Migrating to SharePoint 2013 from SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010
By: Selena Wang on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The much anticipated release of SharePoint® 2013 brings with it a set of improvements that you will want to use, with new features and capabilities in the areas of social/community, search and mobility. There are also many improved capabilities on the infrastructure side as well. (I’ll be detailing the new SharePoint 2013 features in an upcoming blog, so sign up for the mindSHIFT RSS blog feed to get an alert when it’s published.)

In preparation for a migration to SharePoint 2013 from SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010, I’ve developed this outline of the key considerations and steps that you will want follow.

Migrating from SharePoint 2007 

The correct method for migrating from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 requires an intermediate upgrade step: a migration to SharePoint 2010. This is necessary because the changes between versions are too great, and the hardware requirements differ so much that a direct upgrade is not possible or supported.

These are—at a high level—the steps for the 2007-to-2010 migration. It’s important to note that there are many sub-steps and procedures too detailed for inclusion in a blog, but they must be followed to assure a smooth migration.

These notes utilize the many resources and informational documents that are available on the Microsoft and TechNet websites, and links to the full documents are provided for your reference. 

1. Preparation

    • The first step is to prepare your 2007 server farm. You must be working under the latest software updates for Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and you must have Service Pack 2 installed. After your software is up-to-date, then you can run the pre-upgrade checker. This will provide you with an inventory of all the customizations on an upgrade worksheet for SharePoint Server 2010.

For a list of available updates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Office SharePoint Server 2007, see Updates for SharePoint Products and Technologies.

    • Next you would need to create a small, temporary farm running SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010 (depending on the version you’re upgrading from). As with the previous step, you will need to have all of the latest software updates and all released service packs installed in this farm to proceed. Additional detailed requirements are available on the Microsoft TechNet SharePoint pages.

For a list of updates available for SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, see Updates for SharePoint 2010 Products.

    • Next, set up your full 2013 farm, and confirm that it is running correctly.

2. Upgrade the content to 2010 products

    • Backup your content databases, restore the backups to the new 2010 farm, and take your old 2007 farm offline.
    • Attach the content database copies to the new 2010 farm and upgrade them.
    • Confirm that your content was upgraded and the server farm is running correctly.

Migrating from SharePoint 2010

Whether you are starting from SharePoint 2010, or if this is Part Two of your upgrade from SharePoint 2007, the following steps will apply for the migration. These are the high level steps that have numerous actions required under each one.

1. Prepare

    • Gather information and clean up your 2010 farm.
    • Prepare your 2013 farm—this includes web servers, application services and database servers (SQL Server® 2008 R2 or SQL Server 2012).

2. Upgrade Database

    • Similar to the 2007-2010 upgrade, backup your content databases and restore them to the SharePoint 2013 farm.
    • Attach the content database copies to the new 2013 farm and upgrade them. 
    • Verify that the content was upgraded and the 2013 farm is running correctly.
    • Create web applications and apply customizations.
    • Upgrade content databases.

3. Upgrade Sites

    • Run site collection health checks.
    • Create an upgrade evaluation site collection.
    • Upgrade a site collection.

4. Test all applications and functions.

5. Start serving requests on the SharePoint 2013 farm.


Other Considerations for Your SharePoint 2013 Migration

You’ll need hardware for the migration farms. Some great news on the SharePoint 2013 front – it’s more cloud-friendly than ever before. You should consider using cloud servers for your migration project, as well as long-term operation. That can save some capital expenditures in your project, and can also provide additional scalability, backup services and other benefits that might not be part of your current in-house operation.

At each step in the migration path, you will need to pay close attention to licensing requirements for the software. This includes services and server licenses (e.g., Microsoft SQL, Windows Server®, etc.), as well as the SharePoint CALs (Client Access Licenses). Among the many changes of SharePoint 2013, licensing is probably is the most welcome one.

The SharePoint 2013 licensing pricing structure has eliminated the SharePoint for Internet Sites License (FIS). For a public or external website, you no longer need SharePoint FIS—just install SharePoint Enterprise. Internet facing sites in SharePoint 2013 are about 5 times cheaper than the old pricing. See this simple scenario:

# of Internal Users




# of Servers





Internal CAL

Enterprise (Est.)


SharePoint 2010

$                    82

 $            40,000

 $            88,200

SharePoint 2013

$                    94

 $              7,000

 $            23,400



Saving (Est.):

$            64,800


Deprecated Services
There are numerous services and features that are significantly changed, eliminated or scheduled for complete removal in future versions. Microsoft describes these as deprecated services. For example, some site templates will continue to operate in SharePoint 2013 but will not be supported. The migration steps for 2010 and 2013 are significantly different for these services and features, and may require some custom development to maintain functionality for your end users. You will need to have a detailed plan in place for each service and each migration.  

Third-party Tools and Custom Code
If you are using any plug-ins, web parts or custom code in your current SharePoint, pre-migration testing will be required to assure compliance in SharePoint 2013.

SharePoint, Database and Server Expertise
You’ll need the right team of professionals who have the background and expertise in server hardware and software operation.

A SharePoint migration project is complex. The dedication, expertise of your SharePoint team will be the difference between smooth or a problematic conversion. Expect to need an extremely detailed plan and testing regimen to ensure a flawless migration to SharePoint 2013.

Selena Wang is Director of SharePoint Services in the Application Development practice at mindSHIFT® Technologies. Selena has 9 years of experience in designing and implementing SharePoint solutions, PMP and SharePoint 2007/2010 certifications, an MBA from Dowling College and a Master of Science degree from Long Island University - CW Post.

Related links:

For more information on SharePoint consulting services, contact mindSHIFT or call 877-227-5054.




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