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SharePoint Content Management Project

Moving Millions of Files into SharePoint

Moving millions of files into SharePoint is not an easy task, because there are many things to consider. But to me, who was leading the project, it was an interesting challenge that I was happy to take on.SharePoint icon

2 million files in 225 000 folders 
The organization that hired kalmstrom.com for the task needs to keep a huge amount of documents on file in a way that is both secure and easy to search. When we started this project, there were 225 000 folders, containing around 2 million files, so my first task was to do a file server inventory.

The inventory gave an opportunity to clean-up and determine what should be kept for the future. When that was done, it was time for the difficult decisions on what to do with all the files.

PowerShell automates tedious work
Before moving the 225 000 folders to SharePoint, the team had to consider what should become of them.

Should the content of each folder be transformed into a site collection, a site or a document library. How about metadata or even tags? Was the information stored in Excel lists suitable to export into SharePoint lists?

PowerShell iconTo migrate the data manually would take years, but once the decisions were made, the actual migration was done with a PowerShell script. All the SharePoint containers were automatically created and populated with the correct files.

Metadata should be kept
An important aspect to consider was the existing metadata. The customer did not want to lose it. For example,
a file at P:\Projects\2010\IT\ClientPlatform\ already has a lot of important metadata that should be maintained. It should be tagged as a project file, created in 2010, by the IT-department, concerning the ClientPlatform project.

Office update
Office 2013 logoIn the process, the organization also converted old all Office files into modern file formats. Converting the old .doc and .xls files into .docx and .xlsx formats gave a huge space saving benefit and enabled the new Office features.

Search options
Another consideration was how information should be found in the future. It should still be possible to find information by location, but we should also use the SharePoint search features. Here Peter could do a lot by using the SharePoint features in combination with the maintained metadata.

Long term project
This SharePoint project gave me valuable experience, which later has been used in several smaller projects.
Peter Kalmström

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