Are you using SharePoint 2010? Attendees from our Microsoft Office 365 & SharePoint 2016 Roadshow along with unofficial webinars polls found that an overwhelming majority of attendees are using SharePoint 2010. Of course, many of these attendees asked us, “How do I move from SharePoint 2010 to 2016?” While the migration process of skipping a version of SharePoint has always been the same, most of the answers given are either wrong or not completely correct. It’s confusing for many.
A quick Internet search does not yield much information from Microsoft, but it does provide conflicting accounts of how to migrate. First, that the only way to migrate from SharePoint 2010 to 2016 is by migrating to SharePoint 2013 and then migrating to SharePoint 2016. Second, only pieces of content could be migrated. Finally, third party solutions that can skip SharePoint 2013.
Confusing right? You can migrate but you can’t upgrade. It sounds like semantics but there is an important difference.
Microsoft defines an upgrade as the complete A to B transfer of SharePoint databases from one version of SharePoint to the next. The databases are then physically changed (or “upgraded”) to the new version’s schema and attributes. This means that, using the Microsoft definition, you cannot upgrade SharePoint directly from 2010 to 2016. You have to do the intermediate hop to 2013 and then upgrade to 2016. The gap between anything other than successive versions is too wide for a Microsoft upgrade to cope with. Still confusing but there’s an answer.
Migrating SharePoint 2010 to 2016
Fortunately Microsoft also has a definition for migration. A migration involves copying and moving items from a database but not the database itself. All the unstructured data, structured data, other attributes and important SharePoint “stuff” can be read or copied. Everything is then reproduced in a different database on a new SharePoint farm.
When upgrading or migrating you have to take into consideration the differences between those versions. Or, as Microsoft likes to say, what features have been deprecated. Deprecated means that it will work but it will be unsupported in the version it has been removed from and will not be available in subsequent versions. So, items deprecated in SharePoint 2013 won’t be available in 2016. If not dealt with early, this will also cause problems as you upgrade through versions. Here’s a quick look at items deprecated from 2010 to 2016.
Using a capable third party product, such as Metalogix Content Matrix, achieves this with no dependencies or limitations related to the SharePoint version being migrated either from or to. A SharePoint migration with Content Matrix can also move items in a more granular fashion. These items don’t have to be moved to the exact equivalent location in the new SharePoint target. You are free move to a new structure that actually fits how your users wish to use SharePoint. And for users with other versions of SharePoint 2003, 2007, 2010 as well as SharePoint Online, Content Matrix works with those versions too.
In other words, a SharePoint migration leaves the databases in place but everything else is copied and moved. There is now no version gap too wide. You can avoid a completely unnecessary and costly step.
Still confused? Let's sum it up another way.
If you wish to move to SharePoint 2016, irrespective of your current SharePoint version, come and speak to us. We can get you there in a single, simple hop and increase your SharePoint usability while you’re at it.