Many companies are discovering the added benefits of SharePoint 2010, such as improved search queries, managed metadata, Microsoft Office Integration, cloud compatibility, you name it. For organizations using Lotus Notes, the thought of migration can be daunting to say the least. B2B Technologies has been working with Post Properties over the past year to develop their SharePoint portal, with the first hurdle of their Notes migration being completed within the first month. While this project falls within a long-term scope, the benefits of the initial Notes migration has been exponential as their team increases productivity and collaborative efforts across multiple locations.
Post Properties was using file shares and over 200 Lotus Notes Databases to support communication and collaboration both company-wide and within work teams. The Lotus Notes Databases were not developed in a strategic manner and therefore lacked a consistent user interface and robust search capabilities. A new intranet powered by Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 was chosen to replace the Lotus Notes Databases in order to provide flexible and dynamic content structures that allow content to be created through a common user interface and organized and displayed in many different ways. However, Post Properties was concerned about the cost to migrate 200 databases into SharePoint, assuming that a tool like Migration Manager from Quest Software would be required.
To plan the migration, B2B Technologies recommended an inventory of all 200 databases. For each database, we included a brief functional description, and a screenshot. When B2B reviewed each database with Post Properties, it was discovered that only 6 of the 200 databases were supporting critical business processes and needed to be migrated to SharePoint. This eliminated the licensing cost of a migration tool, as the migration could be performed manually.
The next step in planning the migration was to determine how the functionality of a Notes database could be implemented in SharePoint 2010. B2B Technologies designed 6 SharePoint composite applications that utilized custom content types, managed metadata, and custom list templates to replicate the functionality of the Notes databases without writing any code.
B2B Technologies was able to add new functionality because of the advantages of the SharePoint platform. Using content query web parts, the new intranet presents information in different ways for inter and intra-department collaboration, allowing employees at all levels to find the information needed to perform their tasks.