Mapping Jive Content Types when Migrating from Jive to Microsoft 365

Jive and Microsoft 365 both have a long list of content types.  Some of these are used regularly and some are more obscure.  In our migration FAQ, we try to cover what content types we can migrate with our utilities and which ones we currently do not.  This is a moving target since new capabilities are added regularly.  For example, at the time of this writing, we do not support migrating Jive content to Modern Pages.  However, that is in development now and should be available for any migrations starting in Q4 of 2018.

Back in 2014…

For ThreeWill it all started when Chris Edwards migrated our Jive content to Microsoft 365 in 2014.  The simplest solution with the least loss of information was to migrate Jive documents to SharePoint wiki pages with references to documents in a document library for uploaded/binary files, photos, videos, and attachments.  This allowed for comments (as well as a description to be maintained for files) by simply putting them on the wiki page.  It’s not the most elegant solution as you can’t reply to a comment that is stuck at the bottom of the wiki page without editing the entire page and placing your own comment at the bottom, but it did allow for all of the information to be maintained.

While wiki pages don’t really allow for conversations, SharePoint has had a good place for conversations for some types of content.  Early on we started migrating Jive discussions to a SharePoint discussion list and Jive blog posts to a SharePoint blog list within a blog site.  Both allowed for the entire threaded conversation to be migrated with full fidelity.  Individual comments can be attributed to the author with the appropriate timestamp and nesting.  After migration users can reply to individual comments to continue the conversation.

Unfortunately, wiki pages, SharePoint discussion lists, and SharePoint blog sites are all a little outdated.  Whether stated publicly or not, Microsoft has deprecated all of these.  They still exist and are supported, but they are not improving them and have not improved them for years.

The Content-Type Cha-Cha-Chá

It sometimes feels like a dance; moving a couple of steps forward, a step or two to the side, and maybe even a step backward.  Over the years we worked with our clients to explore better ways to represent Jive content types within Microsoft 365.  These have included:

  • Incorporating Yammer for comments (proof-of-concept)
  • Converting Jive collaborative (HTML) documents, discussions, and blog posts (potentially with their comments) to PDFs and migrating those to a document library
  • Migrating personal content to OneDrive
  • Migrating videos to the O365 Video Portal
  • Migrating Jive categories and tags to a multiline field
  • Migrating Jive Events to a SharePoint Event/Calendar list
  • Migrating the Jive Photo Albums to individual SharePoint document libraries
  • Migrating Jive documents, discussions, and blog posts (and their comments) to Modern Pages

All of these still have pros and cons…

While we support migrating what I consider the primary content types (collaborative documents, uploaded/binary files, photos, videos, discussions, blogs, and events) there are still a few that are noticeably absent because clients have shown little to no interest in migrating them:

  • Polls
  • Ideas
  • Tasks
  • Status Updates
  • Private Messages
  • Bookmarks
  • Announcements
  • Shared Links
  • Streams

This isn’t to say that none of our clients has been interested in one or more of these.  But none have had enough interest to work with us to find an appropriate place for them in Microsoft 365.  Some have an obvious target content type and others don’t.

That finally brings us to Jive Home and Overview pages along with their widgets and tiles.  Clients would love for us to migrate this.  Unfortunately, this is a hard problem to solve.  Each Jive widget or tile is its own mini-application.  Many times this functionality is not in Microsoft 365 or would have to be re-created in some way.  Each widget/tile has to be looked at individually for migration.  Some, such as the HTML and Formatted Text Widgets, may be feasible.

There are some other ancillary pieces of information.  Many of this we handle such as:

  • Transforming links to people, places, or content (this is no small effort and heavily used in Jive)
  • Created/Modified timestamps
  • Attributing the author of a piece of content
  • Profile images
  • Jive Group membership
  • Jive Space – Security Group permissions

But other secondary data we currently do not migrate:

  • Follows
  • Likes
  • Profile Properties
  • Place logos
  • Jive Space – User Override permissions

There’s way too much detail to review in a blog post here on what we cover and do not cover.  If you are serious about using our services, please schedule a workshop.

Conversations – Is Microsoft Shooting in the Dark?

One of Jive’s core strengths is allowing for conversations on virtually every content type.  This is decidedly not a core strength of Microsoft 365.  However, Yammer integration has slowly improved over the years, Microsoft Teams is quite strong at allowing conversations around content, and even Modern Pages allow for comments.

Microsoft is clearly still trying to find its way regarding conversations.  Right now there are several choices and they are not integrated.  You can have comments inside of a Word document, reference that Word document in a Microsoft Teams discussion with a separate set of comments, reference that document from Yammer with another set of comments, or reference that document from a Modern Page with yet another set of comments.

The direction we are hearing from Microsoft is that Microsoft Teams is for the inner-ring (intended for a relatively small group of people) and that Yammer is for the outer-ring (intended for larger audiences within the organization).  This helps but doesn’t explain how comments inside of an Office document or comments on a Modern Page fit in (if at all).

Since Jive is very comment-centric, maybe we should migrate comments to one of those platforms.  Here’s where we are for each of those:



YammerWe have done a POC of this in the past, but there are several downsides including:

  • User/group provisioning – Yammer groups are separate from SharePoint sites and must be provisioned separately.  Yammer users must be provisioned before you migrate content on behalf of that user.
  • Plain text limitations – Yammer comments are plain text, but Jive comments are not.  This results in loss of information.
  • Unable to specify comment timestamps – The Yammer API simply will not allow us to specify the timestamp of a comment.  We can hard-code this into the comment text, but this can be confusing.  Third party intranet-in-a-box solutions such as Unily can get around this because they own the user interface into Yammer content.
  • Open Graph Activity awkwardness in Yammer embeds when showing on SharePoint pages – this one is hard to explain, but you use the Yammer embed on a SharePoint page to show comments related to the page, it will have links pointing back to the current page.  This is not a problem with third party intranet-in-a-box solutions such as Unily since they own the UI.
Microsoft TeamsThe functionality of Microsoft Teams is likely the closest match to Jive Groups.  Unfortunately, the Teams API has too many limitations, preventing us from migrating content there.  We can migrate to the SharePoint site that backs a Microsoft Teams, but cannot migrate conversations to a Microsoft Team.  Microsoft does not appear to have this as a priority at this time.  To change this, feel free to upvote the following User Voice requests:

Modern PagesModern Pages support comments, but there is no public API allowing us to generate comments during migration.  Therefore we currently place the comments at the bottom of the page and the conversation can continue using Modern Page comments.  If an API supported migrating to Modern Page comments, we would then have to deal with the problem that those comments are only plain text (like Yammer so you would lose fidelity) and they only allow nesting two levels deep (so you would lose some nesting context).
Office Document CommentsWe have not investigated this as no client has shown interest.


Microsoft 365 is a great platform.  There are a ton of tools and applications available.  However, there isn’t a simple one-to-one mapping if you are migrating from Jive to Microsoft 365.  It’s complicated and we’d like to help you get there.  We get into a lot more details during our two-day workshop where we not only share how we can migrate your content, but we also learn about how you use Jive and how you want to use Microsoft 365 so we can tailor the migration to your needs.

Kirk LiemohnMapping Jive Content Types when Migrating from Jive to Microsoft 365

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