Migrate required data using CAML Query Builder

Migrating data within SharePoint became a lot easier with the rise of Migration tools in the market. But, no matter how easy the migration is, there is always room for improvement.

Migrating a list/library with tons of data is not a big deal but migrating that list/library with only items that we choose is a big deal. Migrating specific items by choosing from a large list manually, is a hefty task and error prone, as a few items might be left out. So, one might not want to waste time in manual selection of items for migration. Below are some of the tricky cases that you might have come across during migration. 

Common Filtering Requirements For Data Migration 

  • Migrate files modified by a specific User/Group. 
  • Migrate items created between specific dates/Time stamps. 
  • Migrate files which are approved. 
  • Migrate files with specific metadata like keywords and other field values. 
  • Migrate only specific type of files like Word document, Pdf. 
  • Migrate all items excluding few items with unwanted content types. 

These are a few common filters which are required while migrating. In order to carry out this migration process successfully, you would need the assistance of a third part tool that is capable of understanding your requirement and migrating exactly what you need. Now, there are a lot of tools in the market that migrate your data but very few tools amongst them can filter items that you want to migrate. One tool that stands out in the bunch is the Saketa SharePoint Migrator.

How  is Saketa SharePoint Migrator unique?

The tool is unique for a multitude of reasons but the most relevant reason for our topic is it’s cool feature called CAML Query Builder. Through this feature, you can build your own query for migrating required items. Now, let’s understand CAML Query a bit better and how the CAML Query Builder feature helps filter required items.  

CAML Query 

Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) is an XML-based language that is used in Microsoft SharePoint Foundation to define the fields and views that are used in sites and lists. You can refer more about CAML Query hereCAML Query Schema can also be used to retrieve data from SharePoint List based on metadata of the items. You can refer more about CAML Query Schema hereNow that you know about CAML Query, let’s gain some insight into the CAML Query Builder. 

CAML Query Builder 

SharePoint Columns serve a lot more purpose than what we think. SharePoint columns can also be used to filter items in a list for migration. CAML Query builder helps you to build a query based on these columns and enables you to migrate required content. 

Using CAML query builder, you can build a query based on available filter options or you can directly provide your own query. 

To Build a query, you need to select a column present in that list/library and then provide your condition. Let’s see a sample filter of migrating files that are created by specific user. 

CAML Query Builder

In the above image, you can see the results for the applied filter. You can also add multiple filters based on multiple columns and fetch your required data. 

If you choose to manually write your own custom query, you need to know Query Schema and the internal column names. Here’s what Query for the example given above would look like-


<FieldRef Name=’Title’ /> 

    <FieldRef Name=’ID’ /> 

    <FieldRef Name=’Modified’ /> 

    <FieldRef Name=’Editor’ /> 

    <FieldRef Name=’Author’ /> 

    <FieldRef Name=’Created’ /> 





        <FieldRef Name=’Author’ LookupId=’TRUE’ /> 

        <Value Type=’Integer’>12</Value> 




After providing a query you can verify the results and then proceed for migration of the required data. We can also export these results to an excel file if we want maintain reference for the results. 

In this way we can filter our required data and migrate instead of migrating the unwanted data.

By now, you must’ve gained an overview of the CAML Query Builder. Now, let me explain its advantages.  

Advantages of CAML Query Builder 

  • Eases migration of required content without manually selecting specific files. 
  • Filtering can be done on all the columns present in that SharePoint list/library. 
  • Multiple filters for multiple columns can be applied to obtain required files. 
  • Folder hierarchy can also be preserved even if folders are not in filtered results. 
  • Custom Queries can be applied to filter out required items. 
  • Filters can be applied even on hidden columns. 
  • Export option for filtered results is available. 

These are few advantages of CAML Query Builder in Saketa Migrator tool and there are some other cool features in Saketa SharePoint Migrator that you might want to know. 

Other Advanced Features in Saketa SharePoint Migrator  
  • Generate PowerShell scripts for all type of migrations. 
  • Scheduling for migrations. 
  • Inventory, Pre-Migration and Post-Migration check for SharePoint migrations. 
  • Turbo Mode to speed up migrations.  

Relying on a tool to carry out migrations is essential as most of the tasks can be automated. But choosing the right tool to rely upon is the deciding factor as it can lead to successful migrations or it can cause a cascade of failures. The key is to choose a tool that is smart and absolutely what you need to meet your requirement.

So, choose wisely!

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