Transitioning iSpace Webfiles to SharePoint

There is some urgency. Official support for iSpace ended on December 31, 2019. The iSpace environment could go away at any time, taking any web files still hosted in iSpace with it. It's important to convert your iSpace web links ASAP, so that they point to the most current and manageable version of the linked document—the one in SharePoint.

iSpace web links

When in the SharePoint Collaboration/webfiles/yourdepartment site, select the document you want to link to from your UTMB web page and select Share, then choose who you’d like to share the file with:

  • Anyone with the link– this link will work for anyone in the world

  • People in University of Texas Medical Branch with the link – this will work for anyone who has a UTMB email address

Click Apply.

When you see ‘Link created,’ copy the link for use on your UTMB web page.

Need an easy way to track iSpace links on your site and verify your conversions?


Share this with your department's web editor:

  • Once the webfile report is available, update the webfile links on your site to use the new SharePoint URL as soon as possible.
  • When that process is complete, contact the project team and let us know. We will remove the 'public permissions' from your iSpace web files and move them to the Trash directory.
  • Important: If this step is overlooked, links from other sites will continue to work for as long as iSpace is up and running, and your old iSpace files will remain available. You don't want that.
  • It's better for other departments linking to your iSpace files to discover a broken link on their web page than for them to continue to serve a defunct and out-of-date file.

Note: Because department migrations will take more time overall, you may retain access to the iSpace web files until your department is migrated to SharePoint. If you move the iSpace webfiles to the Trash yourself, you MUST remove the public permissions first. Otherwise, those files will remain available via hyperlink, even from within the Trash, until they are purged (after 30 days).

On October 4th, 2019, Mel Harman from MarComm and members of the SharePoint transition project team gave a presentation on using SiteImprove to track down iSpace files linked to UTMB web pages. They used a link report as an example during that presentation, it contains all the information you'll need to get started. That report has been posted here.

It's entirely possible—many departments link out to documents also available from the Human Resources site, for example. If other sites are linking to your webfiles, their links will break once you've completed your part of the migration process (see previous question), and that's okay:

It's better for other departments linking to your iSpace files to discover that they have a broken link on their web page than for them to continue to serve a defunct and out-of-date file.

Office documents, PDFs and other files containing iSpace hyperlinks are stored in many different places—in email, on network drives, local desktop computers, etc. and might even have copies in constant circulation. Unfortunately, there is no way to identify and track these documents across such disparate locations, and no way for the project team to generate a report detailing the links that need to be updated.

These files will have to be updated, archived or deleted as they are encountered.

Our team has access to SiteImprove, a scanning tool that we are using to detect iSpace files associated with web hyperlinks. SiteImprove crawls web content, much like a search engne, and we can generate a report from that crawl data.

Unfortunately, we have no way of crawling or peering into closed systems like Blackboard or Epic. The best suggestion we can offer is for you to contact application administrators and see if they can offer some assistance.

In broad strokes, the migration will handle "webfiles" this way:

  • All iSpace webfiles across department folders will be migrated to a new SharePoint library just for webfiles.
  • After your data is migrated, any iSpace links within your web site will need to be updated with the new SharePoint URL, which the project team will provide.
  • iSpace webfiles will remain available in a read-only capacity for a time, which means web page links pointing to iSpace won't break right away. In general, that's a good thing.
  • The caveat is the web link will be pointing to a 'frozen' version of the document, one which can't be updated and will go away once iSpace is terminated.
  • It's important to update web links ASAP, so that they point to the most current and manageable version of the document—the one in SharePoint.

Working with BlackBoard (owner of Xythos), the project team has developed a separate "webfile" export tool that scans iSpace and selects all files linked to the UTMB web site. This utility will be used to migrate those linked files into a new SharePoint library for all UTMB webfiles.

This migration will happen in mid-September, 2019, about the same time as  departmental data migrations begin in earnest. Migrating all of UTMB's webfiles should only take a day or two, and permissions will be retained. In the new SharePoint webfiles library, each department will only see and access the same webfiles they see and access in iSpace today.

Shortly after the webfiles migration has been completed, the team will make a report available to departments that details the information needed to update the old iSpace hyperlink to the new SharePoint hyperlink. Web editors and authors should begin that work (described in the next question)  as soon as possible.

Note: A separate copy of the webfiles will be automatically migrated during the departmental migration; this is unavoidable. Those files should be deleted from your SharePoint department folder in order to prevent confusion.

iSpace Web Links

Only 634 of 7559 iSpace links left to convert to SharePoint URLs (May 20, 2020)

See the remaining iSpace links or find the SharePoint link for your file

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