SharePoint Migration and Why SharePoint 2016

Plenty of people have written on this topic and i’ll try to clear out some misconceptions about how you should go about it. Moreover one needs to draw a very clear line about Migration and Upgrading since they are both different which a lot of people seem to mix up. On a lot of forums i see people asking questions like how do we migrate from SP 2007 to SP 2013 and then to 2016? Another question which is quiet frequent relates to SharePoint 2010 license and if its possible to do a direct migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013.

The issues can be resolved easily and it is not that difficult as it looks like. You only need to go through the post with full attention. So, let us get started.

Oftentimes, it happens with the users that they are currently using SharePoint 2007. But, as the advent of new features and technology, they think of SharePoint to SharePoint migration. Although, it is believed by many users that it mandatory to switch from 2007 to SharePoint 2010 and then, further proceed towards SharePoint 2013 migration. However, it is not true. This post deals with the best possible solution for moving from SharePoint 2007 to 2013 and also gives a chart to show the benefits of SharePoint 2016 and why you should consider it.

I have written very extensively on the topic of Migration to SharePoint Online, in case you are looking for it.

Migrating or Upgrading

In upgradation: The version of an application is upgraded when the entire database is moved from one version to another. In other words, the data is physically transferred from the older version to the newer one.

In migration: The data from any version are copied and then moved. In simpler words, the database of the user stays intact at some place. All the data consisting of attributes, structures or non-structured data are derived in any other database but, in exactly same manner. However, the original copy of the database is not moved at all. It remains as it is.

Migration Path

If a user wants to migrate from SharePoint to SharePoint, it is a two-step process:

  • Moving from SharePoint 2007 to 2010
  • Moving from SharePoint 2010 to 2013

Moving from SharePoint 2007 to 2010

  1. You should make sure that the SharePoint 2007 and Service Pack 2 is upgraded up to date. At the next step, launch upgrade checker. This will display a list of all the customization you did to upgrade to SharePoint 2010
  2. Afterward, generate a temporary farm which is executing on SharePoint 2010 to perform SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 migration
  3. The entire data should be backed up and then restored at any other temporary place which is created in the SharePoint version 2010
  4. The replica of the database created should be attached to the SharePoint 2010 location.
  5. Once you are done with moving from SharePoint 2007 to 2010, the SharePoint 2007 can be put offline.

Moving from SharePoint 2010 to 2013

To perform SharePoint to SharePoint 2013 migration, a user has to follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Same as the step 1, you have to create a backup of the data to be exported, make a temporary location on SharePoint version 2013 and restore the desired databases here
  2. Employ all the customization and establish web applications
  3. Check all your programs to make sure that they are running properly

Why do the Migration

​The causes which lead any user to transfer the data from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 are explained in the upcoming section.

SharePoint 2010 is not built with the advanced features that it can handle the current as well as future business needs of any user or organization. Moreover, there is not even a single feature that is exhibited by SharePoint 2010 but, not by 2013. As the matter of fact, with the passage of time as the business moves forward, there is a need for unique and advanced features. They are offered by SharePoint 2013 like business intelligence and content management.

Also, moving to 2010 and then to 2013 is not a wise idea. This will cause many problems including financial losses. It is due to the reason that SharePoint 2010 has glitches related to the usability and discoverability. All these issues were fixed in 2013 version of SharePoint.

Using 2010 as the intermediate between 2007 and 2013 results in the double training of the employees. First, training is given on SharePoint 2010 to introduce the new version and then, SharePoint 2013.

Why SharePoint 2016

​SharePoint 2016 comes up with incredible performance and easy maintenance procedures. This latest version uses the copy operation on the content database level to enhance the site collection creation speed. This benefits users with list view thresholds, faster upload times, and enhanced security compliance.

Here are the key benefits of SharePoint 2016 and their comparison with its earlier versions:

CharaacteristicsSharePoint 2016SharePoint 2013SharePoint 2010
Max file size to uploadIncreased to 10GBDefault file size is 250 MB, that can be increased upto 2 GBDefault file size is 250 MB, that can be increased up to 2GB
Filename support for special charactersYesNoNo
Site Collection per Content Database100,000 per content DB2000 recommend and 5000 maximum2000 recommend and 5000 maximum
MinRole Farm TopologyPresentAbsentAbsent
Zero Downtime PattchingPresentAbsentAbsent
Fast Site Collection / Site GenerationYesNoNo
List ThresholdIncreased List Threshold > 5000100 million per search service application. 10 Million per index partition100 million per search service application. 10 million per index partition
ODF Support for Document LibraryPresentAbsentAbsent
ReFs File System SupportYesNoNo
Durable LinksYesNoNo
Site FoldersYesNoNo
Mobile ExperienceImproved Mobile navigation experienceChannelsNo
Power Pivot add-in and power viewYesAdd-in not availableAdd-in not available
SharingImprovedBasic SharingBasic Sharing
Search for Sensitive ContentYesNoNo
SMTP Connection EncryptionYesNoNo
Picture and Document Preview in Document LibrariesYesNoNo


SharePoint 2016 offers many advanced features which are necessary for present and future business needs which will make life much easier. Of course, users want to perform SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 migration first and look at how best it addresses the needs. Both manual and automated methods are explained to move from one version to another. A user can choose any one depending on the needs.

​To upgrade SharePoint 2007 to 2013 directly, users can go for third party automated tools which honestly are quiet good. These are the professional solutions to migrate the SharePoint database to same or other SharePoint database.

​As it is clear now that SharePoint 2016 comprises many useful features that can be helpful to make a transparent communication. Hence, it is recommended that upgrade your old SharePoint versions to SharePoint 2016 and utilize a simple and beneficial teamwork.

Leave a Reply