Database migration has always been a topic of much deliberation when an enterprise thinks of switching to a new messaging platform. But honestly, if we talk about the present time, things have become much easier for migration experts or consultants and all thanks to the third party solutions.

  • Lotus Notes has been appreciated and criticized. Reason being, on one side it provides a package of facilities like emailing, calendaring, web browsing, database management etc, it is tagged with a high cost. Moreover, there are very limited options available for its high availability and disaster recovery.
  • On the other hand, Outlook® by Microsoft is becoming a choice of many enterprises because of enhanced features offered in its updated editions. Less maintenance cost, excellent collaboration with Exchange Server, simplicity in usage, HA & DR plans are some of the reasons to switch from Notes to Outlook.

Today, we are going to have a discussion on how mailbox data migration from IBM Notes to MS Outlook can be relieving job. A product named QuickData NSF to PST Converter is dissected and analyzed for its potential to move database between two different mail platforms.

Product Specification:

Developers QuickData
Function Convert NSF File to PST
Current Version 9.4
Size 17.1 MB
Trial Version Available

Product Description:
NSF to PST Converter is a software application that aims to help users in migrating data from Notes mailbox to PST. This tool converts “username.nsf” and “names.nsf” files into ANSI or Unicode Outlook PST file format. At a single running instance of the tool, one NSF file can be added to the tool without any size limitation.

Migrating Notes Database to Outlook:
Before running the product, it is important to follow and follow on its requisites. For successful conversion, it is important that Lotus Notes and Outlook are installed on the machine. Also, Lotus Notes should not be connected with Domino Server.

Open QuickData NSF to PST Converter. To initiate processing, click on the “Export” button at the menu bar.

systools-export-notes-export

A new window will get opened that gives the option to add NSF files for processing. Click on the first “Browse” button. Here, we have to add the username.nsf file. This file contains emails, calendars, tasks, and journals.

systools-export-notes-browse

Then, for migrating contacts of Notes into PST, there is a separate option in the tool. To make use of it, enable “Migrate Contacts to Single PST file” option. This will activate the second “Browse” button on the page. Using this names.nsf file can be selected that particularly stores contacts information.

systools-export-notes-browse2

The next section in the page is to select the type of PST file depending upon the version of Outlook used. For Outlook 2000-2002, ANSI PST format should be selected and for Outlook 2003-2013 editions, Unicode PST format should be selected. After this, click on “Next” button to proceed.

systools-export-notes-format

There is “Select Categories” section in the software window. It is actually very helpful when only specific items like emails or calendars are to be migrated to PST file. Enable check-box for the items that are to be moved to Outlook PST file format.

systools-export-notes-save-cat

Then, another section on the screen is “Email Filters”. From the large volume of emails, we get the option through this tool to only migrate required items. There are sub-categories in this section:

Received on Interval:  Here, we have to provide a date range and the software will exclude the emails that were received between this range. You can notice the “Excluding Selected Dates” highlighted in the interface, explaining that the mails lying in this interval will be excluded.

Exclude Folder (s): This allows excluding multiple email folders from the conversion process. All you need to do is provide the folder names separated by commas.

Exclude Deleted Items: If the items in deleted items folder is not important, enable check box for this option and all data within this folder will be eliminated from conversion process.

Exclude Sent Items: Enable check box for this option and you can exclude this folder from NSF to PST conversion process.

systools-export-notes-email-filter

The “Advance Settings” section in the tool has four options available:

HTML Formatting: If this option is enabled, the HTML formatting of the emails will remain absolutely intact. This includes inline images, hyperlinks, form size, color, alignment etc.

All Documents: It is a special folder in Lotus Notes that includes messages of the entire email folders. Enabling this will migrate every single email from Notes into a separate folder in PST file.

Remove Encryption: If there is message level encryption in NSF file messages, i.e. emails are encrypted, then the software will remove it and save emails in readable form into PST file.

Internet Header: An email header gives information about its traversal through web. Enable this option and the internet header of emails will remain preserved.

systools-export-notes-calendar

The “Calendar Filters” and “To Do Filters” in the tool gives option to provide a date range and the calendars and to-do’s lying in this range will be excluded.

systools-export-notes-new-folder

When we click on the “Export” button, the software will ask to define a destination location where the output in the form of PST file will be saved. There is an option “Make New Folder” that can allow creating a new folder on the spot and also rename it.

systools-export-notes-location

Note: Since the Notes database on machine is password protected, here the password is being asked for user.id file. Once the password is approved, the NSF database export to PST will get started.

systools-export-notes-pwd

The export status can be viewed in software pane for each file added to the tool. This also includes the number of emails, contacts, calendars, and other items that have been selected for migration.

systools-export-notes-migration

The migration status will be visible on screen and once it gets completed, a window like that mentioned below will be available, stating how much data has been exported and the status of successful NSF to PST conversion.

systools-export-notes-conv

Analyzing the Output:

  • The conversion process executed successfully and in less time. Also, the Deleted Items, Junk Emails, and Sent items folders were excluded by the tool while conversion.
  • Every email is exactly the same as it was in NSF file and with internet header intact. There were two emails in the file that were encrypted and it is so good to see that the tool decrypted them brilliantly.
  • The speed of the tool is fine but it could be improved when Advance Options are used. A little more improvement is needed in speed of the tool but its performance is appreciative. The folders in the NSF file are maintained in same hierarchal format as they were before.
  • The tool generates single PST file for both the NSF file. That means entire mailbox database along with contacts will be at single place. This consolidates a user database into single PST file.

Some Added Benefits:
1: In case, the NSF file is above 20GB, the tool promises to split the output PST into parts so that functionality of Outlook does not get affected.

2: There are three licenses of this tool. If you invest in the Technician or Enterprise license of the tool, the advantage of converting NSF database into Exchange Server is offered.

Final Verdict:
In comparison to other tools in the market with same functioning, QuickData NSF to PST Converter has more features and better performance also. However, the tool can become one of its kind and definitely incomparable if it is integrated with the facility for converting multiple NSF files at once and yes of course if it can perform without Lotus Notes installation.

Considering performance of the tool and its ability for seamless NSF conversion to PST file format, I would rate this tool 8/10.