• Author of Website Migration Handbook v2• First large migration: World Bank (1,000+ subsites)• Consults to large and medium organizations• David guides complex website transformations.
Deane Barker• Working in content management since 1996• Founding partner in Blend Interactive• Board member of Content Management Professionals
Planning vs. Technical• The planning process encompasses the entire scope of your migration effort• The technical process is just one very critical part of this process
Agenda• David will discuss the larger planning process – Break• Deane will follow with a discussion about the specific technical challenges – End at 4:00 p.m. – Deane and David will be available for discussion until 5:00 p.m.
Highly-geographical content is much harder to migrate.You have to migrate both the content and the placement.
Pop Quiz:Why are blogs soeasy to migrate?No geography.Lots of derivedindex pages.
Hierarchical contentrequires you todetermine andtransfer structure
Stub Mapping Home Products About Product A Product B HistoryExisting Home New Products About Product A Product B History
The Path to Stub Mapping• “We need to codify the new website structure…”• “…let’s just store this in the new CMS…”• “…and let’s store the old URL, just for reference…”• “…and…can we just use that old URL to transfer the content?”
The Four Tasks• Extract• Transform• Import• Normalize• We can generalize about the first two – Extract and transform are platform-agnostic
#1: Extract• Get content out of the existing system• Break content into its necessary components• Store in a neutral format – XML, usually
Migrating out of a CMS is a lot easier than the alternative. CMS enforces at least some consistency.
Are you going to extract from therepository level or the publication level?
Repository vs. Publication Extraction HTML Repository Processing
You may need to make changes to your old site to make extraction easier or more complete.
You do not have to wait for anything to do this.You can start extraction on the very day you decide to migrate your website.
#2: Transform• Modify extracted content• Fix legacy problems with the content• Adapt content to fit the new architecture• Neutralize idiosyncrasies in the content
Embedded URL Resolution• If you have embedded URLs, they are now broken.• How do you “re-connect” these URLs to the correct content?• Usually performed as some kind of batch job. – You rarely get 100% accuracy. – Prepare to catch the remainder in QA.
Always store the old URL for a migrated page of content.
How it Works• Iterate over every piece of content…• …then iterate over every single property looking for anything that might contain links…• …then iterate over all those links looking for the new content holding that old link…• …then correct the link.
Once migrated, use the old URL to do a lookup in your 404 handler.
If you can preserve binary fileURLs, do so. Your new CMS will likely make this easier.
What is the actual mechanism of movement? Copy-and-paste? Automated?
When Copy-and-Paste Works• When you don’t have a lot of content• When you have access to cheap labor• When your content is highly geographic• When you cannot automate transformation• When you have enough resources for sufficient QA
When Automated Migration Works• When you have large volumes of content• When your content is not highly-geographic• When you have sufficient technology and/or development resources
You don’t have to use the samemethod for your entire project.
Automated Migration Tools• Great answer to the Transfer phase• Less of an answer to everything else• They still have to be configured and tested
The Promise:You will be able to develop a script that will reduce your migration to a button-click.
The Promise:You will run this script, need to donothing else, then launch your new website.
The Value-Add• A scripting environment• Tested tools for: – Extraction – Transformation – Import (maybe…)• Professional services $$$$
Automated Migration Process• Develop automated migration script – Configure – Execute – Evaluate – (Repeat)• Accept a cycle “as good as is reasonable”• Perform necessary manual editing• Re-do changes during content freeze• Launch
Automated migrations are highly iterative. Configure-Execute-Evaluate
Automated Migration Cycle Weeks? Months? Days? Minutes?Configure Execute Evaluate Manual Launch Editing Iterate again… “As good as is reasonable…”
Once you accept the output of a migration cycle, you are in a content freeze
Handling a Content Freeze• Don’t change any content on the existing site• Track changes so they can be re-changed on the new site
Ideally, track the QA process inside the CMS itself.
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