Back-filling SharePoint News with Sharegate

When we migrate from classic SharePoint to modern SharePoint, we often have some historical content which should turn into News items on the modern end. If we need to load a large number of News stories, we may use Powershell or custom code, depending on the source. Because News hasn’t existed in SharePoint before, it’s not necessarily a one-to-one mapping.

In some cases, we simply want to seed News with some of the more recent articles from the organization. Loading all of the old news-like content may not make sense. In these cases, we often just create the new News items by hand.

As a consultant who often does this, I don’t really want to leave my fingerprints all over those News items. Other then the people I’m working with, no one in the client organization knows who I am, so seeing me as the author doesn’t lend the articles any credibility.

The other issue is any News items I create have the current date and time stamps. Since we’re trying to back-fill historical News, we want the dates to reflect when the original content was published, not when I create it.

One of my favorite software tools ever – Sharegate aka SG:Desktop – can help with this, and make it quite easy, to boot!

High Level Steps

  • Create News pages manually or in an automated way
  • Using Sharegate, export the News pages’ metadata to Excel
  • Edit the Excel file to replace the First Published Date, Created By, Created, Modified By, and/or Modified fields, as needed
  • Import the metadata changes
  • Bask in the glory

Detailed Steps

In Sharegate, you’ll want to navigate to the Site Pages library where you’ve created the News pages.

Select the News items you’d like to work with. Here, I’m just selecting two News items, but if you have a lot of pages, you might want to create a view in the site Pages library filtered for Promoted State = 2. That’s what distinguishes News from other pages (most have Promoted State = 0).

Click Export Metadata. You’ll be asked where to save the file.

Once the export is finished, click on Open File. This will launch the Excel file with the metadata.

In the Excel file, make the metadata changes you need. Notice that you can specify any user in your organization by providing their email address.

Save the file and close it.

Back in Sharegate, click the Import & Edit button. You’ll be asked where the file lives – it’s the one you just edited in Excel.

At the next screen, in most cases, you’ll just want to click the Bulk Edit button. There are all sorts of options here which are REALLY useful in other scenarios, but not important right now.

If all goes according to plan, you’ll see green checkboxes next to each page.

Et voila! The metadata is updated to reflect the correct people and date/time stamps. Note that it may take a little while before search picks up the changes and you see them in News roll ups in other sites.

Here’s just one more reason why I love Sharegate. It’s not just a migration tool – it’s my everyday tool!

from Marc D Anderson’s Blog