File Explorer in a browser
SLIM Companion Explorer mimics File Explorer in a browser. It is easy-to-use, easy to deploy, cost-effective and fast.
Note: SLIM Companion Migration Manager has been rebranded as SLIM Companion Explorer to better reflect the tool’s capabilities.
Upload complete folder structures from the user’s computer, file shares, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and SharePoint 2007/2010/2013/2016/Office 365 by using drag and drop. Extract properties from source files (e.g. modification date) or document properties (e.g. GPS coordinates in a jpg file, subject in an msg file, or keywords in a pdf file, duration from a mov file, …) and capture them into SharePoint columns.
Preview files, delete items, move files or download items just as with File Explorer.
The tool supports SharePoint Online (Office 365 incl. Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams), OneDrive for Business, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016.
the most beautiful thing about the tool is its super fast & efficient !
just loved it, I would recommend this for bulk uploaders.
Migrations in 3 steps
|Feature||File Explorer||SLIM Companion Explorer|
|Support for custom metadata and Content Types||x||✓|
|Upload documents and folders using drag and drop||x (only with IE11 and ActiveX)||✓ (Chrome, Edge, FireFox, Opera and Safari)|
|Upload emails (and/or attachments) from Outlook using drag and drop||✓||✓ (Chrome and Edge) |
NB: FireFox, Opera and Safari require intermediate step via desktop
|Filter content by modification date, size, extension or name||x||✓|
|Extract document properties||x||✓ (msg, eml, pdf, docx, xlsx, pptx, vsdx, jpg, png, gif, bmp, tiff, svg, xml, html, mp3, mp4, mov, ...)|
|View PDF files in browser||n/a||✓|
|Open zip file in browser||n/a||✓|
|Cater for illegal characters, blocked files and long URLs||x||✓|
|High throughput||x||✓ (Up to 18 GB per hr per browser)|
|Suitable for uploading large data sets (10's or 100's GB)||x||✓|
|Supports very large files||x (typically up to 100 or 200 MB)||✓ (up to 15 GB file sizes)|
|Easy to deploy||✓ (only with IE11 and ActiveX)||✓|
The optional App allows deployment of the tool to all libraries in a site
|Resilience for network / server glitches||x||✓|
|Download documents / folders (10's or 100's of GB)||x (only small data volumes)||✓|
|Standard SharePoint functionality (e.g. open Word file in Word Online)||x||✓|
|Flatten folder structures||x||✓|
|Preview emails (and directly open email attachments)||x||✓|
|Keep original modification date||x||✓|
|Reporting on SharePoint content||x||✓|
|Delete major/minor document versions||x||✓|
|Scalable||✓||✓ (can be used my multiple users at the same time)|
|Suitable for large lists||x||✓|
|Costs||✓ (free)||x (Licensed product)|
SLIM Companion Explorer transforms your browser into a powerful tool for SharePoint. It enables users to upload content from a variety of sources (e.g. file shares, SharePoint 2013, …) using drag and drop. It supports custom metadata and Content Types, extracts properties from popular file formats (msg, pdf, jpg, docx, mov, …), supports large document volumes and is fast.
The tool does not require any software installs on SharePoint or the user’s computer. The tool consists of a few small files (total size 1.5 MB) that need to be uploaded to SharePoint. Access to the tool can be easily restricted by using standard SharePoint permissions.
The optional SLIM Companion Explorer App adds a button to all Document, Picture and Assets libraries in a site.
To start the tool simply open the file in SharePoint. SLIM Companion Explorer displays the SharePoint content by mimicking File Explorer or Finder on macOS. This provides the users with a familiar interface with rich functionality. Moreover, it avoids the problems commonly observed with using File Explorer (also known as “explorer view”):
– only available on Internet Explorer
– authentication problems often surface
– limited maximum file size
Migrating content to SharePoint is simple. Open the source (e.g. file share) in File Explorer and drag the content into the required location in the SLIM Companion Explorer tree. Note that only Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge and Safari support dragging folders.
SLIM Companion Explorer in-depth
Explorer first creates an inventory of the selected content. By default all content is marked for uploading. You can exclude folders (and it’s contents) by unselecting the checkbox(es).
By default documents and folders are uploaded using the “Document” Content Type and the “Folder” Content Type respectively. Explorer allows the user to select different Content Types and also to set values for metadata fields used in these custom Content Types. Properties in source files (e.g. keywords in PDF files, GPS coordinates in jpg files, ..) can also be mapped to columns in the custom Content Types.
Explorer supports commonly used metadata types like single line of text, choice, dates, … but also managed metadata.
Upon clicking “Proceed” a check is done if there are required fields in the Content Types that do not have a value. If so, they are marked in red and the user is informed to provide a default value. If the checks are all successful the uploading starts. The progress for each item is shown. Item names are greyed out when they have been uploaded successfully.
When all items have been uploaded the upload statistics table is shown. The migration log provides filters to only list items meeting a specific criteria (e.g. failed). The list with uploaded items can also be downloaded as a csv file.
Skipping folders (flatten folder structure)
Some organisations want to stop using folders and only use metadata to organise content. Explorer allows uploading of documents in nested folders structures without recreating the original folder structure. The original path details can be captured into SharePoint columns for use in views. The tool also ensures document names are made unique to avoid overwriting documents with the same name. To skip folders select the option “Skip folders and flatten folder structure” for folders in the metadata popup window.
Common upload problems
SharePoint imposes restrictions on the characters used in item names, document sizes, document types, uploading items with too long names, long URLs, etc… Explorer automatically caters for this. The tool detects the SharePoint (or OneDrive for Business) version and applies the appropriate fixes for that specific version. For example, SharePoint 2013 blocks several file name extensions (e.g. exe and bat). A blocked file is automatically placed into a zip file during uploading to ensure the file can be uploaded to SharePoint and remains part of the uploaded content.
Extract document properties
Explorer is able to extract properties from a document during uploading and capture them into SharePoint columns for use in views and to perform powerful searches. The following document types are supported:
– email metadata like To, From, Subject, Conversation, … from msg and eml files
– properties in PDF files like Title, Author, Keywords, Modify Date, custom properties, …
– image file formats (jpg, png, gif, tiff, bmp and svg)
– Office files (docx, xlsx, pptx and vsdx)
– HTML files (e.g. Title, keywords, description ,…)
– Audio files (mp3 and wma)
– Video files (wmv, mp4 and mov)
The mapping between document properties and SharePoint columns is managed centrally but individual users can update their personal mappings (under the “Settings” menu).
Upload emails from Outlook
Emails (and/or attachments) can be directly uploaded from Outlook to SharePoint using drag and drop for Edge and Chrome (version 76 and up). There is no need to first drag the emails to the desktop and then transfer them to SharePoint. Extracting the email metadata such as From, Subject, Sent date, … and capturing the values into SharePoint columns enables for efficient viewing, filtering and powerful searching.
Note: this intermediate step is still required for FireFox, Opera, legacy Chrome versions (up to version 75), Internet Explorer 11 and Safari (macOS).
By hovering over an icon in the Explorer tree a preview of the file is shown in the right hand pane for supported file types. The following file types are available for previewing in Explorer:
– emails (msg and eml)
– PDF files
– docx and pptx (only on SharePoint Online)
– images (jpg, png, gif, bmp, svg, tiff)
– text based files like xml, xsl, xsd, txt, log, csv and html
Attachments in an email preview can be directly opened without downloading the email. This increases productivity for users and enables users to open emails (and their attachments) when they do not have a mail client like Outlook installed (e.g. macOS users or users with a tablet).
Browse zip file
The contents of zip files is shown by clicking the expand icon. This shows the zip file’s contents without downloading the entire file. Individual files in the zip file can be directly opened / previewed.
Documents stored in SharePoint often need to be shared with others through email. This typically involves downloading a document, opening a new email and attaching the document. The steps become progressively more cumbersome when dealing with multiple documents. Explorer simplifies this. Select one or more documents and click the button “Mail Attachment(s)”. This generates a new email message with the selected documents attached.
Mapping source document properties
Explorer supports the following source document properties:
– modification date
These properties can be mapped to a SharePoint column to keep the original value. For instance this allows content migrations of legacy content without creating content with a new modification date. Keeping items with the original modification date is very valuable for viewing and sorting content. It may also help identify content which is no longer required.
Some technical characteristics
Explorer supports migration of large document volumes (10’s of GB’s). Larger data sets can be easily split into smaller parts by excluding folders. The maximum file size supported is 15 GB on SharePoint Online, 10 GB for SharePoint 2016. For SharePoint 2013 the maximum file sizes are browser dependent (see release notes at the bottom of the page). Unlike many migration tools there is no limit in terms of the data volume uploaded or downloaded.
The tool allows users to create a basic inventory of the content of a SharePoint Document library, Picture library or Asset library. For example, list the number of documents, the number of folders, content types used, number of major versions, diskspace consumed by document versions, … The inventory of documents and folders can be exported as a CSV file.
Major and minor document versions can be deleted in a controlled way. For example, delete all major document versions apart from the 3 most recent versions.
Explorer also allows a user to create an inventory report of source system (e.g file share) which can be downloaded as a csv file.
Recently the standard SharePoint modern view has been extended to allow downloading of folders. This functionality is not available when using the classic view or SharePoint 2013. Explorer allows downloading of multiple documents and/or folders into a zip file. Very large document volumes are supported (e.g. 10’s of GB’s) by using multiple zip files.
5000-item List View Threshold (Large Lists)
The 5000-item List View Threshold prevents access to content unless special measures (e.g. views using indexed columns) are used. Explorer caters for Document (and Picture and Asset) libraries that exceed this limit. The content is retrieved in chunks and does not require any changes to SharePoint. Using Explorer it is possible to browse through large lists, download the list’s contents or report on the list’s content.
SLIM Companion Explorer App
The optional App adds an “Explorer” button to the standard SharePoint ribbon of Document, Picture and Asset libraries.
This way the Explorer tool is easily accessible for users. This setup is similar to “Open with Explorer” but without the typical limitations (e.g. only available in IE11, requires ActiveX, single-sign-on problems, …). The App is available for Office 365 Business and Enterprise plans.
Explorer supports migrations to SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online (Office 365, including Office groups and Microsoft Teams).
The tool can be used with Document Libraries, Picture Libraries and Asset Libraries. The latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, Safari plus Internet Explorer 11 are supported (on Windows clients and macOS). Note: uploading folders is not supported on Internet Explorer 11.
The supported sources are the user’s computer, file shares, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and SharePoint 2007/2010/2013/2016/Office 365 and OneDrive for Business.
Note: the source system needs to be accessible through File Explorer or Finder.
For further information check out the following sources:
Or contact us directly (here).
To summarize, SLIM Companion Explorer transforms your browser into a powerful tool to improve productivity, increase adoption and simplify migrations.