5 tips for successful migration from opentext edocs to sharepoint online

5 Tips for Successful Migration from OpenText eDOCS to SharePoint Online

Toby Lethby


15 Apr 2020

OpenText eDOCS is a Document Management System (DMS) that was previously available as Hummingbird DM and DOCS Open. Microsoft SharePoint, however, is a Content Services Platform (CSP) that is designed to boost collaborative working and productivity in addition to having intelligent document management capabilities.

Although both the systems share common standard DMS features like document versioning, access control and filing, the main difference lies in how these features are implemented.

It is worth understanding how the two platforms differ because this can help mitigate any risks that could affect the migration process. This blog post aims to shed light on what these differences are and help you migrate from OpenText eDOCS to SharePoint as seamlessly as possible.

Recommendation #1: Decide on a hierarchy for mapping libraries and folders to SharePoint

OpenText organizes content in physical collections, called Libraries which could contain a hierarchy of folders. SharePoint stores its content in Site Collections which could have several Sites and Sub Sites underneath it, each of which could contain several libraries with folders in these.

Some organisations using eDocs leverage folders to organise the documents (i.e. filed content), while others prefer to use metadata to organise and search content (i.e. unfiled content without using any folders). OpenText allows the content to exist in the system without being filed in any location, which means the content is not part of any hierarchy and is only available via search or its links.

SharePoint stores all its documents in a library or folders within a library. Other types of content such as tasks, events, etc. are stored in Lists. All content in SharePoint has to be filed within a hierarchy. Content in eDOCS is referenced using a Document Number while the standard behaviour of SharePoint is to use a URL based on the storage hierarchy. This could be challenging to deal with during the migration process.

For all these reasons, it is important and recommended that you take stock of the way your business content is currently stored in OpenText eDOCS and how this is to be mapped to the content hierarchy in the new SharePoint environment, before the migration process begins.

Recommendation #2: Leverage the content types available in SharePoint

The primary content stored in OpenText is a Document, which is a collection of highly related information that, when taken as a whole, records the current state of the document, as well as the history of a document's life. It also consists of a profile (i.e. a set of attributes of the document), its versions, attachments, history, and the physical components (i.e. a primary content file).

On the other hand, SharePoint has several types of content necessary to interact in a collaborative environment, such as:

  • Documents (with content files)
  • List items (without any content file)
  • Announcements
  • Tasks
  • Surveys

There are many more content types available in SharePoint and you can create your own too. SharePoint documents have a single primary content file that is stored in a library, while items with no primary content files are stored in a SharePoint list (i.e. a metadata-only document).

It is worth understanding which of these content types your organization would require so that users can get the most out of using SharePoint. After all, one of the purposes of migrating to SharePoint is to boost collaboration and productivity and not just use it as a mere content repository.

Recommendation #3: Align the required versions based on SharePoint design

Versioning is an automated process that creates a historical record of a document in a version tree that refers to an original document and all its versions.

SharePoint and OpenText both support major and minor versioning, but SharePoint uses numeric version labels (e.g. 1.15), while OpenText supports alphanumeric version labels (e.g. 1B).

We would recommend identifying the versions of the documents that need to be migrated over to SharePoint and that these are aligned as per SharePoint version numbering scheme.

Recommendation #4: Understand how content is kept secure within SharePoint before mapping permissions to it

When it comes to the area of content security, OpenText eDOCs and SharePoint have different approaches.

OpenText documents are accessible to users if their primary group allows access (i.e. role-based security or exclusionary security). In addition to this, documents can be secured using an Access Control List (i.e. to determine which users has access to a file or file directory). So, a user’s effective rights are a combination of the individual rights and the rights of the primary group.

OpenText also supports the application of Deny rights on individual users or groups and offers the option to secure individual versions of a document at different levels of security. On the other hand, SharePoint supports item level permissions, but considers its performance impact and gives users the ability to structure content into various Sites and control security at a Library, Site or Site Collection level.

The permission levels available in SharePoint enables your organisation to determine just how complex you would want the content security to be. Note that SharePoint secures the entire document (including all its versions) at the same level of security.

Recommendation #5: Automate document linking when migrating to SharePoint

We all know that saving a link or a shortcut to a document is the quickest way to bookmark any document. Such links can exist inside a document or in external systems like Oracle ERP, SAP.

When a document is moved to the new platform, all links to this document from within other documents as well as external systems need to be updated using some form of automation. When compliance policy prevents updates to documents, alternative solutions like a redirection service will be required to keep the links active.

Selecting the right migration tool

By following these recommendations, we think that you will be able to leverage the commercial value that SharePoint and Microsoft 365 has to offer when you have migrated from OpenText eDOCS.

This is only feasible when you have selected the right migration tool to do the job.

Proventeq’s Migration Accelerator tool maximises the potential of your content and information management architecture before, during and after the migration process.

This includes:

  • 360° insights into your content through AI-powered analytics and reporting
  • Content enrichment thanks to automated metadata extraction and intelligent classification
  • Improved Information Architecture based on a deeper understanding of your content types
  • On-going user experience improvement through real-time, on-demand data classification

Watch this video to learn more about what Migration Accelerator does:



Discover how Proventeq can help you migrate your data from eDocs