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Microsoft Adapters: OneDrive and SharePoint Online Overview

DESCRIPTION:  Microsoft has two primary cloud-based platforms:  OneDrive, which is designed for personal storage, and Sharepoint Online, which supports more collaborative storage.  Cloud FastPath has five Microsoft adapters suited to different needs:

  • OneDrive Personal, for personal storage that is typically associated with a non business O365 license
  • OneDrive for Business non admin, for connection to a single One Drive user account in a multi-user Microsoft tenant
  • OneDrive for Business admin, for multi-user migration to or from a Microsoft tenant
  • Sharepoint Online non admin, for smaller migrations to or from a limited number of sites that do not require transcription of owner and sharing metadata
  • Sharepoint Online admin, for larger migrations to multiple SPO sites, or for migrations that require transcription of owner and sharing metadata

Additionally, the admin models of the OneDrive and Sharepoint Online adapters provide the ability to transfer data to Sharepoint and OneDrive for Business sites respectively, using commands invoked in the mapping spreadsheet. That means that a single job with the OneDrive – or SharePoint – admin adapter can migrate data to both OneDrive and Sharepoint.

Admin models of the adapters can run account mapping or point-to-point transfer jobs, while non admin models can run point-to-point transfer jobs only.  The advantage of non admin models of the adapters is they generally do not require as high a level of authorization to access the tenant.

Cloud FastPath can migrate to document libraries located in Microsoft Teams.

Sharepoint On-premise is a totally separate adapter covered elsewhere in this documentation.

Azure POPs, which reside on Microsoft architecture, are recommended for migrations to Microsoft platforms.  Any cloud POP type will work.

Preparing for Your Migration

All Adapters (non admin and admin)

Identify Paths, Folder and File Names That Are Too Long

Two of the most common reasons for file transfer errors during migrations to Microsoft are ‘Name too long’ and ‘Path too long.’ SharePoint has a limit of 255 characters for any file or folder, and a limit of 400 characters for the full URL path to the item.  The URL includes the full SharePoint site name.  So if the path for your document on SharePoint is this:

https://company.sharepoint.com/Documents/migrated files/apollo.txt

The path length calculation is based on this string:

https://company.sharepoint.com%2FDocuments%2Fmigrated%20files%2Fapollo.txt

Note that characters such as spaces, slashes, ampersands and unicode characters will all be converted in URL encoding, and the resulting encoding for a single character may be several characters in length.

If you have not named your SharePoint tenant before starting the migration, it is immensely helpful to give it a short name to minimize the incidence of path length errors. Likewise, you may want to consider naming conventions for any users in OneDrive who have extraordinarily long names, especially if you anticipate migrating a deep folder structure or otherwise long path names to their account.

If you are moving your data to a specific folder on SharePoint, keeping the folder name short will likewise minimize errors and the need to rename paths to a smaller length.

Running a simulation prior to the actual data transfer will identify paths, folder names and file names that are too long for SharePoint. You can then adjust the paths prior to running the actual migration. Path renaming done after the map is generated can result in mapping errors and other issues with your migration, so re-running the map after renaming is recommended. Typically, data that has paths too long is clustered into a few folders, and is reasonably easy to address. Contact support@cloudfastpath.com for advice on whether you need to re-run a map. Simulation will also detect files greater than 15GB, which is the standard file size limit for Sharepoint.

You can get a rough idea of paths that are too long by running an analysis at the very outset of the project and then running a (LEN) function in Excel for all of the paths in the analysis report. Any character count that is > ~250 characters or so is in the risk zone for path too long errors.

About OneNote Files

Many OneNote notebooks, and the associated items such as Notebook packages, may not transfer from or to SharePoint due to the facts that they are highly dependent on the ecosystem in which they were created, and they do not always have well defined properties as files. If they do transfer, they may not open in the same state as on the source, for reasons independent of CFP. CFP does not support transferring Notebooks; please make other provisions to transfer these items.

File Limits

Like most cloud services, Microsoft imposes limits on the number and overall size of files in accounts, and for various parameters related to the recommended and absolute maximums for ACL parameters.  A helpful article on these limits is https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/servicedescriptions/sharepoint-online-service-description/sharepoint-online-limits. Because Sharepoint Online Document Libraries (and OneDrive /personal/Documents spaces are simply specialized Sharepoint Document Libraries) inherit permissions for site owners applied at parent directories higher up, ACL limits may affect some migrations even where permissions are not applied in the migration itself.  Analysis and simulation jobs can help identify large reservoirs of data that may be best restructured before you start migrating.  Particularly if you are running an account mapping job, the data can be sent to the target in a new structure using directives within the job itself, so you don’t have to physically move anything on the source at all.

Admin Adapters

Providing Admin Access for Microsoft Adapters

Microsoft’s api makes the oauth user an owner for all data transferred to OneDrive and SharePoint sites. For those users who do not want the oauth to have this access, create a global admin specifically for the migration. Once the migration is complete, delete the oauth user, and they will be concurrently deleted as an owner for all migrated content.

A global admin is needed to authenticate an SPO/ODB admin system in a new customer Sharepoint tenant. The first time this is done, it creates a principal identity for the CFP application in the customer tenant. The global admin user must already have access to the customer tenant admin site.  This can be done by manually browsing to the customer tenant admin center while logged in as the global admin user. A Sharepoint admin can subsequently authenticate SPO/ODB admin systems, and the initial Global Admin authed system can be deleted.

As is true for the Global admin, the Sharepoint admin user must already have access to the tenant admin site.

Provisioning Users (OneDrive Target Migrations Only)

For migrations to OneDrive, target users must not only be created on the Microsoft tenant, their individual storage spaces must also be allocated, or provisioned. To provision accounts in bulk, refer to Microsoft’s documentation at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/pre-provision-accounts.

If you have users that will need more than the default amount of space – typically 1TB, but this may vary based on the license you have established with Microsoft – it is easier to add that space prior to when the migration starts, so you don’t run out of space mid migration.

The analysis reporting that comes with map generation lists account sizes on a per-user basis and can help you make decisions on how much space you will need. Note that if a given owner has large amounts of archive data that simply need long term storage, you can redirect the data to either an archive OneDrive account or to a SharePoint site as part of the migration job.

Microsoft Groups

The following group types are supported for file shares on Microsoft platforms:

  • Microsoft 365 groups
  • Security groups
  • Mail-enabled security groups
  • Sharepoint groups. Note that Sharepoint groups exist on a per-site basis and will not be discovered during the mapping process unless their resident site is selected as a target, but they can be added as sharees to the Groups tab if not found during mapping process.

Distribution groups, such as “All Employees” or “Safety Committee”, are designed for emailing purposes only and have no folder sharing attributes.

Turning Off OneDrive Sync in Office365 (OneDrive Target Migrations Only)

You can hide OneDrive and Sharepoint as options for saving Microsoft files to prevent users from saving documents to OneDrive until after migration is complete.  Refer to Microsoft’s documentation https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/hide-app-tiles-on-app-launcher.

ACL Limits

See Microsoft Adapters: ACL Limits for important information on managing ACLs in your migration.

Email Notifications for Shared Items

INTERNAL SHAREES:  Cloud FastPath suppresses sharing notifications automatically for internal sharees.

EXTERNAL SHAREES:  External sharees will receive an email notification when an item is shared with them on a given tenant. The email is a security measure to verify the user’s identity, but it also is a means to provide access to the shared item(s). Once the external sharee clicks on a link in the email to accept the share, they will be registered with the tenant as an external user with a user id on that tenant. At that point, all further emails to that user will be suppressed.

If you want to minimize the emails sent out during the migration itself, you can register external users with the tenant in advance of the migration. The mapping sheet provides a readily filterable list of all external users. There is an Advanced Field option, Suppress Email Notification for Sharing, that will suppress emails to external users, but then they will not know that the data was shared with them, nor will they have a self service mechanism for registering with the tenant.

Updated on February 18, 2021

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