Posts Tagged ‘site’

MetaVis Feature of the Day: Organize SharePoint Farms

June 18, 2014

Left in ungoverned state when too many many people can create sites SharePoint farms tend to grow to disorganized structures that are hard to navigate, manage and secure. Sometimes it is not bad because at the initial phase of introducing SharePoint to the organization it might be desirable to have this organic, almost viral, grow of SharePoint use. Introducing governance policies and rules helps to mitigate the organization problem with the ongoing farm growth. However, the existing disorganized structure remains. MetaVis Migration Suite provides an excellent way to restructure existing SharePoint farms into new manageable scheme.

For example, take a sub-sites somewhere deep in the site hierarchy and promote it to a new site collection together with all its sub-sites, lists, content, permissions and even navigation and look and feel. Alternatively, do the opposite operation: take a site collection and move it all as a sub-site of the other site collection. MetaVis Migration Suite can help to rearrange lists from different sites or site collections into a single location. It can also help to split large and messy site into several logical sub-sites or site collections every time taking vital structural information like permissions, fields, content types or workflows with lists and sites to their new location.

MetaVis Migration Suite works with on-premises and hosted SharePoints alike including Office 365 shared sites and OneDrive for Business tenancies. The desktop application is easy to install (no server side agents required) and looks much like Windows Explorer offering hierarchical representation of SharePoint farms with intuitive drag-and-drop or copy/paste interface.

Please visit for more information about MetaVis Migration Suite.




MetaVis Platform Features Overview: Discover WEB Applications and Site Collections in a Server Farm

March 7, 2011

One of the new function we recently added to MetaVis platform is the ability to list all site collections in a given server farm. The user is expected to provide URL to the farm’s Central Administration console and supply server farm administrator credentials. There are several business cases we want to apply this function in the future. We started with the simple ability to select the site collection to connect to on SharePoint Connection Wizard.


Discover Site Collections button on the SharePoint Connection Wizard leads to the screens that list all site collection in the server farm.



On a first screen of Discover wizard the user is prompted to connect to server far central administration console and pick a WEB Application.



On the last screen of the Discover Site Collection Wizard the user can browse, filter and select site collection to use to connect to the new site.



Current use of Discover Site Collection wizard is to select a site collection to connect to. Our plan is to reuse this functionality to implement functions that perform mass-operations with existing site collections. For example, next function we plan to roll out based on the Discover functionality will let users to copy multiple selected site collections to the other server farm. The other variation of the save function will be the ability to copy My Sites between SharePoint farms.

One Year in MetaVis Development

December 15, 2010

End of December is a traditional time to reflect about achievements of the passing year and lay some plans for the year upcoming. I tried to extract the essence of MetaVis development from the jungle of our release notes for the executive planning. I was surprised as many of the functions that seemingly were there forever got their start during 2010.

In brief, we did the following

· Rounded up MetaVis Migrator offering by adding the ability to copy sites, site collections and promote sites to site collections as well as adding support for many individual SharePoint objects. Among new objects we added support to browse and copy site and list permissions, security groups, permission levels, users, list views, WEB Parts (with views), publishing page layout settings, welcome page settings, site navigation settings, site themes settings, SPD Workflows, InfoPath forms, Survey lists and Discussion Boards, list and site templates, master pages. Added automatic URL correction when copying hyperlink fields, links, WEB Parts and WEB Part or publishing pages

· Launched Cloud Classifier – server side solution integrated with SharePoint 2010 ribbon GUI distributed across all site users that allows to mass tag list items and documents

· Started Change Control and Release Manager product – a comprehensive solution with delayed execution of activities, scheduler, mass source and target substitutions and audit trail history to manage changes across multiple SharePoint environments

· Implemented live side-by-side compare feature for sites, site collections and lists that displays live difference report for all objects supported by MetaVis product line starting with sites down to individual items or documents

· Added support for SharePoint 2010 including many SharePoint 2010 specific features like copy and map managed metadata fields, copy and merge term sets, copy document sets

· Integrated MetaVis products with Exchange Public Folders, Windows File Classification Infrastructure (FCI), Windows Explorer (for bulk import) and new Microsoft Online SharePoint 2010 from Office 365

· Extended Bulk import from file system offering by allowing to map file system folders to SharePoint fields, adding optional folder removal feature and enabling automatic correction of illegal characters

· Improved visual appeal, general organization, ergonomics and usability of the product by adding MS Office style ribbon toolbar, interactive graphical wizards and background processing for all operations

· Added reports for site collection inventory, site users and site templates

· Implemented filter-based items, lists and sites copy that allows to perform delta- and incremental migrations

· Implemented mass delete and mass rename functions

· Added command line processing for all copy functions with options

· Extended mapping functionality to tackle differences in SharePoint environments by allowing to map the fields of different types like lookup field to managed metadata field, map users, site and list templates when copying SharePoint objects

It was fun, productive and agile year in MetaVis development group full of discoveries and successes. We are looking forward to the challenges of the New 2011 Year with optimism and high expectations.

MetaVis Change Control and Release Manager

November 22, 2010

Product Overview

MetaVis Change Control and Release Manager for SharePoint (CCRM) is an off the shelf software tool that compares and promotes changes between two of more SharePoint environments.

Change Control and Release Manager provides a controllable and repeatable way to automate the following processes:

  • Propagate changes made in development environment to test one and then to production one
  • Bring back data collected in production environment to the test and to development ones
  • Distribute solutions from software vendor to multiple clients
  • Push updates to multiple SharePoint environments in the organization
  • Govern multiple SharePoint environments with centrally defined policies

Change Control and Release Manager employs several foundation tools to support business cases described above:

  • Live side-by-site compare tool that provides both high level and fine grained difference reports between SharePoint environments with the ability to drill down into the difference hierarchies and initiate object synchronization activities
  • A number graphical and background tools for objects copy activities that allow object copy on site collection, site, list and individual item levels
  • Activity management tool that allows defining , managing, grouping, execution and scheduling of the object compare, copy and synchronization activities defined by other tools

Change Control and Release Manager supports change management for the following SharePoint objects:

  • Sites, lists, libraries, fields, content types, content type and column groups
  • Folders, documents, document sets, pages, publishing pages, WIKIs and items
  • WEB Parts, list views and site welcome pages
  • Workflows
  • Term stores, term sets, terms and managed metadata columns
  • Users, groups, permission levels, permissions and permission inheritance

Concept and Terminology

Change Control and Release Manager implementation is based on a concept of activity. An activity is a unit of elementary operation like copy site, list or filtered group of items. Copy activity specifies source, destination and copy parameters.

Multiple activities may be grouped together and executed as a whole. For example, an activity may include a several list copy activities. Another example is an activity that copies site from development to QA and then copies QA site to the production environment. Yet another example is distribution of a single list to multiple different sites.

Change Control and Release Manager allows scheduling, managing, executing activity or groups of activities and viewing history of activity execution including the users who created, modified or executed the activity.

Activity history view allows browsing the activity execution log and other artifacts (like reports) of previous activity executions.

The activities themselves are based on the familiar MetaVis copy operations like copy site, list or items wizards.


Scheduling of activities may also utilize the full power of MetaVis Live Compare dialog.

Scheduling of activities could also be done using copy/paste or drag-and-drop operations in MetaVis Navigator View that reflects natural SharePoint object hierarchy.

The mission of Change Control and Release Manager is to provide an easy way to perform, monitor and audit large sets of repeatable operations that copy or synchronize multiple SharePoint environments.

Copy Master Pages and Page Layouts between SharePoint Site Collections with MetaVis Migrator

August 9, 2010

Master pages contain controls that are shared across multiple pages and page layouts, such as navigation, search, or language-preference for multilingual sites. Page layouts contain field controls and Web Parts. By using master pages, you can provide a consistent look and feel for your site. You can use master pages to position items that must be shared by all pages, such as navigational controls, company logos, and copyright notices.

Mater pages and page layouts are regular documents located in special SharePoint lists called galleries. This property makes it possible to manage them using MetaVis Migrator . Below is a brief example of how to copy master pages between SharePoint site collections.

First, load both source and target site collections into MetaVis Migrator so that they will be accessible in MetaVis Navigation Tree on the left. Then right click on the Lists node of the source site and select Enable Hidden Lists options.

This option will make site collection galleries visible in MetaVis Navigation Tree. To copy master pages and page layouts double click on Master Page Gallery list, select master pages that you need to copy and copy them into the clipboard (right click and select Copy or use keyboard combination Ctrl-C on Windows or Command-C on Mac).

After this navigate to target site collection loaded into MetaVis Navigation Tree, enable hidden lists in there and perform Paste into Master Page Gallery of the target site collection.

When the copy process is completed the new master pages become available in the destination site collection and could be used in Site Properties Master Page specification:

Copy SharePoint Site to New Site Collection using MetaVis for SharePoint

May 13, 2010

Earlier this week MetaVis for SharePoint added an experimental feature that allows to create new site collections based on any existing site. There are several business cases covered by this basic functionality

  • Copy site collection to the other location in the same server farm or to some other server farm
  • Promote existing sub-site to the site collection level (which could be located in the same server farm or in the different one)
  • Create new site collection with the exactly same structure (and, optionally, data) as some other site or site collection

This feature does not require any additional installations (agents) on the SharePoint server side and could be bundled with the regular MetaVis for SharePoint installation. However, it would not work with hosted or BPOS environments because Central Administration there is replaced with custom administration dashboards that impose strict control over site collections creation.

In order to create new site collections, in addition to the regular credentials and site URLs the user should know the URL to the server farm central administration site and server farm administrator credentials.

There are two ways to activate “Copy to New Site Collection” feature:

  • Use site copy wizard by selecting Tools / Site Copy menu item. Select source site first and then Select third option “Create New Site Collection” on the “Select which type of site copy should be run” screen

  • The other way to start using Copy to a New Site Collection feature is to right click on any site in the MetaVis Navigation Tree and select “Copy to a new site collection” item from the popup menu.

After the source site is identified the screen Copy to a New Site Collection will appear. The screen will allow to select regular site copy options. It will also prompt to define URL to server farm Central Administration Site and new Site Collection URL in order to connect to the central administration and instruct it to create new site collection.

MetaVis Live Side-by-Side Site Compare

April 13, 2010

Earlier this week MetaVis for SharePoint added an experimental live side-by-side site compare function. Live compare allows user to select two SharePoint sites and compares the sites objects side-by-side in a single scrollable expandable tree view. The Compare View allows drilling down to sites, sub-sites, lists, content types, fields and object properties to see the difference between sites in a simple intuitive interface.

Moreover, the Compare View allows to select a difference record and to synchronize sites by copying selected objects. The object copy utilizes powerful MetaVis Migrator engine that enables copying sites, site hierarchies and lists.

We envision the following use cases for Live Compare functionality

  • Compare and synchronize site collections
  • Synchronize development, QA and production environments
  • Check the completeness of data migration
  • Quickly find a modified object property like “Major Versioning” enabled for some lists

To utilize MetaVis Live Compare connect to SharePoint sites, select them in MetaVis Navigator View like displayed on the picture below, right click and choose Live Compare menu option.

Copy objects in SharePoint with MetaVis: from fine copy control to bulk copy

December 15, 2009

This article discusses various cases of copying data in SharePoint by MetaVis Migrator. MetaVis Migrator offers wide variety of functions from a fine control over each field value while copying few selected items in a large list to a bulk copying of many lists or even sites at a time preserving object properties and all items metadata. Below is the list of different methods of copying SharePoint objects with the explanations what they do and how and when they should be used.

  • Item Level Copy allows to select one or several items in a list or file system folder and copy all of them at once to another folder, list, site, site collection or SharePoint server. Item level copy could be applied to documents, non-document items or pages. During this way of copy items of different content types could be selected and copied at the same time. The copy will preserve content type and values for all fields while copying the data. To activate item level copy in MetaVis Copy Items Wizard select “Keep Original” in Content Type box on the Properties page of the wizard. Item level copy should be used when some items in a list or library should be copying to the new location.
  • Item Level Copy with Fields Mapping allows to select one or several items in a list or a folder on a file share and copy all of them at once to another folder, list, site, site collection or SharePoint server. Item level copy could be applied to documents, non-document items or pages. During this way of copy items of different content types could be copied at the same time but only one content type could be selected as a destination. User may define a mapping for fields so that values will be copied from the source fields to the new fields of the destination item. MetaVis Migrator supports wide variety of field mapping strategies like mapping of Choice or String fields to Lookup field which make MetaVis Migrator a perfect tool for the content re-classification and enhancement of content metadata. To activate fields mapping during item level copy select destination content type on the Properties page of MetaVis Copy Items Wizard. In this mode new values for fields could be selected by using Left-Arrow or Down-Arrow buttons located near each field.
  • Data Analysis Mode for Item Level Copy enables preview of field values during field mapping. It is often beneficial to see all possible values that appear in certain field for all items selected for item level copy. One of the values could be selected as a value for the selected field in the destination item. Enable menu item “Edit / Data Analysis Mode” to activate this mode and use Down-Arrow button on the Properties page of MetaVis Copy Items Wizard to preview field values for the selected field during mapping. Data Analysis Mode could be used to understand current data in source SharePoint lists prior to the migration project and build MetaVis migration templates to facilitate repeatability during migration.

  • Folder Copy initiates item level copy for all items in the selected folder in SharePoint or on a file share. Folder copy will also include all sub-folders of the selected folder into a copy operation. To activate a folder copy the folder could copied or dragged from the Navigator or Content Views into the other folder or a list on the Navigator or Content Views. This mode of copying could be used to mass copy items located in folders.

  • List Copy allows to select a list or several lists in a certain site and copy them all to another location. In the process MetaVis Migrator will create each list in the target site together with all required fields and content types and optionally will copy content, list views and list permissions. MetaVis Migrator will copy items preserving their content type and field values as they were in the source list. This mode of copy could be activated by copying of a list node in the Navigator View and pasting it on the site, dragging and dropping list node in the Navigator View or using List Copy Wizard available in the Tools menu. This mode of copying could be used to mass copy lists with items or to copy list structures and views.

  • Site Copy allows to copy sites from one location to the other one or to copy certain site objects to the existing sites. This function optionally allows to include all sub-sites into a single copy operation, optionally support copying of the lists, list views, list items, site home page WEB Parts, site permissions and activate site features. This function will later be extended to include other site objects like master and layout pages, etc. Site Copy could be activated by copying a site node and pasting it to the other site in the Navigator View or by using Copy Site Wizard available in the Tools menu. Site Copy could be used to bulk copy the site hierarchies without changing site structures. The other use of site copy is to merge two sites together including content types hierarchies, lists and sub-sites.