Recently I’ve been involved with a client project that included moving some SharePoint sites from one web application to another as well, as moving document libraries from a top site to a sub-site.
While I work at the Business level (business systems analyst role), the move itself was done by client’s IT Infrastructure people. Fortunately they were smart enough to copy the content, instead of moving it. This was a brilliant idea, as it gave us the ability to have the original content still available.
Once the content had been moved the next step was to check that no documents had been missed. Now, the site owner (at the business level) had the best idea of what content would be stored in the doclibs, but as there were 64 of them, (some with 100 documents, many with documents in the thousands), doing a direct comparison was not easy. There was also the fact that the new locations had been “unfrozen” and people were uploading documents.
We investigated various ways to do a comparison. This involved creating special views for the docbases that would include only documents created before the “unfreeze” date, and then doing a screen by screen comparison. This was quickly deemed as not practical, and not handy, and bloody tiring.
Then we tried exporting out the lists from the original location to spreadsheet, and then doing the same with the new location so that each list was in columns next to each other. And then doing a side-by-side comparison. This was definitely more practical, and we thought that it was a plausible solution. Until we discovered that for one of the doclibs there were 900 documents in the old location that were not in the new location.
Fortunately we came across a tool from MetaVis. The application suite of this product included a “Live Compare” feature. With this we were able to easily select one particular site in the left part of the screen, another site in the right screen, and then select the docbases that we wanted to compare. And then after clicking on the “Go and check the differences” button (it was actually titled “Compare Now”), we could see which documents were in the old location, and were not in the new location, and vice versa. This was great! And compared to manually comparing lists, was sooo much easier.
As well as any differences in content in the doclibs, we were also able to see small differences in other configurations. This was very handy.
Now – I know that the main functionality of the MetaVis tool is to do with migration, and architecting, but this “Live Compare” functionality certainly saved us a lot of time and frustration.