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Best Migration Approaches for SharePoint Online

Migration approaches for SharePoint Online

SharePoint On Premise to SharePoint Online migration is typically conducted using a migration tool. The reason for considering this process of migration as a migration tool is because SharePoint Online does not have provision for database attach method which is present in on-premises upgrades of SharePoint. There are various types of third-party migration tools available in the market but business owners need to clear-out which is best for their unique needs.

Migration Considerations

Because the transfer of information from the local SharePoint to O365 SharePoint Online is comparatively slow, companies need to assess their current environment and determine a SharePoint Migration approach that reduces migration risk and impact on the employees using it.


Determining which migration approach works best for your business needs is based on the considerations such as the size of total data to be migrated, data transfer rate, number of sites and items, degree of the redesign in the Office 365 sites, acceptable time sites, and content are unavailable to end-users, degree of customization. All these facts are very important during the migration process.


Migration Approach Options


In this approach, sites, lists, and libraries are made manually in Office 365, then list and library data is uploaded to the endpoint location using the interface.


No licensing costs are involved. Users work when the quantity of data is small and loss of current metadata is not very important.


Big Bang:

In this method, site and data migration is started and carries on until all sites and data are migrated to Office 365. All users are given access to the new sites at the same time.


Less difficulty in the migration process. Easier training and minimal transition.



 In this approach, sites and data are migrated according to a schedule. Employees work in the source as well as destination occasions as specific sites are migrated.


Less risk, companies have a chance to find issues in the migration of the initial sites and fix the issue before migrating to a new environment. This is the only possible method left to the business owners for migration if the environment has a huge number of sites and data.


Go Forward:

In this method, only sites and data related to present work processes are migrated. For example, only active customer account content is migrated to new customer sites. 


Reduces the amount of content for migration. Creates an auto-purge effect for unused content.



This approach migrates all sites and content to Office 365, then utilizing a feature in the migration tool to detect changes, update content created or changes since the initial migration date.


Less disturbance for end users. Easier change management. Reduces the difficulty of the migration process.


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Written by Salman