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Metadata landmines in SharePoint migrations

Migrating to SharePoint, particularly from a third-party platform, can wreak havoc on metadata if you don't know what you're dealing with.

SharePoint migrations can be tricky, especially when companies want to migrate from one third-party content management system to another.

Scott Robinson Scott Robinson

It can be difficult to move data seamlessly, and challenges like metadata can affect the cleanliness of the data as it comes into SharePoint.

Metadata can differ wildly from one platform to another, and there can also be issues in terms of how information is laid out. Folder trees that are organized in a certain way can also create performance issues or other problems with the data itself.

"You can't have your file folders nested too deeply, because that messes with SQL Server's indexing scheme, which makes the information take longer to retrieve, depending on how many layers deep you are in your file tree," said Scott Robinson, a SharePoint and business intelligence expert. "When you have a content management system that is based on file hierarchies, you have a big metadata issue. … It's not real metadata, so if you move the information to SharePoint, you are going to lose all that. The alternative is to move folders over as trees, but then your system is going to be as slow as Christmas."

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