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Migrating from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Sharepoint

You may have seen our previous article, which walks you through the steps for migrating the relatively straightforward 75 to 85 per cent of Lotus Notes applications to a Microsoft server. However, there is a minority of applications — around 15 to 25 per cent — which fall into the “highly complex” category and which are not so simple to migrate. To complicate matters further, these applications are often the most crucial for the ongoing success of your organisation. In this article, we’ll provide a few hints for the more difficult parts when you want to convert Lotus Notes applications.

The disadvantage of using Microsoft’s tools

Microsoft provides a few tools that developers can use when undertaking a migration, including SharePoint designer, InfoPath designer and Visual Studio. While SharePoint Designer and InfoPath Designer are better suited to the task of migrating simple applications, Visual Studio is a much more powerful developer tool with the ability to help move the highly complex applications. However, using Visual Studio requires extensive training and expertise, which can be costly in terms of both time and money for your organisation.

Using third-party tools

Whereas, once upon a time, Visual Studio was the only way to migrate the highly complex Lotus Notes applications, these days there is a huge range of third-party tools that you can take advantage of. Because they generally involve ready-made components capable of transporting and reconfiguring Notes feature sets more quickly and easily, they’ll save your organisation both time and money.

Some of the specific benefits of third-party tools include:

  • It will take much less time, due to canned actions and Notes-like application templates, which you’ll be able to customise with nothing more than a click of a mouse. Realistically, third-party tools are capable of helping you complete your migration in days instead of months.
  • It will costs a lot less too, due to the fact that you won’t have to spend on the extensive training necessary to train your developers in Visual Studio or, alternatively, hire Visual Studio experts on a freelance or consultation basis.
  • Your developers will be more familiar with the tools, as opposed to having to learn a brand new migration tool in Visual Studio. As well as the obvious time and cost saving benefits due to less training being required, there is also the fact that your developers will feel more a part of your migration, as opposed to resisting the change altogether.

Replicating Notes

Another great advantage of third-party tools, which is often overlooked, is the ability to create a Notes-like environment on the new Microsoft servers. After all, most of your organisation will be used to using Lotus Notes and, as such, having to deal with brand new interfaces that they do not understand can make the process of migration unnecessarily difficult and full of headaches. Instead, having a closely replicated Notes environment will enable your organisation to become productive faster after the migration, minimising down-time and increasing profits.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to convert NSF to PST, contact Kim Beros Consulting.

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