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Arut Selvan




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Migrating to SharePoint Online? Get this ULTIMATE checklist ready!


Migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Online can look daunting at the first look. But, the reality is that the actual migration is easy. Although, the hardest nut to crack is the planning part. Prior to initiating the migration process, you need to be doubly sure that you have considered everything, even the minute details of the migration process. That becomes the actual headache.

Before going to the checklist that will eliminate all your migration worries, let us have a quick brief on different migration methods.

Automatic Migration

 This requires no manual intervention, but the downside is that it can only be determined on a ‘scenario’ basis and can’t suit every project. You have Office 365 Migration API, custom coded 3rd party tools etc. to assist the process.

Manual Migration

This is the safest and simplest migration to do. But think of the time it takes and the pain we might feel on the manual work of copy pasting content all over. That kind of monotonous job is prone to human error and extremely wearisome too.

So, what is the best take? Yes, you got the answer. We should combine the best of both the worlds. A part of your environment may be the best fit for Automated Migration. Just go with it. And there will be sections which require manual intervention. You decide which is best for your environment and take a call.

Migration Basics! 

The 2010 project solution cannot run directly in 2016. So, you should upgrade your custom farm to 2016. Before taking up the actual migration, it is best to keep the below things on track.

  • SharePoint 2010 should be updated with all the latest service packs & patches Microsoft rolled out
  • It is advisable to delete all unused features
  • Remove Sites, Users and other details not used in SharePoint 2010

Okay, now let us go to the migration checklist. The checklist falls under the below 4 phases. Segregating the checklist based on these phases would make things even easier.

  1. Inventory of your environment
    • Site Collections
    • Sites
    • List and Libraries
    • Pages
    • Custom Solutions
    • Workflows
    • Content Types
    • Site Columns
    • Permissions
    • User Alerts
    • Retention Policies
    • Records
    • Users and Groups used
    • Large lists or libraries
    • All files that have a dependency to another file using a URL
    • Blocked File Types
    • Branding
    • Any other UI customization's (JavaScript, altered menus, etc.)
  2. Clean up your (old) environment
    • Find and remove “Orphaned Users”
    • Remove empty SharePoint Groups
    • Put users with explicit permissions back into Groups
    • Delete any Unused Content Types, Site Columns and Workflows
    • Find sites that haven’t been modified in over a year, and see
    • if you still need them
    • Ask users to check-in any document currently checked-out
    • (ensure you migrate the latest version
    • Find large Site Collections
      1. Break them up into multiple Site Collection
    • Find large Sites
      1. Promote them into Site Collections
    • Remove duplicate content
    • Clean up items containing too many custom permissions
    • Remove unwanted versions from your version history
    • Reorganize Lists and Libraries with too many columns
    • Rethink and reorganize very large lists
  3. Preparing your destination (new) environment
    • Map your destination's architecture
    • Optimize your new SharePoint Servers' performance [At the install]
    • Configure all Web Applications
    • Check desired authentication & authorization rules
    • Back everything up
    • Test the restore
    • Check the databases for corrupt data
    • If any corrupt data: delete it.
    • Run a Test Migration
    • Highlight any unsupported elements
    • Configure your new Search Topology.
    • Set SharePoint up to import user profiles from any specific sources.
    • Map a plan for the metadata on your content.
    • Look at your customizations
    • If required, convert them to work in the new model/destination
  4. Communicate end users
    • Inform your users before starting
    • Downtime planned by the migration
    • The reason for the change and the value for them
    • Possible changes in the environments
    • URL changes
    • Bookmarks
    • Document References (Excel macros, etc.)
    • Estimated timeline for the migration
    • Create sandbox sites for hands-on previews
  5. Kick Start your Migration
    • Workflow
    • Complete or Stop running Workflows about to be migrated
    • Migration scenarios
    • If migrating from SharePoint 2013 On-Premises
    • Perform database attach-upgrade to bring everything "as-is"
    • Use a third-party tool or get expert assistance to granularly migrate
    • and restructure as you move
    • If migrating from an earlier SharePoint version
    • Use a third-party tool or get expert assistance
  6. Post Migration
    • Test your Destination Environment
      1. Ensure all migrated successfully
      2. Test/Run all workflows
      3. Check user permissions
    • Create a backup of your new environment
    • Remove access to the old SharePoint
    • Run a full crawl

Have this checklist handy. We have covered the most part of the migration here. You will not have any failures if you carefully follow the migration steps and the checklist we shared. Good luck with your migration. Once you are into the new environment, we are sure you will enjoy more features that are packed with Office 365. We have a yet another interesting article on Office 365 if that interests you.

In case you need any support, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to know your migration experiences. Let’s discuss more in the comments column.

Arut Selvan

Written by Arut Selvan

A technology enthusiast keen in learning & exploring new Microsoft technologies. Predominantly working on Microsoft 365, SharePoint & Azure. Currently working with "Hubfly - A unified digital workplace" as a Product Engineer, Arut brings in the new flavors of the technology to the product. He ensures we are always on the edge in our technology stack. He brings in innovation to the product with his out of the box thinking. He is also a Microsoft certified professional.