A technical assessment of leading SharePoint Migration Tools

Automated migrations have no magic wands–they aren’t feasible with the wrong tool; organizations need the right tool to successfully automate a migration. However, skimming through sales content to understand the true value of a SharePoint Migration Tool can be a daunting effort.

The real question is, are SharePoint Migration Tools documentations and sales pitches good enough for a purchasing decision? Trust but verify: without a proper technical assessment, a tool may easily become too expensive when it doesn’t deliver on its promises. Unfortunately, most often organizations base their buying decision on product documentations or sales pitches and competitive prices only to discover midway in the migration that the tool isn’t a good fit.

In this article, I’ll present the results of a technical assessment conducted to validate specific migration requirements against a set of prominent SharePoint migration tools – Sharegate, Metalogix Content Matrix, AvePoint DocAve, and Tzunami Deployer
SharePoint migration Tools Overview

Move it! tool (listed on the image above) didn’t meet the technical assessment preconditions  (migration to SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online), thus was eliminated from the process.


The technical evaluation involved the migration of 2 site collections (300GB content volume) from a SharePiont 2016 source system to both SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online target environments.  The Evaluation ranked tools based on the following functionality coverage categories:

Extract + analysis, reporting

Analyzing source /target structures and providing comprehensive migration reports


Mapping and moving content, content types and metadata

Load + QA

The nature and quality of migration–incremental runs, content versions and content metadata value

Security + connectivity

Ease of access to source and target systems

Other aspects (non-functional)

Robustness, vendor support, scalability, and performance

Each of these categories is associated with a set of requirements. For instance, the category Load + QA has the following requirements- Delta analysis (source vs. target),  delta migration, preserve content versions, selective content migration, migrate themes, migrate existing workflows, etc.

For the rating, each requirement is initially assigned a business ranking( high -10, Medium-5, Low-1) based on value/need (business ranking is organization specific). During the technical evaluation, each requirement receives a functionality coverage value (VH-10, H-8, M-5, L-3).  These values are computed to derive the overall percentage of each category.

Although the table below projects some SharePoint Migration Tools as high achievers, there isn’t a clear winner or a one-size-fits-all tool. Each tool has its key strength and limitations, which should be matched with a set of organization-specific business requirements.


Domain Sharegate Metalogix Content Matrix AvePoint DocAve 6 Tzunami Deployer
Extract + analysis, reporting 83% 80% 80% 50%
Transform 74% 60% 50% 37%
Load + QA 82% 78% 54% 36%
Security + connectivity 54% 57% 61% 29%
Other aspects (non>functional) 59% 68% 63% 55%

SharePoint migration Tools Details



Product Key Strength Key Limitation
Metalogix Content Matrix
  • High Throughput (performance) with a client only installation (Agents on source and target is the recommended scenarios for best performance)
  • Industry leader (Microsoft supported)
  • Very detailed reporting with graphical representations
  • Only migrate to a maximum of 400MB item size ( Vendor indicated large files in next release approx. December 2017)
  • Link library URL not updated (considered as content)
  • Unclear Content filter logic (also to the technical support)
  • Identify and migrate records but omits compliance details, such as date of declaration
Sharegate Full
  • Simple and easy to use interface
  • Identify and migrate records including associated compliance details (date declared) and prevents overwriting
  • Client-side installation only ( no additional agents on the source or target)
  • Requires 2 migration runs (copy sites and copy content)to effectively copy structure and content.
  • Throughput (performance) issue particularly on on-premise to on-premise migration
  • Can’t exclude/filter content during site collection level migration.
  • Backup target prior to content migration
  • Move/delete source after migration
  • Complex installation requiring storage of configuration files in database
  • Identify and migrate records but omits compliance details, such as date of declaration
Tzunami Deployer
  • Better link management (using resolver agent)
  • Disable firewall/set rules on source and target servers
  • Complex installation
  • Issues with merging if folders existing on target; had to instruct tool to create new folders on target to migrate
  • Extensive and manual premigration settings



Selecting suitable SharePoint Migration Tools depends heavily on a set of organizational migration requirements. The following considerations might help in establishing a set of requirements:

  • Is it a lift and shift (Farm or Site Collections Level) one-time migration
  • Is it an incremental migration–based on needs
  • Is it a migration of Site Collection structure and to be followed by incremental document libraries/folders/ items level migration
  • Is it an entirely on-premise migration (Source and Target SharePoint Servers)
  • Is it an on-premise and Cloud (SharePoint Online)
  • What’s the volume of data to migrate
  • What is the migration run operation- Centralized or Decentralized
  • What are the legal and compliance concerns
Carlson Ngwa

Carlson Ngwa

Dr. Carlson is certified in Enterprise Content Management, Information Professional, Scrum Master and Project Management Professional with profound technical and business skills. He serves as advisory in business and IT engagements leveraging on best practices to facilitate alignment of enterprise content management solutions to organizational strategic goals.
Carlson Ngwa
SharePoint Migration Tools : A Technical Assessment
Article Name
SharePoint Migration Tools : A Technical Assessment
SharePoint Migration Tools documentations and sales pitch -Trust but verify: without proper evaluation, a tool may easily become too expensive when it doesn't deliver on its promises. This article presents the results of a technical assessment conducted on the following SharePoint Migration Tools: Sharegate, Metalogix Content Matrix, AvePoint DocAve, and Tzunami Deployer.
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Atos Consulting CH
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