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The Metalogix Content Matrix Console - SharePoint Edition has the ability to compare SharePoint sites and lists, including sites and lists between live sites and database connections. This comparison feature will show the user any differences between two locations for any sites, lists, or items that are compared. The comparison action will list any new, deleted, edited, or missing items between the two locations, and give the specific location for each file, while also identifying the basic nature of the difference(s) for the user. A basic example of when you might use this feature is to do a comparison between a development site and a live site to see if the content matches, or if there are any updated differences between the two.

How to Compare Sites and Lists

A compare can be done at the SharePoint site, list or folder level, but cannot be done at the item level. However, the compare action itself will be run down to the item level, and the SharePoint Edition will show the results for everything under the selected node.

  1. In the SharePoint Edition choose the site, list or folder that you want to use as the base for the comparison. Right-click on this node and select Compare <Object> (this will be either site, list, or folder depending on the selected node). For this explanation the Compare Site option will be used. This will open the Compare Site dialog.

  2. In the Compare Site dialog box, under To, use the tree view to navigate to the site/list/folder that you want to make a comparison with.

    Users can change the base location (site or list node) of the comparison by clicking Show Explorer (with the green "+"). This switches to a tree view so that then new comparison base node can be selected. Select Hide Explorer (with a red "-") to go back and choose the target site or list node for the compare action.

    Note: A compare is only possible between lists of the same type. For example, two "Shared Documents" lists can be compared, but a "Shared Document" list cannot be compared to an "Announcements" list. This is not the same for sites. Any site type can be compared to any other site type. For example, a "Team Site" can be compared to either another "Team Site" or to a "Publishing Site."
  3. Set the other compare check-box options as desired. A quick breakdown of these options is below.

    • Recursively Compare Subsites - This option allows for all subsites under the selected node to be included in the compare.

    • Compare Lists - This option allows for all lists under the selected site to be included in the compare (including lists in subsites if the Recursively Compare Subsites option is checked ).

    • Compare Folders - This option allows all folders under the selected node to be included in the compare.

    • Compare Items - This option allows all items under the selected node to be included in the compare.

    • Compare Versions - This option allows all item versions under the selected node to be included in the compare.

    • Compare Metadata - This option allows for all item metadata to be included in the compare.

    • Halt if Different - This option forces the compare action to halt when it encounters and differences between the items being compared.

    • Enable Verbose Logging - This option allows for better logging to be taken during the compare.

    Additionally there are also a series of filters that can be applied at each level (site, list, and item level filters). For more information on setting filters, please see the Setting and Applying Filters to a Migration page.

    The Compare List dialog box is similar to the Compare Site dialog box, except that there are no options to Recursively Compare Subsites, and there are no options to add or edit site filters. These are site level options, and are only available when doing a site level comparison.

    After all the desired options and filters have been set, click OK.

  4. A status box will display the progress of the comparison between the selected sites or lists. In the bottom left corner of the status box some results of the compare will be displayed, stating how many completions, and some of the differences that may have been detected.

    Note: Content Matrix Console - SharePoint Edition has a live view of it's operation logs. As a result, during an operation users can click Details>> and a live view of the action details in the log will be shown.

    Once this is completed, click Details>> to get a full view of the compare log.

  5. The compare log can give users some useful information, such as time copied, item name, item type, source and target locations of items, status of the item, and the nature of the difference(s). Any and all differences in the log are marked, both with color and by icon. The following is a list of the color/icon representations for the results that can be found:

    Compare Icons

    • Green Checkmark - This means that there are no differences between the item(s) on the base and target site/list.

    • Two boxes with an "X" between them - This means that the item on the base site/list and the item on the target site/list are different.

    • An "=" sign with a box on the right - This means that there is missing content on the target site/list side.

    • A box with an "=" sign on the right - This means that there is missing content on the base site/list side.

    Compare Text Color

    • Black Text - This means that the item(s) in the base and target site/list match.

    • Blue Text - This means that the item(s) on the base and target site/list are different.

    • Red Text - This means that the item(s) on the base and target site/list are missing from one side.

    The color coding and icons can help users quickly determine, at a glance, if there are any discrepancies between the base and target sites/lists/folders/items, and also provide some necessary information to help resolve these differences, if needed.

  6. In the Details section of the compare results users have the option to see even more detailed results of the compare action, for each item. To view the Log Item Details you can double-click on the item, or select it, right-click, and choose View log item. Users also have the option to copy any selected results to the clipboard, and paste them into another application. Please see the Log Files page for more details on these features.

    When right-clicking on an item in the compare results section, users will also see a Navigate option. This option allows users to navigate to the source or target location of the item, using the explorer windows. If Navigate > To Source is selected, the SharePoint Edition will navigate to the source side of the selected item in the left-hand Explorer view window. If Navigate > To target is selected, the SharePoint Edition will navigate to the target side of the selected item in the right-hand Explorer view window.

    When finished with the log, click Close.