Migrating Vignette to SharePoint: Part I

AccessECM was recently engaged to develop a plan for migrating a Vignette Collaboration system to a SharePoint Online.  I had personally used Vignette over 10 years ago, when SharePoint was just coming into the picture, and found it to be very capable.  Since then Vignette, like many other legacy ECM vendors, was acquired by OpenText.  SharePoint meanwhile, continued to expand and dominate in the traditional ECM space.  Our team has had extensive experience in doing migrations into SharePoint and OneDrive, but from traditional sources such as existing SharePoint and file system environments.   

To get a sense of what we are trying to accomplish here is a small set of parameters for the existing Vignette environment:

  • Total Content – over 6 TB
  • Total Objects – between 5-7 million
  • Users – over 25,000 

Part of the source system are customized with workflows, look and feel and functionality targeted to meet specific business needs.   accessecm vignette 01 Migrating Vignette to SharePoint: Part I

Third-Party Tools

We began by doing some research on existing out-of-the-box migration tools.  There are several blogs postings regarding similar projects in the past, which is always encouraging!  However, they simply used third-party tools to do imports into SharePoint and even these seemed to be discontinued.  It became pretty evident that to get this project completed, we would have to build our own tool set.

Getting Started   

With a system this expansive it’s imperative to establish clear goals and constraints and then get a “buy in” from the stakeholders.  Since users primarily leveraged the existing system to store documents and files our focus needs to be on moving this content and security into a hierarchy that is as similar as possible to the source.  This will reduce the learning curve and user reluctance to switching.  In parallel we want to establish realistic expectations (and limitations) for this bulk migration.  For example, when migrating between two diverse systems it is simply not realistic to duplicate customizations.

From a technical perspective, the first concern is the sheer size of the source environment.  Even with a multi-year timeline, a highly automated methodology is a prerequisite to execute a migration this large within a reasonable budget.  With that background, we decided that the best way to establish realistic costs and timelines was to initiate a small project to prototype different approaches.

In Part II, we will review different approaches and some lessons learned in our prototyping project.

To learn how we can reduce the cost and duration of your SharePoint migration project, reach out to our experts.

About the author
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Steven Pogrebivsky

Steve Pogrebivsky is an expert in information and content management systems with over 20 years of experience. Steve holds a BS in Computer/Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Information Systems from Drexel University.