These features include:

Strong security capabilities
Ease of use
Native integration with a wide range of productivity, collaboration and communication tools available in Office 365

Those organisations that use Documentum as their Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform are now looking for ways to manage their business content better as well as how this can be leveraged intelligently, efficiently and collaboratively.

There are some important benefits to be gained when migrating from Documentum to SharePoint such as:

  • Significantly reduced license costs
  • Improved content accessibility because of SharePoint’s improved search functionalities
  • Better productivity, communication and collaboration because of a range of tools that come with Office 365 and are integrated with SharePoint.

However, migrating from Documentum can present a range of challenges that could negatively impact the outcome of a project unless these are properly addressed, ideally before the migration begins.

To ensure that you migrate content from Documentum to SharePoint as seamlessly as possible, we would ask you to consider the following recommendations to avoid facing any issues that could affect the content architecture and infrastructure of your new SharePoint environment.

Recommendation #1: Decide on an approach for mapping Cabinets into SharePoint

Documentum organises documents into Repositories and Cabinets, both of which contain a hierarchy of folders. These are used to manage persistent objects across a wide range of file types.

SharePoint stores content in Site Collections which contain Sites and Sub Sites. Each of these can contain numerous libraries and folders.

To achieve the most consistent and logical transition from Documentum to SharePoint, Cabinets should be migrated to SharePoint as Site Collections. After this, the folder hierarchy can be recreated as a single library or restructured into multiple libraries in one or more Sites

Before the actual migration process begins, it would be best if you plan how your Cabinets in Documentum are to be mapped to SharePoint.

Recommendation #2: Leverage URLs and Lists in SharePoint to support hierarchical and virtual filing

Documentum allows files to be stored hierarchically in folders within a Library. In addition to hierarchical filing, files can be referenced in multiple folders within Documentum without the need for duplication. Content is then referenced using Object ID which has no resemblance to the hierarchy that the content lives in.

SharePoint also supports storing files hierarchically in folders within a Library. However, to avoid any ambiguity of the actual location of a file, SharePoint allows these to be referenced from other folders as Shortcuts. SharePoint allows the hierarchical storage of other content such as Tasks, Events, and non-document-based information using Lists.

Content within SharePoint can be accessed via a URL, based on the storage hierarchy, or through ID-based links. As Documentum supports multi-filing, within SharePoint such items will need to be migrated as links to documents.

Identify which content will need to be migrated over as URLs/Links to documents and which will go into Lists before the migration begins.

Recommendation #3: Align major and minor versions of documents

Both Documentum and SharePoint support major and minor versioning. However, the approach each takes is markedly different.

Documentum supports system-generated numeric versions with up to three levels of precision (e.g. and user-defined symbolic version labels, such as “APPROVED”. On the other hand, SharePoint uses a numeric version label with only a single level of precision (e.g. 1.115).

Both major and minor versions from Documentum can be mapped across to SharePoint. However, as SharePoint only supports one level of versioning, an alternative approach needs to be identified based on the number of versions present for each document.

Decide with your key stakeholders which versions of each documents need to be migrated over and which could do with archiving or deleting. This will help control the overall volume of content that is ultimately going to be migrated.

Recommendation #4: Use Document Sets in SharePoint to map and store content renditions

Documentum can store variations of existing content as Renditions. These are a representation of a document that differs from the original in some aspect of its format. Documentum can also support language translations and annotations to the original document as well as allowing custom relationships to be created and stored between different documents.

In SharePoint, Document Sets – i.e. a group of related documents that you can manage as a single entity – can be used to store content renditions or a series of interrelated documents for a project or topic. You could create a Document Set in a single step and then define its characteristics and metadata.

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