Microsoft announces a new migration tool

Image of a volkswagon van with luggage going fast.

Update: read our post on the latest release of the tool (SPMT V2) here.

Microsoft released a new migration tool, as announced during Ignite 2017 last September.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has shown its commitment to helping everyone move to the cloud. For example, the company launched a Migration API in 2015 and a free SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool in 2016.

The new SharePoint & Office 365 Migration Tool is also free. If you need additional migration support, you can get help from Microsoft’s FastTrack team.

A Short Summary

Migrating your files to SharePoint is often a time-consuming process, and this new tool focuses mostly on files. In particular, the tool streamlines the most common types of migration: File Share to Office 365 or OneDrive for Business.

microsoft tool user interface

Microsoft’s new tool uses the Migration API to quickly upload files to Office 365 – reducing the amount of time that you must spend on your migration. You can choose file Shares, your on-premises SharePoint 2013, or a CSV file as the source. Then, select a SharePoint Site or OneDrive in Office 365 as your destination.

Keep in mind, the tool doesn’t offer a server installation.

After you begin a migration, the minimalist UI will show your progress. You can view in-depth information on your migration through CSV logs that show you any problems. While still in very early preview, the software is quite capable for one of the most common migration needs: File Share to Office 365 or Onedrive for Business.

microsoft tool mapping options

The Complete Picture

If you are thinking about migrating, you likely have questions about this new release. For example, which items does the tool support? What are its limitations? Can you perform a bulk migration? Does it come with additional support?

Check out the chart below to see – at a glance – what the Migration Tool can and cannot do. Then, you can set a date for your migration, put the right resources in place, and start to reap the benefits of the cloud.

Supported sources and destinations
  • File Share & SharePoint 2013 to Office 365/OneDrive for Business
  • SharePoint 2010 & SharePoint 2016 on roadmap
Required access for migration
  • Source: Read
  • Destination: Site collection administrator
Supported items
  • Files: Yes
  • Lists: On roadmap
  • Preserve authors and timestamps on files: Yes
  • Versions: Yes
  • Permissions: Yes
  • Metadata: Basic metadata only but more support on roadmap
  • Content types: currently only native Document CT but more support on roadmap
  • Views: No
  • Structure and settings: No
  • Alerts: No
  • Workflows: No
  • Navigation: No
  • WebParts: No
  • Users and Groups: No
  • Welcome Pages: No
Item selection
  • Library (or folder) level only
Features and limitations
  • File upload through O365 Migration API
  • Pause, Resume previously running session, Retry (Incremental)
  • Migrate to/from specific Subfolders
  • Bulk Migrations: load a list of src/dest pairs through CSV file
  • Pre-migration scanning: Yes
  • Mappings: Users mappings only
  • Filters: Created / Modified Date, Extension, Hidden files (Y/N), Invalid file names
  • API / PowerShell: No
  • Scheduling: No
  • Content Export: No
  • Bulk Edit: No
  • Destination Library must already exist
  • One running instance per machine
  • CSV and text files on disk, no search or filtering on previous sessions. But since they are flat files on disk, you can use Windows Explorer.
  • As a free tool, none. Support is possible through FastTrack or paid MS Support offerings.


What’s Next?

We expect that Microsoft will add new features to the Migration Tool and support more cases in the future.

Microsoft has already stated that it wants to add SharePoint 2010 and 2016 as sources, along with the ability to migrate list items. These features would better support metadata and content types. But since the tool’s primary audience is customers with a straightforward migration to Office 365, do not expect many advances in areas such as content transformation, reporting, or bulk management.

If you have a complex migration or would like guidance, you may benefit from third-party SharePoint migration tool, such as Sharegate.

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