Migrate Portal Content and Functionality (SharePoint) to Office 365 - dummies

Migrate Portal Content and Functionality (SharePoint) to Office 365

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

Migrating to SharePoint Online (which is part of Office 365) requires you to migrate any content or custom functionality that you may currently be using in your portal environment. As you begin to delve farther into SharePoint, you find that one of the major attractions is the ability to consolidate the functionality of multiple disparate systems into the SharePoint platform.

This consolidation creates a one-stop shop for business tasks as compared to logging into multiple systems that rarely communicate with each other.

The SharePoint platform has become the most successful product in Microsoft’s history. A SharePoint implementation requires a number of different engineers all working in unison to make the platform available to users. The good news with Office 365 is that Microsoft takes over this complexity of building and maintaining the platform, and you, as a user, can focus on just using the product.

Migrate content to SharePoint Online

Migrating content to SharePoint can be as easy as uploading the documents you have saved on your local computer or as complex as moving massive amounts of digital content from one Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system to another. If you are a small or medium organization, then you can gain familiarity with content management in SharePoint and in particular with document libraries.

Migrate custom functionality to SharePoint Online

One of the best things about SharePoint is that it is a platform and not a specific tool. As a result, you can build just about any business functionality you need to run your business right into your SharePoint implementation.

With so much power at your disposal in SharePoint, you need to think about what you have developed. If you are one of the rare few who has never used SharePoint, then you can simply start using SharePoint Online.

If, however, you have already used SharePoint either on premise or through another hosting provider and are moving into SharePoint Online, then you will need to move your custom functionality into your new portal.

Migrating functionality that you have developed can be a challenge. One of the best ways to tackle this challenge, however, is to carefully document your current environment and then determine if it is better to try to migrate the functionality or re-create it in the new environment.

If the functionality you have developed is a simple list or library, then you can go into the List Settings page and save the list as a template with content. This creates a physical file that you download to your computer and then upload to SharePoint Online.

After you install the template into SharePoint Online, you can then re-create the list or library by using the template. The result is that your list or library is transported into SharePoint Online with only a few clicks of a mouse.

For more advanced functionality, you can either redevelop it in the new environment or hire a consultant to undertake the project under your guidance.