Making the move from Dropbox to Box? We’re happy to have you! The following recommendations will help to make the migration as smooth as possible.
Note: Enterprise customers who are transferring large amounts of data (more than 100 GB or 100,000 files), consider using Box Shuttle, Box's content migration service. If you are interested in using Box Shuttle to migrate your files, contact your customer success manager or account executive.
How to approach migration from Dropbox to Box
Here are a few things to consider before starting the transfer of content from Dropbox to Box:
- First, determine what you want to keep. Just like moving into a new home, moving individuals and teams to Box from Dropbox requires planning and some housecleaning. Successful Box customers often migrate current and relevant content rather than everything that could have potential value.
- Consider what you need to have offline. As a best practice, sync your current and active projects for offline use instead of trying to keep a local copy of all of your organization’s content. You should also consider what folders you will need to access while you are offline for an extended period of time.
- Choose a migration method. The most common methods for migrating content from Dropbox to Box are Box Drive, Folder Uploads, FTP, or partner applications.
Communicate the Changes
Consider how you will message your end users about what tools to use, and how to move their company data out of their personal accounts. Dropbox might continue to be used for personal file storage of non-organizational content, so how you message this depends on your security needs.
Be sure to consider how you will message this repeatedly over time.
- Send a series of company wide emails explaining how and why changes are occurring
- Post tutorials on your organization's intranet or social tools
- Have your executive sponsor send a video to your organization
Set Up a New and Improved Folder Structure
The first and most important step in your migration should be to set the stage in Box for your content and users. Prior to actually transferring over your files and adding user accounts, you’ll want to implement a folder structure that is well-organized and conducive to your business workflow. Consider how you would like your end-users to access their content in Box. You can review the Folder Structure Best Practices document for additional recommendations.
This is also the ideal time to configure the security settings on your Box account to match your IT department’s requirements, and set up the custom branding to match your organization’s look and feel.
Gain Access to All Dropbox Shared Folders
As the Box administrator responsible for this migration, you’ll need access to all shared or team folders in Dropbox. If there are any shared folders in Dropbox to which you do not have access, instruct your end-users to invite you into them. Let them know that granting you access will ensure that all of their data is successfully transferred from system to system.
Upload Into Box
You’ll need to consider which method you’d like to use to get your content uploaded and organized in Box. We will provide you with a couple of recommendations, though there are a number of options. It’s important to keep in mind that your upload method should go hand-in-hand with getting all of your content organized and ready to go for all of your end-users.
Upload batches of content directly into established folders
Since you’ve already set up your folder structure in Box, you may want to upload batches of content directly into their designated folders. In order to do this, however, you’ll need to have a good idea of where files need to be placed.
If your content in Dropbox was organized similarly to how it will be set up in Box, then it may be just as simple as moving data from your Dropbox shared folder into the corresponding folder in Box. For example, if you have a Marketing folder in Dropbox that contains press releases, upload these files from your desktop Dropbox folder into the Marketing folder in Box.
If your content organization will be different in Box than it was in Dropbox, you can still use this method to upload. You might already be familiar with your users’ files and how they need to be structured. And if not, you can always work with each of your users to determine the folders in which their data should be stored.
Upload all content into a temporary folder and reallocate
Another option would be to upload all content into a temporary folder in Box and then reorganize your files into their respective folders.
It is recommended that when using this method you should upload entire folders rather than individual files. You should also keep any folder structures intact that you currently have in Dropbox. Any existing structure will help you to keep track of your files and determine where they need to be moved.
Once you have consolidated all of you Dropbox data in a folder in Box, you can begin moving files and folders to their proper locations within your folder structure.
Grant access to you users in Box
With all of your data organized, the final step will be to migrate all of your users to Box. Make a list of users who will require access, or if you were using Dropbox for Teams, refer to the Dropbox Teams tab for a current list of users. Each of these users can be added to Box through the Users tabs in the Admin Console.
Assign appropriate access to users in folders
Be sure to invite your users into folders in Box that contain the content they had access to in Dropbox. You should also take some time to think about the access types that you’d like to assign these users in each folder.
Alternatively, you can also grant your users access to folders from within their individual profiles in the Users tab of the Admin Console, or if you have a Box Enterprise account, you can use Groups. See the Best Practices Using Groups document for more information on Groups implementation.
This spectrum of permission levels will let you customize the type of actions your users can take on the folders in your Box account. A user’s permission can vary from folder to folder depending on what actions they need to take on the files and subfolders inside.
If you want a user to be able to use Box’s desktop sync tool for a folder, you just need to grant them Editor, Co-Owner, or Owner privileges.
We recommend that you run the User Statistics report as everyone is getting started to monitor the activity in your Box account. This report will allow you to identify power users as well as those users who may need a little more support initially.
Automated Content Migration
Box has partnered with several third party applications that can help you automate your content migration process:
Tervela’s migration solution, Cloud FastPath, makes your job easier through every phase of your Box migration. Features include: pre-migration analytics, data filtering, automating the mapping of permissions/users/groups/metadata, a data streaming architecture to achieve high transfer rates, delta syncing for smooth “cutovers”, and detailed post-migration reporting.
- From within Cloud FastPath's web-based control panel you authenticate your Dropbox and Box account.
- Search and select the data, users, and groups you want to migrate, and if you want, run a Simulation report to analyze your content before migrating.
- Next, you can either customize or automatically map users/permissions/groups/metadata to Box.
- Once you are ready to transfer data, simply press “play” to start the migration and Cloud FastPath streams the data directly from Dropbox to Box. You can also schedule or chain multiple transfers and keep Dropbox and Box in sync until you are ready to cutover completely to Box.
SkySync, a third-party middleware application, is built to manage large-scale migrations of files across content collaboration services. As an administrative tool, SkySync is completely transparent to end-users and enables IT to transition to new platforms with no disruption to business operations.
- Search for SkySync in the Box Apps Gallery, or visit www.skysync.com/box.
- Once SkySync has been purchased (or a 14-day trial version of the software has been installed), integrate your existing system with Box by simply logging in to each system with administrative credentials.
- After establishing the connections, use the SkySync Job Wizard to configure the sync or migration from a source to the destination. Here, administrators can easily define which folders they need to migrate, map user accounts, migrate permissions and filter content by date or file type.
- The SkySync Pre-Run Analyzer will assess the job before moving any content, giving administrators a warning if any files are corrupt, too large or are otherwise unable to be migrated.
- Select “OK” to run the job. SkySync will then automatically stream content directly between platforms; files are not cached nor transferred through a proprietary cloud.
- Both during and after the job, SkySync provides on-going status updates and a full audit of the migration. Email alerts will also provide the administrator of any necessary updates while transferring content.
Please note that all applications and guidelines here are for reference purposes and do not constitute a recommendation from Box of any particular vendor or strategy.
You are encouraged to thoroughly test and verify all applications and strategies before deploying them.