be asked to select a permission mapping:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-27.png
User of group not found

I think this is a great inclusion to ensure that the content is available to users once in SharePoint rather than have to fix up permissions afterwards.

Sharegate also allows you to map content properties to the destination site. In the example below, there are a number of properties marked red as these are properties that will be lost moving from the source to the SharePoint site. This provides a prompt to create destination property fields or use a different content type so that the metadata is available in SharePoint:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-28.png
Property Mappings

Copy Exchange Public Folders

I have not tested this functionality as I do not have access to any Exchange Public Folders in my personal test environment.

SharePoint Classification

Bulk Metadata Editor

The Bulk Metadata is a two step process. First, select the location of the data that you wish to edit:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-29.png
Bulk Metadata Source

You can then select the content in the bottom section of the page and click on the "Bulk Edit" button in the tool:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-30.png
Bulk Edit

You will then be prompted to create a template of the properties you are bulk editing:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-31.png
Create Custom Template

You are then able to create a template that meets your requirements and can set a number of properties that will be applied to a content type:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-32.png
Bulk Editing

Within each property, you have options to select from:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-33.png
Options

If you select a mapped value, you can configure how this is mapped:

2012-11-06-Sharegate-34.png
Metadata Property Mapping

After you have configured the properties you require, you click save and start to apply.

Conclusion

Based on what I have seen and experienced using the demo version of Sharegate the product definitely lives up the claim of "No-brainer migration tools".

The product is extremely powerful and is well supported by the team in Canada. I've been tardy in undertaking my review and between the time I first started looking at this product and now it has seen two upgrades (teaches me I should have finished my review earlier).

In my opinion, this represents a great product for experienced users to be able to manage SharePoint content.

Pros

  • Great UI
  • Great UX
  • Powerful - in the right hands
  • Great features
  • No server installation required (for most scenarios)
  • Free when migrating to SharePoint 2013 (until 1st Jan 2013)

Cons

  • Could handle the way errors are displayed better. Just shows a red X but doesn't say what needs attention

Comments

Michael

issue with the product when using Sharepoint Foundation

When using sharepoint foundation the product broke due to the following: (Answer from their support site)
Are you using SharePoint Foundation? Or are you using the Standard or Enterprise version? If you are using SharePoint Foundation, then there is a bug in Sharegate since it should ignore the list's rating settings (that do not exist in SharePoint Foundation), but it doesn't and it gives an error when trying to get them. I have filed a bug in order for this to be fixed and I will inform you as soon as there is an update on its status.
If you are using SharePoint Standard or Enterprise, then there is probably something corrupted in your SharePoint installation, since the rating settings should be available and they cannot be found.

Posted 15-Apr-2013 by Michael
Joseph Malkom

Yes there is some thing worse than the worst! it is called Sharegate

We were stupid enough to believe in their marketing and bought the tool, it not only didn't do even a half decent migration but corrupted most of the files in our destination, stay away from this tool at all cost, we were trying to migrate our 2007 and 2010 farm contents and were hoping all the files pertaining the look& Feel will migrate, it did! but did not migrate them! it just copy pasted the old files without even understanding the underlying structure, resulted in bunch of corrupted files, which took us days to recover. stay away from it and look for better tools. By the way they have zero phone support, and when we asked for refund they refused claiming thery have no refund policy- we deleted their tool and now happily using other companies tool who know what they are doing and wont just copy paste Microsoft APIs skin it as a tool!

Posted 22-Jun-2013 by Joseph Malkom
Simon De Baene

Reply from Sharegate

Hi Joseph, My name is Simon De Baene and I'm very proud to be the CEO/Product Director of Sharegate. I usually don't reply to unprofessional comments like this one, but I'll make an exception. First, we offer a free 15-day migration fully featured so people can test all their migration scenarios. Our marketing is mainly focused on try the product first and buy if you're happy with it. Second, we offer email/phone support. Third, nowhere on the Website we mention that Look & Feel migration is supported. We don't support it, and with good reasons. A master page designed for SharePoint 2007 does not belong in SharePoint 2013. Fourth, in 2 years we've been asked for a refund twice. We offer a free 15-day migration so we don't have to deal with refund policies. It's easy to bash our product on the Web like you did, but keep in mind that there's an honest team of 16 people working very hard to build a great product. We want nothing more than help organizations succeed with their migration projects. Have a great day!

Posted 24-Jul-2013 by Simon De Baene
Roeland cerfonteijn

Reply from a reader

Agree with Simon De Baene's  comments on Joseph Malkom. One shall contact the support-desk. An one shall provide more details when saying this. Most likely the incorrect files (.doc, .xls, .pdf, xyz ?) were due to happen. Were they on a classic fileshare ? Try with a simply download/upload and the same will happen!    

Posted 09-Aug-2013 by Roeland cerfonteijn

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