Sunday, November 21, 2004

Migrating to SharePoint 2003

Both Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal are about a year old by now and customers seem to be quite eager to migrate their SharePoint 2001 servers (Also see this article - SharePoint is the number one product according to Ballmer. Since the next version of SharePoint (beta 1 expected in summer 2005) will probably not support backwards compatible document libraries this seems a wise move as well. Another reason is a migration to Windows 2003 since SharePoint 2001 is not supported on a Windows 2003 Server...

Microsoft KB820328: "SharePoint Portal Server 2001 will not function on Windows Server 2003 because of incompatibilities between the versions of the Microsoft Web Storage System and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6. There are currently no plans to release an update to the Web Storage System in SharePoint Portal Server 2001 to make it compatible with Windows Server 2003."

There are some tools available to ease a migration, such as SPIN and SPOUT. SPOUT is a document library Export Tool for SharePoint. SPOUT will export the workspace document library content as an XML manifest file and the individual content files. The XML manifest files is used to describe the different objects and properties of the documents. After running, SPOUT will generate 3 files:
  • Manifest.xml : all metadata

  • Migrate_spout.log : a log file

  • An error file with the extension .err - this file should be empty after running SPOUT

  • I did some testing with SPOUT a while ago, just to get an idea how fast it would be. I ran it in a test environment with Windows 2000SP4, 512 MB RAM,SharePoint Portal Server 2001 SP2a, .Net Framework 1.1. On average I got export times between 1 and 3 secs per file with file size as the most important factor. Even when this would run twice as fast in a production environment time is still a limiting factor, exporting about 100000 files would take about 27 hours. You should also take into account the size of manifest.xml file, since XML parsing can become quite troublesome when your XML files contain a lot of data. (Tip : use Xpath queries since XMLDom manipulations can be very memory intensive, qua memory usage can run as high as 10 times the original filesize.)

     Number of filesSize manifest.xmlMBs exportedDuration
    Test 16996K42.941 sec
    Test 2154216K48.655 sec
    Test 3280396K56.81min11sec
    Test 4709982K1673min6sec

    If you want to try out some alternative tools for export and import you should definitely check out this GotDotNext workspace. Before starting a migration, take a look at the following links:
  • Technet article - migrating from SharePoint 2001

  • Migrating documents into SharePoint - tools and tips to improve performance

  • Overview SharePoint migration

  • Hotfix SPIN

  • Import problem SPIN for subsites - no hotfix available


    Anonymous said...

    There are also several commercial solutions, such as the K-Wise Deployer (SharePoint 2001, Exchange & Lotus Notes migration to SharePoint 2003), which are better than the freewares, but tend to be a bit expensive.

    Anonymous said...

    You may want to check out Pre-SPin at
    It uses SPin and SPout but allows you to modify site structure and choose which files to migrate and which to leave behind.