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.

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