SharePoint migrations using Office 365 Migration API

October 8, 2020

Office 365 migration API leverages Azure to boost migration speed and reduce the throttling effect to facilitate heavy migrations without affecting the performance.

Office 365 Migration API

SharePoint migrations became much easier with the help of third-party tools available in the market. But when it comes to SharePoint online migrations, performance and throttling issues are always primary concerns no matter which tool we use. Because of this SharePoint throttling effect, sometimes SharePoint sites will also become unavailable and causes poor performance to the users accessing the sites.

To address these issues, Microsoft came up with separate API for migrations named O365 Migration API. This API leverages Azure and boosts the migration speed like ever before and the throttling effect will be greatly reduced, so users can use SharePoint sites without any performance issues even at the time of heavy migrations.

How Office 365 migration API works
To explain it in a simple way, you will export your content as a package and submit it to Azure. The timer jobs in Azure will pick your content and migrate them to SharePoint Online.

Let’s review the process:

Prepare a package (Content Package) of items/files that you wish to migrate and another package (Manifest Package) of XML files that define metadata, relations, and settings for your migration. If this sounds complex, do not worry We will soon see what they are and how easily we can generate them.
Once the packages are ready, simply push them to the Azure Storage account and start the migration job.
Before starting the job, a queue should be created and associated with your package.
This can be easily done using the available API commands. When the migration job gets started in Azure, this queue holds the Job progress information.

Timer Jobs in Azure will pick your content and push them to target SharePoint Online.
During this process, the migration of job progress and status messages will be written to the queue.

Once the migration is completed, you can delete your packages from Azure.

We just saw the migration process. Now we will see how this can be achieved using available API commands.

We can either use the CSOM version of Migration API and code in C# or use the PowerShell one.

To simply explain the process, I will show you how we can migrate the Library Items from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online using SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets.

So, to migrate the content using this API, initially, a List/library with columns should be created at the target.

Steps to use PowerShell cmdlets to migrate from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online
Before you begin

Create an Azure Storage Account

Install the SharePoint Online Management Shell

Step 1: Setup your working directory

Step 2: Export your SharePoint List/Library content as a Content Package

Step 3: Generate the Manifest Package

Step 4: Submit packages to Azure Storage Account

Step 5: Start your migration job

Step 6: Monitor your migration job

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