Many businesses use SharePoint to build internal and external websites. This system offers the ability to create wikis, search functions and websites all in one package. However, SharePoint has some serious limitations that developers need to keep in mind:
- You are required to build on the Microsoft platform. This means your computer network must be upgraded to the latest version of Windows Server and your computers must all run the latest version of Windows. This upgrade can be expensive.
- Older versions of SharePoint require ActiveX controls, so you can't run them at all on Mac or Linux machines. The newest versions of SharePoint have only limited functionality on these systems, and some features still require ActiveX controls.
- You need to use Internet Explorer to get maximum functionality; some features are not available on Firefox or Safari.
- Licensing costs for SharePoint can be prohibitive.
For all of these reasons, many businesses are migrating to Drupal. Drupal is a content management system that allows you to accomplish the same goals as SharePoint without dealing with as many limitations. Drupal uses PHP to power its content management systems.
How to Migrate from SharePoint to Drupal
Businesses are often held back from migrating to Drupal because they don't see any clear, simple way to do so. However, it's not as complicated as you might think.
The first thing you need to do is export your SharePoint content. Exporting is vital because manually transferring content and content databases takes a long time. To make the task of exporting easier, set up custom web services in SharePoint. Once your content is exported, you can upload it to Drupal's servers.
An alternative to this method is to use Drupal's CMIS module. This module is designed to connect Drupal to another content management system so that you can easily migrate content from one system to another. It uses an API to connect the systems so that you can use Drupal's interface to work with both systems.
Once your basic migration is complete, look at your websites to see how everything looks. This is especially important if you had any lists on your SharePoint pages. Drupal doesn't handle lists the same way. You may have to install a custom module to get lists and other features to look right.
Although this may sound like a lot of work, it isn't as complicated as you may think. Drupal's biggest strength is in its community; you can ask members for help if you're not sure how to make something look the way you want it to or don't know which modules to install. If you use Drupal's modules and rely on the community for additional support, you should be able to migrate more or less seamlessly.